Toronto – The Toronto Rock announced their final roster for the upcoming 2009 NLL Season today which will see many new faces in the lineup beginning in the New Year.
“The re-building phase is over and this team is ready to win” said Rock President Brad Watters.
Alongside Glenn Clark who returns for his third season with the Rock, former team captain Jim Veltman takes a place behind the bench this season and Terry Bullen continues in his assistant coach role.
“There’s a feeling of high expectations amongst the players and coaches and we are working hard as a group to deliver a successful campaign in ’09” said Veltman. “Training camp has proven to be one of the most intense in my memory with the Toronto Rock, especially with the talent of the newest additions and the emergence of existing players” he added.
“This years training camp was very competitive and in all we had 38 players attend” said Mike Kloepfer, Director of Lacrosse Operations for the Toronto Rock. “Our new additions have drastically improved our club’s skill level & depth. We expect the team to be one of the top contenders this season” Kloepfer added.
The NLL’s 2008 Goaltender of the Year Bob Watson returns as to the Rock for his eleventh season with the team and “Steve Hoar, Jeff Gilbert and Mark Scherman have increased the depth of an already stingy defence in front of Watson” said Veltman.
Plenty of new names join the Rock line up this year including forward Jason Crosbie and former Chicago Shamrox forwards Bill McGlone and Josh Wasson who were both recently acquired in an NLL Dispersal draft earlier this month.
Tallying 54 points (20 goals, 34 assists) in eleven games last season with the San Jose Stealth, Luke Wiles also joins the roster this season after being acquired by the Rock in early September.
“The new faces on our offence like Wiles, Crosbie, McGlone and Wasson will be counted on along with our returning forwards to bring an aggressive effective offence to every game” said Mike Kloepfer.
“Our offensive group has the potential to put up some big numbers. We feel we have better balance between our defensive and offensive groups this year” said coach Glenn Clark.
This season will also see a couple rookies join the roster including defender Jeff Gilbert who was selected by the Rock in the 2006 NLL Entry Draft (2nd round, 19th overall).
“Gilbert completed his US College career last year at Robert Morris University and had a strong training camp. He is a very fast and athletic 6’4″ 210 lb. defender” said Kloepfer.
Kloepfer also explained that forward Craig Conn has been working with Rock training staff to prepare for his return to the floor during the upcoming season.
“Craig has been working hard to return from his knee injury and is progressing on schedule. Barring any setbacks he is expected to be ready to play the 3rd week of January” he added.
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