In almost one month the Belgian Lacrosse Cup for men will kick off its 4th edition. 7 teams subscribed to try to win the cup this year. We are curious about Heist Hunters president Erwin van Veen’s his opinion about the upcoming cup and contacted him for following interview.
what do you expect from your own team, which merged with the Antwerp Armadillos, this cup season?
Basic goals such as no forfeits of games and try to deliver good quality reffed games will maintain for this season. It would be hard to get the first goal, because our roster shrunk a bit if you compare it to the leagues one. That’s why we’ve asked the Armadillos to merge with us so more then 4 Armadillos can join us during the games.
As ambitious as we are we raised our bar also. Last year it was our first time to appear on the Belgian lacrosse scene, now we can’t blame it on our inexperience any more. Together with the Hunters board we’ve challenged our players… our goals for the Cup are finishing between place 3 and 5 and get at least one point against one of the traditional top 3 teams (Red Rhinos, Buggenhout Brewers and Ghent Goblins). This won’t be easy, but everything is possible.
What do you think of the Belgian lacrosse Cup in general?
Lacrosse is still growing in Belgium. Teams have new members and the older ones get more experience by joining international tournaments or due to their election of being a Belgian Beast (Belgian National Team). Therefore the level of the game will be better and better every week as long as we can play a lot of games.
The refs will be better as well, so games will be more fun to watch and play as there will be less “death moments” due to discussions.
Also the boards and volunteers of the clubs are more experienced in hosting the games, inviting media, track fans, … so the atmosphere will be better as well.
In general I think this years Cup will be the best edition since we’ve started playing the sports 4 years ago.
Who will be the man of the season this year?
That’s a hard one to predict. There are a lot of good players already. Every team has its national team player and every team has some good potentials, but predicting a MVP is hard prior to a season. In my opinion a mvp is someone who has been a great added value to his team. This is hard to measure because making goals is not that difficult as you get good assists, the same for saving goals when you have a good solid defence in front of you.
Still I have to answer this question and therefore I will pick Diego Spillebeen of The Braine Lions Lacrosse Club. I’ve played some games against him and noticed his skills and ability of reading the game. Together with the coaching of his brother, Rod, and his coach, Vince, I think he will be one of the key players of the Lions this season
So now about your prediction of this years Cup.. What would your ranking looks like at the end of December?
7 Hall’igators Lacrosse
I don’t know much about this team, only that they have some good skilled players like Kevin Appelmans and Kevin Kestemont and that they’ve won last years D-league. However I think they won’t be able to surprise the other teams.
6 Machelen Minotaurs
We’ve played against them last Friday and showed what they can. Skills are ok and game sense will be better after every game they’ve played. I think the set up of the calendar will be most important for them. If they will face us at the beginning of the Cup we will get a different game than when we will meet them at the end… Halle should not be a problem for them.
5 Ghent Goblins
It will be a horrible second half of 2012 for the green team. Their key player Hannes is out due to a knee injury. I hope for them they can find a solution for the gap Hannes is leaving, but I think they can’t unless there new American coach can deliver miracles.
4 Hunting Armadillos
We hope to be a better team, then during the league. Some experienced Armadillos are able to play due to the fact we have merged, and everyone has gain more experience. Also we will be practising together to practise plays and game situations in real.
3 Braine Lions
They will be eager to show what they are worth of with their new outfits. During all summer events at least 1 Lion was present so they gain more skills and experience. Blend this together with the experience and knowledge of their coach Vince and you got the perfect shake for finishing third this cup
2 Red Rhinos
Despite some internal switches (new headcoach, new Captain) I think the Rhinos will be having no trouble to qualify themselves for the final undefeated. They have good skilled and experienced players (50% of the national team), but I think they will be beaten by the Brewers in the Final.
1 Buggenhout Brewers
They’ve shown me last year what a team can do if they want something so bad. And believe me they want to win the cup this year. At the group stage they won’t be able to win from the Rhinos, and they have a hard semi final against the Lions, but they will manage to get in the final and defeat the Rhinos.