WILC 2019 Team Preview: Finland
As we are 331 days away from the 2019 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships (WILC) in Langley, British Columbia Finland has released their roster. They are the first and only team that has announced their final roster so far.
Finland comes into the 2019 WILC after finishing third overall and second in the Karelia Group behind the Czech Republic in the European Box Lacrosse Championships (EBLC) in 2017. That event was the first every EBLC and was hosted in Turku, Finland.
In the last WILC in 2015 Finland ninth overall and second in the red group behind Australia. Finland is a country that has been putting a lot of work into the box game since it was first introduced to Finland in 2008. That hard work is really starting to show off as the Fins just keep on improving. One of the better and more notable box teams in Europe happens to be the Turku Titans who are based in Turku, Finland.
In 2019 Finland will have some great coaching as Tracey Kelusky will be the head coach with Neil Doddridge as his assistant. Kelusky is the offensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Wings and Peterborough Lakers. Doddridge was formerly the head coach of the Coquitlam Jr. A Adanacs for two seasons. Both have a wealth of high level playing and coaching experience that they bring to the table with the Finland national team.
The final roster for the 2019 WILC that has been assembled is a list of familiar faces that have been here before as well as some new guys as well. Two big names that back for Finland from the European Box Lacrosse Championships in 2017 are Joakim Miller and Roope Jokela. As a forward Jokela is a captain and helped lead Finland in the 2015 WILC in Onondaga as well as the EBLC in 2017. Miller is a transition player that helped spark that Finland defense in the 2017 EBLC last summer.
In goal Juri Elonen and Lauri Uusitalo return as they both played in the EBLC in 2017. In the EBLC Uusitalo was the starter as he played all six games and had a 79% save percentage with 212 saves. Elonen played in one game as he had 5 saves.
With the coaching and talent that this team brings to Langley next September it should be interesting to see what they can do. Finland is diffidently a talented squad that can compete with some of the best teams and players in the world. Hopefully they continue their upward climb in 2019 like they have in the past.