By - Sour
Here's a festive treat for you all: an exclusive nutlax.com investigation into the origins of Newcastle Upon Tyne Lacrosse Club, and some other useless trivia, as we got down to business interviewing Club Chair, midfield dynamo and all round good guy Mark Webb.
We covered the usual bases (history, favourite colours etc) and even covered boredom for the first time. Here's what #9 had to say:
S: Thanks for doing this Mark, for an easy starter tell us about your lacrosse history, how, when and where did you get into it?
MW: I started playing at Princeton Day School in 1992. It was part of the Phys Ed programme at the school and essentially covered stick skills. The school had pop type sticks, but the cool kids had their own. My next door neighbour was a few years older than me and very into his lacrosse. He had a goal in his front yard, so it all stemmed from long summer days working on the basics. I then started playing at school in 7th Grade and at the local youth programme Hopewell Valley. I then progressed through the Princeton Day School system until I graduated and headed back home in 2000.
S: ok so you started playing in the states, did you play with/against/get coached by any "big names"?
MW: I guess the biggest name I played and scored against was Trevor Tierney, Goalie Princeton Uni and Team USA. He played for our cross town rivals The Hun School.
S: Tierney - bit of a legend - Did you rub it in his face at the worlds last summer? No? Probably for the best... A little bird told me that you've clocked up caps for more national teams than buckers has had girl friends, any truth in that?
MW: No, Buckers wins. I played for The Netherlands in the 2004 European Championships as I was born there. I have an Italian grandmother and played for Italy in the first Amsterdam tournament, but that was not full international. I also played in Prague in October for England Indoor Lacrosse development, but again this wasnt full international, altough we did beat ze germans.
S: ok so that covers lacrosse outside of Newcastle, let's go a little deeper; "Men's lacrosse in Newcastle is all your fault." Discuss:
MW: I started at Newcastle Uni in August 2000 when I started studying medicine. I essentially got fed up of not playing lacrosse so started putting things in place to start a uni club. I went to put some posters up in the union and saw a poster asking for mens players. Jim Davy of Stockport Grammar was behind the poster and we joined forces. We teamed up with Steve Cummins of Glasgow Uni and formed the first ever university lacrosse league in the UK. It was Newcastle, Durham, Glasgow and Edinburgh. The league grew to include 10teams within 2 years and was the catalyst to get Men's Lacrosse BUSA/BUCS recognised.
S: Glad you didn't dodge that one. So Newcastle upon Tyne LC...tell me about how that came to be.
MW: Stems from me getting bored of not playing again. After I graduated in 2006 I coached the uni side, but got frustrated I wasnt playing. So I put a call out on laxforums and held the first training session in April 2008. I had enetered a team into Bluesfest and it all kicked off from there.
S: I remember some of it like it was yesterday not so much of Blues, but other bits...as a player you have the reputation of having a bit of a short fuse...what do you make of that?
MW: What do you mean by that?! I think there is a misconception that being passionate and sticking up for my teammates means I have a short fuse. It probably comes from playing ice hockey as well as lax in the states. I want to win and I want my team to do well. Lacrosse is a hard game and should be played with heart. Everything should be dealt with and left on the field. There have been a few instances of 'cheap shots' which is probably the only thing i truly get angry about. My veiw is if you get hit clean and hard or burned by a sweet dodge you need to man up and deal with it. there is plenty of opportunity within the game to 'get you own back' legally. cheap shots are for cowards.
S: OK back to the present. Give us an assessment of how you think this season is going, and as Robin wouldn't be drawn on it, how you think the restructure has panned out?
MW: I think the season so far is going well. We have had one dissappointing result against Leeds, but we really started to gel and play some pretty lacrosse. Shame about the snow and freezing temperatures. I think its more evidence that a shorter season in the 'spring' like in the States would be a good idea. March to May would be my suggestion. I think the restructure is working well. We have had more interest in the club and Prem 3 seems to be pretty evenly matched.
S: The Knights have added some quality players this season, with one secret addition still to come when he's not playing golf, how has this affected the way we've played - I'd especially like to hear your opinion on how we've reacted when those players haven't been available.
MW: I think by adding a couple more experienced guys into the squad has enabled us to control the pace more. It also gives everyone else a boost that we have an excellent chance to win each game. I think any team that is missing key players for games will be affected, but in my mind you only have one choice,its a chance to step up and say today is my day to prove I can do the job. Going through the motions is not acceptable.
S: Couldn't agree more - "Stepping up" is not necessarily something that we've done over the past couple of years, but there seems to be a harder edge to the team this season. OK now to the future; have you modified your goals/targets for this season following now we're at the midpoint of the season?
MW: No. We started the season aiming to finish in the top 2 to gain promotion. That is still my goal. If we can build on the first half of the season, I have no doubt we can achieve this.
S: Good, positive, thinking no substitute for it...We'll finish up as always with some quick fire questions: What’s your weapon of choice at the minute?
MW: Gait Torque on a swizzlebeat shaft.
S: Your best lacrosse memory?
MW: Winning the Prep State Champs after a perfect execution of a sneaky attacking play. It was genius.
S: Any nicknames we should be aware of?
MW: Doc, Webby, Webbo, The Weeb
S: Pre-game meal?
MW: Protein shake, jaffa cakes
S: Favourite Stevie Wonder song?
MW: Sign, sealed, delivered, I'm yours!
S: Second favourite lacrosse related website (after nutlax.com obviously!)?
MW: www.laxforums.co.uk, it has been integral in getting Men's Lax BUSA recognised and Newcastle LC started.
S: Favourite 2 colours?
D: Black and Silver
S: Hoo Rah Buddy! Who would you most like to see pulling on the mighty silver and black next season?
D: John Grant, Jr.
S: Man's a beast no doubt about it! Cheers Doc, catch you in the New Year
D: Happy New Year to all the nutlax fans!
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