By - Sour
In this instalment of Player Profiles nutlax.com had a long-distance chat with our South Atlantic Correspondent Flt Lt Mark Buckley, who despite a penchant for wearing women’s clothes is currently charged with defending the strategically crucial (and possibly oil holding) area of the Falklands.
Buckers (the serious one in the picture, not the mostly naked one) is a third year Knight and was responsible for some ridiculous fancy dress episodes last season in his role as social sec. His lacrosse pedigree covers such a wide scope that he was also appointed Head Steward at this year’s World Champs in Manchester. He’s currently posted to the Falklands until December as part of Operation Enduring Freedom for Penguins (NB might not be accurate).
Sour: So Buckers, thanks for doing this. We’ll start with the same question as for Rob - how was your World Championships experience in Manchester, England (sic) this summer?
Mark Buckley: It was amazing, I really got to see everything the event had to offer; from watching pretty much every match I wanted to getting to meet all the famous players (and their families) and watching their interviews for the press. Chris [Sanderson] story is a really sad but very motivational one and I got to see him tell that to Canadian TV, Brodie [Merrill] was a really nice chap as well when he gave his pre-final interview. [Drew] Westervelt’s dad was hilarious; he stood near the goal for each of the USA games and was very critical of his son however the hug he give him when the USA eventual won showed he only wanted the best for his son and the team as a whole. The social aspect was good to, having a number of mates playing for teams and also working the event there was always someone to have a beer with, something Doc Webb and I might have gone OTT on when we got into the VIP room. I picked up a lot of stash as well!
S: Can't go wrong with stash...so, again following a similar trend to last week, how did you end up as head Steward anyway?
MB: Well I had brought a season ticket to the event as soon as they were released but after some consideration I decided to try and get a merry band of the RAF team along to volunteer. In the current times of limited man power and frequent deployments however we weren’t allowed the time off so I decided to take my own leave (as I would have done anyway to just watch) and get involved. The ELA acknowledged my leadership and management experience and asked me to head up the team of stewards, I’m glad I accepted.
S: Ok so give us an insight into your lacrosse background...where, when and why did you start?
MB: Well I went to Aberystwyth University 01-04 and wanted to play a sport but knew I’d never be good enough to get into the football/rugby team etc but my house mate had seen lacrosse played when he’d lived in the states and dragged me along to training; from there I was bitten by the bug.
S: Aberystwyth? You probably didn’t get to play many home games then did you?
MB: We weren’t even in the league back then; we did travel to a few tournaments such as Bath and one in York but we were mostly a social team, training was a good way to run off a hangover!
S: You’re in RAF correct? How is lacrosse getting on within the Forces?
MB: Its developing well, the RAF team has been running for about 7 years now and we have had Inter-Service lacrosse Championships the last 3 years. The RAF Men’s team now has a first team and a development squad and RAF Marham are playing in SEMLA for their second season. We were lucky this year to capture the services of Jay Perrin (Wales Coach) before the world Champs and get a good training session off him. We aim to carry on growing and attending tournaments, our girls team went to the Amsterdam Beach tournament in August and won it which is great progress. We will be holding a week long training camp next year before the Inter Services that we will be hosting at RAF Halton.
S: Not quite up to the level of rugby yet then? There’s still time though...what are you doing down there to get your lax fix?
MB: Wall Ball is my only real outlet, apart from nutlax.com of course.
S: Wall ball....everyone’s favourite! How about staying fit? There must be a temptation just to get lashed up all the time on horrifically cheap Chilean wine.
MB: There is indeed, it’s a balancing act. I’m actually on call about 5 days a week on average so I’m hitting the gym 4-5 times a week and playing plenty of squash to work on my hand eye co-ordination and footwork (and much to my opponents horror I’m not shy of the odd body check). I think you’ll all see a much leaner and fitter Buckers on my return.
S: Leaner AND fitter.....you'll make us all look bad! Is there anything in particular you’re missing lacrosse wise?
MB: I have to say the banter and just the general camaraderie. (I do not miss driving on the M62)
S: Again following from last week, we’ll finish up with some quick(ish) fire questions:
S: What’s your weapon of choice at the minute?
MB: An F15 shaft with a Clutch head, all in black, call-sign : ‘Strike Eagle’
S: Your best lacrosse memory?
MB: Scoring my first competitive goal against Brooklands
S: any nicknames we should be aware of?
MB: Buckers, Buck, Buckaroo, Studmuffin (an old uni one), Sparky
S: Pre-game meal?
MB: Toast with Honey, a Banana and a sports drink
S: Favourite Stevie Wonder song?
MB: Superstition of course, must be done with jolly actions pretending you are playing the piano.
S: Second favourite lacrosse related website (after nutlax.com obviously!)?
MB: The Tri Service Lacrosse Forum
S: Favourite 2 colours?
MB: I ain’t whack, its silver and black!
S: Can you bring a penguin back with you?
MB: not sure I’ll get away with that one but I promise to bring back a cuddly toy one for you.
S: Cheers Buckers, catch you in the New Year
MB: Looking forward to getting back, less than 7 weeks to go. See you all for a beer soon!
We’ll be meeting more of the Knights and Lady Knights(!) as we move through the season. Check back regularly for more news and views.
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