Congratulations to Lily (L6 GXF) and Ashley (L6 CW) who were selected for U18 England Lacrosse Home Internationals! They played against Scotland and Wales, winning games during the Easter break. We caught up with Lily and Ashley about their experiences:

What was the process to getting through selection?

Lily: Firstly, I was selected for Regional Academy which led to playing in various Regional and County events. I was then fortunate enough to be nominated by the coaches to trial for the National Squad. Following on from that I received the news that I had been selected for the U18 team, I have never been more excited than when I read that email!

Ashley: I have been attending U20 England Squad training sessions for almost a year now. We have worked so hard as a team at every working on various tactics and plays on the run up to these international games. Alongside my selection for the World Cup training squad recently, Home Internationals was an incredible achievement for me, and I loved seeing all of our hard work come together to eventually win the whole tournament for England as a cohesive team.

What was it like to play against a/the Home Nation(s)?

Lily: I had the incredible opportunity to represent England against Scotland in the U18 Home Internationals Tournament. Initially it was challenging due to being 2 goals down, however we quickly managed to connect as a team and work well together to win 16-7. Despite at first being apprehensive about playing to the higher standards, I found my way and ended up contributing two of the goals! The level of lacrosse was even higher than I expected, and I was thrilled to be a part of this winning team.

Ashley: It was an incredible experience to play against an international side. Standing side by side, singing the national anthem and shaking hands with our opponents, all created the most incredible atmosphere and one that I am truly honoured to have played in.

 What did you love the most about the experience?

Lily: Although I loved playing in the match, I think my favourite part was right before the game. Our names were announced whilst we stepped forward and waved to the cheering spectators. We then proceeded to sing the National Anthem which made me proud and reflect on the hard work I had put in to be standing there playing for my country.

Ashley: Swapping my academy training kit to wearing England across my front, will always be one of my fondest memories. I remember walking onto the field full of pride and feeling so grateful to all who had helped me step onto the field – forever a product of the incredible Habs Lacrosse family.

What is one thing you would recommend for any other student aspiring to play internationally?

Lily: My advice is to always be persistent if you are truly passionate about something or have a goal to achieve, despite any setbacks. I never could have imagined myself playing for the U18 England team after not making the National Academy last year. Although at the time I was devastated thinking I had missed my only chance, I continued working hard and stayed committed to improving my skills which ultimately led to my selection.

Ashley: Keep going! When I first got a trial for the very first step in the England national pathway, I didn’t get through, yet here I am now. I have worked my way up the pathway all the way to the National squad. All it takes is passion, determination, perseverance and of course some wall ball!