Lacrosse is a sport where you see a lot of players come from the same places; at the professional level, mostly Canada or Ontario area. In the North American Lacrosse League, the talk has always been about mostly American players.
While some Native players and Canadians have found their way in, there is also a player from an area that was never expected; Australia. That player is Jeff Joy, who plays for the Baltimore Bombers and scored a goal in his first game last week.
“My father was introduced to lacrosse in high school.” says Joy, on how he became interested in the game. “He was chosen to be a representative of team Australia in1976 and life member of the Malvern Lacrosse Club. My mother played for many years and joins my father as a life member. I was born into the game and have had a stick in my hand every since.”
Joy was signed to the Bombers roster this season, and he scored a goal against the Boston Rockhoppers last week in the 20-9 Baltimore loss, their first loss of the season.
“It was great to finally get out on the floor and get my first game under my belt.” said Joy. “The crowd and atmosphere was great. Having been through training camp and practice sessions for the last couple of months the nerves never kicked in. I just wanted to play well and enjoy it.”
Joy says that thought the pro level of play in the states is very high, it is higher than you think in Australia. “Both competitions are very high. A lot of post grad college guys go to play in Australia and are very surprised at the level of play back home. The main thing that sticks out to me is that lax is 24/7 here. I never put a stick down all year round and I am always training towards field or indoor season.”
Though new to the American game, Joy says he is ready for any opportunity he gets. “To continually develop, grow my game and keep progressing. Get my name out there and take any opportunity that comes my way.
“A disadvantage is being an “un heard of” and not having a college back ground.” Despite that, Joy thinks he does have an advantage on other laxers.
“An advantage I would have to say is my inside game, finishing and the determination I have in me to never give up.”