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Smith takes over behind Saints' bench
The Port Coquitlam Saints are looking to the past to set the course for their future.
The Saints have named Adam Smith as coach of the B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League franchise, taking over longtime fixture Danny Harada who stepped down at the end of last season.
“He played for me 10 or 11 years ago. He’s very game conscious and he was a student of the game when he played,” said Reg Thomson, the Saints president and general manager.
“He’ll bring a more youthful aspect of the game. He’s a bit of a taskmaster and I think that’s what the guys need.”
Smith played his junior lacrosse with PoCo before going on to play with the Langley Thunder and Burnaby Lakers in the WLA as well as a sting playing box lacrosse with Team Australia. He’s won three gold and two silver medals in nationals, a pair of gold medals at the B.C. Summer Games and was named the BCLA field coach of the year and Intermediate A coach of the year.
Smith hasn’t had a chance to sit down with the team yet. “I’ve just kind of seen names on a board at this point,” he said. But Smith is already sure of the type of team he wants to assemble.
“To me, the absolute priority are guys that want to work for me. I want them to be hard-nosed, give their life for the team kind of guys. I think tough defence and sticking to our guns gets games won.”
Smith said the best way to describe his coaching style is competitive. “There’s times that I get a little fiery back there I think.”
The new coach has high hopes for this year’s squad.
“It looks like we are going to be a good, strong team this year and there’s definite potential over the next few years to make it to the national championship,” he said.
The Saints went 7-13-1 in the B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League last year, losing two straight to the Langley Thunder in the playoffs. The Saints expect to be bringing back a dozen players from last year’s lineup. And while the Saints hold the third selection in the Jan. 26 draft, it’s expected to be a year or two before any of this year’s draft choices crack the roster.
“I’ve coached at all different levels before and my general goal has always been to create better players than they come in at,” said Smith. “We’re trying to put guys through to the NLL so we’re trying to make them better players at the end of the day.”