Israel announces April men’s tour schedule

NETANYA, ISRAEL — The Israel men’s national lacrosse team has announced their Spring schedule, highlighted by a five-game home slate against the England men’s national team, on a tour to promote the 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championships ( which will be held in Israel next July.

The blue-and-white, who are expected to activate their player pool beyond the team’s current 30-man roster, will see nine total games in April. Their April 13th meeting with Team England will be nationally televised live in Israel on Sport5.

Israel Men’s National Team Spring Tour
Sat, Apr 7 at 8:00 PM – Israel vs New York Athletic Club – (Field 10 – Randalls Island, NY)
Sun, Apr 8 at 10:00 AM – Israel vs New York Lizards – (George W. Hewlett HS – Hewlett, NY)
Wed, Apr 11 at 10:00 AM – Israel vs England – (Kiryat Gat Municipal Stadium – Kiryat Gat, Israel)
Thu, Apr 12 at 8:00 PM – Israel vs England – (Kraft Family Sports Complex – Jerusalem, Israel)
Fri, Apr 13 at 10:00 AM – Israel vs England – (Ashkelon Municipal Stadium – Ashkelon, Israel)
Sat, Apr 14 at 8:00 PM – Israel vs England – (Herzliya Synthetics – Herzliya, Israel)
Sun, Apr 15 at 10:00 AM – Israel vs England – (Shapira Field – Netanya, Israel)
Sat, Apr 21 at 8:00 PM – Israel vs Germany – (Sportpark Ostra – Dresden, Germany)
Sun, Apr 22 at 11:00 AM – Israel vs Germany – (Sportpark Ostra – Dresden, Germany)
*Schedule is subject to change

England and Israel have met twice, with high stakes on their most recent date. England won their ninth set of European Gold Medals, topping the Israelis 7-6 at the 2016 European Championships in Budapest. They also dealt the blue-and-white a one-goal loss at the 2014 World Championships in Denver.

While April’s friendlies have lower stakes, as the primary function of the tour is preperation for this summer’s World Championships, the talent on the field is sure to excite the young Israeli lacrosse community. Both national teams are expected to conduct clinics to engage both new and experienced players on each stop of the tour.

“The game gives you so much,” said England head coach Tom Wenham. “To be able to light that fire in a youngster, that’s a really powerful opportunity to be a part of. I know our guys have done that on other tours we’ve been on. That’s something that should be treasured, and I’m absolutely sure it will.”

The training camp will provide England a chance to acclimate to Israel ahead of the Championships and help it see how it measures up against high-level competition, something Wenham said he is eager to do.

But this will also be the first time in Israel for almost everyone involved with England Lacrosse, giving them a unique experience to see a new part of the world. Wenham has been able to travel to many countries across the globe, but Israel is yet to be scratched off his list.

Wenham said one of the biggest positives of the trip is having five games in five different cities, allowing his program to travel to different parts of Israel.

“Credit to Israel Lacrosse for putting together an itinerary that helps us see a bit of Israel,” Wenham said. “It’s a hugely important part of the world in terms of history, and it gives us the opportunity to broaden the horizons of our guys and give them exposure to a country the vast majority of them haven’t visited before.”

Israel opens their tour by visiting New York for the fifth consecutive year; they will see action the MLL’s New York Lizards and the ALL’s New York Athletic Club. The blue-and-white are 0-3 all-time against the Lizards and 1-2 against NYAC.

They close their schedule with a two-game slate against the Germany men’s national team in Dresden. Israel is 2-0 all-time against the Germans with playoff wins at the 2014 World Championships in Denver and the 2016 European Championships in Budapest.

Beyond the April schedule, the blue-and-white are expected to compete in a tournament alongside the NCAA Final Four in May, as well as several friendlies against the Birthright/USA All-Stars prior to the World Championships.