U-20 Men’s Euro Staff Announced

Jacob Silberlicht (left) and Seth Mahler (right) celebrate a World Championship opening night win with Israel fans and youth lacrosse players at Netanya Stadium.

ASHKELON, ISRAEL – The Israel Lacrosse Association has announced that Jacob Silberlicht has been named head coach of the Israel men’s national team that will compete at the 2019 ELF Men’s U-20 European Championships, held in Prague, Czech Republic, from June 29-July 6.

Silberlicht served for three years as a Paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces.
Silberlicht served for three years as a Paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces.

Seth Mahler will serve as General Manager of the team, while Ryan Hunter and Ian Kadish will coach the festival team and hold scouting responsibilities.

Alex Jzyk rounds out the staff as the team’s athletic trainer.

“Jacob’s courage, perserverence, and passion for the sport shine through in his coaching,” said Mahler, who served as Israel’s U-19 head coach at the 2016 FIL World Championships. “He is a true role model for our young athletes and it’s an honor to work and coach with him.”

Silberlicht, Mahler, Hunter and Kadish are all teammates on the Israel men’s national team which finished seventh at last year’s FIL World Championships. The foursome has made significant contributions to the development of the sport at all levels in the Jewish State.

“We’ve been building our youth programs all over the country for the past six years,” added Mahler. “There are a lot of people who have contributed to building our player pool from the ground up, and a lot of pride to be competing for a medal with a homegrown roster. We’re really excited to showcase the product of our grassroots efforts.”

Silberlicht, who made Aliyah in 2014, makes his national team coaching debut this summer. As a player, the Hobart product captained the men’s national team that competed in the World Championships this summer and won a Gold Medal in the European Box Championships in 2017. He has been a member of the men’s national team since the 2014 World Championships. A former paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces, Silberlicht coaches and operates the upstart Sha’ar HaNegev Seals youth program.

Mahler, who has been a player for the men’s national team since its’ inception in 2012, has resided up-and-down the coast of Israel since making Aliyah in 2013, and is directly responsible for the establishment of Israel’s first youth lacrosse programs in the city of Ashkelon. A graduate of Whittier College, Mahler served as head coach for the blue-and-white’s debut U-19 men’s national team at the FIL U-19 Men’s World Championships in 2016.

Hunter, who made Aliyah in 2017, captains Herzliya LC in the Israel Premier Lacrosse League. Prior to cracking Israel’s national team roster, the Ohio State product was notably honored by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the 400,000th Taglit-Birthright participant.

Hunter (right) is honored by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and first lady Sara Netanyahu.
Hunter (right) is honored by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and first lady Sara Netanyahu.

Kadish, who made Aliyah in 2018, won an IPLL title with Be’er Sheva LC. He is currently serving as an assistant coach for NCAA D3 finalist Amherst, and is expected to join the Israel Lacrosse Association full-time after the college season concludes on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

Jzyk, the Head Athletic Trainer at Brookline High School, served the blue-and-white most recently at the 2016 Men’s European Championship in Budapest.

The staff has held informal evaluations throughout the last year and is expected to announce a final roster in the coming weeks.

Israel finished sixth at the 2016 U-19 World Championships in Vancouver, Canada — good for second in Europe behind England — and the blue-and-white are considered serious medal contenders in a wide-open European Championship.

Israel’s delegation will be arriving in Prague on June 26th for training camp. The festival team will be competing in the 22nd-annual Prague Cup from June 27-29, as well as the European Lacrosse Festival from July 3-5, the National Team Challenge from July 6-7, and several exhibition matches. For more information, contact Seth Mahler at [email protected].