Burrards coach Rob Williams will be a coach of a new NLL farm team, starting play next month at the Langley Events Centre. (The News files)

Burrards coach Rob Williams will be a coach of a new NLL farm team, starting play next month at the Langley Events Centre. (The News files)

Maple Ridge Burrards coach to head new team in ALL

Williams the bench boss for expansion team in NLL farm system

Maple Ridge Burrards coach Rob Williams is going to be behind the bench of a new squad in the new Arena Lacrosse League’s (ALL) West Division, which starts play next month.

Williams is the current head coach of the WLA’s Maple Ridge Burrards and has previously served as an assistant coach in the NLL with the Calgary Roughnecks, as well as with the Iroquois Nationals at the 2019 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship, helping the team win the silver medal.

“I’ve seen firsthand in the NLL what the ALL can do for guys who maybe got overlooked or just needed someone to show them the way,” Williams said. “I jumped at the chance to pass on some knowledge and help these players try to live their dream and get to the next level.”

Rod Jensen, Russ Heard, and Tyler Crompton will be the other coaches leading the four respective teams. They were selected by Rob Buchan, who will serve as the director of lacrosse operations for the ALL West. Buchan has been involved in the sport as a player, scout and manager and currently serves as the vice-president and general manager of the Langley Thunder senior A and junior A teams, as well as working as a western scout for the NLL’s Buffalo Bandits.

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The coaching staffs will have an opportunity to evaluate the prospective players as Langley Events Centre is set to hold a player combine Nov. 15, 16, and 17. A draft is scheduled for Nov. 20 and registration for players (who must be at least 18 years of age as of Dec. 31, 2021) closes at 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 19.

The season is set to begin Dec. 11, 2021 with the four teams slated to play a dozen games apiece, all of them at Langley Events Centre. The season will conclude on March 27, 2022 with the championship final.

The Arena Lacrosse League was formed in 2017, and is regarded as the National Lacrosse League’s minor league. It had seven Ontario-based teams in the ALL prior to the launch of the ALL West.

The ALL plays under the same game rules as the NLL, designed to provide high-level competition and exposure that gives NLL management the opportunity to monitor individual progress through game webcasting and statistics.

To learn about the league, visit www.arenalacrosseleague.ca.

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