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Peterborough Timbermen off to slow start but it’s ‘a learning expereince’

By Tyler Penney [1]

BELLEVILLE – The Peterborough Timbermen [2] are five games into the inaugural Arena Lacrosse League [3] season and have yet to record their first win.

But despite the 0-5 record the Timbermen do have an experienced coach behind the bench. 

Joe Sullivan is the coach and general manager for the Timbermen and has a resume to back up his experience. Before joining the Timbermen, Sullivan was the head coach and associate general manager at the professional level with the Minnesota Swarm [4] in the National Lacrosse League [5] and most recently the coach and general manager of the Peterborough Lakers [6] in the Major Series Lacrosse league [7],

“It’s a learning experience and it brings me back to the wrong end of lacrosse,” said Sullivan. “We sit at the bottom of the league, but the players themselves as individuals have come up leaps and bounds just based off the feedback I’m able to give them.”

Although the Timbermen haven’t gotten the start to the season that they would’ve liked, Sullivan commented that their record isn’t a main priority.

“How the team does is secondary to basically how these individuals do,” said Sullivan. “It’s like watching NCAA, you’re going to see mistakes and good teams will make you pay for it.”

A good coach doesn’t make a team though, the players need to come together as professionals and play as a team.

“We try to treat the guys as professional as we can and it’s a big commitment for them.”

Even though the league doesn’t have all the tools that the NLL may have at the moment, Sullivan still tries to give ample feedback to every player.

“There’s a ton of tools available to you at the NLL level, that at this point aren’t available to you in the ALL,” said Sullivan. “After every game, I reach out to every guy with an email that’s pretty detailed. It’s sometimes not the greatest, but it’s the feedback they need to hear.”

Experience can be a key asset while giving young players feedback in order to get better.

“From my experience, they don’t want things to be sugar-coated. I’m not going to embarrass them in front of the whole dressing room, but I’ll definitely let them know 1-on-1.”

Sullivan hasn’t jumped to any conclusions and has faith in his team with nine games remaining in the season.

“It just needs to come together, we’ll do better.”

The Timbermen’s next game is this Saturday at Syl Apps Community Centre when they take on the 3-3 Paris Riverwolves.