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Chris Sanderson feelin’ good, sights set on 2010 Worlds, Josh Sanderson signs as player & GM, plus the links

Chris Sanderson behind the Philadelphia Wings bench. (Photo: Dave Sanders)
Chris Sanderson behind the Philadelphia Wings bench. (Photo: Dave Sanders)

Many feel the biggest hole the Canadian Men’s National Field Team has to fill if they want to repeat their gold medal success next summer in Manchester, England, is finding a man to tend their cage.

Almost four years ago, Chris Sanderson played some absolutely unreal ball between Canada’s pipes as the Canucks upset the US to take gold.

A little over a year ago, Sanderson had a brain tumor removed, at one point, doctors telling Chris that he might be looking at only another year to live.

Since then, Sanderson has not only proved some of those original diagnoses wrong, he’s also returned to the Philadelphia Wings’ bench, where he’s been coaching since ‘04, and based on what Team Canada reported to media yesterday, Sanderson is currently healthy and looks ready to take another run at that starting keeper position in Manchester, if he continues on his current path.

“If the games were today, and I’m feeling the way I feel today, I could play,” Sanderson said in a team release. “That’s what we’re all hoping for.

“My condition can change quickly. The staff and management are all aware of that. As long as I can continue on the path I’m on now, I’ll be a player.”

Sanderson has already been given a spot on the Canuck’s bench in a coaching role, but the team has kept the door open for a return to the field if Sanderson is healthy come next summer.

“As an athlete, the competitive nature comes out,” Sanderson added in yesterday’s statement. “I know I can still compete at that level and help win another world championship and, to be honest, I believe me being in goal gives us the best chance to win.

“The other side of it is emotional. When I had my seizure and was diagnosed with cancer, it wasn’t long afterwards that I was starting my training to make this team. There’s something about being able to come back and finish what I started. That’s important to me. It’s great motivation.”

Sanderson, who was named to the All-World Team at the World Championships in London, Ontario four years ago, says doctors have told him he’ll likely need continued chemotherapy treatment for the rest of his life, but that hasn’t stopped or slowed him down from training and getting into shape to reach his end-goal of tending his country’s cage next year.

“I have access to an indoor facility where I take shots,” Sanderson added. “I’m trying to be as fit as I can be. For a goalie, probably 75 per cent of it is between the ears. I’ll do everything I can to be ready to play.”

The Canadian release also states that Sanderson will likely try and find a spot with the Toronto Nationals in the MLL next year, continuing his path to get into game shape for the national side.

Currently on Canada’s 30-man roster, which will need to be finalized to 23 before leaving for England, Evan Kirk, Brad Conlon and Angus Dineley are the remaining goaltenders still in the running for the likely two keeper spots available on the team.

Check out teamcanadalacrosse.com for more on Sanderson’s journey over the past year, including the support and inspiration he’s recevied from his wife Brogann, brothers Ryan and Dustin, and brother-in-law Mark.

PLUS THE LINKS

More on Josh Sanderson signing – Yesterday Sanderson signed a pretty rare three year deal with Calgary. “It’s a long commute to Calgary, but I’ve had no complaints with the city and the organization. I like it out there, and I love my teammates. So I figured why not three years.” (Calgary Sun)

Sanderson new GM – “Shooter” also signed on this week to be the Orangeville Jr. B Northmen’s new GM. “Our goal is to win but our emphasis has to be in developing these kids, making them better players and allowing then to advance in time to higher levels.” (Orangeville Citizen)

Tim O’Brien consulting – Minnesota Swarm blogger and fan, Corporal, tells readers that Tim O’Brien is being brought into the Swarm’s training camp as a “consultant” on what he did better than arguably anyone that has played in the NLL. (Minnesota Swarm)

Jason Bloom and Jamison Koesterer sign – The Washington Stealth sign two new bodies for 2010, Bloom coming to Washington after a swap with Boston for Mike Kirk, and Koesterer picked up from Buffalo via the Lumberjax draft. (Washington Stealth)

Paul Rabil commercial – Pretty badass Under Armour commercial starring the Washington Stealth’s Paul Rabil in UA’s Coldgear. (Inside Lacrosse)

Paul Dawson to play with NHLers - Former Oakville Blades(OJHL) captain and current Boston Blazers defender, Paul Dawson, will be suiting up in a Blades alumi game tomorrow in Oakville. Dawson’s team will also include a number of ex-NHLers, led by former Toronto Maple Leafs like Rick Vaive, (former 50 NHL goal scorer) Gary Leeman and Lou Franceschetti. (Oakville Beaver)

And from earlier this off-season – Dawson having pretty intense roid rage and almost shooting those guns straight through the roof. Matt Lyons looks legitimately scared under all that “acting”. When Lyons says, “Here, here,” I truly believed he wanted Dawson to try some Smart Water.

The foremost boxla writer, Tutka is a former NLL scout and a longtime Inside Lacrosse contributor. Email him at paul.tutka@nllinsider.com.

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