Head Coach of the Halifax Thunderbirds lacrosse team Mike Accursi says the team is eager to get back to the turf.
“We’re starting to plan for next year in the hopes that we’ll be able to come back and bring that excitement and passion back to the city of Halifax, because we all miss it,” he tells NEWS 95.7’s The Todd Veinotte Show on Sunday morning.
After a successful start to their first season in Halifax, the Thunderbirds were sitting 6-0 at the top of their division.
“We were moving to a new market so you have all that build-up, and then the success that we were having both on the floor and off the floor in Halifax was outstanding,” says Accursi. “The guys were so excited about being there, and where we were at in the season.”
But in March, COVID-19 cut the season short. “Originally everyone thought it was just going to be a couple weeks, maybe a month, then we’ll get back to business,” Accursi says.
But now almost four months later, COVID precautions are still preventing most major sports from taking place. Accursi says the team has been meeting virtually and keeping up with training in the meantime.
“We get together as a big group once a week and then we split into groups, offence and defence we have our own Zoom meetings,” he says.
The National Lacrosse League as a whole is also still growing despite the impacts of COVID. “They’re selling franchises and with new franchises coming in the next few years. So I truly believe that we’ll be back as soon as the government and the coronavirus lets us,” says Accursi.
The Halifax team is also spending plenty of time scouting draft picks for their next season – they have two in the first round and one high second-round pick.
“Our position in the draft and our position for the next few years is we’ve got some quality picks coming in and that only is going to improve us,” he says.
And for fans who had a favourite player from the inaugural season, Accursi also reassures Halifax they will likely be returning.
“In pro sports you’re going to have some turnover there’s no doubt,” he says. “But I think for the most part we’ll see an intact Halifax Thunderbirds come back when we get back to work.”
Typically, the lacrosse season would start back up the first week of December. But Accursi says they’re planning on a bit of a later start this season.
“We’re doing, selling tickets and selling season ticket packages in the hopes that we’ll be back at the Scotiabank Centre in last December, early January,” he says.