Thursday, July 12, 2012

Clay Johnson’s Impact Down Under Part I

Me on the wing of a face off against the Australian National Team, Perth 1990
During the 1990 World Cup in Perth, Australia I ran into a lacrosse icon from my home town of Croton-on-Hudson in Westchester County, Clay Johnson who was standout quarterback and midfielder in high school and later for Hall Fame Lacrosse coach Buddy Beardmore at the University of Maryland in the late 1970s. In the 1990 Lacrosse World Cup I also played against then Team Australia midfielder Gordon Purdie who went on to represent his country in several world cup and earned all world honors as well as having a stellar career both as club and professional indoor players in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s. “Clay Johnson was a legend in the Australian lacrosse world,” says Purdie. In an interview he told me, “Clay brought American style lacrosse to Australia” as both a great midfielder and coach. “Before him we mostly played with one hand on the stick; he taught us that the best players play with two hand on the stick” so they are always a threat to score or assist on a goal. “Clay also introduced a number of man up offenses, man down defenses, and all even slide packages on defense that revolutionized lacrosse in Australia,” says Purdie who is now the Head Coach of Adelphi’s Men’s Lacrosse Team. More tomorrow from on Clay Johnson.

My Club and US Team Coaches:

Croton and Yorktown Lacrosse:

Interesting link on the history of the game down under:

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