Features | 2/11/2010 10:10:25 AM | Jackie Lewandowski
Kyle Clancy is not your average rookie.
In less than three weeks, the 6-foot, 200 pound forward has become a major offensive force on a struggling Bandits team.
In just two games with the Bandits, Clancy has registered three goals and six assists and sits in seventh place among rookies in scoring.
In his first NLL career game on January 30, Clancy netted his first goal and first assist against the Minnesota Swarm.
“It was good getting a goal in my first game and getting that monkey off my back,” he said. “It was also pretty crazy with all the fans, since I’ve never been apart of something like that before.”
Being added to the roster January 27, Clancy also had the responsibility to jump into a lineup that had suffered four straight losses. An adjustment period under any other circumstances would be difficult, but for Clancy there was no room for mistakes.
“Everyone in the pros is bigger, faster, and stronger,” Clancy said. “In my first game, I fed off the energy of the crowd because they are definitely like a sixth player out there when it comes to momentum.”
Clancy’s efforts have also not gone unnoticed by Head Coach Darris Kilgour, who has been watching the rookie since day one.
“Kyle came in and is doing a great job and is really battling to stay in the starting lineup,” Kilgour said. “He’s scoring goals and getting the other goalie moving, which is what you want to see early on.”
In just under two weeks with the team, Clancy has had to both learn Kilgour’s system of play and adapt his game to fit that style.
“Coach Kilgour embeds in his players a hard-nosed and gritty type of play like the way he did,” Clancy said. “He also embeds a camaraderie between players which makes him such a well-rounded coach.”
“I’m also a pretty hard-nosed and gritty kind of guy naturally so the adjustment wasn’t as hard. I like moving the ball, but don’t mind dishing it too.”
Passing and teamwork is something that Kilgour is looking from his offense and hasn’t been seeing since the beginning of the season.
“Coach has been emphasizing that we just can’t sit back, but rather dictate the play,” Clancy said. “We need to swing the ball from east to west more and act unselfishly.”
The 10th-round pick for the Bandits during the 2010 NLL Draft, Clancy entered the league with a successful Junior A lacrosse career.
In just 22 games with Peterborough, Clancy registered 108 points (41+61), and was one of only five players in Canada to break the 100-point plateau.
“I started playing lacrosse in Peterborough since I was four years old and fell in love with it the first time I played,” Clancy said. “There is so much support there and a lot of veterans to teach you and pave the way.”
Clancy’s offensive skills also earned him an honorable mention for the Junior Player of the Year Award in 2009.
Those offensive efforts have certainly played a role in Clancy’s rise to the NLL and are certainly helping him to sustain his roster spot.
While the team is struggling, Clancy is rising to the occasion and proving himself to be more than just your average rookie.