The Warriors are armed for battle next season returning their best offensive weapon and toughest defender.
The Vancouver Warriors signed Keegan Bal on a one-year contract and Reid Bowering to a multi-year contract.
Both Coquitlam natives, Bal and Bowering have high expectations for the team this season and the future, helping grow the game and showcase the caliber of lacrosse in Vancouver. There’s no one better to lead the Warriors than Coquitlam native Curt Malawsky, who Bal and Bowering say will help build something special with the team.
“It’s great to have a local guy who’s coached so many guys out here, knows the landscape of the leagues in B.C., knows all the guys going to in the draft, and is a guy everyone wants to play for. Having him here is a great attraction for great players and he’s a great coach, so I’m super pumped to have him,” Bowering said.
“I think it means a lot when you bring in someone with his pedigree. He just won coach of the year, and what he did with his team in Calgary was pretty special last season. Playing against him for many years and seeing the things he’s implementing – he’s continually playing chess out there – I think it’s going to be really cool to be on his side now,” Bal said.
Bal’s goals aligned with ownership, wanting to create a winning culture in Vancouver, and the vision of the Warriors was something he wanted to be a part of.
“Great times are ahead. Coming into this next season our expectations are high, and for seasons to come our expectations are higher and higher. I think that we’re ready to turn that corner and become a playoff team – that’s the direction we’re headed.”
Playing at Rogers Arena is something a lot of people dream of, and Bal says the game-day atmosphere is unmatched.
“Our fans are incredible. It’s pretty special knowing the fans come back every year and they make a lot of noise for us.”
Bal has some built-in chemistry with the incoming contingent, having played with Ryan Dilks and John Lintz in Edmonton and playing with Kevin Crowley with the New Westminster Salmonbellies. Matt Beers was a teammate of Bal’s in Vancouver two years ago.
If you talk to Bowering, Vancouver is the place to be for the upcoming NLL season.
“I think we’ve got a good thing going, and Curt being hired is a testament to that. It will be really cool to build something special in Vancouver. We want to show the fans it’s not only a good time at Rogers Arena when we play, but we’re a high-quality team that competes with everyone.”
Bowering pushes himself to improve year-over-year and this season is no different. He’s already locked in and ready and has been counting down the days until December.
“There’s a buzz among the guys on the team and I think it’s going to be an exciting year. There’s going to be a lot of things we’re better at and I’ve been excited since the season ended for next season. I can’t wait for the season to get started, start playing and seeing the guys more often.”