After not playing last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Albany Firewolves head coach and general manager Glenn Clark is excited to start the National Lacrosse League season at the Toronto Rock on Saturday.
But for most of the preseason, Clarke wasn’t able to work with the team in person because he wasn’t able to cross the border from his native Canada because of travel restrictions.
“It’s definitely been different,” Clarke said during a telephone interview on Monday. “It has been a very different start up than everyone else is used to with delays in testing regulations, travel limits and visa issues, it has certainly not been business as usual. Having said that, we are moving towards normalcy, which is a good thing.”
Clarke was finally able to come to the United States last weekend when the Firewolves played an exhibition game at the Rochester Nighthawks.
“I was in America for the first time in 18 months,” Clark said. “I’ll be back again for the home opener.”
The Firewolves will face the Nighthawks in their Times Union Center opener on December 18.
This is Albany’s second time fielding an NLL team. The Albany Attack played from 2000–04, reaching the championship game in 2003, losing 13–12 to the Rock.
Even though Clark is not yet in Albany, he feels the excitement from the capital region for the team.
“Have not been on the site, but am talking [FireWolves general manager] George [Manias], and the interviews that I’ve done on the radio and some of the things I’ve seen through social media, I’m excited,” said Clarke. “I think it’s going to be a community that embraces this. I think it has the potential to really grow when fans can face names and feel and feel the energy.” . It gets real for them. Once we’re there it really kicks it off.”
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