Albany

Albany FireWolves set to make National Lacrosse League debut

Members of the Albany FireWolves go through drills during an open practice Oct. 30 at Times Union Center.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Members of the Albany FireWolves go through drills during an open practice Oct. 30 at Times Union Center.

After not playing last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Albany FireWolves head coach and general manager Glenn Clark is excited to open the National Lacrosse League season on Saturday at the Toronto Rock.

But for most of the preseason, Clark 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 certainly been different,” Clark said during a telephone interview Monday. “It’s been a much different start up than we’re used to for everybody with the testing rules, the travel limitations and the delay in visa issues, it certainly hasn’t been business as usual. Having said that, we’re moving toward normalcy, which is nice.”

Clark was finally able to come to the United States last weekend when the FireWolves played an exhibition game at the Rochester Knighthawks.

“That’s the first time I was in the U.S. in 18 months,” Clark said. “I’ll be back again for the home opener.”

The FireWolves will face the Knighthawks in their Times Union Center opener Dec. 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 hasn’t been in Albany yet, he senses an excitement from the Capital Region for the team.

“Not having been on site, but talking to [FireWolves general manager] George [Manias], and the interviews that I have done on radio and some of the things I have seen through social media, I’m excited,” Clark said. “I think it’s going to be a community that embraces it. I think it’s got the potential to really grow when fans can put faces to names and sort of have the experience and feel the energy. It becomes real for them. It’s really going to take it off once we’re there.”

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