Footscray wunderkind Peter Kwas was an integral cog for Victoria as it stormed to back-to-back Australian Lacrosse Association men’s national titles.
The left-handed midfielder took out MVP honours and was named in the all star team after scintillating performances for the Big V in Adelaide.
Footscray president Tim Lane says there are few better all-round attacking players in the country.
“He’s just turned 19 and he’s probably the best player in the country at the moment,” he said. “It’s his athleticism – he’s probably six-foot-three, but he moves like a little bloke.
“He has good speed and he’s a left-hander, which gives him a bit of an advantage.”
Kwas’ best asset is his ability to adapt to a situation.
If the defence is playing loose on him, he hurts them on the scoreboard with his lethal shot.
If the opposition is more tight checking, he turns into a provider.
Kwas is near impossible to shut out of a game – rare for a player of his age and relative inexperience.
“He’s a pretty unique sort of player,” Lane said. “He’s got a thin frame, but he’s strong.
“Nothing fazes him on the field, so you never see him get angry or emotional – he just gets the job done.
“Other teams tend to mark him pretty tightly and that’s where he steps into a role where he sets up a bit more. If you’re loose on him, he’s really dangerous and scores a lot of goals.”
A big contingent of Footscray players represented Victoria over the Queen’s Birthday weekend.
Joining Kwas in the men’s team that beat South Australia 10-7 in the final were Miles Blair, James Lawerson, Jeff Melsopp and Chris Plumb.
The coaching staff had a Footscray flavour, too – Max Madonia was head coach and Anthony Biscardi his assistant.
The women’s team, which thrashed South Australia 17-4 in the final for an unprecedented fifth title in a row, featured seven Footscray players – Abbie Burgess, Verity Clough, Stella Justice-Allen, Rebecca Lane, Esther Lavelle, Nelly Mollison and Sarah Mollison.
“Victorian lacrosse is going really well,” Lane said. “Footscray was heavily represented in the national tournament, which is great for us.”
Footscray is also having incredible success in state leagues.
The top men’s team is a perfect 9-0 following Saturday’s 16-6 win over Surrey Park at Angliss Reserve. The top women’s team is 7-0 after a hard-fought 9-6 win over Newport, also at Angliss Reserve.
While Footscray is the top dog in both competitions, premierships are not won in June.
“It’s not going to come easy,” Lane said. “We’re only halfway through the season. While we’re extremely pleased with where we’re at at the moment with both senior teams, there’s still plenty of work to do.”