Kelusky embraces changes

DARREN FRIESEN

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

If Kurt Silcott's selling a new brand of lacrosse then Tracey Kelusky's buying it up in bulk.

The Calgary Roughnecks captain, who is entering his fifth season with the club, has welcomed the general manager's new team philosophy with open arms.

"I think change is good," said Kelusky, whose team played its final exhibition game last night against the Edmonton Rush in Lethbridge. "We have our nucleus of guys and we've added a young, talented group of players.

"Kurt's brand of lacrosse that he wants to play is transition and run and gun. The Roughnecks of the past have held the ball for 30 seconds trying to get the good shot -- and we might still do that from time to time -- but I think we're going to be a lot more run and gun, which is going to create a very exciting brand of lacrosse, that's for sure."

Kelusky, who has scored 149 goals during his tenure as a Roughneck, knows there's going to be an adjustment period with 10 new faces in the lineup this season.

However, he's confident the new players, combined with a stronger offensive approach to the game, will pay dividends for the club.

"Once we all buy into this system it's something that we can all adapt to," he said. "Once we all get on the same page we're going to play good lacrosse and we should be successful.

"These guys coming in are young athletes that are pushing myself and the other older guys. It's good though because there's a young guy on the sideline that wants my job.

"There's respect there but everyone's trying to get into the lineup and prove themselves, so it's good."

The Roughnecks will open the 2007 season Jan. 12 when they host the San Jose Stealth at the 'Dome.

Leading up to that, Kelusky, 31, is convinced the team will have gelled enough to start strong.

"I think we want to start taking shape as a team. Guys are going to have to start finding their roles within a team that's already established," he said. "We need to do this early and see what the makeup of this team's going to be, so when we start the season we can establish a work ethic."

So far, the Kelusky has been impressed with the new additions and what they offer in terms of skill.

"There's a lot of guys that bring a lot different things to the table," said Kelusky. "Scott Ranger's one guy for instance. Yeah, he plays offence but he can run the ball, he can shoot from the other side, he can play a pick-and-roll game. Lots of guys are like this, so it gives us so many different components that we've never had before."

RIGGERS WIN AGAIN:

Lewis Ratcliff notched a hat-trick as the Roughnecks beat the Edmonton Rush 13-10 last night in Lethbridge for their final exhibition tuneup.


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