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“Last year we lost over half of our normal squad just due to attrition and just guys kind of moving on and out of the LA area,” said LA’s Nathaneal Heiselt.
“The hard part is when you’re trying to get new guys out at the beginning of the year, they come and see no structure, not having a coach, and they walk up and leave. And there’s so many top tier teams within a 10-mile radius of us, it’s easy to go from LA, to Santa Monica to Belmont Shore. We’ve lost several of our players to Belmont Shore in the past.”
Even during a down season, LA managed to stay competitive, beating Back Bay and Las Vegas and playing some other teams close.
“By the end we decided we’re not going to win every game, let’s just go out and play hard and see what happens,” said Heiselt. “Let’s not worry about it anymore. Playoffs are not in contention, and that kind of let the guys have a little more fun out there. In the end we were able to jell together and come together.”
LA will be more cohesive from the jump in 2013. They’ve added a coach in Owen Rutledge, a kiwi who played with LA for several years before moving back to New Zealand some while ago. He’s back in the States to lead LA from the sidelines.
Also returning are some big-time players, like Aussie center Brody Duncan. He led LA in tries in 2009, the last year the club won SoCal.
The biggest addition, literally, is prop Andre Liufau, who is back with the club after earning debuting with the Eagles this summer. The former Utah defensive lineman played for L’Uson in France last season before being picked up by the Eagles and earning his first cap against Georgia. Fitness could be an issue for Liufau, but even playing limited minutes, his superior strength and size make him a difference maker.
Heiselt said the teams has been pretty successful in recruiting this
offseason, too, and will have significantly improved depth in the forwards,
which they sorely lacked in 2012. First up is a home match with OMBAC