Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ajax Rock planning move to Oakville, add Terry Sanderson as GM

by Stephen Stamp

It appears the Ajax Rock will be rolling about an hour down Highway 401, and they’ll be led by a new general manager when they arrive. The Major Series Lacrosse team received approval at a league meeting on Sunday to move to Oakville, where they plan to play out of the Toronto Rock Athletic Complex. And their new GM will be none other than Toronto Rock GM Terry Sanderson, team owner Rob Roche has confirmed to IL Indoor. The move is not a done deal yet, as it still needs to receive final approval from the Ontario Lacrosse Association. Roche says he is optimistic that the provincial governing body will agree to the move, since it will be better for the team and for the league, and therefore in the best interests of the game in general.

There’s little doubt that the team can’t survive much longer in Ajax. Tiny crowds and a lack of competitiveness have made it very difficult to attract players and Roche is spending a lot of his own money each year to keep it afloat. Roche hopes that moving to Oakville will help the team draw a bigger audience and is confident that adding Sanderson to the team’s brain trust will make a huge difference to its level of success. The veteran lacrosse mind has already been talking to his fellow GMs in the league to try to bolster the team’s roster.

It is not yet clear whether coach Clem D’Orazio will remain with the team. He had held both the coaching and GM positions, so having the team hire Sanderson represents a step back for him in terms of responsibility. On the other hand, it is hard to imagine a better scenario for a young coach than getting the chance to work with and learn from Sanderson. Roche said the team has had conversations with D’Orazio and they will make a mutual decision about his future with the team in the next week.