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National Lacrosse League’s Brett Manney retires

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Brett Manney has called it a career.

The former Newtown resident announced his retirement from the Albany FireWolves of the National Lacrosse League, ending a 14-year playing career.

“I just felt it was time,” he said. “I took some time after the season and thought about it and then I told my wife. I gave it all I could, but I’m getting older. I’m 38. I’m not as fast as I used to be. I still think I could play at that level but the desire wasn’t there anymore.”

Manney and his wife, Gracia, have a 10-month old daughter, Willa, and are expecting a second child in July.

Manney spent 12 years with the organization, which was the original Philadelphia Wings before moving to New England and becoming the Black Wolves. The franchise moved again to Albany.

After graduating from Delaware in 2008, Manny was drafted by the Chesapeake Bayhawks, a Major League Lacrosse team. He was waived from the team and picked up as a free agent by the San Jose Stealth of the National Lacrosse League, helping the team to a championship.

The Stealth, who left San Jose for Seattle, traded Manney to the Wings, and he remained with that franchise in all of its incantations for the remainder of his playing career, serving as team captain for much of his tenure.

A career highlight for the defender was his appearance on ESPN’s SportsCenter’s Top Ten Plays by making an incredible diving save behind his goaltender.

Over his 14 seasons in the NLL, he accumulated 68 total points on 14 goals and 54 assists. He picked up 608 loose balls and caused 136 turnovers.

“Brett gave everything to this franchise on and off the floor,” said Glenn Clark, head coach of the FireWolves. “He played hard every game and was willing to do anything to win. His contributions off the floor are what truly separated him as an incredible leader.

“He galvanized our group and was the perfect conduit between players and staff. We can’t replace what Brett contributed to our team, but his legacy of leadership will be carried on through the players he mentored.”

He represented the United States at the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships twice, in 2015 and 2019.

The FireWolves will honor Manney on April 6 before a home game against the Toronto Rock. His retirement ceremony will be announced at a later date.

“Brett has been such a valuable contributor to all the teams I’ve been associated with throughout his career in the NLL,” said Mike French, partner of the FireWolves ownership team. “Brett is the epitome of a hardworking, disciplined defender, but his greatest trait is his leadership.

“He not only led by example, but he was also a terrific leader and dominant force in our locker room. He has been extremely important to the foundation and culture that we have established here in Albany with our FireWolves team and our FireWolves fans.”

A 2004 graduate of Holy Ghost Prep, Manney will continue to be involved in lacrosse. He is the vice president of event sales and recruiting for NXT Sports in Conshohocken.

“I’m still very active in the sport,” he said. “I’ll just also be more focused on being a better husband and father. I’m going to make up for lost time with my family and friends. I’m really excited about this new phase of my life.”


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