Softball Australia is pleased to announce acceptance of an invitation extended by Softball NZ for the Australian Open Men’s Team to attend an International Men’s Tournament in March 2017 in New Zealand.
Whilst final team entries are yet to be confirmed, all indications are that it will be a very competitive and challenging event showcasing the highest level of men’s international softball. In addition to Australia and New Zealand, other participants could include Samoa, Czech Republic and Argentina.
Steelers Head Coach, Laing Harrow, is excited about the 2017 program, which also includes the WBSC 15th Men’s Softball World Championship in Whitehorse, Canada, and sees the NZ event as an opportunity to develop and expose some international debutants. “Obviously we want to go to an event of this nature and perform well and be competitive. However, with the World Championship in July 2017, this additional event will be an opportunity for some players to possibly debut for the Steelers and gain significant exposure and experience at this level”, said Laing.
As part of the preparation and build up for the 2017 program ,the Aussie Steelers selectors have named a squad of 28 players, who will be encouraged to work extra hard during the off season to be in the best condition to vie for places in the 2017 squad to be selected in January following the Men’s National Championships. Coach Harrow also said that “with only 28 players named, we will be keeping a close eye on the Junior Steelers and how they perform at the Junior Men’s World Championship in July 2016, and may well look to add one or two to the squad”.
The players selected for the 2016 squad are:
James Brownlow (NSW), Aaron Cockman (WA), Nathan Dickinson (NSW),Tyson Duncan (WA), Jarryd Farrell (SA), Chris Gillies (NSW), Shaun Goffer (Qld), Joel Goodall (Vic), Mark Harris (WA), Andrew Havercroft (WA), Julian Jemmott (Qld), Marshall Kronk (Qld), Jayden Lach (NSW), Hayden Mathews (NSW), Joshua McGovern (ACT), Ryan Merriman (Qld), Kieran O’Leary (NSW), Liam O’Leary (NSW), Harrison Peters (NSW), Tyrell Priestley (Qld), Jay Selu (ACT), Nick Shailes (Qld), Brendon O’Bryne (WA), Ryan Sinclair (Vic), James Todhunter (NSW), Ryan Tranter (NSW), Peter Wards (NSW),Lewis Weldon (Vic).
Coach Harrow says the named squad provides a strong balance of experienced international players and enthusiastic youth – with an eye to the future being the focus. The notable absence of long serving stalwarts, Adam Folkard, Andrew Kirkpatrick, Zenon Winters and Nick Norton, is an opportunity for them to have a year off; they have given outstanding service and unwavering commitment over many years to the Aussie Steelers and a break provides a chance to refresh and be in contention for the 2017 squad and team selections.
Recruitment of Aussie Steelers Team staff (Assistant Coaches and Team Manager) will commence shortly.