Softball Australia’s Head of Pathways and Travelodge Aussie Spirit Head Coach Laing Harrow has bolstered his coaching staff with the appointment of the well credentialled Andrew Kirkpatrick and Nathan Jones as Assistant Coaches.
Both men bring a wealth of talent and experience to Harrow’s coaching staff having achieved the pinnacle of the sport when they were both part of the 2009 World Champion Aussie Steelers team.
Current ACT 89ers Captain/Coach Kirkpatrick made his retirement from international softball following the 2019 WBSC Men’s World Championship but will continue to don the green and gold again in 2020, this time in a coaching capacity.
Known as one of the world’s best pitchers, Kirkpatrick played an integral part in the Travelodge Aussie Spirit’s own pitching stocks and was part of the successful Olympic Qualifying campaign in China earlier in 2019.
Jones too was part of the coaching staff that saw Australia return to the Olympics, one of the best defensive players in the country during his playing career, Jones’ influence clearly showed with the Travelodge Aussie Spirit committing no errors in the field through their five games.
As part of the duo’s Olympic appointment, they will assist Harrow in Australia’s preparation for Tokyo 2020, starting with the AP Cup to take place at Blacktown International Sportspark from 30 January – 2 February.
Four of the six nations qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are set to compete with the Travelodge Aussie Spirit to be joined by Mexico and Italy after they too were successful in their respective WBSC Olympic Qualifiers, while the 2020 Games host nation and World Number Two, Japan, again make the trip Down Under.
A second Australian team, Chinese Taipei and New Zealand complete the field set to compete in Blacktown.
Only two Olympic nations, Canada and the United States of America, will be missing in the highly anticipated tournament.
Australia were the final team to qualify for the Olympics with softball to be played from 22-28 July at Yokohama and Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadiums.
International softball holds centre stage at Blacktown with the exciting Summer Slam – Fully Loaded Softball also taking place at the venue from 3 – 5 February.
To purchase tickets for the AP Cup, click here.
To purchase tickets for the Summer Slam – Fully Loaded Softball, click here.