march2007

NZ National selectors casting critical eye over tournament

March 15, 2007

Christchurch, NZ


National selectors casting
critical eye over tournament
 
Thursday March 15th 2007
 
Strong performances on the softball diamonds of Canterbury Foundation Park, Christchurch next week could be just the ticket for some to booktheir spot in the New Zealand Community Trust Black Sox team.
 
The NZCT Men’s Open Club Championships will be the last chance to push for higher honours before NZCT Black Sox coach Eddie Kohlhase and his selection panel name their squad to travel to Canada in June and July.
 
Coach Kohlhase says while a core of the squad is already penciled in there are also a number of athletes that can force their way into the selection frame with strong performances in Christchurch.
 
“Pitching is still a high consideration for us (the selection panel). Acouple of young guys such as Penese Iosefo and Vaero Hagai have put their hands up in recent weeks in the NZCT National League. Now it is time for some other guys to step up and lead their club teams through to the final day in next week’s tournament,” said Kohlhase.
 
In recent seasons Kohlhase and his selection panel have been looking to build depth at the international level but the upcoming tour to Canada will be more about results than development. 
 
We will be going with our best 17 athletes to Canada. The tour will be a test for our squad as we look to see where one of our main opposition Canada are placed two years out from the world champs,” said Kohlhase.
 
Going into the NZCT Men’s Open Club Championships next week Hutt City United carry the tag of defending champs. Key to the Hutt side’s chances of defending the title will be the performance of pitching brothers Jeremy and Regan Manley. The pair were strong for Hutt City United in the title win last season and if they can repeat it next week they may just be what Kohlhase is looking for with Canada in mind.
 
One side who has strengthened their ranks in their quest for the open club title is Porirua. For the tournament Porirua have picked up the services of NZCT Black Sox internationals Jarrad Martin and Brad Rona.Combine them with fellow NZCT Black Sox training squad members Thomas Makea, Fabian Makea, Corey Matakatea and Tane Richardson who are all regular members of the Porirua team and they make for an impressive lineup.
 
 
Another team who can not be discounted is Mt Albert Ramblers who last won the title in 2005. Ramblers have depth on the pitching mound in the form of NZCT Black Sox pitcher Thomas Cameron and Australian international Andrew Kirkpatrick. Along with those two Ramblers also have a raft of internationals in their ranks that provide experience, power hitting andtight defence.
 
Any hopes for a home side to take the title are likely to rest with Richmond Keas and Parklands Christchurch United. Both sides have tasted success this season in club tournaments against the top North Islandsides so they know how to win. PCU’s victory in the recent Dean Schick Tournament over a number of the teams featuring this week may just provide the edge they need. The key to any success next week by either ofthe local teams, may be whether they can deliver consistently top class softball over the five days of the tournament. 
 
There will be 24 teams contesting the 2006/07 NZCT Men’s Open ClubChampionships at Canterbury Foundation Ballpark, Christchurch. Thetournament starts on Wednesday March 21st with the 24 teams split into four pools for round robin play. Following round robin games the top two teams from each pool will continue the battle for the title in the top eight playoffs before the championship final on Sunday March25th.   


By SNZ Media Liaison: Kelly Mitchell
* mailto:kelly.mitchell@xtra.co.nz

http://www.softball.org.nz/
*mailto:snz@softball.org.nz


Cheers Vance
Softball New Zealand web master.
* mailto:vanf@ihug.co.nz



Footnote:  Tentative Schedule for Blacksox while in Ontario:

June 8 - 16, New Zealand Black Sox Tour Ontario - All Dates, Teams and Locations are Tentative - TBC
. June 11 - NZ Black Sox vs Jarvis Merchants - Jarvis, ON
. June 12 - NZ Black Sox vs Kitchener Twins - Tavistock, ON
. June 14 - NZ Black Sox vs Canadian National Team - Orillia, ON
. June 15 - NZ Black Sox vs Canadian National Team - Sebringville, ON
. June 16 - NZ Black Sox vs Canadian National Team - Kitchener, ON




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