Leaders named for Junior Steelers’ World Championship quest

Leaders named for Junior Steelers’ World Championship quest

The Junior Steelers have appointed a two-man leadership group ahead of their quest for World Championship glory in Canada.

Dawson Summers, a middle infielder from Western Australia, has been appointed captain. Michael Ludkin, a pitcher from Queensland, is vice-captain.

Junior Steelers Head Coach Laing Harrow says both players have shown leadership qualities and were impressive at the recent camp in Canberra.

Under 19 men's softball world championship“Dawson has a very high skill level in all aspects of the game,” Harrow says. “He’s also involved in baseball and his skills have improved considerably.

“He has also shown himself to be very calm under pressure and he will have a calming influence on his teammates in key situations.”

Harrow says Ludkin deserves his leadership role because of the work he puts into improving himself.

“Michael has a very good work ethic and brings some World Championship experience, which he can pass on to the rest of the group. He is also a proven performer under pressure at Nationals.”

The XII Junior Men’s Softball World Championship will be held in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, from July 7-15. The venue has recently undergone a $2 million upgrade and now features four diamonds, three of them with lights.

The game schedule has yet to be finalised, but the other teams competing are Canada, Japan, USA, New Zealand, Mexico, Argentina, India, Denmark, South Africa, Hong Kong, Czech Republic, Venezuela and Guatemala.

The Junior Steelers leave Australia on June 23, bound for Milverton, Ontario, where they will play 12-15 games against local teams, starting on June 25. There is also potential for practice games against the New Zealand Black Sox, who are staying in the same area.

One they get to Prince Albert, they hope to play two warm-up games against other nations before the tournament starts.

Before then, all players are working on their skills and fitness in their home states. “They are playing competition games within their states and they are working hard,” Harrow says.

“That’s all we can ask for.”

2018 Australian Under 19 Men’s Team

Josh Bond (NSW) Bradley Kilpatrick (NSW) Layton Reid (Qld)
Jacob Donaldson (NSW) Ryan King (NSW) Keenan Smith (Qld)
Jarred Garland (NSW) Shaun Lanaghan (NSW) Dawson Summers (WA)
Matthew Harrow (ACT) Michael Ludkin (Qld) Jeremy Waters (Qld)
Blake Jackson (NSW) Bolton Nussbaum (ACT) Jett Wright (WA)
Riley James (Qld) Christopher Plain (NSW)

Team officials

Head Coach: Laing Harrow
Assistant Coach: Darrin Hebditch
Assistant Coach: Adam Rindfleish
Team Manager: Mike Titheradge
Video Analyst: Tony Mackie
Physiotherapist: Bernie Simai
Statistician: Jim Giles
Umpire: Trevor Murphy