Steelers World Cup defence bolstered by announcement of leadership and coaching team.

Published Wed 01 May 2024

The Australian men’s softball team has announced their leadership and coaching team heading into their 2024 WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup Group Stage, captained by veteran shortstop, James Todhunter.

James has been named the Steelers captain for their WBSC World Cup Group Stage campaign where he will lead the team out in Hermosillo, Mexico in June. The 2022 World Cup championship captain will be joined by Scott Patterson, Hayden Matthews and Brendon O’Byrne in the team’s leadership group.  

The four featured in the inspiring 2022 WBSC World Cup Championship victory and are on track to replicate their dominance with the world number 1 ranking still being held by Australia.

“It’s a real honour being captain for Australia” says captain, James Todhunter.

“Those guys are very experienced campaigners, I’m sure they won’t mind me saying that. They bring a wealth of experience to the team, they’re all inspirational in their different ways and a lot of us look up to those guys.”

“The Group Stage is just as important as the World Cup finals; this is the first step of the process. I’m happy to be part of it all and look forward to what comes.”

Speaking about the upcoming opposition in group A, Todhunter said “We have a very challenging pool. In the two years since our World Cup win, the international men’s program has become more competitive so we will need to bring our best to come out on top.”

On the coaching side, Kris Kiefel has joined the team, being appointed assistant coach alongside Geoff Coultas. This is Kris’ first involvement in Australia’s coaching ranks as he brings over 20 years of professional experience to the squad.

“It’s exciting to have a new group of guys that may have different ways to coach players and make them work well together.” Says Todhunter.

Kiefel and Coultas will serve under Head Coach Scott Sunley and will be joined by Mike Titheradge in the Team Manager role, marking Titheradge’s 21st year as Team Manager of the Aussie Steelers.

The Aussie Steelers will begin their World Cup defense in Hermosillo, Mexico beginning on the 12th of June.