After a challenging 2018 campaign that saw them take home fifth place, the Victorian Open Men’s team are eyeing off an improved showing at the 2019 Open Men’s National Softball Championships.
The Open Men’s Nationals will take place at Hawker in the ACT from 13-19 January 2019, with Victoria looking to lift the John Reid Shield for the first time since 2005.
Taking notes from their competition, the Victorian Open Men’s team has been building on their skills in the batter’s box in the lead-up to the National Championships, with a number of players batting consistently at training throughout the lead-up to competition.
Combined with a full pitching complement and an experienced squad, Head Coach Nigel Aiken is optimistic about the team’s potential to take it all the way at the upcoming National Championships.
“We’re just a lot deeper with our squad this year,” Aiken said.
“Last year we had four of our top players take a year off due to injury, or other things on their plate at that time.
“We’ve got Ryan Sinclair, Joel Goodall, Sam Kassianou, and Ryan Shannahan back, and we also have a full pitching complement this year with all local pitchers.”
On top of players returning at the top end of the team and a full pitching outfit, Aiken says that experienced Aussie Steelers batter Lewis Weldon is performing well at bat in training, showing that the Victorians are a real chance at the title in 2019.
If sheer determination to make it into the finals is anything to go by, the Victorian Open Men’s side is well and truly on their way. Off the back of a disappointing fifth place finish in 2018, Aiken says they’re ready to redeem themselves with a finals spot in 2019.
“After a pretty dismal year last year, we want to get through to finals, and make the Grand Final, obviously. Obviously it’s a tough gig and there’s some pretty accomplished teams out there, (but) let’s hope we’re there at the end.”
Keep an eye on the Softball Victoria website and our associated social media platforms for all the latest updates and information regarding Victorian State teams in the lead up to the 2019 National Championships. To view the full squad of the Victorian Men’s Open team, click here.