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Men’s softball team gearing up for a big year

Training for the men’s national softball team is expected to start at the end of January, confirmed the squad’s manager Godfrey Burnside yesterday. The early start should assist the team in qualifying for several international tournaments which the Bahamas Softball Federation(BSF)is planning to send its teams to.

The first tournament being organized by the federation is a friendly one with teams from Cuba, which both senior national teams will play in. The tournament is being scheduled around the Easter weekend and is tentatively scheduled to be played in Cuba.

Burnside said: ”Well what we hope to do is start training at the end of the month to prepare ourselves for all tournaments, but the most important one right now is the friendly tournament. Hopefully, other tournaments will fall in line. I think, at the end of the year, the four-year plan, leading up to the World Championships, should start. Every year you go to a qualifying tournament like CAC, Pan Ams or the World Championships, so preparation for those tournaments will start this year.”

Although a team has been selected, late last year, Burnside said practices are still open for all interested players.

“We are open to any change from persons who are interested in coming out,”said Burnside.”The team was chosen late in October for a tournament that was scheduled in November. We were training up to the break and then we took a break for the holidays. We are looking to have training at least three times a week. We had some cohesiveness, up until we had to take a break, and despite last year being a disappointing one because the tournament was canceled, we felt like the team still bonded together. We have now re-energized and refocused, and if we have to add younger players, we will do that.”

Training for the under-19 junior male players is currently ongoing every Friday night and Saturday morning at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex. The team is being managed by Martin Burrows. The youth female team will also start training in a few weeks. That squad recently competed in the International Softball Federation’s(ISF)Easton Foundation Youth World Cup. Even though they did not win a game, Burnside said they should still be commended for the gallant effort put forth. The team played against top teams from Canada, Puerto Rico, Russia, Brazil and the United States.

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