IS this heaven?
It’s Blacktown - it’s the place where dreams come true.
Transforming into their very own Field Of Dreams, Blacktown’s International Softball Centre will this weekend host six of Orange’s best up-and-coming talents as they take on the world.
With teams from Japan and New Zealand making the trip for the Blacktown Junior International Challenge, Henry Jones, Nathan Lynch, Jordan Price and Bailey Ferguson will represent NSW Country boys and Eva Reith-Snare and Lily Westcott the NSW Country girls.
Running for the last seven years, the tournament brings together some of the brightest softballing prospects in the state and internationally.
Orange District Softball Association president Geoff Kelly said the talent on show at the International Challenge will be something to savour.
“Basically Softball NSW run a talent identification program and kids across the state are looked at. Out of it all, there’s usually trials but this year kids were invited to take part in this competition,” Kelly said of the under 15s-based tournament.
“It’s basically a development pathway for that age group because previously there hasn’t been anything until the under 17s.”
From the International Challenge, state selectors are likely to pick squads to take part in further trials with the aim of securing a strong NSW team ahead of the Australian Regional Championships in Sydney and Adelaide in 2015.
Playing for NSW Country, the Orange stars won’t be out of their depth, not according to Kelly.
“The country sides are usually very competitive,” he said.
“The Japanese are well-drilled sides but one of the Metro sides won it all last year. The Metro boys are really strong and the New Zealand team is an academy outfit, so they’re very talented.”
The Blacktown Junior International Challenge begins today and wraps up tomorrow.
Mac Reith-Snare and Aiden Kelly will also be on had at the tournament, making the trip as umpires.