JASON Belmonte believes “raw talent” will fuel the Australian team’s push for glory at this year’s World Men’s Tenpin Bowling Championships in Abu Dhabi.
The Orange tenpin bowling superstar has been named as the lead act in the six-man Australian squad set to travel to the Middle East in December for this year’s championships, and is adamant the youthful make-up of the national men’s team won’t detract from its chances at the upcoming event.
Alongside Victorian Paul Trotter, the 30-year-old is one of the squad’s senior statesmen and as such has vowed to help the likes of young guns Sam Cooley, Paul White, David Porto and Queensland teenager Jayden Leming in their world championship campaigns.
“It’s exciting to see the potential of this team,” the reigning Professional Bowling Association Player of the Year said.
“As a leader of this team, it’s important I can share some of the knowledge I’ve got to the young guys in the team. It’s about knowing how to play in a tournament, and with my experience I can help read the lane conditions and how the balls react to different patterns.”
Belmonte said the likes of the USA team as well as Korea will prove stiff opposition for Australia
And with this year’s squad one selected with an eye on the future, the Aussies had nothing to lose against the world’s best in Abu Dhabi.
“It’s a rebuilding period,” he said.
“As far as rankings go, Australia is probably just outside the top 10. With a young team this year we’re probably looking at being more like 15th or 16th, but the raw talent excites me.
“We don’t know how these guys are going to perform. They could shoot the lights out.”
The tournament pits teams in singles, doubles, trios and team events with the individual pinfall scores used to determine who makes the championships’ masters finals, an event the top 16 traditionally progress through to.
Belmonte was hopeful of more than one Aussie making the masters final.
“Hopefully with the form I’m carrying into this year’s event I’ll be there,” he said.
“But with the best bowlers from all over the world there it’s never going to be easy. At the moment I’m certainly one of the favourites to feature for an individual medal.”
Andrew Frawley will coach the side, with Wayne Parlby his assistant.
The 2014 World Men’s Championships will be held in Abu Dhabi from December 4.