ORANGE softball trio Thomas Zeylemaker, Aiden Kelly and Mac Reith-Snare believe making the under 17s NSW state squad is the first step to bigger and better things - and they plan on proving that this weekend.
Three of the Orange and District Softball Association’s brightest sparks, Zeylemaker, Kelly and Reith-Snare will head to Blacktown on Saturday for an intense two-day softball training camp with the 27-strong under 17s NSW state squad.
And all three will do so with one eye firmly on taking the next step.
“At the moment, it’s the NSW side,” Reith-Snare said with his goals firmly in mind, before firing off the ultimate goal.
“Then the Australian side.”
Both Kelly and Zeylemaker say they have a plan heading into this weekend’s camp - learn and learn plenty.
Do that and a place in the 16-man under 17s NSW side is much closer.
“They’re after players that are coachable,” Kelly said.
“Players that basically when they’re given feedback take it on board and give it a go.
“Also being part of the team, which is pretty easy because most of the boys in the squad now we all get along with really well.”
Kelly added making the squad was a huge relief and just reward for a gruelling off-season.
“It felt pretty good after working so hard,” the 15-year-old said.
“We’ve been training heaps. Thomas and I have played together for eight or nine years in representative stuff. To make it together was pretty good.”
At the culmination of the camp, a 16-man state side will be picked.
Zeylemaker made camp last year, and set himself the goal of going that extra step in 2014.
“I was aiming to make the squad this year,”
“Just a lot more training this year has helped me improve.”
Fourteen-year-old Reith-Snare is trialling for the catcher’s role as well as second base, while Zeylemaker is also aiming for the second base role or one of three outfield spots.
A pitcher, Kelly is also looking at a spot in this year’s side either on the mound or in the outfield.
ODSA president Geoff Kelly said having three players in the state squad was a tremendous achievement by the group.
“It looks good for our development program,” he added.
The 2014-15 ODSA season begins on October 11, with two come and try days scheduled for September 20 and 27 at the Jack Brabham diamonds.