Nathan Hewitt, Finley Gutherson and Ky Hurst have spent the past few weeks watching on as their Orange District Softball Association teammates have been put through their paces at national tournaments in Perth and Adelaide.
Now, they have their time to shine with bats in hand as the trio make their way to the Under 15 Boys Regional Softball Championships with NSW Country next week.
They won’t be travelling as far afield as their compatriots, as they only make their way to Canberra for the carnival, but they have an advantage the others don’t – they will have the chance to rub shoulders with some of the best players in the world.
The Open Men’s National Softball Championships run over the same dates the boys’ does, from January 13 to 19, and not only will the games be played on adjacent diamonds but the tournament organisers have scheduled a massive training session for all players to come together and learn from each other.
For Gutherson and Hewitt, this is the first time they’ve been able to attend a tournament like this, and to say both are excitement is an understatement.
“You never know how you’re going to go and there are always teams to beat, it’s a great competition,” Hewitt said.
You never know how you’re going to go and there are always teams to beat, it’s a great competition.Nathan Hewitt
“I’ve been playing seven years this year and Finley would have been playing about the same.”
Neither of them really expected to be picked in the squad, with 40 boys trying out for the NSW Country side.
However the pair – Hewitt is a catch or centre outfielder and Gutherson a third base and occasional catcher – are keen to “go down and do something we haven’t done before”.
Games kick off on January 13.
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