No. 4 Australia named the 17-player roster for the XVI WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship, to be played from 13-23 June in Prague and Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic. The Aussie Steelers have only one goal in mind: to reach back-to-back finals, but win it all this time, repeating the unforgettable 2009 world title in Saskatoon, Canada.
The pitching staff will be Australia’s main strength in Czech Republic. Newly appointed Head Coach Kere Johanson relies on two of the top pitchers in the world to succeed in Europe, as veterans Adam Folkard and Andrew Kirkpatrick will lead the green and gold team for another campaign.
Kirkpatrick will play his sixth World Championship, setting a record for the Australian National Team. The left-hander made his debut in the 2004 World Championship in Christchurch, New Zealand, and since then has collected four medals, including the historic world title in 2009, a silver medal in the last WBSC World Championship in 2017, and two bronzes (2004 and 2013).
Skipper set for sixth @WBSC World Championship!
Andrew Kirkpatrick will lead our #AussieSteelers for an impressive sixth time in the green & gold on the games biggest stage
Congrats to all selected for the 13-23 June Championship in Europe
— Softball Australia (@SoftballOz) 27 de marzo de 2019
Folkard is the other big name in the pitching staff. The righty starred in 2009 throwing a no-hitter in the World Championship Finale against New Zealand to clinch the only title so far for Australia.
The roster showcase five senior World Championship rookies. Layton Reid and Jett Wright, who were part of the 2018 Australian Junior World Championship winning side, make their senior debut for the Steelers, with catcher James Purcell and outfielders Scott Patterson and Callum Beashel also earning their first Steelers cap.
Australia will be starting the World Championship in Group B, along with Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, USA and Venezuela. The green and gold squad will will begin the competition For the Title of World Champion on 14 June, against Singapore. Click here to see the complete games schedule.
A training camp will take place for the 2019 team next weekend in Canberra, before the team will assemble in early June to depart for Europe.