it brings great pride to baseball queensland that four Queenslanders, Blake Barlow, Jake Calver, Zane Overlack and Tyler Sakzewski have been named in the 2023 U18 National Junior Squad for Team Australia.
Baseball Australia has today selected a squad of 28 players for the National Junior Squad from the Australian Youth Championships in January. The selection of the squad marks the second milestone in Team Australia’s campaign for the 2023 Under 18 World Cup.
The National Junior Squad will commence their World Cup preparation at the conclusion of the summer season, which will culminate in a selection camp to be held in August. Complementing the named squad will be a shadow squad of players that will continue to prepare across the winter. Based on the development of the shadow squad players, there will be additional invitations for the selection camp throughout the year.
Performance Pathway lead, Michael Crooks outlined the plans moving forward. “We learnt a lot of very good lessons over the course of the 2022 Under 18 World Cup campaign, and we are putting those lessons into action with this year’s group. Specifically, being able to return to the normal timing of the AYC’s has given us great intel on our players across the country coming off an extremely competitive event. Being able to now focus on the physiological and technical development of the players over a longer uninterrupted timeline this winter will put our players in the best possible position to maximise the winter development window not just for this year, but their entire careers.”
Crooks highlighted the focus on the shadow squad members equally. “We have chosen a National Junior Squad off the AYC’s, and those selected should be very proud, however we are continually looking forward. We know that there are players within the shadow squad who have a lot of potential. We want to see tremendous dedication from members in both squads across the winter program to ensure our final selection is as difficult as possible come August.”
The WBSC U18 World Cup is to be held in Chinese Taipei September 1st to 10th 2023.’