GB Under-19 Men open year with two tournaments

Mon 4 Mar 2019

A busy two weeks for players in the GB Under-19 Men’s Fastpitch programme will start with a trip to Eilat, Israel to compete in the Ayelet Games from 6-9 March, followed by a trip as part of a mixed team playing in the Tournoi International d’Ermont in Paris from 15-17 March.

The GB Under-19 Men do not have a European Championship this year, and these two tournaments, along with others planned for later in the year, will keep the players in the programme active and facing quality opposition.

During the course of the year, the programme will transition to Under-18 to comply with changes in age groups mandated by the World Baseball Softball Confederation and the European Softball Federation, and a GB Under-18 Men’s Team will compete in a European Championship at that age level in 2020.

Ayelet Games

The GB Under-19 Men’s Team is returning to Israel compete in their second Ayelet Games, hosted by the Israeli Softball Association, following an enjoyable tour last year.  The tournament will have its biggest turnout ever, including three British teams, and altogether 13 men’s teams (including the GB Under-19s and a Meteors team) and eight women’s teams (including The Mix from the Great Britain Fastpitch League) will take part.

The men’s competition will feature mostly adult teams from the Czech Republic and Denmark, club teams from around Israel and the Israeli Under-19 National Team, and the tournament will begin with a three-pool round-robin.

The GB Under-19 Men, with one of the youngest squads the team has ever sent on tour, will face DVH Pheonix, the Warriors and an Under-18 team from the Czech club Jourds Prague in their pool.  The winners of each pool will advance to a round-robin final.
GB Under-19 Head Coach Ian Tomlin said, “Last year’s competition provided tough opposition for the team and this year’s opponents look equally tough.  But I’m hoping that the tournament, run over three days in hot conditions, will again give the team valuable experience and an opportunity to face quality pitchers.  I’m sure the boys will enjoy the challenge, and it will be an opportunity for them to practice and play together as a team ahead of the GBFL season.”

The team

The GB Under-19 Men will fly to Israel from Luton on 5 March and return five days later, on 9 March, with 14 players (including six who will be tasting international competition for the first time), plus two staff members and parents who will provide additional assistance.

The players are:

Bruce Candlish
Bryn Davies
Dan Downes
Max Fagan
Sam Gardiner
Mathew Green
Olly Howley
Tom Lang
Tom Russell (Captain)
Jack Scholes
Josh Stanley
Ben Tomlin
Sam Whatmore
Joe Wright

The staff will be Ian Tomlin as Head Coach and Jill Russell as Team Manager.

Tournoi International d’Ermont

One week after returning from Israel, Ian Tomlin will lead a mixed squad to Paris to compete in a 12-team tournament in Ermont.  This is an annual event that the team from Britain has won on two occasions.

Ian will be assisted by Player/Coach Josh Peat, and the team is hoping to do well and reach the latter stages of the competition.

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