Ten successful triallists picked by GB Slowpitch

Thu 4 Apr 2019

Following Open Trial sessions held in January, February, and March for the Great Britain Slowpitch National Team, Head Coach Stephen Patterson has now announced the players who were successful.

Ten new players will now be included in the GB Development programme and will also be eligible for selection for any of the domestic and international competitions the team will take part in during 2019 and beyond.

This will include the European Co-ed Slowpitch Championship this summer in Hungary, where the team will be aiming to reclaim the European title it lost to Germany in 2017.

In addition, a number of players from the existing player pool were asked to trial again, and seven of them have been re-selected for 2019.


Trial weekends

Each of the three trial weekends, held at the Royal Masonic School in Rickmansworth, had strong turnouts, and there was an opportunity to test the players’ skills both indoors and outdoors as weather permitted.

Triallists were reminded that several players who had trialed recently had been added to GB Slowpitch competition squads for European and World Cup competitions in both the Co-ed and Men’s National Teams.

“There is an honour when competing under the banner of Team GB,” Stephen Patterson told the players, “and to don the colours of your country in these competitions – well, it’s just special!”

Players were encouraged to have fun while promoting their ability in individual and team exercises in front of a Selection Panel that consisted of the GB coaching and management staff plus independent observers who were there to ensure that the selection process was fair and transparent.

Team staff were Head Coach Stephen Patterson, Assistant Coaches David Lee and John Lehmann and Team Manager Kellie Whitaker.

Over the course of the three trial weekends, the observer role was filled at different times by GB Under-18 and Under-23 Men’s Fastpitch Coach Ian Tomlin, GB Women’s Fastpitch Team Assistant Coach Liz Knight and Luis Arrevillagas from BSUK.

Meanwhile, a number of current GB Slowpitch players helped facilitate drills and activities to make sure the sessions ran smoothly.

Soon after the last of the trial weekends, the successful participants were told of their inclusion in the GB Slowpitch Team squad for 2019, while those who had failed to make the grade were also given the news.  The aim is to provide bespoke feedback to all triallists in due course, and many have already received this.


Successful triallists

New players who were successful at the trials are:

Jennifer Ball
Megan Beard
Leonie Colley
Becky Green
Ian Kulka
Issie Moseley
James Porter
Keegan Rhodes
Joshua Smith
Zara Wallin

Existing squad members who successfully re-trialled are:

George Bartlett
Vicky Chapman
David Grey
Kris Hadwin
Chiya Louie
Daniel Patterson
Jon Reynolds


Reactions

Stephen Patterson said, "I am delighted with the ability and potential of the players entering the programme this time around.  Accomplishing their goal of making the GB Team may only be the start of what is possible for them.  How they apply themselves is up to them, but whether it be in competitions in 2019 or in three to five years’ time, these players have given themselves every opportunity to make an impact for GB for a long time.

“New players entering the GB Slowpitch Team programme is key to the team’s success,” Patterson added.  “Players may join the programme at different levels of ability, but GB coaching sessions are designed to tap into those abilities and maximise a player’s potential.  The opportunity for players to develop is the key to ensuring that Team GB’s performances remain high in the immediate and longer-term future.”

Team Manager Kellie Whitaker said, “There was an influx of younger players who were brave enough to be assessed in the first place, but to see their potential was a real positive.  All the athletes at these trials worked really hard, with some taking part for nearly eight hours on our first trial date.   I am pleased with the body of work that the trials produced.”


Opportunities

The Great Britain programme continues to look for opportunities for the new players can compete in the name of Great Britain. 

Most were thrown into action during afternoon training games at the trials, and will also participate in the annual GB Challenge Tournament on Saturday 13 April at Farnham Park.

A Futures Squad will be formed during the summer of 2019, with players vying for roster spots on the GB Development Team that will compete at the BSF’s Softball World Series in September.

Before that, all of the new GB players will compete for selection for the GB Team that will head to Budapest in Hungary for the European Co-ed Slowpitch Championship, scheduled for 15-20 July.

First, though, the new players will be on hand to support Team GB's fundraising tournament, the GB Open, on Sunday 14 April at Farnham Park.

A full complement of teams has already signed up for the event, but teams or individuals still wanting to play should contact Team Manager Kellie Whitaker (kellie.whitaker@britishsoftball.org).

Raffle tickets for the event are available from any GB Slowpitch player, including the new squad members selected from the trials.


Sponsors wanted

The GB Slowpitch National Team is currently ranked #1 in Europe and #4 in the world.

The team is looking for a new Title Sponsor.

Anyone interested should contact Stephen Patterson on servpatt2004@hotmail.com.

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