Bases loaded at the Goodwill Series

By Ruth Smith

Even after Christmas' foul weather, goodwill was being spread at McLeod Park in West Auckland.

“We're here for the Goodwill series.  We have a team come down from The States.  The weather hasn't been too good, so we've only gotten (sic) two games.  But we're due for another two and hopefully, we can play them out,” said NZ U18’s representative, Tuku Repia.

The Goodwill series team has a somewhat long history, however, this is only the second time they have come to size up against their Kiwi counterparts.

“The Goodwill Series started about 20, 30, some odd years ago.  It's a really wonderful, wonderful opportunity for the youth in California, (the) United States to come and play against different talent Asia, and of course now, in Australia and New Zealand,” said Murphy Su’a, coach of the American side.

Organiser from Goodwill and Baseball New Zealand saw the series as a way to develop the sport.

“They wanted to bring the Americans here to prepare the New Zealand team for the BCO, so, we're here,” said Coach Murphy.

Players from both teams have seized the opportunity to play and size up their respective counterparts.

“They're not here to play around. They're here to give us a good game,” said Dominic Elliot of the New Zealand side.

Coach Su'a says there are a number of benefits that the Good Will series brings to all involved in the tour.

“It's more like an Olympics type, so it's neat because now they have the pride of playing for their country - number one.  And number two, they get to meet other players of the same age group, and same levels and they build a bond between the two countries.”

The Goodwill team will be making their way to Australia tomorrow on the next part of their tour.