Today the New Zealand Men’s Open Club Championships commence, with 17 teams from around the country vying to be the best club in the country in the four-day event which ends this Sunday.
However, being the top club isn’t the only focus for all players at this week’s competition, held in Rosedale Park North in Rosedale, Auckland.
Black Sox head coach Mark Sorenson said recently that it’s the final chance for hopefuls to impress him before he announces his squad for the Softball World Cup held in Prague this coming June.
“We always have a responsibility for the future to get the guys some exposure,” says Sorenson, “So there will be some conditioned and prepared athletes that are ready now and some might be ready down the track.”
The Ramblers are the defending champions in the competition and are looking to win again. Player and coach Nathan Nukunuku, who is also the Black Sox captain, will do everything he can to help his side bring it home.
This year’s tournament is divided into two pools, with the Ramblers in the same pool as Howick, Porirua City United, 2016 national champions Hutt Valley Dodgers, Poneke Kilbirnie from Wellington and 2018 runners-up Papanui.
Auckland United have eight Black Sox representatives in their side including the three Māori brothers, Campbell, Ben and Thomas Enoka.
Round robin games commence today with the grand final held this Sunday afternoon.
Ramblers - Auckland
Poneke Kilbirnie – Wellington
Howick – Auckland
Papanui – Canterbury
Porirua City United – Wellington
Dodgers – Hutt Valley
Marist – Auckland
Albion – Canterbury
United – Auckland
Roosters – North Harbour
Johnsonville – Wellington
Northcote – North Harbour
Parklands Christchuch United Devilds – Canterbury
Miramar – Wellington
Marist – Hutt Valley
Otahuhu – Auckland
Island Bay – Wellington