GB Slowpitch Team Head Coach Steve Patterson has announced the 18 players – nine women and nine men – who will travel to Plant City, Florida at the end of January to try to win the third ISF Slowpitch World Cup.
The tournament will be played from January 23-26 at the International Softball Federation’s headquarters complex in Plant City, with eight or possibly nine teams scheduled to take part. The tournament will be played as a full round-robin, followed by playoffs.
With a number of senior players who featured in GB’s ninth straight European Championship win this past summer unavailable, the GB World Cup squad will give opportunities to nine players who have never formally represented Great Britain at European or World level, including some who were only selected to the GB pool after open trials at the end of September.
In his letter to the players who have been selected, Steve Patterson wrote: “At European selections, I challenged all players to develop themselves to be the next ‘must have’ player … [and] I was impressed with the effort put in…. For me, competing for GB is as much about attitude as it is about talent: a 100% commitment to compete, to develop and to win goes hand-in-hand with GB Softball.
“I am delighted,” Steve added, “that this World Cup team will be represented by several players who have come through the Development Programme, including a number of recently successful trialists…. It is an honour to wear the GB jersey at any time and the individuals selected will be doing so the most prestigious slowpitch competition in the World. Your representation in the GB programme is an honour, and a well-deserved one at that.”
The players selected for the 2014 Slowpitch World Cup are:
The GB staff at the World Cup, supporting Head Coach Steve Patterson, will be Sara Vertigan, Martin Cartledge, and Mike Ashley.
The following countries will compete in Plant City:
Turks and Caicos Islands
United States (two teams)
The ISF is still waiting for confirmation that an Irish team will attend.
The tournament in January will be the third ISF Slowpitch World Cup. The first was held in 2002 in Plant City and was won by one of the two squads that represented GB Slowpitch.
The second, also in Plant City, was held in 2005, and was won by The Clan from Scotland.
The third World Cup in January will be the best attended so far in terms of the number of countries represented, and the hope is that the ISF will now make the competition a regular event on its tournament calendar.