The U-23 WBSC World Cup is done and dusted, and our neighbours across the ditch have secured yet another world title. Now, it is time to reflect on New Zealand’s campaign with Major Sox Head Coach Steven Deans. 

Steven, can you please share some insights from your domestic preparation through to your experiences at the world cup?

“I have to start off by complimenting the players for their commitment to local trainings. The boys did everything asked of them from fitness to game specific trainings. I’m appreciative of the help received from outside team Management with people helping with their preparation. Craig Wallace and Hennie Shannon were two in particular that helped once our season had finish.”

“Having our Club Nationals 2 weeks before our departure was ideal and assisted our preparation immensely. The challenge was the quality of the ball we experienced from week to week. The warmup games were a great lead in and gave us the standards we needed to reach to be competitive at the world cup.”

“I’d have to say the culture developed by this group of men was a key strength of this team. It was built up over many years with the squad playing for and against each other at numerous events. In turn it helped develop a team of tough and resilient softballers. These attributes are critical to being successful at this level. In addition, the speed, short game offensive skills, and aggression along with good softball IQ provided an extremely resilient and competitive team highlighted by the 4-1 win over Australia in pool play.”

“The World Cup campaign was fantastic! When you include our three days of warmup games, our preparation towards game one was as good as it could be. Whilst starting our game preparation two and a half hours out was difficult, the boys adjusted themselves well both mentally and physically for the start of every game.”

“Whilst our goal was to always make the super round, which is a pass mark, not being able to make a medal game was disappointing. However, the campaign was a great experience for coaches, management, and players and one that all parties have learnt a lot from.”

“Key learnings for me would be the need to seek out high quality opposition leading up to the event. Maybe participate in a full NZ trial and or tests a year out with Australia or Japan. 9 days of softball at this level is mentally challenging and I would seek more education on mental and physical health.” – Steven Deans.

Click here to view the WBSC U-23 Men's World Cup website. 



New Zealand U23 Major Sox Team 

Latest News