The five-day, eight-team tournament will take place 15-19 July in Varazdin, Croatia, where Team GB will face Poland, Switzerland, Belarus, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia and Croatia. The winner of the tournament will advance to next summer’s Junior European Championships.
The team for 2014 promises to be the most prepared Junior National Team that GB have sent to a European Qualifier following a winter that has included not only Academy and National Team practices, but is also bolstered by the introduction of the new High Performance Academy.
The High Performance Academy programme, which is funded by Sport England and supported by Major League Baseball, enabled eligible athletes in England to receive greater level of support during the winter. Practices were run three times a week in the Brighton/Horsham area and players who lived farther afield accessed support through a distance learning programme.
The Junior National Team have also be been honing their game instincts by taking part in the newly organised Great Britain All Star Series and will complete preparations this weekend with two games against the GB Lions and Southern All-stars. This will then be followed by a three day preparation camp in Farnham Park that will include team practice and an additional four warm up games against Old World Baseball, a team of university bound US High School graduates. It is expected that Old World Baseball will provide stiff competition for Team GB ensuring that the team will be more prepared than ever for their return to European Competition.
When asked about the roster and Team GB’s chances this summer, Coach Lintern said “We have a very strong team. This is the most prepared group of young men we have ever had, their commitment and dedication puts us in a great position to win the tournament get back into the European Championships”
|Luke Armstrong||P / INF||Cartmel Valley Lions|
|George Blaskett||P / OF||Hove Tuesday|
|Dexter Bohn||P / OF||London Mets / LYBL Bulldogs|
|Rich Brereton||P / OF||Darien High School, CT, USA|
|Jake Caress||C / OF||Herts Falcons|
|Jacob Dean||P / OF||Bracknell Blazers / LYBL Bulldogs|
|Juan Diaz||INF||London Mets|
|James Dix||INF / P / C||London Mets|
|Thomas Everex-Armstrong||P / INF||Herts Falcons|
|Johnny Fretheim||C / INF / P||Bracknell Blazers / LYBL Bulldogs|
|Andrew Lee||INF / OF||LYBL Bulldogs|
|Miguel Rodriguez||INF / P||Bracknell Blazers / LYBL Bulldogs|
|Matt Tarrant||P / OF||London Mets|
|Joe Taylor||INF||Bracknell Blazers|
|Callum Vinall||C / INF||Bracknell Blazers|
|Will Zucker||P / INF||Herts Falcons|
Head Coach Will Lintern returns to manage the Junior National Team for the fourth consecutive year. Also returning are General Manager, Phil Edmonds (fourth year) and Assistant Coach, Jarrod Pretorius (second year). Joining the staff for the first time will be Alan Dean as the team’s athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach.
Alan ‘The Machine’ Dean has been a long standing member of the Team GB Coaching staff, supporting the winter off season programme and serving as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at the High Performance Academy. Alan has had previous tournament experience with the GB Senior Men’s National Team at the 2012 World Baseball Classic Qualifier, the 2009 Baseball World Cup and a number of European Championships, but this will be his first tournament with the Junior National Team.