Coach confident of a strong showing
FIERCE competition may lie in wait but determined Andrew Carrall is has high expectations of his Far North Coast under-23 baseball side.
The region's representative side is one of five teams lining up for the Baseball Queensland Under-23 state titles, which start in Lismore tomorrow.
Some of the top young players from the Sunshine State lie in wait for Carrall's side at the three-day event, which promises some rapid-fire action.
Although he acknowledges a hard task is ahead of him, the coach is confident his team will put in a strong showing.
"If we don't come in the top three, then we have not done our job," Carrall said.
"Coming fourth or fifth means that we haven't turned up to play.
"It will be tough, but I think we have got some good players.
"It is up to the guys to put their shoes on and go out and play."
FNC was selected to host the event, which is taking place at Lismore's Albert Park, as it is affiliated to the Queensland administration for geographical reasons.
Carrall's side will get right into action at the tournament, starting tomorrow morning with a match against North Queensland.
Sides from Brisbane Metro, Brisbane North and Brisbane West are also competing in the event, which will feature round-robin matches over the first two days before semi-finals and a grand final on Sunday.
Carrall has been busy whittling his squad down to 13 players from scores of hopefuls for the contest, which aims to showcase the best developing talent in FNC and Queensland.
State and national level players will be involved and some captivating action is expected. Carrall said the opposition would be tough, but felt his side's quality roster could be important.
"You have to go into a tournament expecting hard teams and matches," he said. "When you don't, that's when you get beat.
"I think the experience we have will be important. We have a couple of Australian-level players and a couple of Queensland-level players as well. I am expecting us to have a tidy team and I think we can do well."
Tomorrow, 10am: FNC v North Queensland (Field 1); 2pm: FNC v Brisbane West (Field 2); Saturday: 1pm: FNC v Brisbane Metro (Field 2); 4pm: FNC v Brisbane North (Field 1).
Sunday, 9am: Semi-final 1 (Field 1); Semi-final 2 (Field 2). Noon: Grand final (Field 1).