WHILE most youngsters are enjoying their summer holidays, Michael Gahan of Lismore has been working hard as he prepares for the AAA Australian National Youth Baseball Championship in Geelong next weekend.
Gahan comes from good baseball stock with his grandfather, uncles and father all having played representative baseball for Queensland and, at times, Australia.
Far from resting on the laurels of those before him, the young pitcher has been forging his career from an early age.
Gahan's first venture into respresentative baseball came in 2007 when he travelled to New Zealand with a Queensland side to compete against New South Wales and the Kiwis in Auckland.
His performances caught the eye of coach Bob Nilsson, who also had charge of the Australian Little League side that competes in the Cal Ripkin World Series in the United States.
Nilsson gave Gahan his first taste of international baseball that year and he took to it with enthusiasm.
The past 12 months have been a milestone for the youngster.
He gained a scholarship with the Major League Baseball Australian Academy on the Gold Coast and was selected in the Australian AA Under-17 team that contested the world championship in Mexico.
Gahan pitched Australia to a 9-7 lead over the US, giving up just two earned runs while striking out three batters in 4.1 innings.
He also belted two hits from his three at-bats and scored a run.
Gahan travels to Victoria this week to join the Queensland Under-19 team when it takes on Australia's best from January 7 to 18 at the Geelong Baseball Club.
While confident in his past performances, he recognises that every tournament is a challenge and a stepping stone to a potential professional career - here and in the United States.
His uncle, Matt Gahan, led the way for his nephew in the early part of this century when he reached AA level in the New York Mets organisation.
With more Australians (nine) than ever reaching the Major League in 2011 and the Australian Baseball League providing greater exposure and opportunities for contracts, this baseballer is firmly committed to achieving a goal only 31 otherAustralians have attained - Major League Baseball.
And as a Boston fan, pitching at Fenway Park with the Redsox would be about as good as it could get.