Coaches, trials confirmed for New Zealand U18 side

Coaches, trials confirmed for New Zealand U18 side
Kris Richards will manage the New Zealand U18 side for the U18 World Cup Qualifiers in Guam in January while the trial dates to make the team have also been set.

The Auckland Tuatara representative will serve as the side’s head manager while Daniel Tan, Toshiki Nakao and Scott Drinkwater will comprise Richards’ staff.

Tan has been a national coach at various age group levels and has spent the past two summers as part of the Tuatara coaching line-up. Nakao, from the North Shore club in Auckland, was named Baseball New Zealand’s U19 Coach of the Year earlier this month while Drinkwater gets the opportunity to be the team’s pitching coach having also been named head manager of the New Zealand U15 side. The experienced Mark Irwin will serve as the team’s executive officer.

Trials have been confirmed through the month of October. The coaching staff will see players in Tauranga on October 9, Hamilton on October 10, Wellington (Hutt Valley Sportsville) on October 11 and across two days in Auckland on October 15-16. The coaching staff will then attend the Nelson Invitational Tournament on October 25. Players form the South Island hoping to trial for the U-18 National team must compete in the Nelson Invitational.

“This potentially could be the most competitive U-18 National team Baseball NZ has ever assembled,” Richards said.

“Fifteen months ago, we identified 60 of best players both domestically and internationally. We have tracked their development of the past year, so I am very excited for the upcoming trials. “This will be a tough a selection process for our coaching staff. We will be forced to make some tough decisions. In addition, many of our Kiwi/Australian, Kiwi/American players have shown an interest in coming back to New Zealand to compete for a spot on the team. “The Auckland Tuatara is a big reason for this. And, who knows, maybe a few of these players will earn the opportunity to compete for a roster spot on the Tuatara.”

All players interested in trialing must register there interest on the Baseball New Zealand website.

U-18 Trial Dates


Time & Location: To be announced via email to all players who register.

9 Oct: Tauranga

10 Oct: Hamilton

11 Oct: Wellington (Fraser Park Sportsville, Lower Hutt)

15 Oct: Auckland (Pitchers/Catchers at Auckland University Epsom Campus)

16 Oct: Auckland (Position Players at Howick Pakuranga)

17 Oct: International Players Video Submission Cut Off Date (email:   

25 Oct: Nelson/CHCH/Dunedin/ South Island Evaluations at Nelson Invitational Tournament

Players form the South Island hoping to trail for the U-18 National team must compete in the Nelson Invitational

1 Nov: U-18 National Team Announced - 20 Players   - 5 Non-Traveling Reserves - 11 extended roster players

U-18 Tour

8 -13 Jan: Build Up Camp in Auckland

14 Jan: Depart for Guam

19 - 24 Jan: U-18 Qualifier in Guam

August: U-18 World Cup in Sarasota, Florida