Central Firebirds baseballers daring to dream of Little League glory

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE Central Firebirds are daring to dream of playing in the Little League World Series in America.

The Firebirds are one of seven West Australian teams in the running to represent Australia in the international junior baseball competition that is televised on ESPN.

Before they can book their flights, they will need to negotiate the State Championships at Easter to earn the right to participate at Under 12s national level in Lismore, NSW.

Joining them in the competition will be the Coastal Bay Sharks, Eastern Phantoms, Northern Metros, Southern Titans, Southern Hills and Swan Aces.

The top five WA teams will compete in Lismore in June.

Firebirds team manager Michael Muller is confident that his little league team can go far in the competition.

“We have a very strong team and we have been training hard,” he said.

“Our head coach Glen Tovey believes this one of the best little league teams that he has had the privilege of coaching.”

The Firebirds, formerly the Sluggers, are a charter team made up of top players from the Willetton and South Perth baseball clubs and are a development team for younger players in State tournaments.

They have competed as part of the metropolitan charter for nine years.

Tovey said that the championships were a wonderful opportunity for the kids to represent their families, the club and the charter and was optimistic heading into the competition.

“We tend to go in with a sense of expectation, we believe that we have a good chance in getting to the finals and winning the state championships, so long as we play to our potential and execute when we need to”, he said.

The West Australian State Championships will be held at Mateljan Park in Madeley over five days starting Thursday, March 29.

Should the Firebirds progress to Lismore and win the National Championships, they will then qualify for the World Series and compete in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania in August.

For Muller, it would also be a dream come true with his son, Solace, part of the team.

“It’s been Solace’s dream to go to Williamsport for the Little League World Series ever since he found out about the tournament four years ago,” he said.

“It is one of the pinnacles of little league baseball for kids around the world where they play games in a stadium in front of 30,000 fans.”