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  • Peninsula Softball

Meet our U14 Dev Players for 2020

Updated: Dec 6, 2020

Peninsula Softball Club is proud to have seven Peninsula players on the Manly-Warringah Softball Association U14 Maroon Development Team.

These include from left to right: Jazzy Gorman, Abi Rowe, Alanna England, Marie Johnston, Roxy Armiger, Linda Armiger (Manager/Coach); and below: Lauren Allison

The girls were selected for the team after a rigorous trial process that included the three-day Australia Day weekend tournament in Canberra in January, followed by a delayed follow-up trial at Abbott Road in June.

The Maroon Dev Team is coached by Gary Peacock and Vanessa Garcia. Proud parent and Peninsula player Linda Armiger assists with the coaching and manages the team.

Four of our Dev Team girls played together last summer in the Div 3A Peninsula team, the Ballers. Jazzy joined the Dev team from the Div 3B Diamond Doves, and Lauren Allison has recently moved to Peninsula after developing new friendships with her teammates on the Dev Team.

The girls say they love playing just about any position, but if they had to choose, both Alanna and Marie prefer playing first or second base, Abi loves to pitch, play shortstop or in the outfield. Jazzy likes to catch and play shortstop. Roxy likes to pitch and play second base, and Lauren plays shortstop, catcher, and first base.

Roxy, Abi, Marie and Lauren have also taken advantage of opportunities with MWSA to develop their umpiring skills, and will take their Level 1 Umpire exams this coming year.

The Peninsula contingent bring a wealth of playing experience to the team, as well, with most of them playing since they were in Year 2, and a couple even starting in Kindy! They have all also had previous Dev or Rep experience with MWSA.

The girls say they love the friendships they develop playing softball, and getting to play different teams both in the Manly-Warringah summer comp but also when playing other teams from across the State in tournaments.

All agreed with Jazzy that they enjoy learning more about the important strategies you need to play softball, and the wide variety of skills you need to develop to be able to bat and field at different positions – the girls were pretty adamant that there were far more skills to learn than in a game like soccer!

Lauren noted she loves the camaraderie and support when playing in a team, and especially the Dev team. Like the others, she enjoys learning new skills and playing with girls who understand the game and really want to improve too.

Finally, the girls said they loved the adrenaline they get when they play and even though they often get anxious when stepping up to the plate, they love the challenge and the feeling they get when they do something really well – at bat or in the field.

In addition to managing the Dev Team, Linda Armiger also managed the Div 3A team the Ballers last year, and she plays, manages and assists coaching the Peninsula Eagles Blue Team in the women’s B grade division. Linda says she loves the sport of Softball and gets as much pleasure from playing as coaching it. She is particularly proud to be involved with the Dev Team, because she can see up close the girls learning and developing new skills. Linda also notes: ”Softball builds a great sense of comradeship, which I feel is so important, especially in the teenage years.”

There are so many great players across the MWSA, and so many great coaches, that the Association is usually able to form one or two Development Teams in addition to the Representative Team at each level. The Dev Teams get extra training on top of their Club commitments, and usually play 3-4 tournaments across the Sydney area with other Sydney and nearby Associations.

The playing standard and competition among Manly-Warringah girls for spots on the Rep and Dev Teams, along with the high-quality coaching and training the girls get, means that our Dev Teams often dominate against other Association Dev Teams at these tournaments and also give some of the other Rep teams a good run for their money.

Moreover, our Dev players are often highly sought after by other State teams who are short players for the State Championships. This year, for example, Abi Rowe and Lauren Allison have been asked to play with the home side Southern Districts Softball Association Rep Team. In addition, while Roxy Armiger has been picked to play in a special Invitational team put together by Softball NSW in recognition of her hard work in the face of cancelled warm-up tournaments.

The girls who have played for other teams at State usually love the experience they get and enjoy the new friendships they form with teammates from all around the state.

Unfortunately, because of covid restrictions this year, the team has not been able to play as much as normal, but have been trying to make up for this with local matches against the other U14 Dev Team and the Rep Team to sharpen their skills.

For more information about the Representative And Development teams and dates of trials, please check in with the Manly-Warringah Softball Association website.

Congrats to Linda and all the Peninsula girls! Keep an eye out for these rising stars of softball in the years to come....

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