Nagoya, the Aussies are here – Day 4 Recap


Author: Baseball Australia Media/Saturday, 3 March 2018/Categories: News, Events, Southern Thunder

A lighter day engagement wise for the team saw a number of players taking in some of Nagoya’s most popular attractions.

Sydney Blue Sox reliever Todd Van Steensel visited the Nagoya City Science Museum, while former MLB pitcher Travis Blackley took in the breathtaking Nagoya Castle, which was built in the early 1600s.

The first engagement for the team took place in the early afternoon, as both the hitters and pitchers conducted meetings regarding the tactics and plans for the upcoming games.

Hitting coach David Nilsson preached a simple and clear approach among the hitters, while pitching coach Graeme Lloyd emphasized the need to be 100% invested in each and every pitch.

After the team meetings, Team Australia manager Steve Fish was accompanied by starting pitcher Travis Blackley at the official press conference at the Nagoya Dome, which featured Japanese manager Atusnori Inaba and starting pitcher Kohai Senga and upwards of 50 members of the Japanese media.

At the press conference, Fish was asked about the aim of this particular Australian team.

“Ultimately, the end goal is to qualify for Tokyo 2020,” Fish said.

“In the short term, we’re looking for our young squad to gain more experience on the international stage.”

For a number of Australian players, this was the first time they had experienced a domed stadium – and the experience was unforgettable.

Prior to practice beginning, MLB All-Star Dave Nilsson and two-time World Series winner Graeme Lloyd addressed the entire squad, with a special emphasis on the players wearing the uniform for the first time on the international level.

Nilsson made a clear emphasis on the level of respect required to represent Australia.

“There’s a lot of generations who have come before you, it’s important we respect and acknowledge them,” Nilsson said.

“There’s also 24 million people back home that you represent, and while you’ve always been part of the team as an Australian, you now get the honour to wear the uniform on the international stage.”

Multiple members of the Japanese media were present as the hitters put on an impressive show in batting practice, with Luke Hughes and Boss Moanaroa both showing some solid power.

Tonight, #2020OurJourney begins in earnest as Australia take on Japan in the first of two exhibition games.

Australian fans can join #2020OurJourney by tuning in LIVE on FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA. Check your local guides for broadcast information.