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Seven from this province named to national senior men's softball squad

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Seven of the 17 players officially named Tuesday to the Canadian senior men’s softball team for next year’s world championship are from this province.

On top of that, two of the three coaches are also from Newfoundland and Labrador.

The team will represent the country in the 2019 world men’s fastpitch softball championship June 13-23, 2019 in the Czech Republic.

Canada is coming off a bronze medal from the 2017 worlds which were held in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.

“Selecting the 2019 men’s national team was a very difficult task, as there are many deserving players in our athlete pool, which proves the future is bright for 2019 and beyond,” national team coach John Stuart of British Columbia said in a news release.

“With our starting middle infielders not available in 2019, our coaching staff really had to build this team position by position, including reserves. It was important for us to ensure we built a team not only with great leadership and team chemistry, but also with players that are willing to accept defined roles.

“As a coaching staff, we feel that with our pitching, hitting, defence and depth, we have a team that will not only contend for a medal but put Canada back on top in 2019.”

Stuart is assisted by John Hill of St. John’s and C.B.S. resident Les Howey, who hails from Saskatchewan.

Of the players named to the team, Kyle Ezekiel of Holyrood is a newcomer to the squad, although he did play with Canada in the 2019 Pan American Games qualifying tournament last September in the Dominican Republic. Canada came up short of winning a berth in the 2019 Pan Ams in Lima, Peru.

Ezekiel joins his brother, Brad, who is back with the squad.

The other six players from this province named to the team — all veterans from the 2017 worlds — are brothers Ryan and Shane Boland of St. John’s, Sean Cleary of Harbour Main, Jason Hill of St. John’s and Freshwater, Placentia Bay native Steve Mullaley, now living in Ontario.

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