SYDNEY, 12 August - This month, the Perth Central Firebirds will be given the opportunity of a lifetime; competing at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, USA. For the first time, Australia has been given automatic entry into the Little League World Series, and the Perth Central Firebirds, as national Little League champions, have won the chance to compete against other teams from around the world.
The team is made up of fourteen players and coached by Glen Tovey, Jim Ivester, and Wayne Sheldon. Tovey has coached baseball for over ten years and been a Little League coach for six of those years. He enjoys coaching because he is helping young people improve their life skills, as well as build their confidence. Tovey calls himself a custodian of baseball and travels to the Little League World Series with his son who is also a player on the team.
The Perth Central Firebirds have been training and playing together for ten months now and have a strong sense of camaraderie, unity, and a belief in a common goal. They were undefeated in the National Championships, scoring 89 runs over the series and only giving up ten.
To prepare for the Little League World Series, they have been practicing hard, as well as watching footage of past World Series games. The team has also been holding bonding sessions and giving each other nicknames.
They have also put together a 'game plan' which include their keys to success. They mapped out early on how to accomplish their goal of winning the Little League World Series. They currently only have one more goal in the game plan to achieve: 'to win the Little League World Series'.
This once in a lifetime trip is fully funded for all teams by the Little League World Series. Our first ever World Series Australian team will leave Perth on Thursday evening bound for Williamsport and a world of excitement. While they aren't playing baseball, the team would like to catch a Major League Baseball game, visit the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, and even support their fellow Australians at the Cal Ripken World Series in Aberdeen, Maryland. However, their first goal will be to beat Mexico in their first game, which will be carried live in Australia on ESPN2 August 16 at 7:00am AEST.