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Bandits' boss up for challenge
Nilsson excited by national team opportunity
06/13/2018 1:47 AM ET
Brisbane Bandits' manger David Nilsson has been appointed manager of Team Australia in the lead up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (C) SMP IMAGES/ABL MEDIA
Brisbane Bandits' manger David Nilsson has been appointed manager of Team Australia in the lead up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (C) SMP IMAGES/ABL MEDIA (SMP Images)

David Nilsson took the Brisbane Bandits to a new level when he returned as manager for a second stint in 2014, now he aims to do the same with Team Australia.

Nilsson will take the helm off the national team after winning three-straight Claxton Shield titles with the Bandits, adding to his 2003 title with the Queensland Rams.

The 48-year-old helped transform Brisbane into a powerhouse of the modern-day Australian Baseball League after they failed to reach the playoffs during the first five seasons.

Nilsson said there were similarities between the role with Brisbane - when returned for a second stint as manager - and Team Australia.

"You can draw some parallels, coming in and having a new opportunity to work with some good players and try to achieve a level of success that hasn't been experienced for a while," he said.

"I'll be drawing on my journey over the last five to eight years with the Bandits as I deal with this journey I'm going on with the national team. 

"A coach always takes experiences with them from one position to another position, naturally."

The former MLB All-Star is confident the culture Brisbane has built over the past few years can be mirrored at a national level.

"It's about people, it's about relationships, it's about making the most of the individual and encouraging them through the journey," Nilsson said.

"The competition we're going to come up against is going to be a little bit stiffer than I've come up against in the ABL, but the principles will stay the same.

"I'm going to want everyone to try and row the boat together.

"Sometimes along the way we're all going to make mistakes, but we have to own mistakes, admit it and apologise and get back in the boat and start rowing again."

Nilsson - a two-time Olympian and silver medallist at Athens 2004 - returned to the national team setup as hitting coach for the Japan Series in March.

He said the experience fuelled his excitement to work with players he had opposed as manager of the Bandits in the ABL.

"I love coming up against the guys and I love watching them from the other dugout," he said.

"You see things differently and I am always trying to learn about them, not just as a head coach, but as a supporter of the group.

"It's been vital for me the last four years that I've had the pleasure of managing against them and watching them and seeing players develop right before my eyes."

Team Australia is chasing success at the 2019 Premier12 tournament as it looks to book its berth at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

David Nilsson took the Brisbane Bandits to a new level when he returned as manager for a second stint in 2014, now he aims to do the same with Team Australia.

Nilsson will take the helm off the national team after winning three-straight Claxton Shield titles with the Bandits, adding to his 2003 title with the Queensland Rams.

The 48-year-old helped transform Brisbane into a powerhouse of the modern-day Australian Baseball League after they failed to reach the playoffs during the first five seasons.

Nilsson said there were similarities between the role with Brisbane - when returned for a second stint as manager - and Team Australia.

"You can draw some parallels, coming in and having a new opportunity to work with some good players and try to achieve a level of success that hasn't been experienced for a while," he said.

"I'll be drawing on my journey over the last five to eight years with the Bandits as I deal with this journey I'm going on with the national team. 

"A coach always takes experiences with them from one position to another position, naturally."

The former MLB All-Star is confident the culture Brisbane has built over the past few years can be mirrored at a national level.

"It's about people, it's about relationships, it's about making the most of the individual and encouraging them through the journey," Nilsson said.

"The competition we're going to come up against is going to be a little bit stiffer than I've come up against in the ABL, but the principles will stay the same.

"I'm going to want everyone to try and row the boat together.

"Sometimes along the way we're all going to make mistakes, but we have to own mistakes, admit it and apologise and get back in the boat and start rowing again."

Nilsson - a two-time Olympian and silver medallist at Athens 2004 - returned to the national team setup as hitting coach for the Japan Series in March.

He said the experience fuelled his excitement to work with players he had opposed as manager of the Bandits in the ABL.

"I love coming up against the guys and I love watching them from the other dugout," he said.

"You see things differently and I am always trying to learn about them, not just as a head coach, but as a supporter of the group.

"It's been vital for me the last four years that I've had the pleasure of managing against them and watching them and seeing players develop right before my eyes."

Team Australia is chasing success at the 2019 Premier12 tournament as it looks to book its berth at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.