First class coaches confirmed for Summer Slam

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As the inaugural Summer Slam – Fully Loaded Softball Series approaches, the men and women calling the shots for the Panthers, Fury, Bandits, Riot, Lightning and Emeralds have been confirmed.

Laing Harrow will add coach of the Panthers to his resume after being appointed Head Coach of the Travelodge Aussie Spirit.

The International Softball Federation Hall of Fame member said he’s looking forward to going toe-to-toe with his fellow coaches and is also keen to see how his Travelodge Aussie Spirit charges fair against one another in the exciting new format.

“I’m looking forward to taking up a Head Coach role with the Panthers, I’d like to think I’ll have a pretty good idea of the other team’s Australian talent once they’re confirmed,” said Harrow.

“The international element in the teams might throw me a little but it’s fantastic to have some of those girls stay for another week to play in Sydney.

“Every opportunity our players can get to play against top-level talent in an Olympic qualifying year is really important, so the Summer Slam is going to be great for us in that respect.”

Heading up the Emeralds will be Kerrie Porter who has over 12 years’ experience coaching at the highest level, most recently with the U19 Australian Girls team.

Four-time Olympic medalist and recently inducted into the Sport NSW Hall of Champions, Melanie Roche takes charge of the Riot while a regular fixture at the top level of the men’s game, WA’s Geoff Coultas, directs the Lightning.

The well-credentialed Queenslander Kevin Jenkins has been appointed to the Bandits and finally, the formidable left-handed pitcher Andrew Kirkpatrick will attempt to coach the Fury to the inaugural Summer Slam title.

Chief Operating Officer at Softball Australia Chet Gray said Softball Australia is confident the selected coaches are a perfect fit for the exciting new tournament.

“We’ve got great confidence in the coaches we’ve appointed to each team in The Summer Slam – Fully Loaded Softball series,” said Gray.

“All of the coaches come with a fantastic background in both playing and coaching so we’ve got no doubt we’re in for a competitive three days at Blacktown International Sportspark.”

The inaugural Summer Slam – Fully Loaded Softball will be played at Blacktown International Sportspark from 4-6 February 2019 and broadcast live on FOX SPORTS Australia from 5:00pm – 10:00pm each day.

Tickets start from just $10 for adults with ages 18 and under admitted free. Visit Eventbrite to purchase tickets.

Ben Utting