GYMPIE softball player Dean Bull has been identified has one of Queensland’s brightest talents.
Bull played for Maryborough in a state association carnival in Toowoomba in April and although his under-15 team finished sixth from a field of 11 teams, he caught the eye of selectors for a special talent ID squad.
The softball player is now one of 33 members in the special squad and will attend a three day camp between June 25-27 in Redcliffe.
Bull expected to find out within a few weeks of the Toowoomba carnival if he was selected for the talent ID squad, so when he didn’t hear anything for a while he just thought he had missed out.
But just as he moved on from the disappointment, a letter arrived in the post congratulating him on his selection. It was news worth waiting for.
Attending the camp will be a selection of top Queensland coaches and officials. Normally, the camp would be used to prepare players for national competition.
However, being in the under-15 age group means Bull won’t be eligible for national competition this year.
Softball Queensland spokesperson Nikkie Molandel said the camp would instead be used to prepare players for next year should they be eligible in the under-17 age division.
“Although Dean won’t be able to play in national competition, the camp is a great opportunity for all the players selected to take part,” she said.
“They will be able to show off their skills in front of coaches and if they impress, it may open up opportunities further down the track.”
The Australian women’s softball team will be overseas competing but a number of players from the Australian men’s team will be at the special camp.
“The Australian men’s team won the World Series in Canada last year for the first time, so what a great chance to rub shoulders with those players,” Molandel said.
The first two days of the camp will focus on skills and training drills while the last day will see participants play games.
Molandel said it was important players had a chance to put their new skills into a game situation.
“It’s a bit of fun as well but making the transition from a training session to a game is very important,” she said.
Dean’s brother Jordan was also in the under-15 Maryborough team but missed out on making the squad, together with fellow Gympie player Brad Nissan.
Dean’s mum Maree Bull, proud of both her sons’ efforts, said Jordan and Brad played up an age group and did “extremely well”.