28 Feb 2013

Sport: Samoa confident of competing at World Softball Champs

11:52 am on 28 February 2013

Samoa coach Chris Kohlhase believes his team for the World Softball Championships in Auckland is just as strong, if not better, than the side that finished fifth-equal nine years ago.

The 2004 Championships in Christchurch were the first and only time to date Samoa has competed at the elite event.

A handful of players from that side have returned in 2013, while some of the players have crossed the divide to play for New Zealand.

A former New Zealand representative himself, Chris Kohlhase says he takes it as a compliment that so many Samoan players have been picked in the Black Sox team.

But he still believes his squad will still be very competitive.

"We've got two sets of brothers in the NZ camp and Samoan camp so you can probably say there's a foot in each camp. The rivalry's very very big amongst the families as well - in the morning they will come and watch us and in the late game with NZ they will see them play. There's five guys from the Samoa 2004 team that are in there again this year so hopefully a few of these young guys from Samoa can keep on pushing their way."

Samoa complete their tournament build-up with a game against Colombia on Thursday before playing Great Britain in the World Series opener on Friday.