Player happy to be back
Jerome Haretuku has gone through the most traumatic experience of his softball career and come out the other side.
The Marist softballer was axed from last year’s world champion squad by coach Eddie Kohlhase just days before the March tournament.
But the young Aucklander staked a claim for re-selection into the Black Sox last month with new coach Mark Sorenson overseeing his first camp at the Trentham army base.
Haretuku was sensationally dropped when captain Rhys Casley aggravated a shoulder injury and became a doubtful start for the event.
Kohlhase opted to bring in specialist cover for his infield position and had to make room on the roster for that newcomer.
Haretuku, 26, was simply the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time, he says.
‘‘At the time, it was quite hard. My focus went on to helping the team do whatever had to be done to achieve our goal – to win the world title.
‘‘My job was to make sure the boys stayed focused and help them wherever I could,’’ he says.
With many retirements from the team and only two years to groom replacements, Haretuku is an immediate contender for the Black Sox.
Haretuku says it will be a learning experience.
‘‘Mark played for New Zealand as a teenager so he’s got years and years of experience. It will be good to pick his brains and learn everything I can from him.’’
Gearing up: Jerome Haretuku is hungry to play softball for New Zealand again.