Soren­son keen for more Black Sox dom­i­nance

The Dominion Post - - Sport - TONY SMITH

Reap­pointed head coach Mark Soren­son be­lieves the seven-time world cham­pi­ons Black Sox could be set for ‘‘an­other decade of dom­i­nance’’.

Soren­son – who guided the Black Sox to the world ti­tle in Canada in July – has been reap­pointed through to the 2019 world cham­pi­onships in Prague.

‘‘There’s an op­por­tu­nity, if we get these next cou­ple of years right, to set the Black Sox up for an­other decade of dom­i­nance in world soft­ball, like we had from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s.

‘‘We’ve got so much tal­ent com­ing through and we’ve got a great nu­cleus al­ready. It’s a strong team which now has the ex­pe­ri­ence of climb­ing the moun­tain.’’

Soren­son ex­pects most of the 2017 squad to be avail­able for Prague, al­though bat­ting great Brad Rona and vet­eran pitcher Karl Gol­lan have re­tired.

He said the Black Sox were with­out two ‘‘world-class play­ers’’ for the Canada fi­nal with in­fielder Jerome Rae­maki ruled out of the tour­na­ment af­ter knee surgery and star out­fielder Ben Enoka side­lined with a knee in­jury.

Once they were added to the cur­rent mix, the Black Sox would be even stronger, said Soren­son, who is en­cour­aged by the amount of young con­tenders com­ing through the na­tional un­der-19 and un­der-23 pro­grammes.

The Prague tour­na­ment will be his third world cham­pi­onships in charge. He took the Black Sox to the silver medal in Saska­toon, Canada, in 2015 and won gold in July this year at White­horse, Canada af­ter a 6-4 grand fi­nal win over Aus­tralia.

Soren­son will name a Black Sox train­ing squad early next month to pre­pare for Fe­bru­ary’s Chal­lenge Cup tour­na­ment at Al­bany.

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