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Giants get second team in Intercity

Jesse Neumann is one of four promising players to switch to the second Giants team in the premier three championship. PHOTOS/FILE

SOFTBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

The inclusion of a second Giants team in the Intercity Premier Three championship will be a massive boost for the club’s promising young players.

Giants president Chris Feary is thrilled to get a second team into the Intercity premier three.

Giants president Chris Feary confirmed on Wednesday that Intercity Softball had accepted the club’s proposal to enter a second team in the combined Wellington-Hutt Valley competition after he had approached the organisation several weeks ago about the possibility.

The Masterton club tried to enter two teams before the Intercity premier three championship started, but that was rejected by Intercity Softball. The competition got under way with nine teams, meaning there was a bye.

That forced Giants to enter their second team, mainly made up of older players, into the Hutt Valley Presidents Grade, where in the past, Giants have endured numerous defaults, especially when games were scheduled for Masterton’s South Park.

Already this season, the team had been defaulted to once in their four games because Hutt City United would not travel over the Remutaka Hill to play.

Feary said the second team was too serious and competitive for the socially-orientated Presidents Grade, so they contacted Intercity Softball about the chance of stepping in and filling the void caused by the bye.

Intercity Softball agreed that the second team could go into Premier Three after Christmas, and the club has accepted.

“The committee passed it, the team have agreed, and we don’t want to be in the “Pressies”, so it’s good all around,” said Feary.

The premier three team will be known as Giants Blue, and the promoted team will be called Giants Red, who will be boosted with the inclusion of at least four players from the ‘Blues’.

Julian Ellmers and Thomas Kawana have already played for the Presidents team and will be joined by Riley Hanson and Jesse Neumann in the ‘Reds’.

Giants Blue player-coach ‘Chunky’ Karaitiana will have a squad of 15 players.

That will leave ‘Blues’ player-coach Justin ‘Chunky’ Karaitiana with a squad of about 15 players and give all the club’s up-and-coming players plenty of game time instead of some sitting on the bench.

Feary said the move will be good for the development of the young players, and both teams will be competitive in the combined championship.

“Both teams are good enough, and if Intercity wipe all the points and keep all the other teams in the premier three grade, I wouldn’t be surprised if Giants are one and two.”

The revised competition is likely to get under way with the first game on December 18.

In Saturday’s games, all to be played at South Park, Giants Blue will look to continue their unbeaten run in the first round of premier three when they host Totara Park Gold, who have registered just one win from their six games.

The Presidents will have their last game in the Hutt Valley presidents grade against Totara Park, the women are at home to Demons in the Hutt Valley Major B Championship, and the Under-15s take on Dodgers Mini Ds.

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