The 21-member Czech National team is getting ready and keeps training hard for the peak of the season, for some players, it may be also the peak and a end of their careers. There are only 17 spots on the Championship team, though.
Experience and responsibility
We could have actually seen that at last year’s exhibition where Team Europe stood against the team of New Zealand. The European selection was represented by four Czech players. First, we can take a look at the “holy trinity” of fielders - Patrik Kolkus, David Mertl andVáclav Svoboda. They are by far the most experienced players on the Czech team. And if there’s someone to lean on, it’s definitely them.
The Championship that takes place in Prague (and Havlíčkův Brod) will not only be the peak of their season but also their careers. Kolkus is the oldest and most experienced player on the team with the most European and World Championships. Furthermore, he can play both the outfield and infield. David Mertl is the team captain and an expected number one catcher. Václav Svoboda has not only been a great infielder, but also the best batter on the team. If he maintains his last year’s form, then it’s perfectly enough. He really shined at the Team Europe exhibition game, and also at the Intercontinental Cup.
The fourth player who fought against New Zealand was Michal Holobrádek. He’s one of the younger players, and - most importantly - a number one on the pitching plate. A young boy-scout who wears the colors of Havlíčkův Brod has shined at the ISC tournament in the United States last year where he got by well in this international competition, he was awarded The Rookie of the tournamnet. Jaroslav Breník and Jonáš Mach or younger pprospects Marek Joska and Michal Bala will have his back this summer.
But we can find a lot of talent in the infield too. Other than Svoboda, Matouš Kasal, who closed the final game of last year’s European Chamionship with a walk-off home run, Tomáš Petr, Jiří Korčák or Mikuláš Klas will also get their time in the spotlight. Other catchers that the team has as alternates are Tomáš Klein and Lukáš Fiala from the Czech leading team - Tempo.
The latest Czech National Champion - Tempo - will be represented in the outfield. Hot candidate for one of the three positions will definitely be Petr Vácha - an experienced fighter. Patrik Kopečný, Marek Malý, and Michal Kolůch have also already gained some experience at different championships. And Jiří Nezbeda, originally from Most, will also have no problem in the in- or out- field, for sure.
Not to miss the rookies of the squad, we need to mention Daniel Černý and Jonáš Hajný.
The date of the final nomination is getting close. The final line up for the World Championship will be presented on May 6th.