Former Black Sox player Thomas Makea of Ngāti Kahungunu is back to lead the New Zealand Junior Black Sox team.
Makea has been at the helm since 2013 and will strive to take his team to the top, with the world cup only 18 months away.
Success is something he's already familiar with, winning two silvers and a bronze medal in 3 campaigns; Canada in 2014 and 2018 and the USA in 2016.
"I am very honoured to be given this opportunity to be named as the Head Coach of the U18 junior men’s programme. After three stints at the helm of the U19’s team I still feel that I have more to offer to young up and coming softballers around the country. I am looking forward to working with this younger group and helping to develop not only good ball players but good young men."
Makea will name his first 2020 World Cup training squad in early February.
Former Black Sox Thomas spent twenty years playing for the national team from 1994-2014.
Last year Makea and son Reilly took to the pitch together with Papanui at the Men's Softball National Championships in Wellington.