LOVE TO PLAY: Toby Neilsen has impressed on the softball pitch.
LOVE TO PLAY: Toby Neilsen has impressed on the softball pitch. Contributed

Softballer gives it his all for the team

WHEN TOBY Nielen is wearing his softball glove he puts it all on the line for his team.

This year he has been a valuable member of his Wide Bay side and Toowoomba Devils club team and has exceeded all expectations for his first season in the sport.

"I enjoy hitting a ball and it is something I didn't know so I gave it a go,” he said.

"I want to try to get higher up and get to the Queensland team, that is the next thing I want to do.”

Toby plays a key role for the Devils under-13 and U15 teams as catcher.

"It's not that scary because I do know I am protected with everything but it does get tiring especially playing two games and in the heat,” he said.

"I like the U15s because it is more challenging and the balls are faster.”

His coach, Gina Simpson, credits his ability to step up and give it his best shot.

"For someone who had never played before he has taken to it like a duck to water,” she said.

"Catcher is not a fun position but he has taken it on and taken it seriously.”

Simpson asked 11-year-old Toby to sit on the bench for the U17 Devils side and while he was not required to play he jumped at the opportunity with no hesitation and was keen to get out on the field.

It is this attitude that Simpson believes will see him have a bright future in representative softball.

"He is always prepared to get out of his comfort zone for his team,” she said.

There is no doubt the Blackbutt State School student is dedicated to his sport travelling to Toowoomba when he can for training.

He is determined to keep working hard towards his goals and already has big plans for 2019.

He will play in the Toowoomba team at the U14 boy state championship in April at Noosa.

He is looking forward to the opportunity to play against his Wide Bay team mates and challenge himself against the best players in the state.

South Burnett

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