COLOUR CHANGE: Queensland representative Josh Routledge will play for WA at the Under-19 national championships.
COLOUR CHANGE: Queensland representative Josh Routledge will play for WA at the Under-19 national championships. Rob Williams

Softballer handed nationals lifeline by WA

JOSH Routledge knew his chances of cracking the all-conquering Queensland Under-19 softball team were slim, but he is still keen to prove those selectors wrong when he lines up for a different team at the national championships in Sydney next month.

Fresh from his second-consecutive selection in the Queensland U17 side, Routledge narrowly missed out on a representative double with the U19 team.

"The 19s squad is almost the same as it was last year, and they're reigning national champions, so it was always going to be a hard task," Josh's father Dwayne said.

However the 16-year-old received a carnival lifeline when Western Australia coaches came calling looking for a fielding all-rounder.

Josh fit their specs perfectly, and thus the Redbank Plains teen will make an appearance at Blacktown on January 20 as he originally hoped - albeit in different colours.

"When I got named to the (Queensland U19s) squad I didn't expect to make it," he said.

"(Playing for WA) will be a different experience. It should be good fun."

Before the January 20 start at Blacktown, Josh still has playing duties in the maroon and white with the Queensland U17s on January 4.

Josh said the group hopes to go one-better than the grand final defeat to NSW suffered at the same tournament last time out.

"We mercied every game through the rounds, and then lost to NSW in the grand final," Josh recalled of the previous U17s carnival.

"I think we'll do pretty well this year. We expect to do the same as last year, but hopefully we're more prepared for NSW this time."