Stacey McManus chosen in Aussie Spirit squad for 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifier

Green and gold: Caringbah's Stacey McManus has been chosen in the Australia squad vying for qualification to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Picture: John Veage
Green and gold: Caringbah's Stacey McManus has been chosen in the Australia squad vying for qualification to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Picture: John Veage

Stacey McManus has been named in Australia's 20-woman squad entrusted with securing qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Aussie Spirit will travel to Shanghai, China for the WBSC Asia/Oceania Olympic qualifier to be played between September 24 and 28.

The squad will head to Japan to undergo preparations before being cut to 15 for the qualifier.

The top six national teams from the Asian Softball Cup final standings and the top two ranked national teams from Oceania will play for the last spot in the softball competition in Tokyo.

The host team, China, was seeded as the first team in group A while Australia have been placed alongside the top-ranked nation Chinese Taipei, Indonesia and Hong Kong in group B.

McManus, from Caringbah, played her 100th game for the Aussie Spirit in February last year.

Stacey McManus. Picture: John Veage

Stacey McManus. Picture: John Veage

Softball Australia have sent the Aussie Spirit squad to compete in the National Pro Fastpitch league in the US for the last two years with 30-year-old McManus enjoying another strong season.

The league is made up of six professional teams which include a mix of US and international talent, including the Beijing Shougang Eagles made up of China's open women's team.

Australia head coach Laing Harrow said the grueling 46-game schedule had given his players an ideal preparation for the qualifier.

"The coaching staff and I were able to try out a few things over the course of the season and give ourselves a good idea of what we can improve on between now and the qualifier," Harrow said.

"Most importantly, we were able to get a great look at the Chinese national team.

"They beat us for a spot in the Asia Pacific Cup Final in Sydney earlier this year and went on to win that and they'll be tough again in the qualifier.

"So the nine games we were able to play against nearly their full-strength team throughout the NPF is the perfect preparation."

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