TWO WORDS: Michael Ludkin put his team in a winning position with his speed and accuracy.
TWO WORDS: Michael Ludkin put his team in a winning position with his speed and accuracy. Mike Richards

Rising star named vice-captain of Junior Steelers

SOFTBALL: Gladstone's Michael Ludkin is receiving plenty of accolades.

The talented player, who can bat and pitch in a time of crisis like when he led the Queensland under-19s team to the Nox Bailey Shield at the National Softball Championships in Sydney earlier this year, has been appointed vice-captain of the Junior Steelers - Australia's national U-19 men's team.

The team will play in the Junior Men's World Softball Championships in Canada from July 7 to 15.

"Sh-- yeah it did, I was surprised and didn't think that I would get it," a happy Ludkin said when asked how he felt about his recognition.

Ludkin and his Steelers' teammates completed a three-day training camp in Canberra where he impressed coach Laing Harrow.

"It's also probably how I went at the nationals where I was captain and just communicating with the boys," Ludkin said of his reasons he got the nod as vice-captain.

Harrow said Ludkin and captain Dawson Summers deserved their roles.

"Michael has a very good work ethic and brings some World Championship experience which he can pass on to the rest of the group," he said.

"He is also a proven performer under pressure at nationals."

Ludkin is in Mackay where he has honed his skills in a tournament, after which he will continue to train and play in the Rockhampton competition every second weekend.

He will then turn his attention to a Fastpitch Championship League Pilot game in Brisbane on May 19.

"It's getting televised and my teammates Jeremy Waters and Riley James asked me to play," he said.

From that, players will be drafted into teams for a national competition either this year or early 2019.

Ludkin thanked his sponsors Reef City Plumbing, The Hose Shed and Gladstone Nissan and Hyundai and he is after more sponsors ahead of the trip to Canada. He can be contacted on