The oldest baseball club in the UK which is based in Liverpool is eyeing a successful campaign in 2022.
Liverpool Trojans have a rich history and are one of the stalwarts in the baseball sphere.
And Trojans general manager Ian Blease says he has confidence in he his team going into the new campaign.
He said: “I still think we’ve got the best individual players.
“The likes of John Birchall and Rob Vondy are real difference makers to any team.
“I think we’ll do well. I think we’ll get to the play-offs.”
The Trojans also have a growing rivalry with the club’s second team, the Twojans.
Blease spoke highly of their partner team:
“I think the biggest threat to our first team might be the second team and I mean that with no disrespect to the other teams in the division.
“Our second team won the double A championship last year so they are the defending champions of this league.
“They will not want to surrender that to anybody, especially not the noisy neighbours.”
However, one fixture that will not appear on the year’s schedule will be against Cartmel, an old rival of the Trojans.
“Unfortunately, Cartmel, one of our longest standing rivals couldn’t recruit enough players and they had to fold and it’s a real shame.”
The Trojans’ first game of the season is away to the Sheffield Bladerunners 2 on May 8.
Ian touched upon the unique set-up that the South Yorkshire side adopt.
“Sheffield Bladerunners over the past few years have adopted a different policy to most teams.
“Rather than having a first, second, third team, they’ve spread the talent out a little bit and have had some real competition between their teams.”
On a positive note, the club have adapted well since the UK’s Covid restrictions were lifted.
Ian was delighted to say that his team have had plenty more time to prepare:
“We’ve been able to have a proper pre-season schedule.
“A lot of the guys have been training together since mid-January so we’ve been making a ton of progress.”
Around the UK, baseball is attracting more and more female attention.
In fact, the Great Britain’s women’s national team are competing in their first tournament later this summer.
However, the Liverpool Trojans are struggling to find female players.
Ian spoke passionately about his interest in branching out to a female audience. He said:
“This year we’ve had maybe three of four expressions of interest from female players.
“I think we almost need to put on women specific sessions so that women feel comfortable to come along. Especially if it’s something they are trying for the first time.
“We would absolutely love more women involved.
“We’d love to be a part of that story that’ happening at the moment.”
Gaining exposure for upcoming seasons was something that Ian had numerous ideas for. One of which was to build a hub for baseball in Liverpool.
He said: “What would really help is a purpose-built facility.
“What would really help would be if we were to get all baseball and softball activity into once place and get regular activity of most days of the week.
“If we had this facility, I know we’d be able to do this.”
(Top picture, courtesy of Liverpool Trojans Baseball Club)