Canberra Cavalry catcher and local product Kyle Perkins has been a part of the Canberra Cavalry team since the side was born in 2010 but believes the side now has the missing puzzle piece to bring the Claxton Shield back to the nation’s capital for the second time.
The 27-year-old has seen many people come and go and many things change over the past eight years, but with a new ownership structure, a redeveloped ballpark, and a partnership with a Japanese baseball powerhouse, the Cavalry are poised to make a charge for the title.
The Cavalry finished runner-up last season, losing a heartbreaking Championship series 2-1 to the Brisbane Bandits who claimed a historic three-peat but the Cavs will look to go one better and kick the Bandits off their perch with the help of their new recruits.
“Anytime we can bring high-quality players into the Canberra Cavalry to join our already strong force, is a fantastic opportunity for us to do really well in the ABL,” Perkins said.
“The Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) is super strong and it is as strong if not stronger than the MLB at this point in time. The Japan national team is number one in the world so we are expecting some pretty high calibre talent to come to Canberra.”
Two Baystars imports will play for the Cavalry next season but it remains to be seen which players will make a home in the nation’s capital before the first pitch is thrown in mid-November.
Perkins said the last eight years had been a “long road” for the club but said they are in a “really good place” heading into the ABL’s ninth season.
“Depending on who they send, it could really strengthen our team,” Perkins said. “We are already a strong unit because we recruit very well and we are always competitive on the field, so any help that we can get from the partnership is awesome for us.
“The redevelopment is going to make the atmosphere that much better and this partnership is hopefully going to draw more people to come out and watch us and back us to win the Claxton Shield.”