Musketeers encouraging form facing Windsor test
THE Ipswich Musketeers could not have got off to a better start under new player-coach Josh Roberts.
The Muskets sit equal top of the Major League, with a four-and-zero record after the opening two rounds, proving their promotion from the Pacific League last summer was warranted.
But wins over Carina and Wests are one thing, playing the reigning champs on their home turf is another.
It is why this weekend's round against Windsor at Newmarket will provide the true gauge of where the Ipswich team stands.
"Very pleased," was how Roberts' take on his team's performances so far.
"It's probably what I expected. But I didn't think we'd click that early.
"But Windsor are the premiers so it will be a good test to see where we're at. They've got a couple more imports and I think all their guys are back."
That includes former Musketeers Shayne Watson and Aidan Fletcher.
It means Roberts will not be disappointed to see his team lose its undefeated status if they can split the round, with games tonight and on Sunday.
Roberts, who captained the Brisbane Bandits in the Australian Baseball League last summer, has pushed his Muskets squad to higher training standards.
He believes it has been the key to their success so far, with the Muskets shutting their opposition out with their defence.
"We had a few lapses in our last game (against Carina, which went into added innings)," Roberts said.
"It almost cost us.
"But if we can concentrate for nine innings we should go well."
Roberts has faith in his team's ability to do so because that's what they have trained for.
Most pleasing for the coach has been seeing some of the younger players, like Jake Suthers and Aaron Rosin set the standards.
"It comes down to mental application, which stems from training," Roberts said.
"If they can concentrate for two hours at training they can do it in a game.
"In the past we were training for two hours but just hanging out and not putting the work in. Now we're trying to fit in as much as we can."