Josh Roberts’ 10-day trial with Japanese club Fukuoka Softbank Hawks did not earn him a contract offer.
Josh Roberts’ 10-day trial with Japanese club Fukuoka Softbank Hawks did not earn him a contract offer.

Roberts not turning Japanese, yet

JOSH Roberts’ baseball trial in Japan ended unsuccessfully but don’t ask him why.

He still doesn’t know.

“I didn’t get a job,” Roberts said.

“It didn’t work out how I would have liked it.”

Roberts was offered a 10-day trial with Fukuoka team the Softbank Hawks on the back of the Ipswich slugger’s form for the Brisbane Bandits in the Australian Baseball League.

While Roberts felt he acquitted himself well, the Hawks management obviously did not think he was what they were after.

“I thought I performed pretty good,” Roberts said.

“I guess it wasn’t what they were looking for.”

There was no explanation why he wasn’t offered a contract or what he needed to do to secure one.

“They’re pretty quiet,” he said.

“They keep their cards close to their chests.

“I’m pretty disappointed but that’s how it goes.”

It was an eye-opening experience for the 24-year-old, both on and off the field.

“We were training every day,” he said.

“You’d get up at 8am and go to the field and get home about 5pm.

“I only played one game.

“I hit the ball hard, it just didn’t go where I wanted it to.”

However, Roberts can’t believe he was judged on the one game alone.

“I’m pretty sure it didn’t come down to those four at-bats,” he said.

“They watched my games with the Bandits.

“I’ll try again next year and see how I go with the Bandits.”

Roberts did get the chance to experience Japanese culture and was impressed by what he saw, making him keen to earn another shot.

“It’s a lot different,” he said.

“Cold.

“They’re very nice people.

“They do everything for you and treat you like superstars.

“They train a lot more than we do here or in the States.”

While Roberts is disappointed to miss out, his rejection means he can finish the season playing for home club the Ipswich Musketeers, who sit second in the Brisbane Baseball Pacific League, and resume training with the Norths Tigers in the Ipswich Rugby League where he knows he will be valued.



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