Ballarat City Brewers will not field a senior team in the Baseball Victoria summer league this season due to a lack of numbers.
Player availability has been something the club has struggled with in recent seasons, but equally it has enjoyed some good times in the competition – winning a premiership and finishing runner-up over the past five years.
However, the club has made the call to take a step back this season in a bid to return in some capacity soon. Club stalwart Leigh Ashmore, who has been involved with the Brewers for 27 years, was disappointed by the news but is confident this is a short-term approach.
“We’ve been struggling with player availability through the summer months over the last couple of years. The commitment required to play in Melbourne, if guys can’t do that, there’s no point putting sides in,” Ashmore said.
“The workload for people that work a 9-5 job, it’s really hard to give up a whole day to go to Melbourne.
“It’s very disappointing from a club perspective. We felt the effects of it last year with a number of guys pulling out due to commitments and that flowed on through the grades and it really effected the club as a whole...we didn’t want to put people in the same position again.
“It’s only a short-term thing, we were traditionally a winter club and we played our best baseball and had our best participation rates in the winter.”
The club will meet to discuss options moving forward at its annual general meeting over the next two weeks.
The club will put all of its focus into the junior program, which Ashmore will help-out with in a coaching role. Ashmore said it was hugely important to nurture the young talent through and keep them involved in the game to ensure setbacks like this do not occur in the future.
“That’s our main focus.
“Our junior program has got better and better over the last few years.”
AGM in a couple of weeks