Musketeers US recruit ready to slide into top gear
THE Ipswich Musketeers resume their Major A season against Surfers Paradise tonight at Tivoli.
While US import CJ Jacobe is bound back home for season-ending surgery, the Musketeers newest addition Kris Richards is itching to get back out onto the Tivoli homeground.
"Everyone is coming back from holidays but we got back into it last week,” Richards said. "The guys have been amazing and it's been so nice to be welcomed by such a family centred club.
"I only got to play a couple of games before the break so I haven't had a chance to get a real feel for things yet. I'm looking forward to getting back out there.”
The Musketeers were forced to wait for their prize import after Richard's extensive travelling flagged him for an FBI background check.
Finally given the green light after taking the Czech Republic national side to the World Baseball Cup in Mexico, Richards said he was fitting in well with his new Australian teammates.
"I've been travelling non-stop for the last three years now which is why the FBI wanted to do a background check before letting me go,” he said. "The guys here have been playing together forever and they do everything together.
"It's a lot like the team I had in the Czech Republic and I'm enjoying every second of it. I have four more months left and it's comforting to know that everyone has your back here.”
With Ipswich currently sitting in third place on the ladder, tonight's clash with the sixth-placed Surfers will reignite the Musketeers hopes of reaching back-to-back grand finals.
Disappointed to see the back of fellow American Jacobe, Richards knows the Musketeers have a big void to fill in the dugout.
"It's a real shame CJ has to go back because he was absolutely smashing it,” he said. "He's a really big hitter and I know the guys will miss him.
"Hopefully he can come back again next season. I know he wants to come and try his luck again soon.”
Tonight's game starts from 7.30pm at Tivoli.
Ipswich Musketeers v Surfers Paradise from 7.30pm tonight at Tivoli.