STEADY START: The Ipswich Musketeers take on Pine Hills in the third round of the Major A League competition tonight and on Sunday.
STEADY START: The Ipswich Musketeers take on Pine Hills in the third round of the Major A League competition tonight and on Sunday. Rob Williams

Slow and steady to win race

FRESH from his honeymoon overseas, Ipswich Musketeers coach/player Josh Roberts is back to doing what he does back. Competing.

Every year the Ipswich veteran swaps between playing the two sports he loves most, baseball for the Musketeers and rugby league with the Norths Tigers.

Two sports that don't go hand-in-hand, Roberts said the transition back into the non-contact sport of baseball had been made a little easier this year.

"The last two years Norths have made the finals so I've pretty much gone from rugby league one week to straight into baseball the next,” he said. "Unfortunately we didn't make the finals this year but that meant I had a whole month off really.

"It was good to have a bit more of a break and relax a bit.”

That month break included a wedding and honeymoon to Las Vegas so Roberts hasn't had too much time up his sleeve. Returning to the field last weekend, the experienced head can't wait to get stuck into another season.

"It was good to get away from everything and have a proper break for a while,” he said. "But now it's time to get back into it and work hard for another season.”

Returning to a few new faces in the Musketeers A Grade ranks, Roberts said the club was well poised to match their grand final appearance of last season.

"There are a few new blokes this year so it will probably take a few weeks to sort out our best line-up,” he said. "There's still a long way to go. It's a long season but with the group we have I think we should be as strong, if not stronger, than last year.”

Two wins and two losses from the first two rounds of the season currently has Ipswich in fourth place. Preparing to meet the third-placed Pine Hills this weekend, Roberts said he wasn't worried by a mixed start to the year.

"We generally have a pretty slow pre-season,” he said. "But I don't think that will hurt us in the long run because the season is so long.

"It's good to start nice and easy and just build on that. Two of our American players are with us now and we have one more on the way. That creates a lot of depth which the club hasn't had for a while and gives our juniors something to strive for.”

Game day

Tonight (7.30pm): Ipswich Musketeers v Pine Hills Lightning at Tivoli.

Sunday (1.30pm): Ipswich Musketeers v Pine Hills Lightning at Tivoli.