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Cavalry out to rediscover Claxton form
Imports Murphy, Grening back; local stars healthy again
10/28/2014 11:50 PM ET
Steven Kent pitched in 43 games in his first three ABL seasons.
Steven Kent pitched in 43 games in his first three ABL seasons. (SMP Images/ABL Media)

With the 2014/15 Australian Baseball League season opening play on Thursday in Brisbane, TheABL.com.au will be previewing each club entering the league's fifth fixture.

CANBERRA, 29 October - Dethroned by Perth in February, Canberra are once more primed to compete in the new season. Manager Michael Collins' squad will keep their Asia Series trophy after the tournament's cancellation this season, and they hope to once again pair it with the Claxton Shield.

The Cavalry boast one of the league's most intriguing players entering 2014/15. Toronto Blue Jays import Anthony Alford, a third-round MLB Draft pick of the Jays in 2012, is set to focus solely on baseball after playing both on the diamond and on the gridiron for his US college in recent years. Alford has only played in 25 career Minor League Baseball games but hopes to benefit from an increased workload in the capital.

Cavalry cult hero Jack Murphy is back for another ABL season behind the plate, and his fellow Cavalry import veteran Brian Grening will return to the capital this season, as well.

The capital city's team added four talents from the league's inaugural Australian Player Draft in August. Veteran pitcher Tristan Crawford (QLD) returns to the Cavs along with outfielder Adam Silva (VIC), infielder Kieran Bradford (QLD), and first baseman Scott Hillier (QLD).

Local stars like pitcher Steven Kent and catcher Robbie Perkins hope for improved health and consistency to make another charge toward the Shield. The Cavs also will reacquaint themselves with pitcher Tim Atherton who is back in black and orange after a season with the Sydney Blue Sox. Atherton pitched in 19 games for the Cavalry from 2010-12.

With a bye week for the season's first round, the Cavalry will open 2014/15 with a rival series. The Sydney Blue Sox come calling from 6-9 November in the first installment of this season's battle for the Hume Highway Cup.

Tyler Maun is the ABL's staff writer and a contributor to MiLB.com, the Official Site of Minor League Baseball. Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun. This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.