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O'Gorman returns with added experience
10/08/2017 9:50 PM ET
Connar O'Gorman is on-song ahead of another season with the Adelaide Bite.
Connar O'Gorman is on-song ahead of another season with the Adelaide Bite. (Graphic - Amy Kershaw)

A player who can fly under the radar, Connar O'Gorman has grown considerably in the ABL, and as the New Zealand international enters his fifth season there is a lot more to look forward to with the Adelaide Bite, proudly presented by SA Power Networks.

The 23-year-old joined the Bite in at the tail end of the 2014/15 season after making a handful of appearances with Brisbane, and since then he has become a regular starter amongst the Bite line-up.

Now he is 15 games away from his 100th regular season appearance and will bring experience as an assistant coach with New Zealand's Cal Ripken team.

"I knew I wasn't going away this winter [to play], I was just having a winter off so I applied for the assistant coaching role at the New Zealand Cal Ripken team," O'Gorman explained.

"They emailed me back to say I can have the job and went from there. We went to Branson [Missouri] and it was a really cool experience.

"It was a lot different for me going from playing to coaching but it was cool to be around that and learn a bunch of stuff from coaching that I can put back into playing."

While the team itself came away from a challenging international group without a win, they finished the tournament on a high with victory over Iowa. In a country with less than five million people, where baseball is truly a minority sport and even sits behind the more popular softball, O'Gorman has been one of the rising stars in a current generation of professional players.

"Every year they're getting better and better, and growing," he said.

"Their numbers are going through the roof. For the senior squad we're going to be a young team but we're going to be competitive and play some decent baseball."

"Hopefully we can qualify for a world tournament at some stage and we'll go from there."

Returning to our side of the ditch, Adelaide has embraced O'Gorman with open arms and every time he returns from his other home in the Gold Coast, this is the place he knows he belongs.

"Adelaide's more home for me than anywhere in Australia and it's a cool place to live," he said.

"With the Australian guys its always the same group of guys and that's good to be around; you come home and know what the feeling's going to be like."

Despite being in his early 20's, O'Gorman's work as a catcher means he often acts as a natural leader and with consistent seasons under his belt he has found added maturity on the field, and off. As a former catcher himself, Bite Manager Chris Adamson is full of praise for the ever-evolving player.

"Connar has become an extremely important part of our club," Adamson explained.

"His versatility has been crucial the past couple of seasons, with time at first, second and also behind the plate.

"He has developed into a real leader, particularly with how he goes about his business, and that is extremely evident in his transition into coaching at Junior levels."

His regular home is behind the plate as catcher, however it is likely we will again see O'Gorman spread throughout the field and possibly at second where he spent most of last season.

Regardless of where he plays, it is all good fun although he does have his reasons for enjoying catching more.

"It keeps you in check and you have to keep working at different spots," O'Gorman said.

"It's cool to move around and help the team out that way. Catching you're a bit more involved and the mental side of catching is what I enjoy."

Heading into the season he will better find out what his role is but it is unlikely he will be too worried as long as he gets a chance to play.

"I'm pretty relaxed," he said.

"It's not anything too different from my normal personality. I get here a little earlier than most guys and sort of float through the day, and take my time."

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.