With the 2024 British Baseball season just around the corner, the New Forest Baseball Club is gearing up for another year of growth, on and off the field.

Following a successful debut season, which saw the Thunder Knights make the South West and Wales League playoffs, the club has seen membership nearly double over the winter. A second team has been formed, and the ‘New Forest Thunder’ will play as a team separately to the ‘New Forest Knights’.

The majority of last year’s squad are staying together and playing for the Thunder, but the club have also made a couple of experienced additions. Shannon Hall brings a long history of success in British Baseball to the team, as well as his knowledge of the game, which has led to his appointment as Head Coach of the club. Steve Steele and Simon Schwarz have also joined, along with a number of Southampton University’s high performing team.

Following these additions, the British Baseball Federation has seeded the Thunder as a AAA team for the 2024 season. This means that the majority of the team will perform at two levels above any standard of baseball they’ve played before, presenting both a huge challenge and an opportunity for growth.

New Forest Thunder Manager, Warren Doyle, said:

‘The number of new players we’ve taken on over the last few months is a testament to the positive ethos and welcoming nature of our club. 

‘I’m really pleased to see so many people getting involved with the sport for the first time, and we’re really looking forward to getting the season underway.’

Off the field, the club has been sponsored by local Engineering firm, Calcinotto. The Poole based company provides expert services across the public and private sector, with a portfolio that includes some of the most impressive buildings across the south coast. Their generous support will enable the club to invest in the equipment needed to support the ever growing team.

Alongside this, the Twin Bill have continued their game ball sponsorship with the Club for the year. The US baseball magazine will sponsor the balls that the Knights use on match days throughout the year, an incredibly generous gesture which helps cover the ever increasing cost of baseballs in the UK.

The season gets underway for both teams in April, with the Knights set to play teams from Cardiff, Bristol, Bournemouth, Weston, Taunton and Cornwall in the South West and Wales Single A division. With the Thunder being promoted two levels, they will play against Cardiff Merlins AAA, the Bristol Badgers and Bracknell Inferno in the BBF South West division this season.


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