The return of the Casals

Carlos Casal Sr greeting Kimiyoshi Saionji after his home run in the thrilling 12-11 win over the Essex Arrows in the 2010 NBL season

After a two-year hiatus, Herts welcomes back a dynamic family duo that had been a permanent feature at any Herts adult or youth league event. The Casal family, who reside in Hemel Hempstead, is coming back home.

After two years on secondment at the Harlow Nationals, Carlos Casal Sr. and Carlos Casal Jr. are coming back to grace Grovehill Ballpark again. Actually, Carlos Jr. has been playing for the Herts U17 team over the last 12 months (and of course he has been part of the Championship-winning Herts U14 team of 2010). They have both honed their skills, having played at the National League Level in the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

Carlos Casal Sr. will bring his inimitable hunger, competitiveness and drive that can fire up a team to come back from even the deepest hole and help a winning team keep its lead. His plate performances have always been characterised by perseverance and willingness to lay it all out, and he has not lost his touch, as evidenced by the respectable batting average he had with the Nationals (.382 in 2011 and .287 in 2012). And once he gets on base, he turns on the wheels with an aggression that gets him safe more often than not. And of course, he also brings in the diplomatic skills that make dealing with contrary umpires so much fun. Carlos is also a good team leader, as he has demonstrated having managed the Herts Hawks in the past. He will put these skills to good use as he has joined the Herts U-17 team coaching staff in 2013.

Carlos Casal Jr. is an undoubted up and coming talent, who has always impressed not only with his abilities, but also his work ethic. That has stood him in good stead, and Carlos Jr. has been selected for the GB U16 National Team. There is no task too big or goal to distant for him, and the extra experience at the Nationals will only serve to make him a better player and leader. Most importantly, he brings a charismatic ability to unify – you cannot help but like Carlos.

Although team selection is up to the managers, it would be great to have both Carlos Sr. and Carlos Jr. play on the same adult team in 2013. After all, Herts has a long tradition of father-son pairings, and that is one tradition worth keeping.

Last, but not least, the return of the Casals would also mean that we will be seeing more of Miriam and Mariana Casal at the ballpark. Mariana is already a member of the U14 team, and who knows, Miriam may get involved in the Herts softball programme.

One way or the other, the Casal machine is back in action at Grovehill.


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