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Islanders could rejoin NBSBL but need some people to assist them

The Charlottetown Gaudet's Auto Body Islanders clash with the Saint John Alpines today in a doubleheader. First game begins at Memorial Field in Charlottetown at 4 p.m.
The Charlottetown Gaudet's Auto Body Islanders hit the field for a New Brunswick Senior Baseball League game in this file photo.

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The hunt is on for a head coach, some volunteers and sponsors to get the Charlottetown Gaudet’s Auto Body Islanders back on the field in 2019.

General manager Peter McDonald provided the New Brunswick Senior Baseball League with an update at its meeting Sunday in Moncton after the Islanders took a leave of absence in 2018 due to a lack of committed players.

“It’s looking promising but there’s different hurdles that need to be (cleared),” McDonald said he told those at the meeting.

McDonald said the league was very receptive to his presentation and to the team’s position.

“They definitely want to see us back in the league, but they do understand it’s a costly venture for the Island team,” he said, noting the travel costs and bridge fare.

RELATE: Click here for April's story on the team taking leave of absence.

McDonald said he has a good core of senior players and graduated junior players willing to play as much as possible given their work schedules, but that’s only part of the equation.

“I’m not going to be taking it on unless I get numerous volunteers to help me and we're going to be needing more support from businesses to fund the team,” he said Wednesday, noting it requires about $32,000 to run the squad annually.

In past years, each player had to raise $500 and take part in other fundraisers through the year. The players essentially give up every weekend from Victoria Day to the playoffs end in September.

McDonald will have to give the league a final decision at its Feb. 16 meeting. Anyone willing to help is asked to email McDonald pjmcdonald@pei.sympatico.ca.

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