Josh Roberts
Josh Roberts Claudia Baxter

Mentor inspires slugger

WITH every step Andrew Campbell takes in his baseball career, whether in Ipswich, around Australia, or overseas, there is one person he'll always turn to.

Fellow Bandits and Ipswich Musketeers teammate Josh Roberts is as close to a sporting mentor as any young player could want.

Campbell first crossed paths with the former American minor league player at the raw age of 10, when Roberts became his junior coach.

Roberts was there again when Campbell made his A-grade debut at 16, and now the Bandits slugger even shares driving duties with his protégé as they travel to Brisbane for Bandits training.

"It began when he coached me when I was young but as I got older we became friends," Campbell said of his long-time mentor.

"He's gone from a coach to a mate but he has always been a mentor.

"I've always wanted to play with him."

With the Yamanto prospect preparing to return to the United States to further his American baseball career, you could forgive him for shifting focus to advice from coaches in the US.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

"Having him (Roberts) there the whole way has been beneficial to my game," he said.

"When he came back from America he implemented what he learnt into my game.

"Then when I was in America I always looked forward to coming home and hearing what he had to say."

So when the Ipswich connection steps on the field tonight against the Adelaide Bite, Brisbane fans will be hoping these two key Bandits batters spend some more time hanging out together, preferably at home plate.

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