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Edmonton Prospects hire former WMBL coach of the year as team’s new skipper

Pat Cassidy, the Edmonton Prospects' managing partner (left) is seen at a news conference in which he named Jordan Blundell (right) as the Prospects' new coach. Global News

The Edmonton Prospects officially named Jordan Blundell as the baseball team’s new coach at a news conference on Monday.

“[There are a] lot of reasons why this wasn’t that difficult a decision and why we didn’t have to look too far to find our coach,” Pat Cassidy, the Prospects’ managing partner, told reporters. “We’re very excited to start this new chapter in Prospects history.”

Blundell, who was named Western Major Baseball League coach of the year with the Sherwood Park Dukes in 2008, has already been working with the Prospects in various other roles for the past year. Before returning to Edmonton, he coached at Vancouver Island University.

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“I’m excited,” Blundell told reporters. “This is a part of a dream in my career to get the opportunity to coach at home, to get to coach at RE/MAX Field, a ballpark I spent some time in as a teenager dreaming about playing professional baseball.

“As far as the WMBL, it’s important to me… having played in the league, coached in the league,” he said.

“There are professional players that have played in this league. It’s my job to try and find as many of those as I can.”

READ MORE: Edmonton Prospects player picked by Padres in 2018 MLB Draft

Watch below: (From June 2018) Erik Sabrowski is an Edmonton baseball player who pitches and plays first base for the Prospects. He was just selected by the San Diego Padres in the MLB Draft.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton Prospect now San Diego Padres draft pick' Edmonton Prospect now San Diego Padres draft pick
Edmonton Prospect now San Diego Padres draft pick – Jun 8, 2018

Cassidy said Blundell’s ability to bring talented players to the Prospects is partly why he was the perfect choice to be the new coach.

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“When looking for the right person for this job, it’s not just about coaching, it’s also about recruitment and having good connections in the baseball community,” he said. “that’s one of Jordan’s strengths.”

Blundell spoke about his goals for his first season as the team’s coach.

“The expectations are to make the playoffs. The expectations are to put a good product on the field, to bring excitement for the fans… The expectations are to be able to recruit leaders.”

Blundell takes over coaching duties from Ray Brown, who along with assistant coach Orv Franchuk did not reach a new deal with the team in the offseason after spending several years with the club and leading them to the league’s semifinals in 2018.

Cassidy said the team offered the coaches new deals.

“The offer was on the table, I thought it was a great offer, a fair offer and they just decided not to execute the option.”

READ MORE: Western Major Baseball League announces name change, new All-Star game

The WMBL is undergoing a name change ahead of the 2019 season. The league is now called the Western Canadian Baseball League.

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