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Pro for 2005 is Davy Jacobs

David Johan Jacobs, known as Davy, a 22 year old opening or middle-order batsman, who plays for Free State Eagles in South Africa, has been appointed as Carrickfergus Cricket Club's professional player/coach for the 2005 season. Davy has already built up an impressive cricket C.V. since making his debut in October 2001 for his native North West Province, who play in Potchefstroom. He scored his maiden first class hundred against Gauteng in only his fourth first class match.

He is a graduate of the South African Cricket Academy, and their chief coach at the time, Hylton Ackerman said, "He was one of the natural leaders at the academy, a respected, stable guy. He's got a good attitude on the field and won't be intimidated by anyone. Some other kids want to make lots of money, or own fancy sunglasses or a car; Davy's burning ambition is o play for his country. His reward came when he was selected to play for South Africa in the Under 19 World Cup in New Zealand in 2002. South Africa reached the final (where they lost to Australia), and Davy was their most successful batsman, hitting three half-centuries in seven innings and averaging 46.

Davy continued to make steady progress, and in November 2002, he was selected for a young "Rest of South Africa" team to play Sri Lanka in a warm-up game before their series in South Africa. Davy hit 22 boundaries and 2 sixes in a superb innings of 146 off 177 balls, with 67 runs coming off 60 deliveries from Muralitharan.

He enjoyed two more productive seasons with for North West Dragons before the new franchise system was introduced, reducing the number of sides playing at the highest level from eleven o six. With North West amalgamated with the powerful Gauteng (as Highveld Lions), Davy decided a move at this stage would enhance his first class career. At the start of the 2004/5 season, he joined Free State Eagles, based in Bloemfontein, and their faith in his ability has been rewarded with some excellent performances for them this season.

In January 2005, Davy and his good friend Ryan Bailey, (with whom he played in the Under 19 World Cup and who also moved from Eagles to North West at the beginning of the current season), broke the record for the highest partnership by South African batsmen for the third wicket in domestic first class cricket. The two 22 year olds added 361 runs, with Davy's share being a career-best 218.

In February 2005, Eagles reached the final of South Africa's premier limited overs competition, the Standard Bank Cup. Davy's side found itself up against a powerful Titan's team, including one AB de Villiers! Titans batted first and posted a formidable 258 for 5 in their 45 overs, with AB top-scoring with 89. After progressing rather slowly to 79 for 2, Davy and Botha Dippenaar added 151 runs for the third wicket. After Man of the Match, Dippenaar, was run out for 92, Davy and skipper Nicky Boje saw their side home to victory with eight balls to spare. His contribution was 82 runs from 88 balls, finishing the game with a huge six off Justin Kemp's bowling.

Davy is also a qualified coach and has extensive experience coaching young players in South Africa, as well as having his own experience of the Academy to draw upon. Carrickferguc CC can look forward to the Club's many promising young players learning much from him in the coming season.

Davy will be accompanied by his new wife Lizelle, who he marries in April, and the Club looks forward to welcoming them to our shores, in what promises to be an exciting second season in Section One for the Club.

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