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Jacobs signs up for 2007

David Johan Jacobs, known as "Davy" who was Carrickfergus Cricket Club's overseas professional/coach in 2005, has been re-appointed by the Club for the 2007 season. The highly rated 24 year old South African batsman plays for the Eagles franchise which is based in Bloemfontein, Free State, and has represented South Africa A. He returns to Carrick determined to make up for his early departure in 2005, when he picked up an injury that forced him to return home after only three league matches in which he revealed little of his considerable talent.

Davy has already built an impressive cricket CV since making his first class debut for his native North West Province in 2001 and scored his maiden century in only his fourth 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 to 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 Muttiah Muralitharan. He enjoyed two more productive seasons with North West Dragons before the new franchise system was introduced, reducing the number of sides playing at the highest level from eleven to 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.

After recovering from the injury that forced him to return home early from Carrick, Davy opened the batting for South Africa A in a one day match against the New Zealand touring team, and also played in a 4 day match against the tourists. Another excellent domestic season culminated in him being selected for the South African team which participated in the Emerging Players' Tournament in Australia in July 2006, which they won, defeating the host country in the final. Davy had another good start to the 2006-07 domestic season, but his season was then ruined by a wrist injury which required surgery, and resulted in him being sidelined for 12 weeks. He is now restored to full fitness and looking forward to returning to Carrick in April. He is also a Level 2 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 again be accompanied for part of his stay by his wife Lizelle, who is a schoolteacher, and members look forward to welcoming them both back, in what promises to be an exciting season for the local Club.

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