Jacobs leads Strathdale

LEADERS: Strathdale-Maristians Cricket Club president Richard Murphy, and captain-coach Linton Jacobs.
LEADERS: Strathdale-Maristians Cricket Club president Richard Murphy, and captain-coach Linton Jacobs.

A STAR with the bat and gloves last summer, Linton Jacobs will take on greater responsibility as coach and first XI captain at Strathdale-Maristians Cricket Club next summer.Jacobs said yesterday he was looking forward to the challenge of leading last summer’s first XI runner-up, and helping play a part in the on-going development of the Suns’ young stars.Family and work commitments meant that Craig Howard, winner of back-to-back Cricketer of the Year titles, decided to step down as the club’s first XI captain.“The match committee approached me to see if I was interested in a captain-coach role,” Jacobs said.“I was keen to have a go.”The appointment was ratified by the Richard Murphy-led Suns’ committee.“Linton has shown tremendous leadership in the past two seasons,” Murphy said.“We have seen him work on his development as a player, and he keeps on working.“Linton has played a key part in helping our younger players such as Jon Davidson, Jacob DeAraugo, Jaran McKay become important members of our first XI team.” Last summer was Jacobs’ best since he crossed to Strathdale-Maristians from Eaglehawk.Promoted to open the batting, Jacobs scored 547 runs, which included a club record 209 against Huntly-North Bendigo.His skill behind the stumps led to many dismissals, either caught or stumped, and being No.1 in the BDCA’s champion player award.Murphy said Jacobs would have plenty of support from the leadership group, which includes top-order batsman Dom Taylor as vice-captain.The play of opening bowler Ben DeAraugo will be crucial to the Suns’ aims of figuring in yet another finals campaign, and capturing the premiership shield.“Craig Howard and Andrew Price will be able to give plenty of tips, and the club also has one of its legends, John Neylon back as chairman of selectors,” Murphy said of strong support structure for on and off the field.Teammates in Strathdale-Maristians most recent first XI premiership win in 1994-95, Ben Smith and Ben Irwin will play on in key roles with the second XI next season.Lining up for a third season as president, Murphy said the club aimed to field a dozen junior teams this summer.A hot summer of BDCA matches will include an extended Twenty20 format, more representative matches, and the Suns striving to retain the Keck-Findlay Shield as one-day champions.