JACO Fourie loves his surfing paradise home in South Africa, but he is not looking forward to waving goodbye to Edgworth.
The 24-year-old has been taken aback by the warmth of his welcome during his two summers as the village club’s overseas player.
He knows his career with a sports construction and maintenance company back home means he cannot keep coming over indefinitely.
And he says he will miss his Bolton Association club when work takes over from the cricket full time.
But even then he does not intend cutting the ties completely.
“I come from a small, coastal, surfer-type town called Knysna on the Garden Route,” he said.
“It’s unbelievably beautiful and it’s a really laid-back way of life.
“There’s nothing bad I can say about it.
“Bolton is way bigger and I’m not used to the faster, business life.
“But I love it over here. The people at Edgworth Cricket Club: what a change they have made to me.
“They are a brilliant set of people and I couldn’t have asked to land at a better club.
“For someone who has never been away before, they have taken me in and looked after me fantastically.
“It is just an awesome club and I can’t imagine playing anywhere but Edgworth.
“I have a fairly solid job back home and it worked out that I could come last season and this season.
“It was a bit scary in the beginning but I will definitely be back. I work for a company that constructs and maintains sports grounds such as golf courses or football pitches.
“We did a lot of work for the World Cup in South Africa.
“Business is really booming in the summer and calms down in the winter which enabled me to come over here for the last two years.
“I will need to focus on my career in the future but I will come back here and play a bit more in the future, whether that’s next year or the year after.”
Fourie is disappointed with his own start to this season, but is determined to lead Edgworth up the table from their current 11th place, beginning today at Walshaw, and spark success in the cups which sees them host Little Hulton in the Cross Cup tomorrow and face Greenmount in the Lancashire Knockout shortly.
“Our aim is to definitely have a good cup run and hopefully finish in the top six,” he said.
“We have a really young side and we dropped points against teams we thought we could have done well against.
“Thankfully that was early in the season and we can make up for it.
“I have not had that good of a start to the season but hopefully I will get a few more runs and take a few more wickets.”
The highlight of Edgworth’s season so far was professional Liam Watkinson’s 123 not out against Golborne last week, a performance which impressed Fourie.
“Liam is a really good mate of mine,” he said. “We have been netting together and it was great to see him get that big score.
“The thing about it was it was effortless, he didn’t give any chances and it just showed what a good player he is.”