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CSNICC announce two new signings for 2016


Civil Service North of Ireland Cricket Club (CSNI) has announced the signings of Alan Blain and Dylan Agnew.

In addition to these new signings, Jason Van Der Merwe has also committed his future to the club.

Alan Blain will be familiar to many and is crossing the city from Cliftonville CC where he played for 10 years from the Under 15 team to the First XI. Dylan Agnew, 19, who is from Durban in South Africa, will be making his playing and coaching debut in Ireland. Dylan played 1st XI and 2nd XI cricket for Pinetown CC in the KSN Premier League and is a qualified coach with experience coaching in a range of schools in Durban.

New signing Alan Blain said: "I am very excited to have the opportunity to play premier league cricket with one of the NCU's top clubs, after many years at Cliftonville I felt that the time was right to step up to play premier league cricket. I am looking forward to the challenges and hopefully the many successes that lie ahead this season."

Speaking about the signing of Alan, Club Captain, Andrew Cowden said: "I'm delighted to secure the signing of Alan. Alan will bolster our seam bowling options, as well as adding to the depth of our batting and he will contribute to us improving in the field. There is no doubt that he has a lot of talent with the bat, ball and in the field and hopefully we can nurture this talent and allow Alan to be a consistent performer in the premier league. I know he will enjoy the challenge that premier league cricket brings."

Club Chairman, Ivan McMinn, said: "Alan is very welcome to CSNI. As the statistics prove, Alan brings with him a vast amount of experience and success. I wish Alan even more success at CSNI and am in no doubt that he will be a very strong addition to the 1st XI squad."

Speaking about the signing of Dylan Agnew, Andrew said: "I'm delighted that Dylan is joining CSNI. I believe this is a great opportunity for a young guy to come over and develop his game, experience a high standard of cricket in different cricketing conditions, as well as experiencing a different culture. Dylan will add to the strength and depth of our 1st XI and I'm excited to see what he has to offer. I'm sure he will have a great experience with CSNI and I'd like to wish him a successful season."

The Chairman commented: "We are really looking forward to Dylan's arrival in early April. Notwithstanding his mere 19 years of age, Dylan brings with him an impressive array of cricketing success and we are not only anticipating that he will contribute well on the pitch but that he will also add real value to our wide array of youth and school coaching programmes. We will keep him very busy over the summer months in his coaching role, however we will also ensure that he will be able to maximise his experience by seeing around Ireland in the coming months."

Jason Van Der Merwe, who has been with the Club for three seasons, winning the Challenge Cup and T20 Cup in 2014 is now looking forward to his fourth season with the Club. During his time at the Club he has scored 1440 runs at an average of 27.17 and taken 42 wickets at 16.74 (excluding T20).

The Captain said: "I'm delighted that Jason has committed to CSNI, he is a very important member of our 1st XI and a major part of our plans going forward. Jason had his best premier league season with us last year, relishing more opportunity with the ball and won our 1st XI Player of the Year award. I know Jason wants to further improve on his outcomes during the 2016 season with both bat and ball and I hope he has a very successful season which will be of great benefit to CSNI."

Ivan commented: "It is simply great to have such a young and maturing talent like Jason at CSNI. I genuinely believe that Jason will build on his 2015 performances this season - something which he fully deserves and which will bring not only personal success to Jason but also result in success reverberating right through the club. I never take for granted the positive impact that watching Jason in full flow, either with the bat or ball, can have on our junior members."

Alan and Dylan become the second and third new signings for CSNI in the close season with Graeme McCarter having signed for the Club just before Christmas.