Lisburn unveil South African Koopman as new overseas professional

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Amidst the flurry of moves around and into the NCU Premier League, Lisburn have announced that Gionne Koopman will be their overseas professional for 2016.

Koopman is a 24-year-old all-rounder who has recently debuted for the Warriors franchise after impressing for Border this season.

An opening batsman who bowls off spin on a regular basis in the first-class game, Koopman will enjoy a second stint in the UK after an excellent season in Manchester in 2016. He will replace Cody Chetty at Wallace Park.

A Lisburn club spokesman said: “We believe Gionne will slot in well to our set up with his coaching background, and we felt it was important to have a batsman who could offer something with the ball.

“Cody Chetty was a great guy for us, a really solid batsman, but we felt we needed that extra bowling option as well. Gionne’s agent, Gary Hunt of CricIntro, recommended him to us on those terms and we look forward to seeing him in 2017.”

Lisburn have gone back to basics, indicating that Koopman will likely be their only signing of the winter. Steve Lazars has departed to Coleraine North West, but they hope to see a bit more of James Magowan in 2016.

The spokesman added: “Steve was a late recruit last season and took the opportunity at Lisburn to enhance his profile, as he is entitled to do. We hope that Gionne can work with our up and coming young squad, and continue the developmental work that we have been undertaking recently. With captain Adam Berry and his brother Mark Berry both in the winter plans of the Knights we feel that our team is starting to mature and Gionne should bolster that going forward.”