Newcomer: David Jones

 

Every so often, someone with a special talent emerges on the scene. On his performances in the past season, David Jones, 18, certainly seems to have the recipe for success: he led Ireland to a historic first-ever victory in the European boys' championship, captained Britain and Ireland to victory over the continent of Europe in the Leglise Trophy match and, for good measure, also won the Irish, Connacht and Leinster boys' titles.

The City of Derry prodigy also produced one of the shots of the season on his senior debut in the Home Internationals at Royal Porthcawl when using a driver off a downslope, and into the teeth of a gale, to finish six feet from the flag in his singles match with Welshman Morgan Palmer. That Ireland were eventually edged out by England in that particular contest was a relatively minor blip on his season.

Intriguingly, Jones gave an insight into his character when he remarked: "I remember anyone who beats me." Jones, who has completed a two-year B-Tech course in Sports Science, turned down scholarship approaches from two American colleges with strong Irish connections (Toledo University and East Tennessee State) and plans to compete in all the major senior championships next season, including the British Amateur at Royal Co Down.