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Bowls In Focus : December 2009
(Duprez) and I had never even trialled together before they announced the team. I flew to Sydney and caught up to find out a bit about each other's game." Jacobsen is a major fan of the Queen's interna- tional sporting tournament where the former British Empire gathers every four years to compete on the fields of dreams alongside superstars such as Usain Bolt and Grant Hackett. "The Commonwealth Games is the pinnacle. I do rate it on top of World Bowls. I think the Common- wealth Games gives you more exposure. Every- body's there and there's plenty of hype about it," he said. At the most recent staging of the Commonwealth Games, when the bowls competition was conducted at Darebin, Jacobsen impressed many with another talent - television commentary. "I absolutely loved it. The guy who got me the gig with Channel 9 was the late Steve Boylan. I recently turned down a gig with Channel 10 so I could stay in the Australian squad and go around again. "I think it's easy to commentate on a sport that you know about. I got a few letters from viewers who told me I came across well. "If Channel 9 had been doing the Commonwealth Games in 2010 with the salary they paid me in 2006, I'd have no hesitation in pulling out of the squad," he added. The man who now plies his trade for Taren Point in the NSW Premier League and as coach of Moonee Ponds in the Premier Division here in Melbourne bristles at suggestions his on-green behaviour is anything out of order. "I think I am good for the game. I don't disrespect my opposition, I'm there to entertain, and I'm there to lead the way. Every time I go out to play I like to own the rink I'm playing on. I like to know I'm there in a vocal way or whatever way there is," Jacobsen said. And what about criticism of his handling of team- mates, that some casual observers may think his acid tongue is a bit cruel. "Sometimes I'm a bit hard on teammates, but there's those who sink or swim, and there's those that can cop constructive criticism. "You change over the journey of your life. I think I've mellowed in that area. When I first got into the Australian team I expected everyone to play at my level, and it took a long time for me to work out that this wasn't happening. "Now I'm a lot more laidback. At the end of the day they've done the best they can," he said. The man with no regrets does have one: that he couldn't share his glory with his parents. "The only regret I have is that my mum and dad arenotheretowatchmedoasmuchasIcanforthe country. "My dad got me into the game at Fitzroy. He was the champion a few times there. "I've got no regrets because I've had a magnificent career and it's still going. I've played the most times for Victoria with 429 games and I'm still only 41. I've played 125 times for Australia - eight gold medals and a bronze and I've missed for eight years when they didn't pick me," Jacobsen said. Jacobsen may have first had his name painted in gold letters on the Victorian honour board some 19 years ago, but he thinks his game is only just reach- ing its peak. Which means he may get even better in the next few years. "I won the state singles in 1990 after playing the game four or five years and I realised that I had a good chance to play for Australia. I was still playing cricket at the time for Fitzroy. "I reckon the last three or four years I've hit my peak, ever since I joined St Johns Park three years ago." The combination of Jacobsen's natural sales instinct and the world of bowls has landed him in an ideal occupation. "I've recently joined the BCiB, and I've been with them for nine months. (Managing director) Ian Hop- per is absolutely delighted with how it's been going in Melbourne. We've really kicked some goals club- wise. He said to me 'we want you to keep your profile and to play as much bowls as you can and we'll work it in with BCiB." If you want the amiable Jacobsen to vent some frustration, just ask him about the plethora of mini- mum-bias bowls now flooding greens from northern Queensland to the southern tip of Tasmania. "Not good for the game at all. They've gone overboard with the narrow-bias bowl because it has ruined the overall game, made it just draw and drive, no skills involved. "All the players are going for the tighter bowls and half of them can't use them. They think they can get them to work as well as we can. Their form drops off and what they do then is go and get another set of bowls and all of a sudden they are back to square one and that's the end of it," he said. Roll on New Delhi next October when the Com- monwealth Games circus takes to another bowls frontier, and just like Kuala Lumpur 11 years ago, we want to see a flamboyant Jacobsen clad in green and gold as he carves out another gold medal. PS: And the 'Dougie' tag - it originated from a mo- tel room poker game on a bowls trip many years ago, when Jacobsen was speaking to a former VFL player he called 'Doug' all night, and became annoyed when the old half-back-flanker never replied. His name was actually 'Clive'. You have your car checked and serviced before you go on holiday but what about your Caravan, Motorhome or Camper Trailer? Caravan Trade & Industries Association of Victoria Approved Members specialise in caring for all types of recreational vehicles. For complete peace of mind and expert advice on servicing, repairs and towing, deal with the experts displaying this sign. For your nearest Caravan Trade & Industries of Victoria 'Approved Members' call (03) 9329 5311 or visit www.ciavic.com.au PLAY IT SAFE CI8695 An initiative of the Caravan Trade & Industries Association of Victoria. Proudly promoting the enjoyment of leisure & recreational vehicles. HAVE YOUR RV SERVICED BY EXPERTS DON'T MISS THE 2010 CARAVAN, CAMPING & TOURING SUPERSHOW CAULFIELD RACECOURSE 9TH TO 14TH MARCH 2010 VISIT caravanshow.com.au FOR MORE DETAILS • The great Victorian skipper: In action against ACT in Canberra last month.