This year, we welcome another young South African to our club for the 2018 season. Keegan Armstrong (22) is a British Passport holding wicket-keeper batsman playing for the University of Pretoria (Tuks) Cricket Club in their Premier and Reserve XI teams. Armstrong joined Tuks Academy in 2014 and has enjoyed plenty of success, averaging 39.57 last summer (2016/17) and, at the mid-way point in the current 2017/18 season, is averaging 42.20, with a highest score of 105. During his time in the academy he has trained under the guidance of notable coaches including Aldin Smith, Pierre de Bruyn, Andre Nel, Chris van Noordwyk and Cobus Pienaar.
Prior to joining the Academy, he represented his school, Marist Brothers Linmeyer, playing 1st XI cricket from 2010 to 2013. Armstrong also played for Johannesburg South regional teams in 2010, 2012 and 2013, whilst playing senior club cricket for Gauteng Premier League club Alberton.
Off the field, Armstrong has recently completed his studies at the University of Pretoria and has obtained a B.Com Recreation and Sports Management degree. He also boasts a CSA Level 1 coaching certificate and has coached at Anton van Wouw Primary School, Alberton Cricket Club and the University of Pretoria
We spoke to Keegan to get to know a little more about our new man.
Hi Keegan, welcome to Llandudno Cricket Club!
Thank you, Very glad and excited to be apart of the club!
Lets talk cricket first. Where are you currently playing your cricket?
I am currently playing for the University of Pretoria Cricket Club, playing in the Northerns Union Premier League. I have been at the club since 2014, where I have been completing a degree. It is a club with great traditions with the likes of AB DeVilliers and the Morkel brothers coming through the ranks.
What has been your cricketing highlight?
My cricketing highlight would have to be playing in an Invitational XI against the Netherlands National Cricket team. A few of the Dutch players also played in the same team as me, which was a cool experience, playing alongside them. I batted in the middle order and made a respectable 30 (from 41 deliveries).
How would you describe your style of play?
As I batsmen, I am not a massive power hitter but rather someone who likes to accumulate his runs and run hard between the wickets. I would like to think I have a calm head when I’m in the middle. As a wicketkeeper, I’m quite an energetic keeper that loves to feel the ball in the gloves. I try keep my wicketkeeping as simple as possible.
Who is your hero, on or off the field?
My hero is my father. He is someone that I’ve looked up to my whole life. He always took me to my football and cricket practices as well as taking me to games. He always pushed me to be the best I can be in whatever I did, whether it’s on the sports field, or in my academic studies.
Who is the best player you have shared a dressing room with?
Hardus Viljoen. Currently he plays for the Highveld Lions in South Africa, and recently for Derbyshire and the South African test team. I played with Hardus at Alberton Cricket Club and at Soviet Sporting Superman. From the first ball he bowls, he always puts the ball exactly where he wants and at 145 km/h! Hardus is a quiet guy but very intimidating when he is running into the crease.
Who is the best player you have lined up against?
Zander de Bruyn. A retired all-rounder that played 3 test matches for South Africa, as well as playing quite a bit of cricket in the UK for Worcestershire, Somerset and Surrey. I played against Zander when he was playing for the University of Johannesburg and I was playing at Alberton Cricket Club. He was such a clever cricketer. When he would bowl, you would feel that he is setting up traps for you every delivery – always thinking. As a batsman, technically very solid and had a very good temperament. If you didn’t get him out early, you would be chasing the ball around the park the whole day.
Lets come away from the cricket field and have a look at you. Who are your family?
Mother, father and a younger brother.
What would you say is your proudest moment?
Acquiring my degree in Recreation and Sport Management as well as being invited into the Golden Key Society in 2017.
In your young life, what would you say is your best experience?
Traveling to Thailand with my 2 best mates for our 21st birthdays. What a place to party and amazing scenery.
Your favourite sports team, player(s) and why?
The Arsenal. My favourite players were Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp. I loved these two guys when they played alongside each other. They were my favourite because as a partnership they could tear up any defence they were up against, Bergkamp’s composure was second to none and Henry’s pace and finishing ability was memorizing.
What sits top of your bucket list, or your top 3 must do experiences?
Watch Arsenal play at The Emirates, climb Mount Kilimanjaro and go snowboarding in Europe.
You are now stranded on a desert island and can only take three items with you, what are they and why would you need them?
I would take a flint to start a fire, a machete for gathering food and cutting wood to make shelter, and a solar powered water distiller to purify the salt water into fresh drinking water.
If we looked at your music library, who would be the most played artist?
Mac Miller. He is an American Rapper.
Best film you have seen and your favourite TV programme?
The Wolf of Wall Street with Leonardo DiCaprio. TV would be Game of Thrones, Viking a close second.
My mother’s Chicken Korma.
What’s your drink on a night out?
What do you hope to gain from your time at Llandudno CC?
I hope to integrate well with the people at the club. I want to be a valuable asset to the team and perform to the best of my abilities at the club. Since it will be first time in Llandudno and Wales, I want to learn more about the culture and what the people and town are about. I am looking forward to see what the season will hold and hope to make it a successful one.
Thank you Keegan for taking the time with us today and we look forward to seeing you in April.