The 29-year-old moved from Johannesburg to Scotland with his family as a young boy. He joined the Livingston academy as a teenager before graduating to the first team over a decade ago. The club’s all-time highest appearance maker enjoyed a stellar 2018, netting twice in the play-offs which helped his club gain promotion to Scotland’s topflight, where they currently lie eighth on the log after 23 games in their first season in the top tier since 2006.
Jacobs did spend an unsuccessful year at Bidvest Wits four years ago where he made just one substitute appearance the entire season. And when asked to compare the level of football domestically and abroad, the midfielder says the Scottish Premier League – despite not as renowned as other leagues on the continent – needs to be shown respect, based on the success its two biggest clubs have had in Europe.
“To be honest it’s a bit hard as I didn’t get a proper chance to play many games in South Africa,” he tells KickOff.com. “I can’t compare the level, but if we’re playing against Glasgow Rangers and Celtic who are in the Europa League, it can’t be that bad.”
Work-permit issues aside, when quizzed over the decreasing numbers of South African footballers making it abroad, Jacobs feels it is often the mental aspect that is to blame.
“I think it’s because a lot of people want to become footballers, and it’s a hard industry to get into, so if you don’t have the attitude or the will to stick it out and make sure you’re the one playing, it’s quite hard,” he says.