Tag: 不准不开心

Future stars who never quite made it

first_imgTheir prodigious footballing talents were spotted at an early age, and they were soon snapped up and attached to the biggest clubs.They won professional contracts, sharing dressing rooms and bedrooms with some of the biggest names in world football.Some even played at the top level, but what happens when a football career doesn’t work out as hoped or predicted? When injury, ill-fortune or opinions become entangled with an upward career curve?The majority of footballers tied to football clubs at age 16 don’t make a long-term career in the game, even those rated as the best in the country. Some crash and burn, full of blame, resentment and bitterness about how they didn’t make it.Others take positives, pick up the pieces and restart their lives with great success, but how do they look back at the time when their football star shone brightly?Were they given a fair chance? Do they have regrets? Or can failure make a person stronger? We met three players face-to-face, where they were good enough to tell us their story for the first time. Arnau RieraLionel Messi’s first captain as a professional footballer was a quiet Mallorcan called Arnau Riera.I grew up in Manacor, a town of 40,000 in Mallorca, famous for artificial pearls and Rafa Nadal. I started playing football aged five. At 16, I was offered a place in the academy of Mallorca, the biggest team in the Balearic Islands, which had reached the final of the Cup Winners’ Cup.  WikicommonsIberostar Stadium, home of MallorcaI wasn’t a brilliant footballer, but I was a clever one and had two very good seasons there as an attacking midfielder, scoring goals and earning €450 a month. It felt great being paid to play football every day. After two years, when I didn’t progress to the second team, I found myself an agent who got me a move to Mataro, an industrial town north of Barcelona, in the Segunda B (Spain’s regional third division). I was 17 and bought to be a first-choice midfielder, but it didn’t turn out like that.I lived in an awful, small flat, rarely going out because I was so focused on football. One night, I felt that I had to find some company and went to a bar. Everyone was high on drugs and ignored me. I stood for an hour with a beer before returning to the flat.I told my manager I’d not been given a chance and that I was leaving. I returned to Mallorca, confused.My agent called again: “There is an option to join Barcelona. They know you from the youth academy of Mallorca and followed you as a child in Manacor.”This was my big chance. I went to Barcelona for two weeks, and the level wasn’t as high as I expected. I did well. The coach, Quique Costas, offered me a contract for the third team, €700 a month, good enough to live on. I was 18.  AP ImagesBarcelona’s famous La Masia  Barcelona seemed so huge. I lived in the famous Masia, my bedroom a small apartment inside the Camp Nou itself. When my room-mate stole my shin pads, I decided to get my own place. I was mentally strong, but I could see how people become overwhelmed at Barca. I wasn’t afraid to make mistakes and was happy to express myself on the pitch. I did a pre-season with the B team and was asked to stay. I was 100 per cent every time I went to training. If not, I knew there was a player from the C team waiting to steal my place. I’d been that player.After three years, Barca offered me a new deal on €120,000 a year, plus win bonuses, and made me team captain.I got a better apartment and bought a Golf car, but I didn’t believe I had what it took to make the first team. You need something very special. I didn’t score goals; my performances were seven out of 10, never a 10.I trained with the first team for the pre-season in 2004. All those players were at a top level physically, mentally and psychologically. They knew they couldn’t afford to make mistakes. I saw Ronaldinho doing unbelievable tricks. That destroyed me. I’d think, “They’re too good; I can’t get to this level.” I was in the same team as Andres Iniesta and Thiago Motta—my midfield partners. Victor Valdes was in the team, Jordi Lopez (now Sunderland), Fernando Navarro (now Sevilla) and Oleguer Pressas, Roberto Trasoras (now Rayo). We had a great side, but I initially sat in the dressing room and I thought, ‘I’m with some really, really good players. It’s going to be hard as hell to find a place in the eleven.’ But I did.I was called up to play for the first team in friendlies. Then I was put in the first team for league games against Osasuna and Valladolid and sat on the bench. I was ready to go on in Camp Nou; there were no nerves.At the start of the 2004-05 season, I was introduced to a new player called Lionel Messi. I wanted to show him how tough it would be at our level and tackled him hard in his first training session. He flew up in the air, landed and dusted himself down.Some players would react angrily, but he didn’t complain. I would never have said he would become the greatest player of all time.I stayed for five years. You get a lot of attention when you play for Barca, even in the second team. Doors open for you. I saw many who thought the good money would last forever. They gambled; they drank. I didn’t—and I kept my childhood friends.I wanted first-team football and fancied England. I switched to an English agent, and Southampton, Sunderland and Hearts immediately showed interest.I went to Sunderland on trial, and new Sunderland manager/chairman Niall Quinn offered me a three-year contract: £3,000 per week, with £1,000 extra for each appearance and win bonuses. I celebrated by buying a Mini. I was advised to buy a BMW, but I didn’t want to drive around Sunderland, which isn’t a wealthy town, in a fancy car.  AP ImagesRoy Keane is unveiled as Sunderland manager I sat in the stands among the Sunderland hardcore supporters as they played Plymouth, wanting to learn what the club meant to them.Afterward I went into a working men’s club. People on the next table were discussing their new “special” Spanish player from Barcelona. I introduced myself, and they were very friendly.In my debut at Southend United, despite coming on at half-time, I won the man-of-the-match award, a big bottle of champagne.I could not believe how many Sunderland fans there were. I’d never seen anything like it in Spain. We lost, but a team-mate told me I had to clap because they were singing my name. I threw my shirt into the crowd. It was a highlight of my career.In Sunderland’s next game, against Bury, I was so desperate to succeed that I was too nervous. I raised my elbow, and the player behind me went down…straight red…after three minutes…an automatic three-game ban.I sat at home alone the next day seeing my name repeatedly on Sky Sports for being sent off. Two days later, Roy Keane was appointed manager.Keane never gave me a chance, he told me that I wasn’t in his plans, which I appreciated, and then never spoke to me again. My confidence drained away. I was living by myself in a foreign country.Loans followed—to Southend and then Falkirk in the Scottish Premier League, where I stayed for two seasons.I loved living in Edinburgh and became more fluent in English. You have to be brave to play in Britain. You have to commit to a tackle; the fans won’t accept it if you don’t. A goal I scored in August 2007 was voted Falkirk’s goal of the season.Falkirk reached the Scottish Cup final, and I was playing every week. I loved the British black humour. In training, the last player to strike the crossbar from the halfway line had to take his clothes off and jump in the mud in the middle of winter.I spent free days off working in the community with autistic children.Falkirk wanted me to stay, and I should have. But my girlfriend came from Portugal, and I wanted to move there. I also turned down Blackpool, which rightly annoyed my agent. They were promoted to the Premier League.I was not thinking straight. My contract expired at Sunderland in 2009, and I returned to Mallorca without a club. When the money stopped, I had to make big cutbacks, even though I’ve always lived sensibly; I joined Mallorca’s second-biggest club, Atletico Baleares, on €1,000 a week.  Arnau Riera, photographed by Andy Mitten After 10 games, I put my foot on top of the ball and felt searing pain. I’d ruptured my cruciate ligament.Niall Quinn invited me to train for free and use Sunderland’s facilities. He’s a special person, a gentleman. Julio Arca, the Argentine former Sunderland star, let me stay at his house for free. My agent remained in constant contact and didn’t drop me.I’d worked my way back to full fitness at Sunderland by January 2011. Then, incredibly, I ruptured the cruciate ligament in my other knee in training. I couldn’t believe it. That pain when your cruciate goes is like no other.After my second operation, I decided football would no longer be my priority, and I’d complete my studies in social work.But I did wonder if I would ever enjoy playing football again. In June 2011, CD Manacor, my local team, were promoted to the third division. They asked me, then 30, to play alongside boys I’d grown up with. I didn’t have the same confidence in tackles or the speed. I retired soon after.My biggest mistake was to be too nervous in games. I would have been a better player if I’d relaxed. And maybe I would have enjoyed playing more.I felt empty when I retired. Football dominated my adult life. And then it goes. I was annoyed my career ended like that. But there are not many happy endings in football.It’s now three years since I retired. It was a wonderful life, but I don’t think I’d recommend it to children of my own. Too many things can—and do—go wrong.I work in a hotel now near my home, which I bought with football money. The English comes in useful, and I’m finishing my degree, intending to go into social work.I still have the Golf from Barcelona, too. Richard IrvingAt 16, Richard Irving was the best player for his age in England. He played for both England Schoolboys and Manchester United in a year above his own age group.I was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, in 1975, and even though Halifax is a rugby league town, my younger twin brothers both played rugby union for England U18s.I was interested in football, however, and supported Manchester United, though I’d also watch Halifax Town at the Shay. I was soon representing Calderdale, the local area, then West Yorkshire, the region.  B/RRichard Irving holding Nottingham Forest and England shirts he wore Without wanting to sound big-headed, I could see that I was the best player—I can’t recall a game when I didn’t score. I always played with boys a year older. I did that all the way up to Manchester United’s youth team.I usually played centre-forward or dropped back to midfield if we were losing. I was really quick and could run 100 metres in 11 seconds. I could finish, too, though I wasn’t good in the air.At 14, I went for trials at the national school at Lilleshall. After six rounds, I was one of 16 chosen to live away from home for two years and play football every day.I was also playing for England Schoolboys and scored the best goal of my career against Scotland at Wembley. I was having a stinker of a game when I chased a ball toward the corner flag, nutmegged one defender, beat another and curled the ball into the top corner in front of 60,000!If people asked me what I was going to do if I didn’t make it as a footballer, I’d tell them I was going to be a pilot. Grandad had been a Spitfire pilot in World War II.I enjoyed Lilleshall. We’d occasionally go into the nearest big town, Telford. The local girls liked us because they thought we were future football stars.I took my GCSE exams at Lilleshall. I’d become lazy, but my teacher said I should be getting eight good GCSEs, so I knuckled down and passed them.In 1992, I moved to Manchester and lived in digs. After only a year as a youth trainee (normally you have two years as a trainee), I signed a three-year professional contract, but I was playing in United’s youth team a year above myself with many of the players from the famous class of ’92.I played up front with the likes of Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt—and Robbie Savage. Gary Neville was our captain. I took Savage’s place in the team and never saw eye to eye with him because of that. He mentions in his book that I took his place because our coach, Eric Harrison, was from Halifax like me.But Harrison was actually harder on me. He’d tell me that I couldn’t head a bus queue, that I should have been a hurdler because I jumped every tackle.We reached the 1993 FA Youth Cup final against Leeds United. Everyone expected us to win it, and more than 60,000 saw the two games. We were bullied by nasty sides—everyone wanted to beat us as we were the holders. Leeds won.Only Butt and Scholes were hard as nails. Gary was hard but wasn’t fully formed physically. I was probably the most immature.I was comfortable at that level because I was so quick that I could get away with playing older players. Having great players around me helped a lot, too.Becks was always immaculate off the pitch and had to have the best of everything. He bought Giggsy’s old car, a red Escort. It was all souped up but had a small engine.The team had fine players, good camaraderie and socialised together. We’d go to the Lee Sharpe corner in Royales (a big Manchester disco). Girls would come up to us and say: “Will you tell Ryan Giggs/Lee Sharpe that I’m a great kisser.”We were winning every week and working hard to be footballers. Scholesy was the best, always in the right place and saw things which others missed.Phil Neville and I were the youngest in the team. Phil’s got huge feet. We roomed together, and I’d stay with the Neville family in Bury. If we beat Gary at golf, he’d go crazy.Butty was the man of the group, a tough Mancunian. Keith Gillespie once irritated him until Nicky said: “If you do that once more, I’ll knock you out.” Keith flicked him with a towel again. Butty punched him. Keith listened to him in the future—we all did.  Michael Cooper/Getty Images I then played in the right youth team for my age, the class of ’94. We performed poorly in the Youth Cup.I did a further year as a professional and was top scorer in the reserves. I went to see the manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, to see why other players were getting promoted to the first team ahead of me.Sir Alex said: “I’m worried about your lack of height, and you’re a bit lightweight. I want to see you develop and will give you another year.” I didn’t like what he said.When Nottingham Forest came in for me in 1995 and doubled my wages to £900 a week, I was happy to go there and join mates from Lilleshall.They paid £75,000 for me, and I was put into the first-team squad. It was a friendly club, but it was the wrong move. I joined a party club not a football club. My golf handicap went down to four. I should have stayed at United and worked hard.Ex-manager Brian Clough would come to training and get apprentices to walk his dog around the pitch for £20. He’d bring them ice creams, too.  David Cannon/Getty ImagesLegendary Forest manager Brian Clough Ironically, I made my Premier League debut against Manchester United. I came on as a sub and missed an open goal. I tried to make it look good when I should have just put the ball in the net. I was already celebrating in my mind. The biggest sitter of my career and I missed it, live on television.Stuart Pearce, our captain, said afterward: “You’ll never forget your debut, will you?”I started to develop hamstring problems, not enough to stop me playing, but they cost me a yard of pace—and speed was my selling point. I couldn’t break into the first team and went on loan to Aberdeen.By that time I’d lost heart. I was 23 and wasn’t enjoying being a footballer. In truth, I’d stopped enjoying it in my final year at United. I played for Macclesfield, but I’d had enough.That’s when I decided to be a pilot. I was 24 and lived away for two years, including four months in Florida to get my flying hours up. I had some money and took a loan to pay for the classes.I became a commercial pilot with Britannia, but then 9/11 happened and work dried up. Instead, I took a job as an instructor. I also started buying houses and doing them up. That became my business, but I still love to fly. My dream is still to fly in a Spitfire.Now I franchise lettings agencies. I’ve still got season tickets at United and go when I can.I always did everything early in football, but I never made the transition from being a great youth footballer to great adult footballer. I knocked on the door for long enough, but it didn’t open. Maybe I wasn’t hungry enough.Everything had come to me quite easily, and I probably felt that I didn’t have to spend the extra hours working on the training pitch like the others.I was delighted for my former team-mates when they deservedly won the Champions League. Gary Neville studied and studied to be the best right-back that he could. Beckham stayed behind after training, too, when I wanted to get on the golf course.I’ve got no real regrets, though, nor any bitterness. Richard FlashAged 13, Birmingham-born midfielder Richard Flash received offers to join 13 different clubs. His mother told him not to sign for any of them.I was born close to Birmingham city centre, the son of Jamaican parents. Growing up on an estate near Edgbaston, the youngest of three, in a multicultural environment was a very positive experience.I played football every day, often against bigger boys. I didn’t have any coaching, but I became a good little footballer on those streets.Aston Villa, my team, were European champions in 1982, but I played football more than watching it, initially for an under-10s Sunday team.  B/RRichard Flash My dad was into cricket, but mum loved football, supporting West Brom because of the Three Degrees—the three black players, Cyrille Regis, Brendon Batson and Laurie Cunningham.I was asked to train with West Brom at 11. Their manager, Nobby Stiles, a World Cup winner, took the session. I saw my hero Regis there, but I didn’t speak to him. My mum did, but then she was an inspirational lady, later awarded the MBE for services to sport and the community.She’d drive young footballers to games all around Birmingham. She was like a mother to many young boys lacking parental guidance in their lives.I trained with Birmingham City—wearing a Villa shirt under my tracksuit—and they wanted me to sign, but my mum said no. She didn’t think I should be pressured.I then trained with Villa, but there were a lot of egos; some 13-year-olds thought they’d made it because they received free football boots. My mother kept my feet on the ground. She was a scout for Villa and Birmingham and still is at 73. She knew football.I was a central midfielder who could pass long range, turn and score. I could be a right winger, took free-kicks and I was very strong. I wouldn’t lose tackles, and my nickname was “Tank.”Word spread, and I soon had 13 clubs after me: Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs and all the Midlands clubs. At 13, I was probably the best player at my age in the country.Manchester United’s Midlands scout approached my mum. He’d watched me several times and invited me to United in the school holidays. I did well and became captain of a team called Manchester Eagles—a feeder team in the Midlands.Terry Cooke and David Johnson had both played for it. They’d become professionals.  Tony O”Brien/Getty ImagesTerry Cooke, in action for Manchester City United hadn’t won trophies like Villa, but their coaches were friendly and attentive. The mood was much better, and there was no pressure to sign anything.I was introduced to Sir Alex Ferguson but didn’t really understand his accent. I think he said that: “If you’re good enough, you’re old enough. We have a lad here called Ryan Wilson [Giggs], and he’s got a great future here.”Giggs was the carrot for us to work hard for two years to get an apprenticeship, but I played far too much football.I was in three or four teams in Birmingham. With training, I was playing football every day.In one game when I was 14, I stretched to reach a ball and ended up sitting on my backside with my legs in front. I heard a crack in my knee. I got up but struggled to walk. The United scout was watching, shaking his head.  Alex Livesey/Getty ImagesUnited players, including Beckham, train at United’s Cliff Training GroundI waited to be seen in the hospital for three hours. They discharged me, and my knee swelled up. I’d dislocated my kneecap, not that I realised it. I’d get a sharp pain in the back of my knee, but I pretended I was OK and started playing again.My knee never felt right, but I didn’t tell anybody. I was under pressure to earn a United contract, more so because my injury was hampering my game, but I won a two-year contract after a few more trial games.I remember seeing Paul Scholes; he was tiny, and I didn’t think he was any good.I moved up to Manchester in 1993, still wearing my brother’s boots; I’d always worn his hand-me-downs. I earned £39 per week and lived in digs with David Beckham near the Cliff training ground.Pete Smith, another guy in the digs, didn’t get a professional contract and became a postman. I didn’t tell anyone about my knee, but I kept picking up niggling little injuries—probably associated with the knee.I couldn’t lift any weights on the problem knee in the gym, but I disguised that.  B/RRichard Flash, pictured outside UCFB Burnley FCI travelled to the Milk Cup, a famous youth tournament in Northern Ireland. We performed poorly and decided to go out for a few drinks after the final game. We were 16 and not allowed to drink alcohol, but that didn’t stop us.Word of our drinking reached Sir Alex. After training a few days later, he asked us face-to-face if we’d drunk alcohol. Most of us admitted it; some lied. The dressing room was never the same. We all had a warning letter sent home saying that we’d be out of the club if it happened again.A few months later we went for a night out. The gaffer again heard of this and got us all into his office, where he made us sit down while he told us that we wouldn’t make it as professionals if we weren’t professional.He told us the year group above us were far ahead of us. It was true.The class of ’92 were regularly beating us 7-0 in training. I frequently tried to mark Scholes but struggled. I was fast, but I couldn’t read the game as quickly as he could. He could turn and leave you for dust.In a B team game, my knee cracked again. I couldn’t run and came off. Because I’d had a few injuries, the perception was that I was soft. The physio didn’t look at my knee but told me to have a bath. My knee swelled up that night.I went into training the next day, and the physios looked at me properly. That was the beginning of the end. I had three operations over the next year-and-a-half and tried to build my fitness up, but I couldn’t twist and turn.I often watched my team-mates from the side while on crutches.Sir Alex gave me an extra year to get fit as I’d been injured. I got fit and played for the reserves, but I was never a star of that team. I’d missed the best part of two years’ learning, and that damaged me mentally.I had the ability but not the confidence. In the end, I ran out of time at United.Sir Alex told me that I was a good player and helped me arrange trials.Wolves gave me a year’s contract. I was 19 and felt like I had a chance of making the breakthrough, but Graham Taylor, the manager who took me there, resigned. I was told that I wasn’t wanted.I later went to Watford as Taylor was there but was let go—though Taylor wrote to clubs recommending me.I joined Plymouth Argyle, played first-team football as a professional, and things went well for two months until my other knee dislocated. I was told that it was unlikely that I’d play again.I had to start thinking about my future and decided to do a university degree.The perception was that I was a thick footballer, so I had to do a bridging qualification first. I worked hard and really enjoyed university—doing all kinds of part-time jobs.Then I did a Masters and a teaching qualification before getting a job as the head of the academic department at UCFB—a higher education institution delivering degrees in sports and the football industries, based at Burnley and Wembley Stadium.I call upon many of the contacts I made in football for speakers.I look back at my football career with positive and negative feelings. I should have sorted my knee out when I first did it. I played too much in my early teens, and that led to an injury, but I made good friends at football and learned much, which helps with my current job.last_img read more

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Duke Using Avery Johnson “Standard” Quote For Marketing Purposes

first_imgAvery johnsons smiles at alabama podium.avery johnson alabamaFormer NBA point guard and head coach Avery Johnson was recently hired to take over the reins of the Alabama basketball program, which has reached just one NCAA Tournament in the past nine seasons. Johnson has a tall task ahead of him, but he has lofty goals for his new squad, saying during his introductory press conference his program will try and live up to the standard set by Duke, the 2014-15 national champions. “Duke University, that’s the standard for us here at the University of Alabama and our basketball program,” Johnson said. “The way they play defense and offense. The way they move the ball, that’s the standard. Nobody else is the standard. That’s the standard. Duke University. That’s why I’m here.”If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, it also makes for good publicity in this case. Judging by its Instagram post this morning, the Duke program is using Johnson’s quote to its marketing advantage.An obvious, but savvy move by Duke. We’re sure Johnson isn’t the only coach looking to get his program on the level of the Blue Devils but it’s easier said than done.last_img read more

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Oil storage firm Gibson Energy sells trucking assets to grow terminal core

first_imgCALGARY, A.B. – Gibson Energy Inc. says the sale of its trucking arm means it has completed all of the non-core asset sales it targeted a year ago as part of a strategy to focus on its Alberta oil storage and handling assets.The Calgary-based company, which helps send one in four barrels of crude exported from Western Canada through its Hardisty terminal in central Alberta, says it will pocket about $100 million from the sale, bringing its divestiture proceeds to about $325 million since early 2018.It says Trimac Transportation has agreed to pay about $70 million for the trucking assets and a Trimac affiliate is to pay $30 million for property in Edmonton containing a field office and shop, with the deals expected to close later this year. Gibson previously announced the sales of its environmental services and wholesale propane businesses for about $225 million.The company reported 2018 net income of $151 million on revenue of $6.8 billion, up from $44 million on $5.7 billion in 2017, as it invested $302 million to build new storage tanks in Edmonton and Hardisty and a pipeline in the U.S.It plans to spend $200 million to $250 million on capital projects this year.last_img read more

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BJP manifesto shower of promises party did not fulfil 2014 promises Sharad

first_imgMadhepura: Accusing the BJP of not fulfilling any of its big promises made during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, opposition leader Sharad Yadav Tuesday described the ruling party’s manifesto for the upcoming election as another “shower of promises” and asked people to reject the party. Yadav, who is contesting the election on RJD ticket from Madhepura in Bihar, said in a statement that in his long political career he has never seen such an atmosphere as he had seen in 2014 and now. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ “I appeal to people to reject the BJP. It does not know as to how to rule the country. It has rather created an atmosphere of hatred across the country and is badly damaging the economy,” he said. He said the BJP had made promises like bringing back black money, giving Rs 15 lakh to each citizen, employment to two crore youth and cleaning Ganga river, and alleged that none of them was fulfilled. “In the manifesto of 2019 no mention has been made of non-fulfilment of these promises and it has now made 75 more promises,” he said, describing it as a “ridiculous”.last_img read more

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Man held at Delhi Metro station for posing as CRPF jawan

first_imgNew Delhi: A man hailing from Uttar Pradeshs’ Shamli district has been apprehended by the CISF at a Delhi Metro station here for allegedly masquerading as a CRPF jawan, a senior official said Sunday. Nadeem Khan, donning a khaki uniform of the CRPF, was intercepted at the Chandni Chowk station on Saturday as his activities were found to be suspicious. “Upon enquiry, the man did not give any satisfactory reply and was not having any force ID card or any proof of being a force member,” a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) official said. Also Read – CM urges Delhiites to help accident victims The man claimed he was a trainee at the Central Reserve Police Force training force in Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir and that he on way to Shamli for his mother’s final rites, he said. A check with the CRPF centre in Srinagar and Shamli police found both his claims to be false. The man’s physical search led to the recovery of two Aadhaar cards with different dates of birth, father’s name and addresses and a mobile phone, he said. The man has been handed over to the Delhi Police to further probe the case and find out his motive, he said.last_img read more

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Columbus Clippers win 6of8 in opening homestand

The Columbus Clippers secured their fifth come-from-behind win of the young season with a 5-4 victory against the Indianapolis Indians on Thursday, in the last game of an eight-game homestand to start the year. The Clippers (6-2) gained plenty of experience in tight contests during the homestand as close games and come-from-behind victories were present throughout. All eight games were decided by three runs or less and five of the eight were one-run games. Columbus manager Mike Sarbaugh said he is proud of the way his team has hung tough in tight situations early in the year. “We have confidence as a club in our ability to score runs,” he said. “We’ve showed early in the season we can come back, score some runs and win games.” Clippers shortstop Gregorio Petit said his team is made up of resilient competitors. “We just battle the whole game and never give up,” Petit said after the Clippers 4-3 walk-off win against Indianapolis Monday. “Fighters fight, and that’s how we are.” In the win Thursday, Columbus found itself trailing 4-2 entering the bottom of the fifth inning, taking a significant punch from Indianapolis in the top half of the inning. The Indians scored three runs on a 3-run home run by shortstop Jordy Mercer to take the lead. Using three consecutive hits to start the inning, the Clippers tied the game at four with an RBI single by center fielder Ezequiel Carrera. Third baseman Russ Canzler gave Columbus the lead with an RBI single of his own, the team’s sixth hit of the inning. “I thought that was the key in the game for us,” Sarbaugh said. “Coming out that next inning and scoring three was big.” Scoring the tying run in the fifth inning was Clippers right fielder Chad Huffman. Huffman went 2-for-3 in the game with two runs and a RBI on a home run hit into the deepest part of the ballpark in left-center field. “I got a change-up up in the zone and I was lucky I got the barrel on it,” Huffman said. Clippers starting pitcher Corey Kluber struck out eight in five innings allowing four runs on three hits. Kluber has a combined 18 strikeouts in his first two starts. Columbus begins an 11-game road trip Friday against Louisville, and the team’s confidence is riding high after the successful homestand. “There’s lots of confidence in this locker room,” Huffman said. “Our expectations are to go in there and win all 11 of them.” read more

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Bale open to China move

first_imgReal Madrid’s Gareth Bale has admitted that he is open towards the prospect of playing in the Chinese Super League, amid speculation that he is set to move to another club in the summerSince arriving at Real, back in 2013, Bale has struggled to maintain his place in the starting 11 due to a set of recurring injury and fitness issues. The Welshman has found himself on the fringes under Zinedine Zidane this season and has struggled to find any consistency.Manchester United have been linked with Bale since last summer with Jose Mourinho having admitted that he is an admirer of the 28 year-old’s.A unnamed club in the Chinese Super League reportedly made a €130m bid for Bale last week and the winger, who is currently participating for Wales in the China Cup, has revealed that he finds the prospect of playing in China appealing.“It’s a great country with great people,” said Bale, according to Football365.Fati and Suarez shine against Valencia at Camp Nou Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 15, 2019 With a mesmerizing first half from Ansu Fati and a brace from Luis Suarez in the second half, Barcelona demolished Valencia at Camp Nou.Valencia…“In terms of the future I’m not too sure, I haven’t really looked that far to be honest.“Whenever I come to China we always have such an amazing reception from the Chinese fans. They’ve been very welcoming to all of us, not just me.“They look after us really well. But I’m sure that if I ever did come I’ll be looked after very well.”Bale recently became the record goalscorer for Wales after netting a hat-trick in their 6-0 win over China. Currently Ryan Giggs’ side are preparing to face Uruguay in the final of the China Cup.last_img read more

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Argentina are nothing without Messi – Diego Costa

first_imgSpain’s Diego Costa believes that their 6-1 victory over Argentina could have been a different story had Lionel Messi featured in the matchThe Atletico Madrid forward opened the scoring at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano for Spain, before having to come off the field injured.David Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.But despite their convincing win, Costa felt that the absence of Messi had made a difference to the Argentina side and felt that it had ultimately compromised them.“You have to do an analysis in all aspects, you in Argentina criticize Messi a lot but you can tell that when Messi It is not something else, a player like Messi is not criticized, we have to thank God that he is in. Messi must always be treated well, even if he plays a bad game with the national team, having him in the field is different ” said Costa, according to Marca. The Brazilian native was ecstatic with the final result and is confident that Spain can potentially repeat their 2010 World Cup success this summer.“This team wants to do something big again, there is a good team for the World Cup, I had a bad time because I was not playing for six months but I knew that when I came back I could do it well and be in the selection makes me very excited. ” said the 29 year-old. Costa also reserved special praise for Isco: “Today we have seen, Isco would play on any team.” Argentina was very inferior to Spain: “We played a great match against a great team, Messi was missing”.last_img read more

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Chelsea rejects Barca bid for Willian

first_imgChelsea have rejected a bid offer in excess of £50m from Barcelona for Brazilian international star Willian, according to Sky Sports.It appears that negotiation is still ongoing between the two clubs and the representatives of Willian Borges, who is on international duty with Brazil at the world cup in Russia.The former Shakhtar winger who is in Russia for the World Cup tournament has been linked with a move to either Manchester United or Barcelona, with the winger keen on leaving Stamford Bridge as long as Antonio Conte remains in charge of the club.Tammy Abraham, ChelseaChelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.The Brazilian has made 236 appearances for the London based club while also scoring 44 goals since he joined from Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013.Although Willian was snubbed for the starting line-up of the 1-0 FA Cup final win over United at Wembley but only coming on as an injury time substitute, he has scored 44 goals in 236 appearances for Chelsea since joining from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013.last_img read more

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