The crisis slows the resurgence of Guedes and Cillessen

first_imgFor him Portuguese is a dry braking after having had a very bad time for more than four months. After having been 122 days stopped Due to a rearfoot injury that was misdiagnosed at the start, the Portuguese had returned to the fields on February 4, in the Cup match against Granada. Little by little I was picking up the pace. So much so that his best game was against Betis on February 29. That day you could see, at times, to Guedes who dazzled in the first season at the club, al Guedes for which Peter Lim disbursed 40 million euros to PSG, in the summer of 2018, becoming the most expensive footballer in history. A very similar dynamic was living Cillessen. The Barça exporter started LaLiga as a starter but a derby injury against Levante (on December 7) kept him out for many weeks. He tried to return against Logroñés, in the Cup, on January 22 but suffered in the warm-up. He finally arrived recovered to the crucial part of the season but Celades preferred Jaume to face Atalanta (first leg) and Real Sociedad. In the return against the Italians he recovered the starting shirt and was settling in the eleven against Betis, Alavés and Atalanta (return). The objective of both was to get to the top in these months and make it to the Euro Cup well, helping Valencia to achieve the objectives. The winger was injured after returning from a match with his team. His last game with Valencia had been on October 2, against Ajax, at Mestalla. After returning at Los Cármenes, he had played against Getafe and had already started against Atalanta, in Milan, and against Atlético. The return against the Italians played the entire second half.center_img Gonçalo Guedes (40 million) and Jasper Cillessen (35) are the two most expensive signings in the history of Valencia. And both have had a similar trajectory so far this season. They started from the headlines, they had to stop due to an injury quite long and fair now they were beginning to shine, just when the season had to stop.last_img read more

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Carrasco, trapped in time

first_imgAlmost as if each day was the same for Carrasco, on January 31 as on April 4 he could wake up with that song by Sonny & Cher ripping his ears from the alarm clock, I got you babe. Like Bill Murray in Punxsutawney is the Belgian: Caught in time. His continuity at Atlético only depends on one thing: his performance in the month and a half that remains to be played, when everything can resume.Loaned by Dalian Yifang until June 30, FIFA is already working on expanding that link, yours and everyone in your situation: the intention is that the contracts of players and coaches that end now are automatically extended until completing the championships with their current clubs. An extension that Carrasco would embrace to leave China behind and be able to return definitively to Europe. Atlético is his ship. Converting the loan into a purchase option depends on him, they wield from the club.Without Eurocopa, postponed by the coronavirus crisis until next summer, another of the shop windows that the Belgian had, the good minutes with Atlético are his hope. In these months he will live two preseason. The first ended just as COVID-19 lowered the curtain on all tournaments and locked the world in their homes. March 11, Atlético’s last game, 40 days after his arrival, Carrasco’s minutes in the team went in crescendo: with participation in five of the six League games played (a total of 155 ’) and without it in both of the Champions. Two games in which, at least, he was one of the men on the bench, ahead, for example, of Vitolo. Second stop due to coronavirus“He is very excited”, pondered Cholo on his return two years later having left the rojiblanco club for China. With overflow, speed and goal, his possible contribution on the entire attack front, in addition to already knowing the Cholo script, were the key factors that pushed his signing, once the Via Cavani it closed.“I have matured in China”“In China I have matured. When you are young you think that only with talent is worth ”, with those statements Yannick Carrasco opened in an interview in El País on March 1, the first one he concedes after his return to Atlético. “There may be people who think you can go there with 33 years old to sign the last contract and then you don’t care if you play well or badly, I just take the money. That was not my option, I had to play well to continue in the Belgian team and be able to return to Europe. I came back for my job, I did it, I didn’t go on vacation, ”the Belgian also confessed.But he required a missing physical tip, his last game had been on December 1, curious, because of the coronavirus too, that the first league that stopped in the world was China. Now you must find her again while every morning that continues to sound on your alarm clock. Babe, uh ahah, uh ahah, I Got You Babe …last_img read more

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Edgar Méndez fined for some statements on Mexican TV

first_imgThe truth is that the player has not received any public support from his teammates although he said that “there may be a complaint, not from one, but from the 25 of the squad because the conditions are unacceptable.” Some may agree with your approach but have not made it known through any channel. Yes, they usually communicate with each other thanks to a WhatsApp group, but then those who let them negotiate are at Manu García, Fernando Pacheco and Víctor Laguardia, The captains.As Edgar did not have permission to make statements in that medium (no club employee has the green light to speak now since the ERTE was raised) he has violated the Alavés internal regime and will be fined. Players are obliged, by contract, to respect the rules of the entity and, for example, in the behavioral regulation, they monitor what they publish on social networks. The sanction will be economic and will be deducted from your salary as usual in these cases. It is not the first time that it happens in Alavés or its sister club, the Baskonia of basketball. Tenerife Edgar Mendez He agreed to speak with a Mexican television on Thursday. In TUDNMEX assured that “They want to take away 28% of the annual salary, regardless of whether it is played or not. That does not happen in other clubs. It is not the same that the competition does not return, or that it does so with and without the public. Most of the money comes from television and the clubs may not lose as much money as they tell us. They put themselves in the worst situation, but the normal thing is to play again. “ He Deportivo Alavés presented a ERTE two Friday ago. It must be approved by those responsible for the Basque Government Department of Labor. Then there will be a deadline for those involved to challenge it. Meanwhile, the captains negotiate with the club to reach an agreement that can satisfy the parties involved. For now, it seems far away.last_img read more

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Emerson, the signing that nobody talks about at Barcelona

first_imgBut the bottom of the matter goes beyond those three million euros and has to do with the progression of the player, who in just one year has given reason to those enthusiasts who compared him to Maicon, the winger who made fame in the Inter. Emerson has played 24 official matches this season in which he has scored three goals, has given five assists and has attracted the attention of Barça coaches for his power. In his favor, in addition, is the fact of knowing Setién, although the Cantabrian coach did not give him too much court in the middle year at Betis. Mind you, Emerson had just arrived. Emerson’s progression has also slowed Nelson Semedo’s contract renewal. After his summer haul, when Jorge Mendes wanted to take him to Atlético de Madrid, the Portuguese kept the promise of a contract extension that was a priority in the month of October, but was parked. At this time, it does not seem clear that the renewal of Semedo is completed. What’s more, it has been delayed because the final stretch of the season will decide many things in Barça’s future. That would facilitate the green light for the signing of the Brazilian, whose performance in the final months of the competition will determine Barça’s final decision. It is the signing that nobody talks about, but perhaps one of the ones with the most options. Andre Cury, executive of the Barça technical secretariat for South America, should look pleased. Emerson Aparecido (14-01-1999), a signing that was regarded with all the suspicions of the world when his transfer from Atlético Mineiro to Barça with a stop at Betis was announced, has experienced such an impressive progression that the Barça club is very seriously considered its incorporation for the next season.Certain obscurantism surrounds the hypothetical incorporation of the right side from June 30. Barça announced on January 31, 2019 the signing of Emerson (five seasons, until June 2024) at a cost of 12 million euros and reported its incorporation since July. But Emerson immediately ended up at Betis, who agreed with Barça to have the player two and a half seasons in their ranks. Betis paid six million of the twelve in the operation. To recover Emerson in July this year, Barça will have to pay nine million. The six of 50 percent and three more of surplus value. This was reported by Mundo Deportivo on January 3. Betis ensures that the player’s contract is until 2021 and that it will not come out sooner, while other sources guarantee that the operation would be closed with a twelve million gentlemen’s agreement, three more than what was established.last_img read more

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The crisis puts Real Madrid’s targets under fire

first_imgThat way, Players like Mbappé, Pogba, Haaland, Fabián, Madrid’s objectives to reinforce their squad … have seen how their market values ​​have decreased between 10 (the website applied this amount to those born since 1998) and 20%, depending on what each player had done until the break in March. For example, Kylian Mbappé, which had a market value of 200 million (maintained it since December 2018), has seen how it has depreciated by 10%: For Transfermarket, its current value is 180 million. Even so, he is still the player with the most sign of all footballers. PSG’s French striker is followed by Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) and Neymar (PSG) with a valuation of € 128m.Pogba is another player who is affected. The Manchester United midfielder occupies the eighteenth position with the highest market value, with an estimated price of 80 million euros. It is true that Pogba’s meager contribution this season (he has barely played eight games due to an injury that has forced him to undergo surgery) has not been key. However, theirs is a valuation that surely is not in the minds of the owners of the Mancunian team if an offer came with that amount for the tall French player.Another one that surprises is Erling Haaland, the player who has grown the most in the last year with an increase of 1,340% (it went from having a value of just five million euros to 80 million). Its current value is 72 million, more than double what it paid, about 30 million euros at the end of December 2019. Below is Fabián. The Naples player is worth 48 million. Something far from the previous three, but it has increased in value: the partenopeo team paid 30 million for their transfer (termination clause) in the summer of 2018, so Madrid should make an extra effort if they want the former Baetic midfielder. Real Madrid may find an unexpected ally in their pursuit to reinforce the team for next season. According to the Transfermarkt website, one of the reference websites regarding the transfer market, all players have depreciated in this month of slowdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. And among them, Madrid’s objectives to reinforce the white squad.Transfermarkt values ​​players based on a wide range of factors They range from age to the injuries he has suffered throughout his sports career, passing through the team in which he plays. Even sometimes these factors do not always have to do strictly with soccer, such as physical condition, potential, performance, hierarchy, interest of other teams or even potential advertising brand. As well, With all these scales stagnant due to the absence of games, the world of football has stopped. It has stopped spinning. And it has entered a depreciation phase speaking in terms of market value. According to Transfermarkt calculations, the global depreciation is almost 10 billion euros.last_img read more

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Quique Setién-Simeone: a story full of disagreements

first_imgAnd is that Quique Setien was invited in The spar of the SER, questioned by Manu Carreño about luck in soccer. “Luck has a decisive influence on specific moments. We all know this,” Setién replied. “You can win the Champions, it is true that being lucky, but it is not normal perhaps in all matches. In all of you you will win but there is a specific moment that always if you are not allied with it that, surely if you have it against you, you will go away “, he continued before exemplifying with Atlético.” We saw Liverpool with Atlético and it is true that Atleti won both games. The first good. The second cost him a lot but he received 35-40 shots and the best was the goalkeeper. And this is so. Luck really influences. “ Crossing statementsA few years ago, Setien already confessed who had told Simeone that his way of playing did not go with him: “Atlético de Simeone, for example, plays like him. I told Simeone, I love what you do, the titles, what you have achieved, but I don’t like how your team plays“The last time they were found, the cameras of Goal They told it, the Cantabrian greeting to the Argentine was like a prayer: “Let’s see if I beat you today, it’s about time.” Did. For what will happen when they can finally face each other in this League, we will have to keep waiting. Only one thing is for sure: their blackboards will crash. “It is a little sad sometimes to think that you only see the result” In a parallel world, in which the coronavirus crisis did not exist, in eight days the two coaches they would meet again. Setién and Simeone. Two technicians from antagonistic style that, over the years, they haven’t stopped colliding. The first, now head of Barcelona, ​​would receive in the League matchday 33 (the one in that parallel world would be disputed the next day) Atlético at home with the purpose of leaving the results of the Catalans in the league against the rojiblancos unstained (in the Champions League it is another story …, with two deep injuries in the quarters of recent years). In his particular history, the results have always smiled on Cholo: nine matches, seven wins for the rojiblanco and two for the Cantabrian, one of them the last time they met (Betis-Atlético of the 2018-19, Channels’ goal), the other sterile, round of the eighths of the Copa del Rey 2016-17, when achieving 2-3 in the last minutes, Atlético was already classified. Now, in the reality that one lives, without football because of that global pandemic caused by the coronavirus crisis, the battle between the two coaches continues. center_img “So, did you get excited seeing Atlético against Liverpool?” Asked Manu Carreño. “Yes … well, no. The truth is that it seemed good to me,” Setién replied. “We already know football as it is. The one who gets it is the one who wins. The truth is that it’s a little sad sometimes to think that you can’t see more than the result. Because this game has a show component that we all like, some in one way and others in another. But, the one that I like, sometimes the result does not compensate me, “he finished. It is precisely the one of the style the curve in which the two coaches always collide. Setien, possession and offensive. Simeone, maximum exponent bilardista, with eleven footballers on the field defenses. Quique Setiénlast_img read more

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“Real Madrid is missing a killer”

first_imgDid the Welshman accept it?Of course, we were already league champions and I never gave him problems. I told the colleagues that it was very special for me to reach the record of a legend like Zarra. I had never asked them for anything individually, so that afternoon I asked everyone to collaborate and that when giving passes to the area they looked for me above all else. I played upstairs with Aldana and she understood perfectly. And they helped me admirably. Oviedo scored first, but after drawing Parra I scored three goals. The first was given to me by Míchel, the player who gave me the most assists in my entire career. The second I got a penalty. I changed my method so that Zubeldia wouldn’t guess. I shot very hard and through the center. At that moment, an image of Mendoza in the box was shown on television with a gesture that meant: “He is going to get it.” The President always believed in me and I really appreciate it.And the third that equaled Telmo Zarra? Your reference | “Mine on the bench is Luis Aragonés. Win, win and win” You don’t like Benzema?How can I not like it. He is a striker with exceptional class, but he is not a killer, he is not a pure man of area. He is a great second striker. He is as Butragueño was, and I as a Christian. So Emilio and I understood each other perfectly. Karim could use a killer ahead of him. I used to like Harry Kane, but with so much injury he’s stalled. And Lewandoswski has the problem of age. Search is not easy.We are finishing, master. Did you ever meet Michael Robinson?Yes, when he signed for Osasuna I was in Madrid and I remember that he once scored at the Bernabéu and that in Pamplona he was a very British, fast and aggressive striker. He was a good guy and I was hurt by the knowledge of his passing. From here I send a big hug to all his family.So we see you soon working for Spain?Would be pleased. I highly value LaLiga, which for me is still the best in the world. Javier Tebas has done an excellent job, improving the economy of the clubs, cleaning them up and promoting competition on all continents. In fact, in the contract with ESPN I put a clause so that in case of a serious professional project as a coach I was released from our agreement for two years. Hopefully we’ll see you there soon, buddy.So be it, legend. UntitledHugo Sánchez, in a goal with Madrid.AS newspaper EI author of the best chilean that has been seen in Spain (that of Logroñés) is news because today they are fulfilled 30 years of its hat-trick to Oviedo at the Bernabéu, which allowed him to match the legendary goalscoring record of Telmo Zarra in a League (38 targets). Hugo Sanchez he remembers it for our readers.Where are you living in this sad period that we have had to live?At my house in San Diego, in the United States, with my family. Along with my wife Isabel, who as you already know in her country is from Madrid, and with my daughters, Isabella and Hana. We also have a house in Mexico and before the pandemic we were moving to my country depending on my professional commitments with ESPN, where I am a commentator. But now we are all living another reality and the work is in the background.I notice you worried.Not worried, realistic. After the pandemic there will be a before and an after. The economy is going to change, many people are going to suffer and we must reset our scale of values. What before seemed like a minor detail can now be a treasure. The pandemic has opened our eyes to our way of understanding life. You have to reflect on it.Does this reflection include the possibility of returning to Spain at some point?Of course. Look, my two daughters are twins and right now they have graduated to go to college. They have not been able to do the ceremony with their colleagues due to the coronavirus, but telematically they made their own celebration. The good thing is that both Isabella and Hana want to make their careers in Madrid. They want to study there. It is your wish. Logically, if a good professional project arose, I would love to be able to continue being close to my daughters.I see him knocking on Florentino’s door …He already knows that Madrid is one of my future aspirations and I am truly prepared for such a demanding bench. I feel empowered, apart from my feelings and my knowledge of the club after so many years there. I’m not saying do it now, since Zidane is doing a great job. But let no one forget that I made the Pumas double champion in my country and that with the Mexican team we almost got into the 2007 Copa América final, played in Venezuela. Only Argentina beat us in the semifinals, but we were third after defeating Uruguay in the consolation final. We played very well. What is your style book as a coach?The one that Luis Aragonés imposed. I also say three words to my players: win, win and win. Luis is my reference. That handling he had of the wardrobe is admirable. His personality is what allowed Spain to win two European Cups and a World Cup. It is true that the last two were from Del Bosque, but Vicente was very intelligent and maintained Luis’ philosophy. Luis’s winning synergy carved out those wonderful years for Spain. Del Bosque knew how to fully maintain Luis’ momentum.Is it so important for a coach to have his reference in another colleague by profession?Sure. Look at Zidane. It is what it is thanks to Ancelotti. In the year he was with him as an assistant, he learned that the key to success in a club like Madrid is to have a left hand and a right hand, to put yourself in the shoes of the footballer. Zidane received an intensive course and as he is very intelligent he soaked up the Ancelotti method. And there are his spectacular results, especially in Champions.Let’s change the third. I don’t know if he knows, but this Tuesday marks 30 years of his tremendous hat-trick Oviedo at the Bernabéu, which allowed you to win the Golden Boot and match the record of the legendary Telmo Zarra, with 38 goals.I did not know it coincided but I appreciate it because that game had special connotations for me.Count, count …I was carrying a sanction that prevented me from playing the Vicente Calderón derby on the penultimate round of the League. For me it was a stick because the punishment subtracted me one more match to reach Zarra’s record. The three goals he needed to score in the last two games were reduced to one option, the last day against Oviedo. So, before the meeting, I approached John Toshack and asked for permission to address the group myself in the usual technical talk before the meetings. Another fantastic pass from Míchel from the right and I put it in with a good header. It was like a release for me. I hugged him and when we all made a pineapple I shouted: “We did it!” He couldn’t waste that opportunity to make history. Also, that same year I met Isabel, my wife, and that’s why I have it as the most important year of my life.But no goal can be compared with the one that you got from Chile to Logroñés.You already know that if you read the word Logroñés the other way around, “Señor gol” comes out. Focusing on the left was the perfect profile for my Chileans. Rafa (Martín Vázquez) knew that afternoon where I had to put it …And he won the Golden Boot in 1990, equaling with Stoichkov, then in Bulgaria.Well, I didn’t want to go pick her up … The debate of 9 | “Madrid needs a ‘killer’ from the area; Benzema is more like Butragueño” How do you say?First clarify that the Bulgarian league was much lower than the Spanish, but in that they had the same coefficient per goal, which detracted from their record. Now it would have been impossible for Stoichkov to win that Golden Boot playing in his country. And look, I was angry that the Ballon d’Or award ignored the players in America. How is it possible that Maradona never won it? How was it understood that I was the best scorer in European football and did not even compete for the award? On the way to the ceremony I said to Isabel, at that time my girlfriend: “Tonight I’m going to roll it up.” My idea was to refuse to pick up the trophy. But she, with good judgment, told me: “No, Hugo, pick up the award that you have won on the field and from tomorrow you can criticize the injustice of the Ballon d’Or.” And that’s what I did.Let’s talk about his famous duels with Barça, and some with Barca Stoichkov.Months after that match with Oviedo we won the Spanish Super Cup for the second time at the Camp Nou. It was the night Stoichkov was expelled for stepping on Urízar. We took an Olympic tour that tasted like glory, but since they kept throwing lighters, coins and all kinds of objects at me, he gave me a lighter on the head and I needed three stitches. Then I adjusted the parts. As Stoichkov received a six-month sanction for his assault on the referee, to compensate me, the Sole Judge, Mr. Forcen, put me in two games. An injustice. On top of that, a colleague of his attributed to me some statements that I never made, in which I was supposed to tell the Judge that I wish they would give him a bottle like they gave me in Sestao so he can see what it feels like when they throw you everything in the lead. It was false. That is why, from that day on, I always went to the interviews with my own tape recorder to avoid those problems.Do you remember well how the Sestao bottle went?Sure! When I received the impact of the bottle of champagne I almost lost consciousness completely. That would have been very dangerous. I almost entered the dreaded dark tunnel, but I threw in a couple of tonsils and reacted despite the brutal impact. That night I saved my life by a miracle. Luckily, the bottle hit me on the head with its side. So it did not explode. If you hit me with the ass or the nose part, I wouldn’t be talking to you now. I tell you more …Say …After a few years a man who worked for the Spanish Federation called me and said he had a surprise for me. I stayed with him and he gave me the bottle of champagne, which someone from Sestao gave him since, when it didn’t break, his employees picked it up. I keep it in my private museum where all my conquests are. One more trophy (smile).Let’s jump to today. You, with your 207 goals in 283 games with Madrid, are one of the best filmmakers in the history of the club, with a brutal average (0.73). Young Haaland is now spoken of as a great scorer for the future.He has a plant, he has talent and a nose. Madrid can take it into account for the future. But this team must come ready-made, with proven experience and a baggage behind, as I came after four years scoring goals at Atleti. He is still very young. Madrid has to come the best in the world in every position.Does this Madrid of Zidane need a nine?Of course. Madrid needs a killer from the area, as I was, as is Cristiano, who for many years performed that function at the Bernabéu perfectly. So you have to find another, more consecrated.last_img read more

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Gibson/McCook Relays alive and kicking

first_img The love and respect for the giant of a sporting icon, seeming to be ever present asserted itself even more in what the professor must have thought was the final query as he offered a sum up remark. “However, the basic attitudes, values and principles are the same ones enunciated by Bishop Gibson and the Honourable Neville Teddy McCook. We will not change a winning formula.” Foster’s Fairplay is not known to sideline those who are the major players – spectators. They should always receive value for funds spent. Many come to the park seeking innovations or features, new or established, which will heighten the appeal of and ensure lasting interest in the spectacle. With this in mind and alert to scarcity of disposable income to satisfy a sophisticated entertainment appetite, there would be no ignoring that. The man who seems to forget his auspicious title, calling himself simply ‘Rainford’, responded. “The GMR is a spectacle, its essence is high-quality athletics executed efficiently and on time. Jamaica is the focus and repository of high-quality athletics, and relay running in particular, and we feel no pressure to change anything, except being more efficient.” He referred to the GMR as “a training ground for track and field officials”. About overseas participation? “(It) would complement the meet and we would welcome it, but it is difficult to arrange for a variety of reasons. We continue to pursue that initiative and we will see how it goes when the opportunity presents itself.” On future plans? “We are in a strategic review process and will have to pay attention to several factors, including sustainable funding, penetration of the Caribbean and wider NACAC area in order to contribute to regional development of athletics. But short of extending to a second day, there is little room for change.” The chief organiser was less effusive on the 2016 features. “We will introduce a bit of spectacle for some of the championship events this year with the help of (sponsors) Digicel. Our emphasis is on quality and efficiency in a safe, fun-filled environment. The spectacle will come from the performances.” Rest well, Teddy. The Gibson McCook Relays will live on. n For feedback, email lauriefoster2012@gmail.com. Last week, the team leader of the organising committee of the Gibson-McCook Relays (GMR) was interviewed on KLAS Sports Radio. Any sentimentally inclined sporting enthusiast must have been duly moved. Foster’s Fairplay was privileged to have been part of the audience. The show, configured for the ‘riding home’ pleasure of working class Jamaica and hosted by a Fortis stalwart in sports journalist, Stratton Palmer, drove home a salient point. The rich legacy of the event, conceptualised and cofounded by bright minds, was alive and kicking. Forty years ago, inspired by visits to the world acclaimed Penn Relays Carnival, Jamaica’s now departed track and field icon, the energetic and ebullient administrator, Neville ‘Teddy’ McCook, could no longer ignore the bee in his bonnet. The concept, aligned to the energy and enthusiasm to create and replicate for his own, led to the founding of the Gibson Relays, as it was first named. Why not, as the Reverend Percival William Gibson, born in the same year as Prime Minister Norman Washington Manley – had played such a significant and seminal role in the shaping and steering of the McCook of the 1950s. The term ‘no-brainer’, not yet hatched, would now be quite appropriate. It is no easy task to have Kingston College old boy and former athlete medical professor Rainford Wilks speak about the planning team and his achievements. However, it would be a journalistic faux pas not to try. He was quizzed on attempts to emulate the McCook model and sustain the principles, prestige and precision of the event. He explained: “The organisation and execution are based on the same principles as under Mr McCook. The committee consists of complementary personalities and skills required to execute the meet, many carefully chosen by McCook himself and serving long internship – are very prepared for the job.” The assessment demonstrated a stark and unapologetic resolve to laud the work of the man who threw the first die. There was more to come. “We have enhanced the organisation with modern information and communication technology, as well as organisational and accounting principles and requirements.” LOVE AND RESPECTlast_img read more

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This is for dad – Cousins … Humble Lion star stays strong after father’s death

first_imgSunday April 10, 2016 is a day that will be etched in the memory of seven-time capped midfielder Ricardo Cousins. The player, who impressed with his quality as a schoolboy at Glenmuir High School was having one of his better days in recent memory. He had just scored the opening goal in his team’s 2-1 win over ‘League’ champions and his former club Portmore United in their first leg semi-final of the Red Stripe Premier League. It was wonderful time for him and the ‘poorer’ of the two ‘Clarendon’ clubs in the Red Stripe Premier League, Humble Lion(s). They had one foot in the final of the knock out stage of the competition, a first for them and their dream of going all the way was alive. Cousins was doubly happy, not just because of the major role he had played in the victory but also because his biggest fan and the one person who had been present at all his local games from schoolboy level upwards, was there to witness it. Things could not be better. So he thought. After all, he had left him, his father Conrad Cousins, at home taking a shower in preparation to attend the match and had no reason to believe that he was not present. He always was. “Normally at the matches I would glimpse him in the crowd but it was a big, big crowd so I didn’t see him and did not think anything of it,” explained the 28 year-old. When he got home cousins expected to see his father at home and he did. “When I reached home I figured that he had got back home. I switched on the television and called out to him but did not hear him. I checked the bathroom and saw him lying in the bath looking like he was relaxing and had probably dozed off. I called out to him but did not get a response,” the all action midfielder said. He Continued, “I touched him in the head twice and said to him, ‘how yuh tired so like is you play the match?’ but I did not get a response. I then realised that something was wrong.” Naturally, the realisation shocked him but Cousins, the only member of his immediate family still residing in Jamaica and who shared house with his 52 year-old father, said he had to gather himself and handle the situation. “I still can’t describe the feeling that went through me when I realised what had happened but I had to gather myself and be strong,” said the man who won two Premier League titles with Portmore United in 2008 and 2012. So strong was he that three days later he was back at training and witnessing his father’s autopsy. “I took two days off but went back to training on Wednesday and then went to witness the autopsy,” the Clarendon resident said. “Everyone is asking me if I can play the next leg tomorrow (today) and my thing is of course. When you have a job, any job you have to do what you have to do and with football for the time that you are out on the field it takes your mind away from everything so I will be there,” he said of the very important second leg semi-final set for the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex at 8:40pm. The added incentive of playing for his father is also a reason. “I can’t stop now. I have to finish what I started. It is not a choice. “I did pledge to win it (the title) for my people and he is a big part of that,” he said defiantly.last_img read more

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Time to Bolt! … Speed test for sprint king in London today

first_imgLONDON, England: It was almost as if royalty had walked into the tiny press conference room at London’s Grange Tower Bridge Hotel as Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt addressed the world’s media yesterday ahead of his appearance at today’s Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, London Diamond League, at the London Olympic Stadium. The only thing missing really was some entrance music. Still, truth be told, the sprint king’s crown has been a little dusty these days. The world 100m and 200m record holder was quite clear: He is expecting to leave next month’s World Championships in Beijing with double sprint gold medals around his neck. He is not in the least bit worried by the form of American Justin Gatlin, and the fast times are close – very close. “I never doubt myself. I look forward to competition. Beijing is a month away, so I don’t worry about that. I’ll take it a step at a time,” Bolt said. “I have to run tomorrow and get through these two races, and I have been training really hard and pushing myself, so it’s all about execution now, and if I can do that right, then I know I will run fast. It’s all about getting the timing right, and when Beijing comes, it will come, but I know I have to take it a step at a time. “For me, it just takes one run to get to 9.7 seconds, so I’m not worried about times. Everyone knows sometimes I struggle through the season, but it takes time, and sometimes it takes getting to the big moment to get focused, but I’m sure when I get to the championships, I will be ready, so I’m looking forward to it,” Bolt sought to assure. Bolt will feature in what will be only his second 100m this year, and he will be desperate to get things clicking in a season that has been shrouded in doubt after he was forced to miss a couple of Diamond League meets due to an injury concern. The six-time Olympic champion, who posted 10.12 in his lone 100m race this season, admitted that it will be important for him to execute properly and run a good time here, as he looks to build momentum heading into the World Championships. “It’s definitely one of my most memorable stadiums to run in. The crowd was great the last time I was here, the Olympics was just epic so I really enjoyed it and I am looking forward to competing here again,” Bolt stated. “I need to get my execution right. Most of my races have been poor, so its all about getting the right execution and getting it done. If everything goes right, and I execute right, then the times will come.” “I’ve always said that if my coach isn’t worried, then I am not worried, because he will always find a way to get me ready for the championships and he is confident that I can be ready and so am I. All we have to do is just work. I have been doing well in training. Everything has been going better and smoother so, hopefully, now I can go on the track and deliver,” Bolt said. The Jamaican will face countrymen Nesta Carter and Kemar Bailey-Cole as well as Mike Rodgers, Ryan Bailey, and Jimmy Vicaut in a heats-then-final system. The first of two heats will get under way at 8:17 p.m. (2:17 p.m. Jamaica time) with the final set for 9:29 p.m. (3:29 p.m. Ja time). Bolt has looked just as flat in the 200m, returning a best of 20.13 this season after three runs, but despite less than a month to go before the start of the World Championships, Bolt said he has never considered just focusing on one event this season and believes improvements in his 100m over the next few weeks will undoubtedly help his preparations for the longer sprint. “I need to run more 100m, if I do that, my 200m will come along because its always the first part of my race that needs work. The last part of my race always comes together and this is why I am working so hard and this is why I need to get some 100m races now and this has been our focus. We have been working hard in training and I know I will get it right,” Bolt said. “I’ve never thought of doing just one event.” He could not confirm if he will compete at next week’s Stockholm Diamond League, pointing out that the decision will be taken after his assignment here. The London Olympic Stadium is an old stomping ground of his but will it, again, prove a stronghold for the king of sprints? In this case, in more ways than one, time will definitely tell. andre.lowe@gleanerjm.comlast_img read more

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