Essien could make Blues window exit

first_imgMichael Essien could leave Chelsea in the transfer window, according to his agent. The Ghana midfielder spent last season on loan with Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid and has managed just three Barclays Premier League appearances this term. Essien joined Chelsea from Lyon in 2005, moving on to claim two Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League. Press Association The 31-year-old has been omitted from Chelsea’s Champions League squad so far this season. Agent Fabian Piveteau believes that could help pave the way for a move to another big European club during the January window. “He could leave Chelsea this winter,” Piveteau told French radio station RMC. “Several major European clubs playing in the Champions League were informed and the situation should settle down within the next 10 days. “You should know that Michael was not on the list of players who can play in the Champions League with Chelsea, so he is free to play in the competition with another club.” Piveteau rejected a return to Essien’s first club Bastia out of hand, admitting that the 52-cap midfielder will only seek to move to a club of similar standing. He said: “In Ligue 1 he could play only at Paris Saint Germain or Lyon, but Bastia, FC Sochaux, for them to support the salary of a Chelsea player, it is already impossible.” Meanwhile Blues striker Patrick Bamford could be swapping MK Dons for Derby as he builds experience through loan deals meanwhile. The 20-year-old has fired 16 goals for the Dons this season, and could now be set to swap Sky Bet League One for the Championship. Nottingham Forest academy product Bamford joined Chelsea in January 2012, signing a five-year contract. Manager Steve McClaren admitted England Under-21 star Bamford fits the profile of loan targets for the club. “We are having a little look around,” he told the Derby Telegraph. “I am pleased with the team, pleased with the squad but maybe it has not got that depth. “We are going to have a little look at that but, certainly, if everyone stays fit, we have got 15 or 16 players contributing and doing very well. “What we have done is we have gone for younger players, the likes of Andre Wisdom and Michael Keane, and even Simon Dawkins, who I keep thinking is only 18 or 19, and he is 26. “So, we have gone for younger players from the top teams and we want that quality. “We are looking for youngsters again to add to the squad and improve the quality we have got.” last_img read more

After stellar season, UW rugby excited for future

first_imgIt took a while, but the UW club rugby team has finally earned some respect. It took second place in the Division II National Championships, but even though the Badgers didn’t capture the title, don’t think they aren’t thrilled about the upcoming years.According to team captain Sean “Booch” Beuche, simply saying the rugby team came in second place at Nationals does not give justice to Wisconsin’s accomplishments. After sneaking into Nationals as the No. 16 seed, the Badgers were matched up with top seed Salisbury, a team that according to Beuche, aside from being ranked No. 1 in the tournament, proved intimidating to its opponents.“They just looked like a bunch of steroid-using monsters out there,” Beuche said. “We just got through that, but we just kinda learned to ignore that. If you don’t play well together, you’re not going to win a game.”The Badgers pulled together, and to everyone’s surprise, Wisconsin upset Salisbury 19-17 on a last second score. According to Beuche, aside from wanting to upset the tournament’s top seed, the team was focused on bringing attention to a deserving program.“We knew we were going to be the lowest seed in the national tournament,” Beuche said. “We’re knowing that we’re the underdog, we’re the Cinderella, we had something to prove. That was a ton of fun to go out there and see the No. 1 seed.”But the story doesn’t end there. After defeating Arizona State in the second round, Wisconsin was set to face Miami (Ohio), a team that beat the Badgers earlier in the season in the Regional Finals. Despite the fact they already beat two strong opponents earlier in the tournament, Badger senior Ryan Funderburk said the match against Miami brought out the most in a lot of the players on the squad.“I know I felt like I had a chip on my shoulder after losing to them earlier in the season,” Funderburk said. “We weren’t going to let them beat us again. …The fact of the matter is that we played together — that’s why we won.”In the national title game, the Badgers lost to Middlebury 27-11, but while the loss ended the season for Wisconsin, UW is confident it will be a strong competitor for years to come. Unlike two seasons ago, when the Badgers reached the Midwest Final Four with clutch play and some good luck, this season, according to Funderburk, Wisconsin seemed confident from the start.“Two falls ago we went to the Midwest Final Four, but I feel like the general feeling was we kind of got lucky,” he said. “I think this year there was a different feeling. Going into the Midwest playoffs, we feel like we owned it and deserved it.”Aside from their season accomplishments, both Beuche and Funderburk are excited for the future of Wisconsin rugby and rugby in the Midwest. This season, both UW-Milwaukee and Illinois were invited to join Division I. Beuche believes it is only a matter of time until Wisconsin joins the ranks of college rugby’s best teams.“We expect that in two years we’ll move up to D-1,” he said. “We’ve come across many many D-1 teams over the past year. … We went to a Big Ten Tournament where we beat Minnesota and only barely lost to Notre Dame later in the season.”“I can speak for everybody — everybody on the team would feel comfortable moving up to D-1,” Funderburk added. “After the way we played this year, I’m pretty sure we’re ready for it.”Against Illinois and UWM, both of which moved up to Division I this season, the Badgers won 55-0 and 48-5 respectively. Although that might be a small example of how Wisconsin fared against D-1 opponents, it shows the Badgers can at least compete with better competition.Furthermore, Beuche believes while neither Wisconsin nor Miami was able to take the National Title, the mere presence of both Midwest teams in the Final Four shows just how much Midwest rugby has grown, and how it deserves more attention.“This year we showed that we could compete with better competition,” Beuche said. “Miami and Wisconsin making it to the Final Four will show that the Midwest is a stronger rugby union that previously thought. … Wisconsin has definitely grown by leaps and bounds as far as rugby is concerned.”And by Wisconsin, Beuche doesn’t only mean the UW-Madison. All across Wisconsin, teams are beginning to be recognized nationally for their achievements. UW-Stout is currently in Division I, and UW-Whitewater has also proved to be a formidable opponent. Even in high schools, rugby clubs are being formed, and both Beuche and Funderburk are excited about what’s next to come for Wisconsin rugby.Until the Badgers move up to Division I though, they will continue to compete and will ultimately fight for a National Championship. That feat, Funderburk says, is something everyone on the team knows is no longer a product of luck, but an outcome of hard work and achievement.“I know it’s painful to see some of the guys leave the team,” Funderburk said. “As Booch said, there’s so much fresh talent moving up. … There’s no one on the team who doesn’t expect to be in Nationals again next year.”last_img read more

Defiant McEnroe Proposes Men v Women Contest

first_imgWilliams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, responded to McEnroe, asking him to “respect me and my privacy”.McEnroe, 58, said: “I’ve got a solution. Men and women play together.”“Then we don’t have to guess,” added the American. “I’m sure the men would be all for it.”Dmitry Tursunov – the male player ranked 701 in the world – also said on Tuesday he believes he could beat American Williams, who is due to give birth in autumn.“I would hope that I would win against Serena,” he told BBC World Service Sport.The 34-year-old Russian, once ranked as high as 20th in the world, said he did not think McEnroe was “trying to talk women’s tennis down” but said “the reality” was that “men are stronger in general”.“Physically I might not be in the best shape of my life but as an overall package I’m much better than my ranking would suggest. She is pregnant, and I’m not.Williams, 35, who is the most successful female player of the Open era, confirmed her pregnancy in April, just 12 weeks after winning her record 23rd Grand Slam singles title.“Dear John, I adore and respect you but please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based,” said Williams on Twitter.“I’ve never played anyone ranked “there” nor do I have time. Respect me and my privacy as I’m trying to have a baby. Good day sir.”The world number two expects to be back on court as early as January 2018.Tennis matches between men and women have occurred before, mostly notably back in 1973 when Billie Jean King took on fellow American Bobby Riggs.Riggs, the world number one in the 1940s, retired in 1951 and at the age of 55 believed he could beat any of the top female players.King originally declined to play Riggs and Australian Margaret Court – at the time the top female player in the world – stepped in. Riggs won 6-2 6-1.But later that year, the top-ranked women’s player King – 26 years younger than Riggs at 29 – took him on in an exhibition match at the Houston Astrodome and won 6-4 6-3 6-3.A third ‘battle of the sexes’ match took place in 1992 between American former world number one Jimmy Connors, aged 40 at the time, and Czech/American Martina Navratilova, who was 35.The match took place under special rules to make it more competitive – Connors was allowed only one serve per point, and Navratilova was allowed to hit into half the doubles court. Connors won 7-5 6-2.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram BATTLE OF SEXESJohn McEnroe has proposed a men v women contest to prove his claim that Serena Williams would be ranked “700 in the world” on the men’s circuit.The seven-time Grand Slam champion said Williams was “the best female player ever” but against men it would be an “entirely different story”.last_img read more

Sala: Nantes Goes to FIFA to Demand First Payment from Cardiff

first_imgNantes has dragged Cardiff before FIFA, demanding the payment of the agreed transfer fee on late Emiliano Sala Nantes has appealed to FIFA after Cardiff City failed to meet the deadline for the first £5million payment of Emiliano Sala’s transfer fee.The first payment for the Argentine striker, who died in a plane crash in the English Channel on January 21, had been due on Tuesday.But the Premier League club is withholding payment until crash investigations were completed and they were satisfied over ‘anomalies’ around the deal. Sala’s transfer fee of £15m had been due to be paid in three instalments and Nantes wrote to Cardiff on February 5 requesting the first of them by February 20.The clubs later agreed to extend the deadline but that has now passed without movement on Cardiff’s side.Nantes has now contacted world football’s governing body to arbitrate in the matter.A FIFA statement read: “We can confirm that we have received yesterday evening a claim from FC Nantes against Cardiff City in connection with the transfer of Emiliano Sala.“We are looking into the matter and consequently we have no further comments at this stage.”Sala, 28, was Cardiff’s record signing and was due to report to the club for training on January 22.But the Malibu Piper N264DB light aircraft carrying Sala and pilot David Ibbotson from Nantes to the Welsh capital went missing near the Channel Islands on January 21Sala’s body was found in the wreckage of the plane 13 days after it vanished but the body of Ibbotson has still not been located.Cardiff Chairman Mehmet Dalman has said that Cardiff will be ‘honourable’ with Nantes if they are contractually obliged to pay them the transfer fee.Fellow French club Bordeaux is due 50 per cent of the fee because of a sell-on clause in the deal with Nantes back in 2015.UK’s Sportsmail reported that a preliminary report into the crash has raised questions about whether the pilot was legally licensed to carry the player, in a development that could encourage Cardiff to continue withholding payment.The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) report says the Piper Malibu aircraft was not licensed for commercial use.Pilot Mr Ibbotson, who died along with Sala in the plane, was entitled to transport the player on a private basis.But to do so he would have needed to pay at least half the operating costs of the flight, under aviation rules governing the carrying of passengers.The rules – which allow non-commercial pilots to gain experience by taking passengers on a ‘cost sharing’ basis – also dictate that he needed to have had ‘a bona fide purpose for making the flight’ other than carrying Sala.“The flight must not be made for the purpose of merely transporting the passenger,” the AAIB report stated.There is no known evidence that Ibbotson was making the trip to France for any reason other than taking the player.He was called upon to make the journey at the last minute when Sala – in need of a jet to get home on Saturday January 19 – made it clear at 7.45pm the previous day that he had found no way of making the trip.Agent Willie McKay, mandated by Nantes to find a buyer for Sala, asked his regular first-choice pilot David Henderson to make the flight but he was unavailable.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

National Junior Cricket Super League Kicks off Friday

first_imgOthers are Ogun State representative Lisabi High School, Abeokuta, Obele Community High School, Surulere, Lagos,Scholar imperial school, Benin City, Edo and Kaduna College, Kaduna.The venue for this year tournament will hold at Ansar-Ud-Deen Grammar School, Randle Avenue, Surulere, Lagos.As part of efforts by the foundation to re-establish cricket in tradition cricket playing schools and breaking new ground, it is opening new cricket grounds for school boy cricket and seniors.The foundation is partnering with the Ansar-Ud-Deen Grammar School to hosting this year tournament.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram The Howzat Foundation for Cricket has scheduled Friday April 19 to Sunday April 21, for the 23rd Howzat National Junior Cricket Super League for Chief Philip Asiodu Trophy.According to the organisers, eight schools have been invited for this year tournament.The schools are, Ansar-Ud-Deen College, Isolo, Lagos, Ansar-Ud-Deen Grammar School, Surulere, Lagos, Federal Government College, Warri, Delta and Government College, Ibadan, Oyo State.last_img read more

2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup: England And Spain To Contest Final

first_imgFinal:England vs. Spain3rd/4th place:Brazil vs. MaliRelated England and Spain will contest the final of the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup in India on Saturday in what is an all European final after both countries won their respective last four games.Liverpool youngster Rhian Brewster netted a hattrick as he helped The junior Three Lions of England record an impressive 3-1 win over favourites Brazil. Wesley cancelled out Brewster’s match opener before the Reds striker added two goals to take his tournament tally to 7 goals while taking his team to the final.England will meet Spain in the final after the Spanish side saw off Mali in a 3-1 victory. Barcelona B striker Abel Ruiz netted a brace in addition to a Ferran Torres strike before Lassana Ndiaye scored what turned out to be mere consolation for the West African side.last_img read more

Doc Rivers knows it won’t be easy for LA Clippers

first_imgCoach Doc Rivers knows what he’s up against.“We know it’s going to be hard,” Rivers said. “We knew that when he got injured.”Griffin originally was out with a partially torn left quad tendon; he hasn’t played since Christmas.“We’re doing well right now,” Rivers said. “We know that it’s hard to keep doing this. We understand that. But our guys, all we can keep doing every night is lace ‘em up and try to win that game.”The trick is taking it one game at a time, Rivers said. “Whenever we have things like this, we try to turn it into single games,” he said. “Whereas before, when you have your team whole, you do blocks of games. You know, ‘Let’s do this.’“Well, once a key guy to your team gets injured, the blocks are done. You go to each game and you try to make that game the most important game until the next game.”That next game is Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. against the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center.Stephenson shinesWhen Lance Stephenson was acquired during the off-season, hopes were high for him bringing a lot to the team. At times, he has. But he hasn’t done well enough for Rivers to keep him in his regular rotation, so it’s been a hit-and-miss situation.Stephenson was a hit in Friday’s 105-93 victory over the Lakers. He scored 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting and also had five rebounds, two assists, a steal and a blocked shot in 22 1/2 minutes off the bench.Stephenson had an incredible dunk over Lakers power forward Julius Randle midway through the fourth quarter that brought the house down. Interestingly, Stephenson was the backup power forward in this game, a position the 6-foot-5 shooting guard/small forward had never played.“Lance is great,” Rivers said. “He played with great energy. He had never played the 4. Every night we ask someone to play a different position and they are starting to like it. They laugh about it. Lance is guarding Randle (who is 6-foot-9). They think it is funny, I do not think it is that funny, actually, but it is working for us.“It is energy that they (the reserves) are all bringing when they come in. I like his (Stephenson’s) spirit.”Stephenson’s energy is never-ending. And he’s always smiling, like he’s having more fun than anyone else.“I come in early and meet with the coaches,” he said. “Of course, I go on the treadmill and stay in shape. I just try to be ready and learn as much as possible.”Scouting the BullsChicago is 3-4 in its past seven games and is coming off a 114-91 victory over the Lakers on Thursday. The Bulls (26-19) are led by All-Star shooting guard Jimmy Butler (22.4 points per game), center Pau Gasol (16.7 points, 10.7 rebounds) and point guard Derrick Rose (15.3 points, 4.5 assists).The Bulls beat the Clippers 83-80 on Dec. 10 in Chicago. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img It stands to reason that at some point, the absence of Blake Griffin will turn into a negative for the Clippers, since he is arguably the team’s best player.So far, the Clippers have performed admirably, going 14-3 without him.But Griffin’s fractured right hand — an injury sustained when he punched team assistant equipment manager Matias Testi on Jan. 23 in Toronto — will likely keep him out at least another month. Then there is any suspension he might receive for the incident.Since Griffin has already missed over a month, the Clippers figure to be without him a total of two months — and probably a bit longer. last_img read more

Josh Hart leads Lakers past 76ers in Las Vegas Summer League opener

first_img VIDEO: LeBron James and Doc Rivers respond to Donald Trump calling NBA kneeling protests “disgraceful” Jubilation, anguish as race for NBA’s Western 8th seed gets as close as ever Lakers on verge of sealing home court advantage, what does it mean in the NBA bubble? LAS VEGAS — Second-year guard Josh Hart scored 24 points and rookie guard Svi Mykhailiuk added 17 points to lead the Lakers to a 96-79 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in their Las Vegas Summer League opener on Saturday night at the Thomas and Mack Center.With Lakers Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and JaVale McGee, Coach Luke Walton and General Manager Rob Pelinka sitting courtside, the summer squad turned in its best performance so far, bouncing back from an 0-3 showing in the inaugural California Classic earlier in the week in Sacramento.Ball and Kuzma were the stars of the show last summer, helping lead the Lakers to the Las Vegas tournament title and picking up tournament MVP and championship game MVP awards, respectively, in the process. But Hart and the rookies got them (and the usual partisan summer league crowd) out of their seats more than once on Saturday.Hart, who is unlikely to play in all the Las Vegas games, was effective on both ends of the court. He scored five quick points and Mykhailiuk drained a pair of jumpers to help the Lakers open a quick 11-4 lead, and Hart held Philadelphia’s Furkan Korkmaz to just four points (1 for 9, 0 for 7 from 3-point range) a night after he made eight shots from beyond the arc in a 40-point effort against the Boston Celtics. VIDEO: Watch Kyle Kuzma’s game winner and what he said about it Morning Wrap: Full coverage from Lakers-Clippers thriller; Angels, Dodgers going in different directions; Whicker pays tribute to legendary Mike Gillespie AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe Lakers took control in the second quarter, extending their lead to 45-33 by halftime. They kept the pressure on in the second half, pushing the margin to 23 at one point. The Lakers shot 44.4 percent from the field, but made nearly half of their 3-point attempts (14 for 31).Hart finished 9 for 15 from the field, including 4 for 8 from 3-point range and helped the Lakers build a 23-point second-half lead against a 76ers team that struggled from the field all night (38.3 percent overall, including 3 for 29 from 3-point range). Mykhailiuk finished 6 for 11 overall (4 for 8 from 3-point range) and shared the team lead with nine rebounds.Rookie big man Moe Wagner added 16 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots in 26 minutes, throwing down a crowd-pleasing one-handed dunk off a steal but adding seven more personal fouls to his growing summer collection.Issac Bonga, the 18-year-old second-round pick who just joined the team after signing his contract on Friday, struggled with three points, two steals and seven turnovers in 13 minutes.Nick King added 15 points and five rebounds, and Xavier Rathan-Mayes had 10 points and three assists for the Lakers. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Rookie Zhaire Smith led the 76ers (0-2) with 16 points.The Lakers take the court again on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. against the Chicago Bulls.Related Articleslast_img read more

Trick or Treat down the street begins at 4 p.m. today

first_imgSumner Newscow report — Don’t forget to participate in the Trick or Treat Down the Street in downtown Wellington this Friday, Oct. 31 from 4 to 6 p.m.last_img

New Activity Center Planned for Holmdel Park

first_imgOstrowski noted the park system hopes to have the project ready for bid by November or December 2019. Ostrowski said the existing activity center will be torn down and the new construction will be built on the same site; it is expected to include a program room, a covered outdoor space and new restroom facilities. “Welooked into restoring the home and making all the accessibility upgrades butthe project would have been too costly. It’s more cost-effective to start freshand build something new,” Ostrowski. In 1975, the Monmouth County Park System purchased an 11.68-acre parcel next to Holmdel Park on Longstreet, near the intersection with Crawfords Corner Road. The property included a split-level house, which over the years has hosted numerous grade school classes and youth groups for general natural history lessons and nature interpretation programs. RobinOstrowski, park system principal landscape architect, said a new facility was essentialbecause the house is breaking down with age and has ADA accessibilitycompliance concerns which need to be addressed. Improvementsto ensure a safer link between the activity center and the entrance of the566-acre park and its outdoor recreational opportunities – including thehistoric and operational Longstreet Farm – are also in the works. This article was first published in the May 16-22, 2019 print edition of The Two River Times. Thougha budget is still being crafted to encompass the entire scope of the proposedwork, the Monmouth County Park System Board of Commissioners has recommendedthe acceptance of an $89,900 proposal by the Hamilton-based SpiezleArchitectural Group, Inc. for the preparation of plans and constructiondocuments for the project. “Wehaven’t been able to use the activity center of late for several reasons,mostly because we’ve outgrown it. We really need to build a new one,” Ostrowskisaid. HOLMDEL –A new, modern activity centerfocused on nature appreciation is coming to Holmdel Park. It will replace thebuilding on Longstreet Road that the Monmouth County Park System has been usingfor 30 years.  Asfor the site plan, Ostrowski said it is only conceptual at this point and stillneeds to be presented and reviewed by the Holmdel Township Planning Board. Thesite’s existing Long Street Road entrance and parking area will be maintainedand a vegetative buffer will be installed between the roadway and the site. Accordingto the park system’s request for proposal for architectural and engineeringservices, “the building has outlived its useful life span and is no longersuitable for public use. Utilities need replacing and Americans withDisabilities Act (ADA) access to and within the building is problematic.”last_img read more