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Hammers earn place in Europa League

first_img Press Association West Ham have three rounds to negotiate before August’s play-off round determines the 22 teams advancing to the group stage. West Ham’s joint-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold said in a statement: “We are delighted to have won a place in the UEFA Europa League as we want to ensure the Boleyn Ground the best send-off possible, and progress in this competition will certainly help with that. “Starting in early July will bring its challenges but everyone at the club, from the board to the players and supporters, will be relishing the opportunity to feature on the European stage. It should be a fantastic experience.” West Ham will find out their opponents when the draw is made for the first and second qualifying rounds on June 22. Entering the Europa League at this stage is likely to prove an interesting challenge for Allardyce’s successor. Former West Ham defender Slaven Bilic is overriding favourite with the bookmakers to replace him and the Croatian has confirmed he will leave Turkish giants Besiktas. Roberto Di Matteo is second favourite after resigning as Schalke coach, while David Moyes, Unai Emery and Steve McClaren figure prominently on the list. Rafael Benitez and Jurgen Klopp are others to have been linked to the West Ham job. Just days after the end of the season and news that Sam Allardyce is leaving, the Hammers have confirmed they have secured European qualification for the first time since the 2006/07 season. The east Londoners finished top of the Barclays Premier League’s Fair Play table and will be amongst 104 teams whose Europa League campaign begins with the first qualifying round on July 2. center_img West Ham’s new manager will have Europa League football to contend with after the club announced they have qualified through the fair play league.last_img read more

New all-encompassing cycling club formed in Fyrish

first_imgFormer national cyclist Tiexeira and former national champ Toussaint behind projectFORMER national cyclist Shenika Tiexeira is now living her dreams after she and former national champion Randolph Toussaint combined their energies to start the Blazers Cycling Club at Fyrish in Corentyne, Berbice.The official launch of the new all-encompassing club, took place on Thursday last at Benjamin’s Sports Store.Tiexeira, who started as a junior at the Flying Ace Cycle Club before moving to Trojans PSC, where she won the junior and juvenile titles in the women’s category, is hoping that her input can convince more females to get involved in the sport.Although the club is opened to all riders, Tiexeira, who had earned a distinction in Physical Education at CXC, is hoping to use her knowledge and abilities to better prepare females who might want to take cycling to the next level.Toussaint, who has been a mentor to Tiexeira since her early years in the sport, was able to lend support. To get the club started, five racing bicycles and helmets among other cycling gear were donated.Although both cyclists were integrally involved in starting the club, the first executive elected has sports journalist Mark Bradford leading the helm. Toussaint will serve as vice president, with Tiexeira functioning as secretary. Debra Hurst and Gail Thomas will function as treasurer and assistant secretary/treasurer respectively.Meanwhile, President of the Guyana Cycling Federation Linden Dowridge and General Secretary Marc Sonaram also met the executives and ordinary members of the newly formed club and congratulated them for expanding the sport.According to information from Bradford, Dowridge had a heartfelt discussion with the members and committed to providing technical assistance to the club and support for its riders.Sonoram spoke briefly of the constitutional requirements and the affiliation licencing and discipline expected from cyclist.Blazers Cycling Club is the third cycling club in Berbice, and its members are hoping to bring keen competition to the sports in 2021, especially in the female category.last_img read more

Wisconsin hopes for better end to 2009-10

first_imgJunior guard Alyssa Karel and the Wisconsin Badgers will look to avoid another late-season collapse after a strong start to the Big Ten season.[/media-credit]Now that everyone’s finally grown accustomed to dating their checks 2010 instead of 2009, it’s a good time to peer back a calendar year and evaluate, for, as George Santayana famously said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”And if the clock is flipped back to January 2009 for the Wisconsin women’s basketball team, one will discover an identical 13-4 mark heading into the team’s 18th game and the heart of Big Ten conference play.One also will discover that at that juncture in the ’08-’09 season, the team began a slide that saw them lose eight of their next 10 contests, including a five-game losing streak that essentially dashed any NCAA tournament hopes.So, considering this time around’s the cast of characters — with five returning starters, only two lost letterwinners and just three freshmen — is mostly the same, how does the team prevent duplicating the ’09 mid-January slump?“We have a different mentality this year,” Rae Lin D’Alie, the team’s senior point guard and leader in assists and steals, said. “This year, we understand what needs to be done to win. And we knew it last year, but this year we understand it — it’s a totally different thing.“You can know a lot of things but when you really understand them, it’s a different story because you’re willing to put in the work; you’re willing to put in what needs to be done in order to get those wins.”“[Last year’s collapse] has come up in conversations, but I think this year we just need to be more mentally tough,” Teah Gant, D’Alie’s lone fellow senior and a team tri-captain, said. “I think that’s what we lacked last year is we’d get through an hour of practice and be mentally drained and not into it. So that’s definitely one thing we’ve been focusing on this year.”Although the squad has produced a similar start to both of the past two seasons, the differences in how the 13-4 records were reached are crucial.Statistically speaking, head coach Lisa Stone’s team has gotten better across the board by shooting the ball better at the free throw line, from distance and from the field; rebounding at a higher rate; and, most importantly, improving in scoring and scoring defense.Moreover, the 2009 team did not feature freshman sensation Taylor Wurtz, who is fifth on the team in scoring and fourth in rebounding.While the majority of the current roster was around to experience last year’s travails and learn from them, the team would do well to focus last year’s slide, if only to remind them of the rigors of Big Ten play.“It’s just a totally different season,” Gant said. “Everyone wants to be at the top of their league and end their season on a good note and get into the NCAA tournament, so that becomes more of a focus as it comes down to conference play.“It’s just a lot more physical, a lot more mental. … In the beginning of the season, everybody’s really excited to play and get some games under their belts, but when it gets down toward the end, it comes down to the mental aspect and just staying focused the entire time.”It also is notable that with five road tests remaining before the team enters tournament play, , last year’s team limped to a 1-8 road conference mark. Thus far, three of the Badgers’ four losses have occurred away from the Kohl Center’s friendly confines.“Everybody would much rather play at home,” D’Alie said. “For us, though, we get caught up in that sometimes. We get caught up in who’s winning what and what’s our record and what’s our record on the road — where we’re best when we just play basketball, when we just play together.“I think the more we can take the focus off that and the more we can focus on ourselves and reaching our max potential then [the rest] will just fall right in.”And the rest will be history — whether or not a repeat is up to them.last_img read more

MLAX : Orange defense working to build chemistry, jell early in season

first_imgWithout three key pieces from Syracuse’s vaunted defense last year, the new-look unit got off to a slow start during fall practice. The players needed time to jell into one unit and over time they did.Against Hofstra in the team’s first scrimmage, they got off to a slow start again, struggling to communicate through the Pride’s screens inside. But the inexperienced defense worked to fix the problem and turned in a solid performance on Sunday.‘We played well, but we have to understand that offense is going to get better as the season goes on, so we have to get better, too, and still work as a team,’ SU defenseman Joe Fazio said. ‘It’s a new group of guys.’The new group supporting starting goaltender Matt Lerman must replace four starters, including two All-Americans, from a defense that was arguably the best in the nation the last two years. Close defensemen John Lade and Tom Guadagnolo are gone along with defensive midfielder Joel White. They combined to stifle opponents time and time again throughout their careers.Only Brian Megill returns from the standout unit, making the defense an unknown heading into the season. Though the stars of the past will be hard to replace, the cast of current players, including Fazio and David Hamlin, are hungry to prove themselves as worthy replacements.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTheir first chance came Sunday in scrimmages against Hofstra and Le Moyne. Overall, the unit came away optimistic about its play, holding both teams to five goals in two victories for the Orange.Still, SU head coach John Desko and his players realize the defense has a long way to go this season.‘We’re making some mistakes. They’re to be expected this time of year,’ Desko said. ‘We need to improve, but I’m fairly happy with what we saw. But we’ve got to get better and get rid of some of our mistakes.’The mistakes often came as a result of miscommunication on the field. Though Hamlin said it has improved greatly since fall practice, the players are still developing that on-field chemistry that made the past Syracuse defenses great.Hamlin said last year’s defensive players were best friends on and off the field, and he could see that come into play on game day. It’s something the current group is striving to build this season.And this year’s unit is continuing another tradition its predecessors started last season.As the defensemen try to stick together and communicate on the field, they aim to form ‘the forest,’ to frustrate opposing offenses.‘That was just all the defensemen getting their sticks up and knocking down the passes, so you can’t throw through the forest, we like to say,’ Hamlin said. ‘So that’s just a tradition that we’re trying to hold onto.’That concept contributed to a defense that became the face of Syracuse lacrosse the last two seasons. The Orange ranked first in the nation in scoring defense in 2010 and third last season. SU also set a school record for man-down defense efficiency in 2011.Assistant coach Lelan Rogers said the cohesiveness of that group made it special. Those players trusted each other out on the field and communicated at all times. And now Hamlin, Fazio and the rest of the newcomers are trying to develop the same chemistry.‘The communication and just the jelling of the defense are critical,’ Rogers said. ‘And that’s what we’re going through right now. In the fall we did the same thing. We’re trying to mix and match and find the right guys who work well together.’With the past as a model of success, the 2012 SU defense is looking to find the right combination quickly to continue the tradition.And Fazio feels he and his teammates are well on their way to accomplishing that goal. He already describes the defense as a tight-knit group that is only going to grow closer every week.And like the defense did against Hofstra on Sunday, he expects the unit to adjust and improve with every game.‘As time goes on, we’re only going to get better, only going to become closer,’ Fazio said. ‘The guys that we saw in the past, we’ve always looked up to. … They were all together as one, and we’re trying to recreate what they had.’rjgery@syr.edu Comments Published on February 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: rjgery@syr.educenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Video: Knapp runs offensive linemen through hands drill

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Scott Shafer announced that Kyle Knapp would end his Syracuse playing career last April, citing three concussions that occurred “in a short period of time” as the reason. Shafer also said that Knapp would stay with the program as a special assistant, and he’s been an active part of the staff in the first week of training camp.Knapp worked with a group of offensive linemen at the start of practice Wednesday, putting six of them through a drill that worked on hand quickness by smacking a dummy back and forth with a partner. Before freshman Aaron Roberts came over to the drill, Knapp stood across from junior guard Seamus Shanley and outworked the other five players before stepping to the side.While watching from the side, Knapp gave advice to Roberts and freshman Denzel Ward and provided commentary for the older groups. When junior center Jason Emerich and Washington transfer Taylor Hindey started using one hand, Knapp smiled and said, “Oh, aren’t you guys fancy?”Here’s a short video of the drill: AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Comments Published on August 6, 2014 at 6:28 pm Contact Jesse: jcdoug01@syr.edu | @dougherty_jesselast_img read more

New banner to be unveiled Saturday

first_imgThe USC Spirit Leaders will debut a 40-foot banner to roll over student section Saturday at the student section to raise student spirit.A few minutes before kickoff against Stanford, spirit leaders in cooperation with Trojan Knights and Helenes will walk to the top of section 23 and direct students to hold their hands up for the banner to roll over them.The idea came from banners typically rolled over crowds at other sporting events, said Shana Schwartz, associate head coach of the Spirit Leaders.“In the past we’ve done card stunts and other things that haven’t been successful,” Schwartz said. “We had seen the banner at some professional soccer games and really began to look into this as one of our new ideas to raise school spirit along with the large trojan head flag we run out during games.”The spirit leaders hope for the banner to appear at every home game.“Hopefully students will want to come earlier to be a part of this new tradition,” Spirit Leader Captain Emily Gee said. “I hope for this to be a symbol that our student section is there and supportive no matter what.”Josh DeMilta, a junior majoring in broadcast journalism, said the banner could help students show support for USC during the game.“A banner would help the student section be more spirited and I’m all for the idea,” DeMilta said. “We need something like this to become more cohesive as a group and really show our presence at the games.”Schwartz said she has been satisfied with the school spirit of the student section so far and believes this will only make it better.last_img read more

Max Wittek will transfer following spring semester

first_imgQuarterback Max Wittek will transfer to another school for his final two seasons of eligibility after graduating from USC in May, according to the Los Angeles Times.Moving on · Max Wittek stepped in for an injured Matt Barkley at the end of the 2012 season before losing the starting job last season. – Ralf Cheung | Daily TrojanWittek, who enrolled at USC in January 2011, won’t have to sit out a season as most transfers do since the NCAA allows players who have graduated to transfer without penalty.Wittek finishes his USC career with 600 passing yards, three touchdowns and six interceptions. He completed 50 of 95 passes, and the Trojans were 1-3 when he played at least a half.“My journey has been a little bit different,” Wittek told the Los Angeles Times. “It didn’t work out with the traditional picture-perfect ending, but I definitely look back with a lot of positive feelings.”The Mater Dei-Santa Ana High School graduate had hoped to succeed Matt Barkley as USC’s starting quarterback last season, but ultimately lost the job to redshirt sophomore Cody Kessler. Wittek was the presumed favorite after serving as Barkley’s backup during the 2012 season, but a poor performance in that season’s Sun Bowl opened up the quarterback competition.After the pair split time under center for the first two games, former head coach Lane Kiffin tabbed Kessler as the starter. Kessler went on to lead USC to a 10-4 record while passing for 2,968 yards and 20 touchdowns against seven interceptions.Though Wittek never managed to achieve the success attained by fellow Mater Dei graduates Barkley and Matt Leinart at USC, the quarterback says he doesn’t regret trying to follow in their footsteps.“I’ve been through a lot and USC has helped me become the man I am today and there is no better place,” Wittek told the Los Angeles Times. “The Trojan Family is amazing … Getting my degree from such a great university will mean a lot, and ultimately, allowing me to play right away with two years to play was the best way to go.”Wittek has yet to determine which school he will transfer to. His departure leaves USC with three scholarship quarterbacks for spring practice — Kessler, redshirt freshman Max Browne and freshman Jalen Greene, who enrolled in January after graduating early from Junipero Serra-Gardena High School.last_img read more

Syracuse falls short of No. 8 North Carolina in nail-biting 75-70 loss

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Jim Boeheim thought the play was set up for Michael Gbinije to look for a 3.The Orange had been trailing the entire second half. Its only lead all night lasted all but 70 seconds. Every run that North Carolina posted and every fever pitch roar from the Dean E. Smith Center was met by SU doing something to silence it.After Syracuse got a stop with 44 seconds to play, it trailed by three and Gbinije knew how much time he had. He felt in control of the possession. He knew a 3-pointer could erase a wavering but always present UNC lead. But with the Orange trailing by three points and the clock ticking dangerously below 10 seconds, Gbinije passed up a 3 for an out-of-control drive to the basket.“I didn’t make a good decision given the outcome,” Gbinije said.North Carolina’s Joel Berry II got the rebound and was fouled with 6.6 seconds to play. He made the two ensuing free throws. The Tar Heels lead was finally permanent. Syracuse (19-11, 9-8 Atlantic Coast) hung with No. 8 UNC (24-6, 13-4) on the road, but dropped a 75-70 decision to keep itself on the proverbial NCAA Tournament bubble.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse shot 5-of-20 from 3, but recorded 32 points in the paint. It allowed 19 offensive rebounds, but UNC only scored 16 subsequent points.“If you’re not on, you’ve got to do the other things,” SU guard Trevor Cooney said. “And we did the other things today. We just couldn’t make that one shot or one stop at the end.”Cooney hit two 3-pointers in the span of 25 seconds after not making one in nine days. But on the next possession he shot an airball. There was 2:37 left in the first half and he wouldn’t make another field goal the rest of the game.Tyler Roberson showed from the outset that he was back to the high-volume rebounder and scorer that he’d been when he’s at his best. He posted nine points and 11 rebounds. But a chance to cut into a nine-point lead was wasted when he caught an open lob and the shot bounced off the front rim.Gbinije made two big momentum plays. The first was a putback, and-one dunk off a missed Cooney 3. The second was a step-back shot from behind the arc to cut the lead to one with 2:23 to play. But he also committed seven turnovers and missed the other five 3-pointers he shot.Syracuse made some plays. It hit some shots. It had some important defensive stands. It had four runs of four points or more in the second half. It found momentum but then saw it slip away.“To me the day was about winning,” UNC head coach Roy Williams said. “I didn’t care how. I didn’t care if we shot the ball well. I didn’t care if we’d rebounded well. I just wanted to look up on the clock and see we had more points.”The 6.6 seconds left on the clock wasn’t enough to do anything. Malachi Richardson pulled up from 3 with hardly anytime before the buzzer and his shot hit off the rim. UNC got the rebound and Boeheim motioned for his team not to foul even though the buzzer had gone off.It took all 40 minutes for the Tar Heels to know that a lead it held for 38 minutes and 50 seconds would finish safely in their grasp. Syracuse played far from its best game against North Carolina, and still it competed into the final minute.“I thought we battled them very well for a long time,” Boeheim said. “… They played with a lot momentum, got the lead and we just battled back, showed a lot of heart.” Comments Published on February 29, 2016 at 9:50 pm Contact Sam: sblum@syr.edu | @SamBlum3center_img Related Stories Gallery: Syracuse drops 75-70 decision to No. 8 North Carolinalast_img read more

Lacrosse is continuing excellence

first_imgThe women’s lacrosse team is on a roll.While the high-flying offense has put up 63 goals in just four games, the defense has been equally impressive. The defensive unit’s organization is tremendous. Their sticks and feet are active, and they suffocate opponents with organization and speed.While scoring goals is enjoyable for obvious reasons, there is something especially inspiring about lockdown defense. What is remarkable here is that the team has only played four games, and the defense looks ready for the postseason. The No. 11 Women of Troy have yet to give up double-digit goals in a game, and they refuse to lose their shape as games wear on. The team checks in at No. 1 in the country in scoring defense and is the only team in the land conceding fewer than five goals per game.Senior Courtney Tarleton complements junior defender Nina Kelty at the back, and with plenty of capable reinforcements, the depth on defense ought to make USC fans optimistic that this kind of defensive dominance will continue as the season progresses.The USC women’s lacrosse program is just four years old, yet this team has firmly established itself as a national title contender.It is early March. It is not prudent to jump to conclusions. But this team dismantled Michigan in every phase of the game on Friday at McAlister Field. It then proceeded to dominate Vermont on Saturday. It is safe to say that this group will challenge any team in its path in its quest for a national championship.A natty for any team in any sport obviously brings a great deal of pride to a university. However, if the USC women’s lacrosse team continues to play at this level and comes close to winning it all — let alone actually doing it — this will go down as one of the most incredible success stories in the history of intercollegiate athletics.Junior attacker Michaela Michael leads the entire NCAA with 4.5 goals per game. The real luxury for head coach Lindsey Munday, though, is that this offense is far deeper than just Michael. When Duke was forced to try to bottle up the sniper, junior attacker Kylie Drexel exploded for four goals. Against Michigan, Michael finished with five goals, showing superb movement off the ball and consistently getting into dangerous areas. Caroline deLyra finished the game with five assists, as the senior attacker created for her teammates time and time again.One would be hard-pressed to find faults with this team. From sophomore goaltender Gussie Johns’ stout play between the pipes to Michael’s prolific goal scoring, glaring weaknesses simply are not present.The team now prepares to head north to take on Cal and St. Mary’s. The March slate also includes home tilts against Dartmouth and Oregon at home as well as a road trip to Fresno State.Again, it is early. It is unwise to leap to conclusions. But there is something special brewing at McAlister Field.Josh Cohen is a sophomore majoring in broadcast and digital journalism. His column, “Cohen’s Corner,” runs every other Tuesday.last_img read more

‘Alex Iwobi’s Decision to Play for Nigeria Strictly His’

first_img“Deciding to play for Nigeria and not England was his own decision really without any external influence. All I did was to support him, and I believe he took the right decision,” Chuba said.Alex himself admitted that it was not an easy decision to take considering the fact that he had lived in England for almost all his years.On when he really realised that his son could really make a career in football, Iwobi Snr who said he started taking Alex to the park to train as early as when he was 18 months revealed his son showed great promise of becoming a great footballer at a very early age.LG Electronics officially signed on Iwobi as its official brand ambassador.Speaking at the unveiling, Managing Director, LG Electronics West Africa Operations, Mr. Taeick Son said: “the choice of Alex Iwobi went through a thorough process and in the end we zeroed in on him, going by his antecedent in the field of play and most importantly how he is generally perceived as a player around the globe, we have no doubt whatsoever that he is the right face to represent the brand, and at the end he would do us all proud.”Responding, Iwobi said: “For me this is a rear privilege and honour to be the Brand Ambassador of a renowned electronics giant as LG Electronics, I must say I am indeed happy and I will continue to do my best in the field of play which obviously was what attracted the brand to me in the first place and secondly, as an ambassador of the brand I will continue to perform in ways that connect with the performance of the brand in millions of homes.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram By Kunle AdewaleAgainst the backdrop that Alex Iwobi’s decision to don the colours of the Super Eagles as against the Three Lions of England was influenced by his uncle and former national team captain, Austin Okocha, the father of the Arsenal player, Chuba Iwobi has said Alex’s decision to star for Nigeria was strictly his.In a chat with THISDAY during the unveiling of Iwobi as the Brand Ambassador of LG Electronics at the company’s showroom in Lekki, Lagos at the weekend, the senior Iwobi said Alex’s decision to dump England for Nigeria was strictly his.last_img read more