Tag Archives: hopeful

Olympic basketball hopeful Amber Charles reacts to government cuts to funding

Olympic hopeful joins campaign against government cuts to basketball funding

bid, has joined the campaign to pressurise the Prime Minister over the slashed funding that is crippling basketball.

Britain’s basketball superstar Luol Deng delivered a hard-hitting letter to David Cameron this week after UK Sport’s funding was cut in the aftermath of the Olympics.

Now Charles, who as a 15-year-old girl from East London was an ambassdor for the Games, has spoken out too. She had a dream to play basketball for her country in Rio in 2016, but that dream is no longer possible if British basketball receives no funding.

Amber Charles was an ambassador for the Games at the age of 15, and met Lord Coe and David Beckham

Amber Charles was an ambassador for the Games at the age of 15, and met Lord Coe and David Beckham

Disappointed: Amber Charles was an ambassador for the Games at the age of 15, and met Lord Coe and David Beckham

Her letter reads as follows: ‘As many of you may remember I was an Ambassador for the London 2012 Olympic bid back in 2005. I was just 15 at the time and as you can imagine being alongside David Beckham, Lord Coe and people like Denise Lewis was an incredible experience for a young girl from East London. These are memories which are precious to me and will stay with me forever.

‘I travelled to Lausanne to present London’s bid book to the IOC and was part of your team which travelled to Singapore for the final presentation to the IOC. I also had the great honour of carrying the Olympic Torch as part of London’s Opening Ceremony.

‘My London 2012 experiences, from 2004 through to the actual Games, were amazing and the moment London was announced as the 2012 Host City will live with me for the rest of my life. That moment inspired me to pursue my dream to become a professional basketball player.

‘Almost eight years on and I am now studying in my final year of university in Tennessee on a basketball scholarship. London 2012 made me even more determined to follow my dreams and my ambition now – as it was even back then in 2005 – is to make the GB basketball team for Rio 2016. It is my focus and my aim.

Luol Deng spoke out against the cuts in a letter to David Cameron

Critical: Luol Deng spoke out against the cuts in a letter to David Cameron

‘But I am utterly dismayed and shocked by the decision by UK Sport to cut funding to the GB Basketball programme to zero. London 2012 was about inspiring the youth of the world through sport. People like me, keeping my dream alive. I just do not understand how all the great work of the 2012 Games – with so much focus on legacy – can then mean my sport being cast aside so soon after London 2012.

‘Without UK Sport funding, GB Basketball is dead and my dream to compete in Rio 2016 is over. I please urge you to do whatever you can to help reverse the short sighted decision by UK Sport and help to keep the inspiration of London 2012 alive for young people like me.

‘I have copied two of the wonderful and treasured photos which will remind me of my experiences and one day I would love to be able to send you a photo of me realising my dream, playing basketball for my country, and, who knows even winning a medal for my country. Imagine our pride and the size of our smiles on that day.’

Manchester City"s Jack Rodwell says yoga, jeeps and a good pillow are what"s helping him avoid injury

Yoga, Jeeps and a good pillow: Injured Rodwell reveals his secrets on road to recovery at Man City

By
Phil Duncan

PUBLISHED:

16:07 GMT, 17 January 2013

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UPDATED:

16:10 GMT, 17 January 2013

Manchester City midfielder Jack Rodwell has admitted to making changes to his lifestyle – including using a different pillow – in his bid to win back full fitness.

City boss Roberto Mancini admitted he was ‘worried’ about the former Everton star after he suffered his eighth hamstring injury since the start of last season whilst playing for the England Under-21s in October.

Rodwell has recently returned to training and is hoping to make an impact for City after making just six appearances since his 12million summer switch from Goodison Park.

Jack Rodwell hopes that the small changes in lifestyle will have an impact on his fitness

Hopeful: Jack Rodwell hopes that the small changes in lifestyle will have an impact on his fitness

‘You have to rule everything out. I have changed my pillow and other silly stuff, but that’s part and parcel of being a footballer,’ said Rodwell.

‘I changed my car completely – I was in a sports car and changed to a Jeep which is more stable for the back and doesn’t put too much stress on it.

‘I am also about 10 minutes drive from training now so I don’t spend a lot of time in the car. I used to feel a little bit stiff. I moved so I don’t have to drive for too long to get there in the morning.

‘I have also started doing yoga. A lot of people said the same happened for Ryan Giggs, that throughout his youth he got a lot of hamstrings. He started yoga, and so have I. I am just trying to do everything right.’

Rodwell, who hasn’t played for City since the beginning of October, added: ‘It’s been frustrating for me as I’ve been injured a lot but, hopefully, I can get more fitness and get time on the pitch. I’m back in training now, so I’m positive.

‘When you sign for a new club you just want to play and when injury stops you it is frustrating. You can’t be negative – I’m through it now and have the second half of the season to look forward to.’

Blackburn want Tim Sherwood by Saturday

Blackburn hopeful of securing Sherwood as new boss in time for next game

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UPDATED:

22:06 GMT, 15 October 2012

Blackburn hope to appoint Tim Sherwood as their new manager before they travel to play Derby on Saturday.

The Championship club are in talks with Tottenham after having an initial approach rejected by their chairman Daniel Levy.

Rovers return: Tim Sherwood is close to taking over at old club Blackburn

Rovers return: Tim Sherwood is close to taking over at old club Blackburn

Just champion: Sherwood won the Premier League title with Rovers during his playing days

Just champion: Sherwood won the Premier League title with Rovers during his playing days

Rovers chiefs have started putting
together a compensation package, such is their growing confidence of
luring Sherwood back to the club he captained to the Premier League
title in 1995.

When questioned last month about the vacancy, Sherwood said: 'That's all they are – just rumours. That's all I know about it.

'I've got a great job where I am. There is nothing to consider. It's just speculation. I love what I do. I'm happy at the football club, it's a great project.'

Alan Shearer, recommended for the job by former boss Kenny Dalglish, is another option.

Shearer, who scored 112 league goals for the Lancashire outfit during his playing days, previously turned down the opportunity to take over at Ewood Park before Paul Ince's ill-fated spell.

Scott Brown hopeful of being fit for Wales clash

Scotland midfielder Brown hopeful of being fit for Wales clash

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UPDATED:

17:06 GMT, 8 October 2012

Scotland midfielder Scott Brown is optimistic he will be fit to face Wales on Friday – and has not ruled out playing against Belgium too.

Brown missed Celtic's win over Hearts on Sunday to rest his ongoing hip problem after helping Neil Lennon's side beat Spartak Moscow on an artificial pitch in Russia.

Speaking at Scotland's Mar Hall base on Monday, Brown said: 'I'm not too bad, I'm getting there slowly.

Optimistic: Brown has a hip problem

Optimistic: Brown has a hip problem

'I'm going to try for Friday first of all and see how I am. I'll take everything one step at a time and Wales is the most important game now.

'I missed out on the Hearts game at the weekend but I'm feeling not too bad just now. I'll see how training goes in the next few days.'

When asked if he could play both of the World Cup qualifiers, Brown said: 'I don't see why not. I feel okay.

'After the game on Friday, if I play, I'll take it step by step. We will just have to wait and see.'

Lennon has already given Brown and Scotland manager Craig Levein his blessing for Brown to play both matches if possible.

'He says it is up to me, if I feel fine
to play one game, play one, and if I feel okay for two, just go ahead
and do it, whatever my body can handle just now,' the former Hibernian
player said.

Plastic pitch: Brown complained about the surface at the Luzhniki

Plastic pitch: Brown complained about the surface at the Luzhniki

Brown has missed a number of Clydesdale bank Premier League matches with his hip complaint but played two games in a week last month, against Benfica and Dundee, and revealed his latest lay-off was largely down to the surface in the Luzhniki Stadium.

'The Astroturf did me,' Brown said. 'It was solid, there was no give. It was quite hard twisting and turning on it.

'We are back to grass so I think we should be okay for the upcoming couple of games.'

Meanwhile, Blackburn defender Grant Hanley has pulled out of the Scotland squad with a groin strain, assistant manager Peter Houston has confirmed.

Connor Wickham hoping England success can help Sunderland career

Wickham hoping to use England exploits as springboard for Sunderland success

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UPDATED:

08:59 GMT, 12 September 2012

Connor Wickham is ready use his best moment as an England player as a catalyst to banish the frustrations of a demoralising year.

The Sunderland striker's goal for the Under 21s on Monday night was not only good enough to beat Norway, it also ensured England finished top of Group 8 and means they will be seeded in the draw for next month's play-offs.

On a personal level, though, the strike was just as significant. Wickham has endured a miserable time since joining Sunderland for 8.1million 14 months ago, as a series of injuries and a loss of form led to last season being nothing other than a struggle.

Strike a light: Wickham scored the winner for England against Norway

Strike a light: Wickham scored the winner for England against Norway

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill is now considering sending Wickham out on loan, given he has surplus of forwards, but whatever happens, the 19-year-old is hoping his first competitive goal in 11 months is a sign that his luck has changed.

'I'm delighted. All goals are important and it is always nice to score but to get the winner in such an important game and it was extra special that we have finished top,' said Wickham. 'It has felt like a fresh start coming away with England.

'Last season wasn’t great. I was struck by injury quite a lot. Hopeful this season I can stay fit and keep scoring goals. That is all I am focused on. I just want to play as many games as I can. It's been horrible (having to cope with injuries).

'It was my first season in the Premier League and I didn't get to show what I am about. Hopefully this season it will change. I'm feeling fitter and stronger. I just need to stay fit, healthy and be sensible off the pitch.'

Catalyst: Wickham hopes he can now push on at Sunderland

Catalyst: Wickham hopes he can now push on at Sunderland

Though England will be plucked from Pot A on Friday, they could still end up with a difficult two-legged assignment next month, with countries such as Serbia and Russia potentially blocking the route to Israel next summer.

But Wickham said: 'I don't think anyone is bothered about who we get. We just know there is enough talent in the changing room to beat anyone who we get drawn against. We think we can beat anyone who is put in front of us.'

Andre Villas-Boas hopes Emmanuel Adebayor can kick-start season

AVB hoping Adebayor can kick-start Spurs' stuttering campaign after putting striker on fitness regime

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UPDATED:

21:49 GMT, 5 September 2012

Andre Villas-Boas will pin his hopes on Emmanuel Adebayor kick-starting Tottenham's stuttering season after putting the striker on an intensive fitness regime.

The Togolese striker has made just two substitute appearances for Spurs since his permanent arrival from Manchester City last month due to the fact Spurs coaching staff were not satisfied that his fitness levels were sufficient enough to start.

Time to get fit: Emmanuel Adebayor has been put on a strict training regime

Time to get fit: Emmanuel Adebayor has been put on a strict training regime

And Adebayor has been put on a specially-devised fitness programme as Villas-Boas looks to bring his centre-forward up to scratch.

Because Adebayor was frozen out of first-team matters at City by manager Roberto Mancini, the former Arsenal man was unable to build up an advanced level of fitness during pre-season.

But Tottenham earmarked the
international break as the period Adebayor would fine tune his match
fitness – and Villas-Boas is now preparing to hand the striker his first
start for the club when Tottenham face Reading next weekend.

Adebayor's
return to full fitness will be a massive boost to Villas-Boas who is
already under major scrutiny after his side's winless start to the
Premier League.

Hopeful: Andre Villas-Boas believes Adebayor can kick-start Spurs' stuttering season

Hopeful: Andre Villas-Boas believes Adebayor can kick-start Spurs' stuttering season

New addition: Adebayor, who joined from Manchester City, hopes to reinforce Tottenham's struggling attack

New addition: Adebayor, who joined from Manchester City, hopes to reinforce Tottenham's struggling attack

Andy Carroll was going to start against Hearts but he had an injury, says Brendan Rodgers

Carroll was injured, not dropped… and we're closing in on Sahin, insists Rodgers

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UPDATED:

22:54 GMT, 23 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers revealed Andy Carroll missed Thursday night's 1-0 win over Hearts in the Europa League with a hamstring problem, while confirming he is edging closer to signing Nuri Sahin.

The Real Madrid midfielder has also been linked with a move to Barclays Premier League rivals Arsenal but looks set for a switch to Anfield, with Rodgers hopeful that a deal is imminent.

The manager said: 'Hopefully in the
next 24 hours we will get some confirmation on that. It's quite far
along. He's a very good footballer.'

Watching brief: Brendan Rodgers and Andy Carroll before the match

Distant: Andy Carroll (left) and Brendan Rodgers seem frosty

Warming up: the two exchange a playful headbutt

Warming up: the two exchange a playful headbutt

Carroll failed to make the squad for the play-off first leg in
Edinburgh – despite his presence at the stadium – with the 35million
striker linked with a return to Newcastle.

However, Rodgers says the forward was set to start against Hearts and
he remains hopeful he will be fit for Sunday's visit of champions
Manchester City.

He said: 'Andy was due to start. He had a slight twinge on his hamstring.

Carroll watches from the stand

Missing out: Carroll watches from the stand

Andy Carrol watches from the crowd

Andy Carrol watches from the crowd

'We had a scan on it and it didn't show a tear, just a slight disruption.

'We tried to give him 48 hours, let him travel and he trained Wednesday to see how it was.

'It was still a bit tight and the medics' advice was it was too much of a risk for him to play.

'It was unfortunate because he has worked well and I know he was desperate to play.

'Hopefully missing the game will allow him to recover for the weekend.'

Rodgers also paid tribute to Sterling, saying: 'He's 17-years-old and you saw in the first half that tactically he's improving all the time, his pressing was good and he was starting to read the game.

'When he did have the ball he was very exciting. He had a real test tonight and he showed some good moments.'

Tough break: Andy Webster (left) turns the ball past Jamie MacDonald (centre) to gift Liverpool the lead

Tough break: Andy Webster (left) turns the ball past Jamie MacDonald (centre) to gift Liverpool the lead

Just Fab: Borini celebrates Liverpool's winner

Just Fab: Borini celebrates Liverpool's winner

Rodgers added: 'First and foremost it was a win which is very important in European games, and certainly coming to a place like this with the crowd right up for it.

'I thought the players were excellent. We spoke about our positioning at half-time and in the second half our management of the game was much better. We kept possession better and the goal came from a very good move.

'It was a good win, a difficult match for us, and it was a really good game.'

London 2012: Dai Greene must dig deeper after Javier Culson leaps ahead in the chase for gold

Dai must dig deeper after Culson leaps
ahead in the chase for London gold

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UPDATED:

21:46 GMT, 13 July 2012

Dai Greene has three weeks to find two
metres. That was the margin by which our gold-shoed Olympic hopeful was
beaten by Javier Culson on a soggy evening in south London.

It is now a stomach-churning night on
another side of town that beckons these two men – Greene of Wales and
Culson of Puerto Rico – with a mighty duel awaiting them in the 400
metres hurdles final on Monday, August 6.

He will attempt to achieve then what
he could not do last night at Crystal Palace's Diamond League meeting,
namely end Culson's unbeaten record in 2012 when it ultimately counts.

Rivals: Javier Culson and Dai Greene

Going for gold: Javier Culson and Dai Greene

The sun crept out for the first time here as Greene and the star-laden field settled in their blocks. A false start, from Bershawn Jackson in lane eight, heightened the tension. But they were away at the second attempt, with the tall, smooth-running Culson off to a blistering start. He maintained his advantage around the bend.

Could Greene, a strong finisher, reel in Culson He had done it in Daegu at the World Championships last year as his rival rocked under the strain of his efforts. But, no, Greene did not have enough in reserve this time.

Culson, in an orange headband, ran 47.78sec, equalling his own fastest run of the year, with Greene second in 48.10sec. Angelo Taylor, the double Olympic champion, was third.

First place: Culson finishes ahead of Greene at Crystal Palace

First place: Culson finishes ahead of Greene at Crystal Palace

The Culson-Greene one-two was a repeat of last week's result in Paris, only that Culson's time was identical but Greene's 0.26sec slower.

'I cannot lie, I would have loved to have got one over Javier,' said Greene, named Britain's Olympic athletics captain this week. 'He is running well but, considering where I was six weeks ago, to have two great races back to back like that is great. There are lots of positives.

'Anyone going into the Olympics unbeaten has got to be the favourite but I guess Javier would say I'm the home favourite as it's my home crowd. I'm a couple of metres off him but I know I can improve and I will get stronger. I maybe was too gung-ho after the run in Paris and trained too hard.

'Hopefully, I can get it right when it matters most.'

Dai Greene (3rdR) finishes behind 400m Men's Hurdles winner Javier Culson

Dai Greene (3rdR) finishes behind 400m Men's Hurdles winner Javier Culson

Greene's exact prospects are hard to assess because of the disjointed build-up that has beset him: surgery on his left knee in December hampered his winter training, yet he has felt over the last few weeks that he is running himself into form.

One huge advantage for Greene at the Olympics will be his big-race temperament. He has that stare; that total focus; the clean technique that appears resilient under pressure.

Culson might be the master at the one-off evening but there are three rounds at the Olympics, changing the demands and dynamics of competition.

But despite that, and as befits the winner, Culson stepped off the track to say: 'I am very happy not because I won but because of the time. It shows I am running consistently. The weather is too cold for me. Puerto Rico is very tropical. But I have been here in London acclimatising. I have to start fast as Dai is very strong. I remember that from the world final last year when I saw him coming.

'But I am stronger this year.'

This was not an evening for casual fans to show up. So, of course, some of the 16,000 seats were unoccupied. Others shivered under umbrellas.

Focused: Greene has work to do

Focused: Greene has work to do

It appeared a remarkable leap from this kind of scene for the diehard devotees to the razzmatazz of the Olympic Stadium. The top tickets there will set you back 750. Here the price range went from 20.12 – we note what they have done there – to 100.

This rickety old place looked its dilapidated worst in the gloaming. It was never intended to be a stadium when it was built in the Sixties but the national training centre. Its all-weather track was an improvement from the cinder track at White City so athletics meets decamped and a hotchpotch of an arena was born.

Thankfully, British athletics will be moving to the gleaming new stadium in Stratford come 2014. Greene, and his training partner Jack Green, who finished fourth with a personal best of 48.60sec, will be there sooner.

Before then Greene is off abroad. 'It's Portugal now, to work on things,' he said. 'It will be good to get some sun.'

Southampton hopeful of wrapping up Nathaniel Clyne"s switch from Crystal Palace

Southampton hopeful of wrapping up Clyne's switch from Crystal Palace

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UPDATED:

21:17 GMT, 12 July 2012

Southampton are hopeful of pushing through a move for Crystal Palace right back Nathaniel Clyne, 21.

Saints boss Nigel Adkins is keen to add a right back to his squad ahead of the Premier League kick-off next month.

On the move Nathaniel Clyne (right) is a top target for Southampton

On the move Nathaniel Clyne (right) is a top target for Southampton

And Clyne fits the Saints transfer mould perfectly – a talented, young, British player who won’t command big wages.

Jenson Button hopeful of ending British Grand Prix podium hoodoo

Button hopeful of ending podium hoodoo at British Grand Prix

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UPDATED:

17:44 GMT, 29 June 2012

Jenson Button is prepared to put his emotions on show should he finally bring an end to one of the more bizarre sporting hoodoos.

With the British Grand Prix looming over the horizon, it means it must be time to focus on Button's inexplicably wretched record at Silverstone.

In 12 attempts at the Northamptonshire venue Button has never managed to clamber on to the podium, a feat he has achieved on 45 other occasions throughout his career across the world.

On the Button: Jenson is optimistic of ending his Silverstone hoodoo

On the Button: Jenson is optimistic of ending his Silverstone hoodoo

Phil Duncan F1 blog

Put into greater perspective, there is only one other circuit on the current calendar – the upcoming new track in Austin aside of course – where Button has failed to claim a top-three place, and that is Korea, which has only staged two grands prix.

'Heading into the British Grand Prix I am positive,' said Button. 'I have been through a difficult spell, and looking at the result in Valencia (qualified ninth and finished eighth) you would say it was the same.

'But personally I was a lot happier with the car over the weekend and how we improved it from the starting point we had.

'It wasn't the perfect weekend, but I feel happy we've definitely found a direction now as we were a little lost before.

Grand plans: Lewis Hamilton and Button at the glitzy launch of the London GP

Grand plans: Lewis Hamilton and Button at the glitzy launch of the London GP

'As a team there is still more we need to do to fight at the front in terms of developing the car.

'But I do think Silverstone is a circuit that suits the McLaren. It's high speed so it should be a circuit where we're quick.

'We have good downforce at high speed, which is something we don't probably have at low speed, so the car should be strong there.

'It's a very mixed season, which means it's sometimes difficult to know where your car is going to work well, but I'm pretty sure it's going to work well at Silverstone.'

But the question is, will it be quick enough to push him into the top three for once, or will luck again desert him, as typified by last year

Pushing for a podium finish, Button was forced to retire on lap 40 when his pit crew failed to secure the right-front wheel at a pit stop, resulting in him grinding to a halt just a few hundred yards from the garage.

Errors have notably been a feature of McLaren's pit stops this season, but hopefully Button will avoid any such issues in his bid to at least thrust himself back into title contention.

Second in the table and trailing team-mate Lewis Hamilton by two points after the first three races, Button has plummeted to eighth and 62 points adrift of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso five races later.

But then that Button confidence comes to the fore again as he said: 'I know I'm a long way behind and that I've put myself in a very difficult situation.

'I know I've made it more difficult for myself compared to most other people, but you never give up until it's not possible any more, and especially heading into the British Grand Prix.

'So I've every confidence in the world it's going to be a good weekend, and it just makes it all the more exciting as I try and chase down my rivals.'