Tag Archives: incumbent

David Sparkes wants meeting with Rebecca Adlington

British Swimming chief Sparkes seeks clear-the-air meeting with 'insulted' Adlington

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UPDATED:

01:33 GMT, 5 December 2012

British Swimming chief executive David Sparkes wants to set up an urgent meeting with Rebecca Adlington after the four-time Olympic medallist said she felt “insulted” by the governing body following the review into the team's under-performance in London.

The 23-year-old has been vocal over the last 24 hours, first criticising that there being no new head coach following Dennis Pursley's return to the United States immediately after the Games.

This was followed today by an interview in The Times in which she said: 'It's not good enough. I feel insulted, disheartened and saddened by the way they have ignored us, the swimmers, in all of this.'

Insulted: Rebecca Adlington (centre) was irritated that British Swimming were launching an investigation into this summer's performances

Insulted: Rebecca Adlington (centre) was irritated that British Swimming were launching an investigation into this summer's performances

Adlington was one of only two British medallists, the other being Michael Jamieson, in the summer as the team fell short of their base target of five.

A review was announced immediately after but the decision of Michael Scott to resign as national performance director left the sport without an incumbent in two key roles.

Today British Swimming announced Mark Perry, currently head of development, would become interim technical leader with immediate effect with Graham Bassi moving from Swansea ITC to take on Perry's role.

It still may not quell the criticism and Sparkes wants to address the issues brought up by Adlington as well as other swimmers who have been vocal on Twitter.

He said: 'I don't quite yet know what the problem is but I hope to soon because I am desperately trying to set up an early meeting with Rebecca and her colleagues.

'We are just struggling to find a date that meets her needs at the moment.
“But we are working hard on it.'

He added: 'If Rebecca felt pretty strongly I am a pretty approachable kind of chap and if she had dropped me an email or have picked up the phone I would happily have met with her.

Happy Adlington managed to take a bronze at this summer's London Games

Happy Adlington managed to take a bronze at this summer's London Games

'I recognise she is pretty unhappy with me now – well with British Swimming – I want to put it right.

'I want to listen to her and hear what she is going to say. I am sure she has got some good stuff to say to us and I want to hear it.'

There has been a sense of isolation emanating from those who have been critical, something Sparkes queried, claiming Craig Hunter, who chaired the review panel, was frustrated by the low number of swimmers who became actively involved with American sports psychologist Katrina Radke – a point of contact for athletes to speak anonymously.

He said: 'I know Craig and his group tried really hard to get to the athletes and get their view but I equally know Craig himself was disappointed that more athletes did not participate, despite the fact he put in place some additional resources so they could either comment by email, if that was appropriate, or they could have a private interview.

'It's been suggested to me a lot of the athletes just wanted to move on rather than reflect on what had gone wrong to move forward.'

Neither does Sparkes agree they were rudderless given Scott only left at the end of last week, and believes accusations of delays are countered by the appointments of Perry and Bassi while Ian Mason, currently World Class director of operations across all aquatics programmes, will for the moment focus on swimming.

Look out, Chris: Adlington was with Frank Lampard and Sir Chris Hoy at the The Emeralds and Ivy Ball this weekend

Look out, Chris: Adlington was with Frank Lampard and Sir Chris Hoy at the The Emeralds and Ivy Ball this weekend

The search for a permanent head coach and performance director are under way with Sparkes hoping to make appointments early in the new year, although he warned it could be as late as March.

In the meantime, Perry will agree selection policies and finalise the exact dates of the June trials for the World Championships in Barcelona.

In the review, published on Sunday, much was made about the need for improved communication.

And while Sparkes felt Scott had made strides, he did not feel that had been the case with Pursley.

The American has an unquestionable pedigree over many years in the United States but oversaw a team of which the vast majority failed to match their times from the trials at the Games a few months later.

Sparkes said: 'He's been around the block a few times.

'I think what he should have been is much more checking and challenging.

'He should have more influence than he did.'

Referring to Bill Sweetenham, the tough but effective former performance director, Sparkes said: 'I don't think we want to go back to 'Bill says…

Clear-the-air: Adlington is a four-time Olympic medallist

Clear-the-air: Adlington is a four-time Olympic medallist

'I think the important thing is to empower our coaches to make the right decisions, but from time to time it is helpful if our boss takes an interest in our work.

'In some respects in the Sweetenham era it was “do as I say' and then Michael pulled the pendulum back to 'do what you think is right”.

'Maybe we need to get back slightly towards “hang on – we are not saying do as I say but let's all agree what we are going to do and let's work together to find the right strategy”.'

Scott's resignation was leaked to the press and, despite it not looking good, Sparkes had few concerns about this, saying: 'Leaks happen. I don't run a secret society, we are not MI5.'

While admitting the 25million swimming was awarded in the four years before London was not borne out by results, Sparkes insists he has never considered quitting himself.

'No. At the end of the day I have a much wider responsibility to the sport in the sense that I sit across the whole aspect of the sport and my job is to make sure there are more people swimming, we are building pools, we are getting on and driving forward on all the programmes.

'If you look at the results in the Paralympics they were broadly in line with the expectations, if you look at diving, water polo and synchro similarly.'

New Zealand name Mike Hesson as new cricket coach

New Zealand name Hesson as new cricket coach after Wright stands down

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UPDATED:

07:50 GMT, 20 July 2012

Former Otago and Kenya coach Mike Hesson has been appointed New Zealand coach on a deal which runs until the end of the 2015 Cricket World Cup.

The withdrawal of Matthew Mott from consideration left Hesson the last man standing for the job of succeeding John Wright, who announced in May that he would not be extending his contract.

The 37-year-old Hesson feels privileged to have been handed the role.

New man in charge: Mike Hesson takes over the New Zealand cricket team

New man in charge: Mike Hesson takes over the New Zealand cricket team

'I'm a proud Kiwi and very much a true believer in New Zealand cricket,' he said at a press conference in Auckland. 'That means I honour the cricket traditions but it also means I am excited about the future of cricket in New Zealand.

'I haven't been appointed to warm the seat for a couple of years and I feel confident I am certainly going to bring some value to the role.'

Hesson's first assignment will be to take the New Zealand team to India after the completion of the tour to the West Indies, when Wright bows out.

'Having the opportunity to coach the Black Caps is very special for me,' Hesson added.

'I am passionate about cricket in New Zealand and doing the best job I can for the players and the fans of cricket in this country.'

'My coaching philosophy is essentially built around setting world-class standards to produce excellence and that's what I intend to do with the Black Caps.

'It's a big challenge but one I'm ready for and excited about.”

He will become New Zealand's fourth coach in as many years since the departure of the last long-term incumbent, John Bracewell, in December 2008.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White was thrilled to have secured Hesson's services for the next three years.

'Mike has all the right attributes we are looking for in a national coach and we are delighted have him through to the ICC World Cup 2015,' White said.

White outlined what he called a “rigorous” recruitment process, which had seen 26 potential coaches around the world contacted.

Four contenders entered an interview process which involved White, NZC's director of cricket John Buchanan, board member Rob Hart, NZ high performance sport chief executive Alex Baumann and former national captain Stephen Fleming.

The panel had been unanimous in the choice of Hesson, according to White, and the NZC board had endorsed that decision.

White added: 'It's been a lengthy process, but we've been absolutely conscious of getting the right person and we are very, very confident we have got the right person.

'He's very well organised, he's got great management skills, great communication skills, technically he's very sound as a coach as well and I know that he will empower not only the players but also the support staff as well. The team will very much function as one.'

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina wanted by AC Milan

AC Milan weigh up move for Liverpool stopper Reina

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UPDATED:

23:53 GMT, 19 June 2012

AC Milan are considering a move for Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

The Italian giants are looking to rebuild their squad after losing their Serie A title to Juventus last month.

In demand: Reina is being monitored by Italian side AC Milan

In demand: Reina is being monitored by Italian side AC Milan

Having rejected a 37million bid from
Paris Saint-Germain for Thiago Silva they want to strengthen their
defence further and 29-year-old Reina is regarded as one of the best
goalkeepers in the world.

Incumbent Milan No 1 Christian
Abbiati turns 35 this summer and although he enjoys cult status at the
club, Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri was not convinced by his
performances last season.

International duty: Reina is currently away with Spain

International duty: Reina is currently away with Spain

Reina is settled on Merseyside but a club of Milan's stature may prove persuasive with Liverpool in another stage of transition.

The former Barcelona and Villarreal goalkeeper is currently away at Euro 2012 with Spain and has not yet met new Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers.

James O"Connor waits on scans ahead of Scotland and Wales Tests

Australia star O'Connor waits on scans ahead of Scotland and Wales tests

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UPDATED:

11:04 GMT, 1 May 2012

Australia's James O'Connor must wait at least three weeks before having scans on his lacerated liver to determine whether or not he'll be available for selection for tests against Scotland and Wales next month.

The Wallabies and Melbourne Rebels utility back spent several days in a Sydney hospital receiving treatment after being accidentally kneed by New South Wales flyhalf Berrick Barnes as they contested possession in a Super 15 match on April 21.

May day: The Australia ace speaks to assembled members of the media on Tuesday

May day: The Australia ace speaks to assembled members of the media on Tuesday

He was ruled out for at least six weeks, meaning he's unlikely to play before Australia opens its international season against Scotland on June 5.

The 21-year-old O'Connor on Tuesday said he was lucky the damage was confined to his liver and he wasn't likely to have any long-term effects.

With test incumbent Quade Cooper sidelined since the World Cup with a knee injury, O'Connor had been expected to figure in selection as starting flyhalf for the Wallabies.

Over the line: O'Connor must wait at least three weeks before having scans

Over the line: O'Connor must wait at least three weeks before having scans

Barnes is now the most experienced candidate to take over at No 10.

'I've got a couple of decisions to make in the next few weeks,' O'Connor said.

'We've got a scan in about three and a half weeks to determine whether I can hopefully come back for the test matches or make myself available to be fit.'

O'Connor said his liver was repairing itself and he was able to avoid surgery.

'My body took over. There's a bit of blood clotting which is good. All the bleeding is contained – nothing leaked out into my stomach. So it was a win in that way.'

O'Connor has been barred from all training until he is cleared.

Roy Evans backs Kenny Dalglish

Get behind Dalglish! Under-fire legend backed by former Liverpool boss Evans

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UPDATED:

08:29 GMT, 4 April 2012

Kenny Dalglish has been backed by former Liverpool manager Roy Evans amidst the club's worst league run for nearly 60 years.

The Reds have lost six of their last seven Barclays Premier League games and are enduring their worst spell in the top flight since 1953/54, a season in which they were relegated.

But Evans, who took charge at Anfield between 1994-1998, has told supporters to get behind the current incumbent.

Can't believe his eyes: Kenny Dalglish has endured a tough time as Liverpool boss

Can't believe his eyes: Kenny Dalglish has endured a tough time as Liverpool boss

'You have to be positive,' Evans told the Liverpool Echo. 'You have to stick together in times like this from the players, to the manager, the backroom staff and the supporters.

'It is always a difficult time when you go through periods like this as a manager. Especially as, being manager of a club like Liverpool, you know what it means to the fans. They are suffering at the moment, and having a hard time of it.'

He added: 'The league position is not what anyone at the club wants it to be, make no mistake, but my message to the supporters would be to stick together, and try to stay behind the team for the rest of the season.

'Because the team, the players, the manager, they need fans’ support at times like this.'

Evans did not deny the current string of performances have been below-par but hopes the fans and the club chiefs will give the manager time.

He said: 'Kenny is not stupid, he knows that his team have not performed to their capabilities of late.

'Football is a results business, and if you aren’t getting the results, then criticism will come.

Support: Roy Evans has urged fans to get behind the team

Support: Roy Evans has urged fans to get behind the team

'Patience is in short supply in the modern game, certainly among supporters and often among club owners too.

'Hopefully, though, the owners will look at the situation sensibly. The teams that get success, in the long term, have continuity. Chopping and changing all the time gets a team nowhere.

'Look at Manchester United. If Alex Ferguson would have left when they had a bit of a rough patch years ago, where would they be now'

Evans believes Dalglish will be suffering as much as any fan after the recent run, which has left Liverpool 34 points off of the top.

Poor: Pepe Reina's red card topped a terrible day for Liverpool, as they lost to Newcastle

Poor: Pepe Reina's red card topped a terrible day for Liverpool, as they lost to Newcastle

'Nobody will be hurting more than
Kenny,' he explained. 'I hear people say they don’t listen to the
critics, but in this day and age that is almost impossible. The media
coverage of football is 24/7 now, there is no escaping it.

'He was the fans’ choice as manager when Roy Hodgson left. I don’t think there was a fan around who didn’t want Kenny in.

'As manager of Liverpool, there are high expectations. You wouldn’t want it any other way, either. You wouldn’t want the players and the manager to be happy with the way things are going.

'The league table doesn’t lie. It is up to the players and the manager to make sure it reads a little better sooner rather than later.'

Liverpool will have a chance to make up for their shoddy displays with two games in the space of a few days over Easter, facing relegation-troubled duo Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers.

Andre Villas-Boas successor will find it hell, says Luiz Felipe Scolari

It will be hell! Scolari warns AVB's successor after the pair suffered similar fate

Former Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari has laid down the gauntlet to whoever succeeds Andre Villas-Boas at Stamford Bridge, by warning them it be 'hell'.

The Brazilian was sacked by Roman Abramovich following reports of a dressing-room revolt, the same thing which has gone for the most recent incumbent, who was dismissed on Sunday.

Scolari is now in charge of Brazilian outfit Palmeiras having had to take jobs as far away as Uzbekistan since leaving London in 2009.

Player revolt: Luiz Felipe Scolari suffered the same fate as Andre Villas-Boas

Player revolt: Luiz Felipe Scolari suffered the same fate as Andre Villas-Boas

Player revolt: Luiz Felipe Scolari suffered the same fate as Andre Villas-Boas

On hearing the news of Villas-Boas' demise, the 63-year-old said: 'England has clubs like Arsenal, where Arsene Wenger has been for several years, yet has won only two or three championships.

'Chelsea's culture is very different, but this move is strange – although it's not so strange to me because of what I went through there.

'Some things are known, like the relations with the owner, who has the relationship with some players before the coach.

'Villas-Boas was a champion and he will continue to be. He needed to replace at least seven or eight players, even since I was there, but he failed.

'It will be hell for whoever succeeds him.'

The 1-0 defeat at West Bromwich on Saturday, together with Villas-Boas' post-match comments demanding '300 per cent improvement' from the players, prompted Abramovich to act, having previously defended his appointment despite Chelsea’s wretched run of results.

The owner is known to have been swayed by football people within the club.