Tag Archives: operations

Rafael Nadal inspired by Ronaldo

Nadal takes inspiration from Ronaldo after Brazil legend watches Rafa's winning return

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

16:52 GMT, 18 February 2013

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UPDATED:

16:52 GMT, 18 February 2013

Rafael Nadal is drawing inspiration from Brazilian football great Ronaldo to continue his successful return from injury.

With Ronaldo watching, Nadal took an important step on Sunday by winning the Brazil Open for his first title after a seven-month layoff to treat his left knee. Now he wants to repeat the Brazilian’s successful story of recovery from much more serious injuries.

Nadal said Ronaldo is “an example” to be followed because of his determination to rebound from a series of knee injuries that threatened his career.

Fan: Former footballer Ronaldo (left) watched Rafael Nadal with Brazilian mixed martial artist Anderson Silva

Fan: Former footballer Ronaldo (left) watched Rafael Nadal with Brazilian mixed martial artist Anderson Silva

Despite winning again, the Spaniard is still bothered by his knee and said he is far from fully recovered, although he hopes the victory in front of Ronaldo will mark a new beginning in his career.

'Ronaldo is an example to a lot of people because of all that he was able to achieve despite what he had to go through with all the knee problems in his career,' Nadal said. 'He is definitely an example to me. He’s an example of determination and hard work.'

Ronaldo ended his career as one of the world’s top strikers after overcoming three serious knee operations. The former Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and AC Milan striker won two World Cups with Brazil and remains the tournament’s all-time leading scorer with 15 goals.

Nadal said he has always admired Ronaldo, and as a kid proudly took a photo with the striker when he played for Barcelona in the late 1990s.

'He was unstoppable, one of the best players of all time despite all the bad luck he had with the knee,' Nadal said.

The Spaniard was out of action since last year because a torn and inflamed tendon in his knee, an injury that he says is improving but still bothers him from time to time. He downplayed his difficulties compared to Ronaldo’s, but said he now has a better understanding of what the Brazilian had to go through.

'I didn’t have so many problems, I never needed the surgeries,' Nadal said. 'But I can imagine how hard it must have been for Ronaldo with the complicated surgeries that he had to go through.'

Taste of victory: Nadal bites the trophy of the Brazil Open after beating David Nalbandian

Taste of victory: Nadal bites the trophy of the Brazil Open after beating David Nalbandian

Nadal beat former world No. 3 David Nalbandian of Argentina 6-2, 6-3 in Brazil on Sunday, winning his 51st career title and first since beating Novak Djokovic to lift his seventh Roland Garros trophy last June.

The Brazil Open was Nadal’s second tournament since his return. He played at the VTR Open in Chile the week before, losing the singles and doubles final. The final in Brazil was only his eighth singles match since the comeback. He withdrew from the doubles in Sao Paulo to rest his knee for the singles tournament.

Nadal looked far from his best in his first two tournaments and said that the knee injury still limited him physically.

'There are days that the knee still hurts and it’s very complicated,' he said. 'I need some time to keep improving and become more competitive again. Let’s see how it goes.'

Road to recovery: Nadal found some form in Sao Paulo yesterday

Road to recovery: Nadal found some form in Sao Paulo yesterday

The 11-time Grand Slam champion admitted that the level of the competition in Brazil was not as high as in other tournaments but said that it wasn’t bad either, giving him the perfect opportunity to put his knee to test.

Nadal will play another clay-court tournament in Mexico later this month and the goal is to be fully fit again by the time Roland Garros arrives in May, although his future schedule will depend on how the knee holds up. He had intended to play in Indian Wells in March, but on Sunday said that he won’t know whether he will make it until closer to the tournament.

'We are thinking day-to-day, week-to-week,' the 26-year-old Nadal said. 'We’ll see how I feel before making a decision on where I’ll be playing in the near future, it will depend on how the knee improves.'

QPR"s Ryan Nelsen set to replace Paul Mariner as Toronto FC manager

Nelsen ready to quit QPR and take over as manager of Toronto

By
Simon Jones

PUBLISHED:

22:57 GMT, 7 January 2013

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UPDATED:

22:57 GMT, 7 January 2013

QPR defender Ryan Nelsen is to take up a post as head coach with Toronto FC and replace Paul Mariner.

Toronto will make the announcement on Tuesday with former Arsenal and Ipswich striker Mariner, who doubled as director of soccer operations, likely to return to England.

On his way: Ryan Nelsen looks set to join Toronto as manager

On his way: Ryan Nelsen looks set to join Toronto as manager

MLS side DC United had attempted to lure
the 35-year-old New Zealander to the MLS but Nelsen has been swayed by
Toronto president and general manager Kevin Payne who was an executive
at DC United when he played there previously between 2001 and 2005.

Speaking over the weekend, boss Harry Redknapp revealed his regret at the fact he was set to lose his star man.

He said: ‘There is some truth in the rumour I’m afraid. Nelsen is very important to us, a fantastic leader, a top player.

‘But he has been offered a job in America and I think there is every chance he might want to go. He wants to be a manager and it is a chance for him to manage a club.

‘He has been fantastic. I took him to Tottenham last year from Blackburn. He’s one of the best pros I’ve ever met in my life, a fantastic player, a great trainer, a leader.

‘He is a massive part of your team. To lose him would be a massive blow for us.’

Mansfield to pay tribute to Hillsborough victims against Liverpool

Mansfield pay tribute to Hillsborough victims by placing 96 names on empty seats

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

11:09 GMT, 6 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:25 GMT, 6 January 2013

Mansfield will pay tribute to the 96 Hillsborough victims this afternoon by placing their names on the empty seats which segregate the home and away fans.

The Blue Square Premier side host Liverpool in the FA Cup in one of the most eagerly-awaited ties of the third round.

'We wanted to do something in light of what has happened this year in terms of Hillsborough and as it's been so long since the two sides met,' explained operations director, Paul Broughton.

Tribute: Mansfield will place the cards on 96 empty seats in the north stand

Tribute: Mansfield will place the cards on 96 empty seats in the north stand

'One of our fans suggested we place a name on each of the empty seats in the segregation section of the stadium. The idea sent shivers down my spine. It was an amazing idea.'

Margaret Aspinall, chairwoman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said: 'I felt moved when I heard that Mansfield had planned this tribute.

Remembering: MK Dons fans paid tribute at Hillsborough on Saturday

Remembering: MK Dons fans paid tribute at Hillsborough on Saturday

'To me, it sums up where we are at, in terms of how everyone around the country is starting to realise what we’ve known for a long time about Hillsborough.

'It will be a lovely gesture and I think it's entirely appropriate for us going forward in our fight for justice. It means a great deal and I would like to thank Mansfield on behalf of the HFSG for what will be a beautiful gesture.'

Manchester City to build giant Blue Moon fans tribute

Blue Moon rising! City to build giant fans' tribute with 40,000 discs spelling out anthem

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UPDATED:

10:14 GMT, 20 December 2012

Manchester City have revealed plans to build an iconic landmark around the circumference of the Etihad Stadium.

It will be called the City Circle and is set to transform the roads around the stadium with thousands of supporter messages in the shape of personalised ‘Bluemoon discs’ which also spell out the lyrics of the fans’ favourite Club anthem, Blue Moon.

The new tribute will see all four versus of the terrace classic written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart recreated from approximately 40,000 circular disks and is set become the UK’s largest permanent fan tribute. Each letter will span more than two metres in height.

Be part of it: Manchester City want fans to contribute to the landmark around the Etihad Stadium

Be part of it: Manchester City want fans to contribute to the landmark around the Etihad Stadium

The disks, which feature the City crest and can be personalised with inscriptions, are available for supporters to pre-order through the club’s official website.

Fans can take their pick from a range of styles with prices starting from from 60 for the stainless steel version, coloured glass will cost 95, and a limited edition of hand-cast bronze discs will set you back 395.

City Circle stainless steel

city circle bronze

Circle of life: City fans can choose from a range of options including stainless steel (left) and bronze

City Circle is part of the Club’s on-going plans to enhance the Etihad Stadium and will not only ensure supporters have a permanent place in the club’s history, but also provides a lasting tribute to fans, players and individuals both past and present.

Operations Director for Manchester City Steve Sayer, said: 'Manchester City has always been a club built on its fans. They are part of our DNA and make up the very fabric of whom and what we are today.

Up close and personal: The discs will spell out the four verses of City's anthem Blue Moon

Up close and personal: The discs will spell out the four verses of City's anthem Blue Moon

'City Circle is our way of enabling supporters to get closer to the Club they love and actually become part of the foundations of the stadium, for many years to come.

'City Circle lets fans make their mark, be it birthday and memorial tributes, memories that have helped shape our history or messages that will hopefully inspire future generations of City fans to come.'

Mark Devlin denies reports Brentford fans attacked Karl Robinson with pint glass

Brentford chief Devlin denies reports fans attacked MK Dons boss Robinson with pint glass

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UPDATED:

12:57 GMT, 12 December 2012

Police are looking into an incident between Brentford fans and MK Dons manager Karl Robinson following Saturday's match at Griffin Park.

Stewards had to step in to prevent a confrontation between Robinson and a group of Bees supporters following the home side's 3-2 win.

Brentford chief executive Mark Devlin confirmed there had been an incident as Robinson was walking to the team bus, but categorically denied reports that a pint glass was thrown.

Shaken: MK Dons boss Karl Robinson was set upon by a group of Brentford fans

Shaken: MK Dons boss Karl Robinson was set upon by a group of Brentford fans

'I was distressed to read reports about a glass being thrown, I witnessed the events myself,' Devlin said.

'Karl Robinson was being escorted to the team coach, some of our fans were goading him and Karl Robinson reacted. There was almost an incident but our stewards stepped in.

'Some beer was thrown, most of which hit our operations manager and a couple of stewards.

'I can categorically say no glass was thrown at Karl Robinson.

'We have the police here at the moment and they are currently reviewing the footage from Saturday.'

A Dons spokesman added: 'We are aware of an incident at Griffin Park involving our manager Karl Robinson and a group of Brentford supporters.

'MK Dons will assist Brentford with their investigation into the incident, while this is ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further.'

Anne Keothavong accuses tram staff of treating her "like a criminal"

'I was marched off tram like a criminal' claims angry tennis star Keothavong

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UPDATED:

20:49 GMT, 27 November 2012

British tennis star Anne Keothavong has hit out at London tram staff for treating her ‘like a criminal’ after making a mistake with her Oyster card.

The British No 3 was travelling from Wimbledon station on a tram when an inspector challenged her to prove she had paid for the journey.

Keothavong says she tapped her card to get into the station, but failed to tap in again on the platform – claiming she did not know she had to.

Angry: Anne Keothavong was not pleased at being marched off a tram

Angry: Anne Keothavong was not pleased at being marched off a tram

Then to her embarrassment, she was then forced off the tram in front of other passengers. A friend said that after she explained her mistake the inspector came back to ask if she was second or third in the rankings.

The 29-year-old took to Twitter to vent her angerm, she said: ‘So, I’ve just been marched off the tram like a criminal coz I didn’t realise I was meant to touch my Oyster card on the platform.

‘I touched it to get into the station and then planned to do the same at my destination. Thought that was all u had to do’

Getting it wrong: Keothavong did not touch in her Oyster card on the platform

Getting it wrong: Keothavong did not touch in her Oyster card on the platform

Staff warned Keothavong she could have faced a fine but the inspector accepted her explanation. Nick Baker, head of operations on London Tramlink, defended the actions of staff and said it took fare evasion ‘extremely seriously’.

He added Evening Standard: ‘Anyone found on the tram without a valid ticket or Oyster card will be questioned by revenue inspectors. This is normally carried out off the tram, and as such the passenger will be asked to leave the tram while these discussions are held.

‘We have recently improved signage around the two yellow Oyster readers on the Tramlink platform at Wimbledon to make it clearer which one is for tram passengers and which one is for passengers interchanging onto National Rail.’

Danny Cipriani is man to save Sale – John Mitchell

Dan's the man! Mitchell wants Cipriani to spark Sale revolution after disastrous start

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 22 October 2012

Danny Cipriani has been acclaimed as an ‘exceptional talent’ by John Mitchell, the man poised to launch a salvage operation at Sale.

And the Kiwi is ready to ask ex-England coach Brian Ashton to harness Ciprani’s attacking flair.

Mitchell is considering an offer to return to the Cheshire club he once played for, to help revive their fortunes after a disastrous start to the season which has left them eight points adrift at the foot of the Aviva Premiership table.

Main man: Danny Cipriani has been backed to rescue Sale from danger

Main man: Danny Cipriani has been backed to rescue Sale from danger

The former All Blacks coach was in France on Sunday to see Sale lose to Montpellier and he will continue his scouting mission until the end of this month before deciding whether to take up a position.

At first, the indications were that he would be asked to fill a forwards coach vacancy created by the sacking of Steve Scott, but it appears more likely that Mitchell will be put in charge of first-team operations, ahead of current director of rugby Bryan Redpath.

The 48-year-old has to resolve a contract issue with the Golden Lions in South Africa, but he is already formulating ideas about how to turn around Sale’s fortunes and sees making best use of Cipriani’s rare gifts as a priority.

The former Wasps and Melbourne Rebels playmaker returned to Sale’s starting XV in Montpellier and showed glimpses of his game-breaking class in a largely assured performance, aside from the odd defensive lapse. Mitchell believes he is a precious asset to be nurtured.

Wanted: John Mitchell (right) is considering taking a role with Sale

Wanted: John Mitchell (right) is considering taking a role with Sale

‘Sometimes with players like him, too
much emphasis by coaches is placed on what they can’t do rather than
what they are really good at,’ he said.

‘/10/22/article-2221544-158CE7B6000005DC-604_233x423.jpg” width=”233″ height=”423″ alt=”Taking a risk: Cipriani” class=”blkBorder” />

Taking a risk: Cipriani

Mitchell is a no-nonsense operator, renowned for his tough approach. His stints at Western Force in Australia and with the Johannesburg-based Golden Lions have been characterised by some player unrest, although last season he led the latter side to their first Currie Cup triumph in 16 years.

Sale chief executive Steve Diamond wants Mitchell to bring a hard edge to the club and the Kiwi is confident that his methods are effective, if not always universally popular. ‘I make no excuses for my leadership,’ he said. ‘I’m not employed to be a manager, I’m employed to be a leader.’

And in a comment which suggests that Redpath’s days in charge are numbered, Mitchell added: ‘Teams can only have one leader. We’ll determine that when the time is right. The team certainly won’t have two leaders. It’s about getting a clear message across.’

Should Mitchell take over at Sale he will place an emphasis on the set-piece and on the mental toughness needed to thrive in the Premiership. As part of his blueprint, he suggested that ‘we might need to change a few things’ and added: ‘Everyone has to be accountable.’

There won’t be any hiding places. A revolution is in the offing.

Debbie Jevans named as new chief executive of England Rugby 2015

Good Jevans! LOCOG director named as new chief exec of England Rugby 2015

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UPDATED:

19:42 GMT, 5 September 2012

New role: Debbie Jevans has been named as the chief executive of England Rugby 2015

New role: Debbie Jevans has been named as the chief executive of England Rugby 2015

Debbie Jevans, the director of sport for LOCOG, has been appointed as the new chief executive of England Rugby 2015.

Jevons will start in the post next month and bring with her experience of delivering the successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

She replaces Paul Vaughan, who officially stepped down from leading the 2015 Rugby World Cup delivery body by 'mutual consent'.

In thanking Vaughan for his contribution, ER 2015 chairman Andy Cosslett said the time was right, with three years to go until the World Cup, for a 'fresh injection of experience to take us up to the next level'.

Jevans certainly brings that, having played a key role in delivering the Olympic and Paralympic Games to London.

'I have spent the last decade planning and delivering the world's two largest sporting events,' Jevans said.

'This has been an extraordinary journey and I am looking forward to putting my experience and expertise in to delivering an exceptional Rugby World Cup in 2015.

'As a passionate sports fan the next decade is a great one for the UK and we have an amazing opportunity to bring rugby and the values of sport to more fans across the country than ever before.

'I look forward to starting my new role next month. In the meantime my focus is on continuing to deliver a great Paralympic Games.'

Stepping aside: Paul Vaughan left the post by 'mutual consent'

Stepping aside: Paul Vaughan left the post by 'mutual consent'

Vaughan had been in charge of ER 2015 since January 2011, when he moved over from his role as the Rugby Football Union's business operations director.

But it is clear the ER 2015 board felt Vaughan had taken the organisation as far as he could.

Cosslett said: 'Paul has been at the heart of the RFU for the past 11 years, most recently here as CEO of ER 2015, where he has laid some very strong foundations.

'We are grateful to him for all the hard work he and his team have put in to enable ER 2015 to be ready for the next phase.

'Preparations have been continuing at a good pace, the planning is completely on schedule and stakeholders are comfortable.

'With just over three years to go, now is a good time to add a fresh injection of experience to take us up to the next level.

'We are determined to make the most of this once-in-a-generation opportunity for rugby in this country, to make this truly the best Rugby World Cup there has ever been.'

Jevans says she wants to make the most of the once-in-a-generation opportunity of hosting a World Cup

Jevans says she wants to make the most of the once-in-a-generation opportunity of hosting a World Cup

Jevans says she wants to make the most of the once-in-a-generation opportunity of hosting a World Cup

Jevans' responsibility at LOCOG has been to deliver the sports events and the medical and anti-doping programmes for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

During the London 2012 bid, Jevans was responsible for compiling the venue strategy and working with the international federations.

Jevans' background is in tennis. In 1979 she reached the fourth round at Wimbledon, losing to Virginia Wade, before working for the International Tennis Federation, overseeing the return of tennis as an Olympic sport.

In 1990 Jevans became general secretary of the ITF and was responsible for setting up the worldwide anti-doping programme and delivery of the 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Tennis events.

'Debbie is acknowledged as one of the architects of the London 2012 Olympics, which has clearly been a massive success,' said RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie, who also has a tennis background having run Wimbledon before moving to Twickenham.

'Her proven track record in delivering multiple events at multiple venues, driving innovation and enhancing the fan experience, along with exceptional relationships with key stakeholders, makes her the perfect fit.'

More magic moments Jevans helped compose the venue strategy and dealing with the international federations

More magic moments Jevans helped compose the venue strategy and dealing with the international federations

Blackburn owners Venky"s bring in local duo in bid to win over disgruntled fans

Blackburn owners Venky's bring in local duo in bid to win over fans

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UPDATED:

23:56 GMT, 28 June 2012

New job: Derek Shaw

New job: Derek Shaw

Blackburn have appointed former Preston chairman Derek Shaw as their new managing director.

And former press officer Paul Agnew,
just a few weeks after being made general manager, has had his role
upgraded to operations director.

'I am delighted to be given this
opportunity,' said Shaw, a 54-year-old Lancashire businessman with more
than 20 years' experience as a director in football.

'My goal is to do all I can to help restore Blackburn as a football
force and the passion of the owners to get the club back to the Premier
League in the shortest possible time is crystal clear.

'I have been invited to come on board and work alongside Paul Agnew,
for whom I have the utmost respect, and the Ewood staff to produce a
structure that will assist in our drive to get everything on track for
success.

'It is a challenge I relish and I am determined to put my experience to good use for the common good at Ewood Park.'

Anuradha Desai, the lead figure for the club's owners Venky's, hopes appointing local men into key roles will help build some bridges after fans were alienated during a dismal relegation campaign.

'We have every confidence in Derek and believe he can play a major role in bringing about a positive change for the club,' she said.

'We are keen to build up a good image for BRFC among the fans, media and general populace and we feel sure that Derek and Paul can work in close cooperation to achieve this.

'It is a new start, a new era and we are very excited.'

Steve Bruce lands Hull City manager"s job

Bruce sets sights on Premier League after agreeing to take over at Hull

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UPDATED:

14:47 GMT, 8 June 2012

Steve Bruce targeted a return to the Barclays Premier League after being installed as the new manager of Hull on Friday.

Former Sunderland and Wigan boss Bruce, 51, succeeds Nick Barmby, who was sacked by his hometown club last month for questioning the owners' ambitions in the media.

Bruce, who has signed a three-year
contract, had been an early favourite with bookmakers to replace Barmby,
but only last week his agent Robert Segal claimed the former Manchester
United skipper had not been approached by the club and had not
expressed an interest in becoming the Tigers' fifth manager in just
short of 15 months.

Back in the game: Steve Bruce is the new Hull City manager

Back in the game: Steve Bruce is the new Hull City manager

Bruce told a press conference: 'I'm
looking to bring back the Premier League days if we possibly can, that's
the reason I'm sitting here, for the challenge of it.

Bruce's previous jobs

Sheffield United – July 1998 to May 1999

Huddersfield Town – May 1999 to October 2000

Wigan Athletic – April 2001 to May 2001

Crystal Palace – May 2001 to November 2001

Birmingham City – December 2001 to November 2007

Wigan Athletic – November 2007 to June 2009

Sunderland – June 2009 to November 2011

'There were a few weeks of talks and
negotiations and I'm now relishing the challenge of getting the club
back to where it wants to be.'

Hull were a Premier League side for two seasons from 2008 to 2010.

Ambitious owners Assem and Ehab Allam
sacked Barmby and head of football operations Adam Pearson at the
beginning of last month for publicly criticising their financial
commitment to the club.

Billy Davies, Uwe Rosler, Lee Clark,
Gary Megson, Greg Abbott and Mick McCarthy had all been linked with the
job of manager, but Bruce won out.

The former defender played for
Gillingham, Norwich, Manchester United, Birmingham and Sheffield United
during a 20-year playing career.

He steered Birmingham to promotion to
the Premier League via a penalty shootout win over Norwich in the
play-off final in his first season at St Andrew's after short spells as
manager at Sheffield United, Huddersfield, Wigan and Crystal Palace.

Birmingham stayed in the Premier
League for two seasons before being relegated in 2006, but Bruce guided
them to automatic promotion the following season.

Bruce quit the Blues for a second
stint with Wigan in November 2007 and after keeping the Latics in the
top flight he moved on to Sunderland in June 2009.

Sunderland finished 13th and 10th in
the Premier League in his first two seasons in charge at the Stadium of
Light, but he was sacked last November with the Black Cats languishing
in 16th place.