Tag Archives: swimming

Heurelho Gomes begins his recovery from injury

Water way to rehab: Spurs keeper Gomes starts injury recovery in swimming pool

By
Jon Harvey

PUBLISHED:

14:46 GMT, 18 April 2013

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UPDATED:

14:58 GMT, 18 April 2013

Tottenham's Heurelho Gomes has begun his recovery from the broken hand injury he picked up while on loan at German side Hoffenhiem.

The 32-year-old Brazilian underwent surgery to have four pins inserted into his broken left hand after a collision with Andreas Lambertz in Friday's win over Dusseldorf.

Gomes, who joined Spurs in 2008 from PSV, will be out for eight weeks and will remain at the Bundesliga side for his rehabilitation.

Rehab: Heurelho Gomes begins his recovery from a broken hand injury

Rehab: Heurelho Gomes begins his recovery from a broken hand injury

Gomes had impressed for the German club on a six-month loan deal in January before the injury, conceding nine goals in nine games.

He found his opportunities limited at White Hart Lane after being relegated relegated to fourth
choice thanks to the arrivals of Hugo Lloris and Brad Friedel over the
last two years.

Despite
the departure of Carlo Cudicini, Gomes is still unlikely to get any game
time at Spurs next season and he may leave the club in the summer.

Frozen out: Heurelho Gomes has found his first-team chances limited at Spurs

Frozen out: Heurelho Gomes has found his first-team chances limited at Spurs

His Spurs deal currently runs to 2014, but his former club PSV might ready to rescue him.

PSV director Marcel Brands said: 'Two years ago Tottenham wanted 8million. Maybe that’s changed.'

.

The ultimate ringer? College swimming team call on four-time Olympic champion

The ultimate ringer College swimming team call up four-time Olympic champion

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UPDATED:

17:55 GMT, 29 November 2012

A college have sparked controversy by naming an Olympic champion in their team for their next swimming gala.

For Regis Jesuit High School team in America have included four-time champion Olympic Missy Franklin champion in their line-up.

Sensation: Olympic champion Missy Franklin

Sensation: Olympic champion Missy Franklin

The American teenager blitzed the world's best to claim gold in the 100m and 200m backstroke, 4 x 200m freestyle and 4 x 100 m medley.

And Franklin also broke two world records at last summers' games.

Now the 17-year-old sensation has decided to make her comeback for her school team in Aurora, Colorado.

And the move has divided her team-mates and opponents, with some critics saying her presence
would be unfair on school friends and opponents, and others that not to
return would be disrespectful.

'The hardest part for me is I really have no gut feeling on this,” Franklin said earlier in the month.

High point: Franklin will make comeback for college team

High point: Franklin will make comeback for college team

'It’s so hard when I have so many people who are really wanting me to do it and so supportive, and I have other people who are saying it’s not fair, saying: “Why would you do this to other girls” And I feel so bad thinking that they would think that.

'It’s hard, because I feel like no matter what I do, it’s going to be opposed in some way or form.'

But the school’s athletic director, John Koslosky, said that Franklin, in her final year at Regis Jesuit before leaving for the university of California, has now decided to participate in some of the scheduled events.

'She’s doing this because of her team, her school and the other girls who swim in high school,' he told the Denver Post. 'And she wants to. They all want her there.'

Koslosky confirmed that, given her training schedule and other demands on her time, her appearances will be limited, and the school would try to minimise the disruption caused by interest in watching her compete.

'It will be limited,' he said. 'Last year, there were all sorts of cameras everywhere … Missy was concerned about it, and I think that’s what made her struggle in making this decision.

'But she said she wanted to pass on turning pro and attend college, and she signed to do that, and she said she wants to swim with her teammates and her school. I think it’s great.'

Ian Thorpe on his depression and suicidal thoughts

Depression and thoughts of suicide: Swimming legend Thorpe opens up about troubles

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UPDATED:

00:27 GMT, 14 November 2012

Australian five-time Olympic champion Ian Thorpe has revealed more about his fight against depression and thoughts of suicide which plagued his record-breaking career.

In a revealing interview on BBC Radio 5 Live the 30-year-old opened up about his troubles away from the pool that led him to consider taking his own life.

Amongst his revelations Thorpe said he had been treated for depression since he was a teenager and that it had led him to drink during the night in the lead-up to the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Revealing: Five-time Olympic swimming gold medallist Australia's Ian Thorpe explained more about his depression

Revealing: Five-time Olympic swimming gold medallist Australia's Ian Thorpe explained more about his depression

He also recounted that he had been too 'embarrassed' to tell even his family about the disease until this year.

While Thorpe believes he has now learned to control the problem enough to speak about it publicly – he has also released an autobiography entitled 'This Is Me' – he admitted there were 'still times that are really tough for me'.

'I realised that I had desperation early. I was having treatment for desperation when I was a teenager,' he said.

'Depression comes in bouts. You can feel okay most days and then just get hit with it. I experienced that through what was mostly a very successful swimming career.

Autobiography: This is me

Autobiography: This is me

For sale: Thorpe has had his autobiography published, pictured right

'I have struggled with it before but I feel like I am on the other side of it. There are still times that are really tough for me, but I feel as though I know enough about it.

'There's no way that I'll ever say that I'm cured because I know where I can go back to.

'It's the first time that I've been comfortable talking about it because I feel as though I have some sort of control.'

Asked whether he had ever contemplated suicide during a glittering career that also saw him claim 11 world titles, he added: 'Yeah, I wouldn't talk about it otherwise. It's not something that is a throw-away line.

Admission: Thorpe said he had thought about suicide

Admission: Thorpe said he had thought about suicide

'I actually think it's quite normal
for people to consider what it would be like to commit suicide. I think
it is a normal thing to think 'what would that feel like, would it be so
terrible'

'But usually that's all you think
about, that's it. When you go through what the process of what it would
be like and it becomes and obsession in your mind where all rational
thought is devoid in that situation you realise that this has gone
beyond just a thought.

'When you are trying to get it out of
your mind rationally and you can't. To consider it as being a rational
solution to the way you are feeling you realise this is a problem, that
this isn't just a fleeting thought or feeling.

'This is a very clear guideline that
you do need more help and that you're not in control of your life and
that the irrational thought has taken over.'

Popular: Thorpe is one of Australia's most recognised sports people

Popular: Thorpe is one of Australia's most recognised sports people

Disguise: Thorpe felt he could hide the truth from his colleagues

Disguise: Thorpe felt he could hide the truth from his colleagues

Thorpe revealed that a key moment in
his recovery was realising the extent of his problems in the lead up to
the 2004 Olympics, when he was drinking to avoid his demons.

He said: 'Leading up to Athens Olympics I was actually drinking in the night to try and avoid be depressed.

'Everyone knows that doesn't work.
It's a stupid thing to do and so you wake up the next morning, have a
hangover and you are more depressed than you were the day before.

'I was fortunate that I woke up to
this. I needed to seek more treatment. It's not that I got over it –
there is no way of getting over this – it was that I have a little bit
more control over my depression.'

Winner: Thorpe shows his gold medal after winning the 400m freestyle at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece

Winner: Thorpe shows his gold medal after winning the 400m freestyle at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece

Thorpe made an unsuccessful attempt to qualify for the London Olympics after coming out of a four-year retirement in late 2010.

Despite that failure he revealed he
still harboured ambitions to compete at Rio in four years and that he
would look to add to his Commonwealth titles in Glasgow in two years.

'I'm going to work in two-year cycles.
I'm looking to swim until the Commonwealth Games and then make a call
on whether to swim through until the Olympics after that,' he said.

'Starting out when I came back I knew the odds were stacked against me (to qualify for the Olympics).

'I thought it was 50-50. Realistically I thought it would take three years to get back.'

Ryan Giggs trainign to take up triathlons

Move over Brownlees, Giggs is training for triathlons when United career ends

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UPDATED:

14:02 GMT, 11 November 2012

Ryan Giggs is making preparations for life after football by taking swimming lessons as he plans to take part in triathlons.

The evergreen Manchester United midfielder is still going strong eventhough he is just three weeks shy of his 39th birthday.

His football career can't carry on indefinitely and is brushing up on his swimming technique in anticipation of when he finally hangs up his boots.

Making a splash: Giggs is taking swimming lessons

Making a splash: Giggs is taking swimming lessons

Most people plan the occasional holiday, or plan to spend days tending to their garden. Not Giggs.

The endurance event can stretch as far as a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile marathon run.

Giggs' contract at United runs out at the end of the season.

Stiff competition: The Brownlee brothers starred at the Olympics

Stiff competition: The Brownlee brothers starred at the Olympics

Polish sports minister offers to quit over England rain farce

Polish sports minister offers to quit over farce of England's rained-off qualifier

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UPDATED:

15:35 GMT, 24 October 2012

Poland's sports minister has offered to resign over the embarrassing postponement of the country's World Cup qualifier against England last week after torrential rain turned the National Stadium pitch into a swimming pool.

FIFA ordered the match to be played a day later after the game, originally set for October 16, was called off when officials failed to close a retractable roof over the venue that cost 312million for Euro 2012.

The debacle sparked a wave of criticism from fans and pundits and prompted Prime Minister Donald Tusk to vow to punish those responsible. He will present his findings later on Wednesday.

Wet, wet, wet: England's clash in Poland last week was put back a day after torrential rain ruined the pitch, as demonstrated by Roy Hodgson (below)

Wet, wet, wet: England's clash in Poland last week was put back a day after torrential rain ruined the pitch, as demonstrated by Roy Hodgson (below)

Wet, wet, wet: England's clash in Poland last week was put back a day after torrential rain ruined the pitch, as demonstrated by Roy Hodgson

'I feel politically responsible for the situation,' Sports Minister Anna Mucha told reporters. 'The responsibility of the minister is not only to make sure that all procedures are followed. It's wider.'

The Sports Ministry oversees the National Sports Centre, owners of the stadium, and are blamed by some for failing to anticipate trouble with the playing surface.

Local media reported the pitch was much thinner than the one used for Euro 2012 matches, making it less able to absorb the heavy precipitation.

Organisers said the roof over the 58,000-capacity arena could not be closed during rainfall due to safety concerns and neither of the teams nor FIFA wanted to close it when there was still time.

Poland managed a 1-1 draw in the delayed World Cup qualifier but both managers lamented the effects the delay had on their players.

Thousands of angry fans also complained that they did not attend the match because they could not afford to stay longer in Warsaw and reschedule their tickets home.

Wednesday's game was played under the roof despite sunny weather and mostly clear skies.

Poland 1 England 1: Match report

Poland 1 England 1: Three Lions fail to roar but Roy's boys top group after Rooney gets lucky in Warsaw

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UPDATED:

16:49 GMT, 17 October 2012

England scraped their way clear at the top of World Cup qualifying Group H after weathering a storm of a very different kind in Warsaw.

Less than 24 hours after the original fixture was washed away, Roy Hodgson's side managed a share of the points under the roof in Warsaw.

The hosts looked sharper during the opening 45 minutes but it was England who went in at the break with their noses in front.

Wayne Rooney certainly attempted a header from Steven Gerrard's corner and the ball hit his shoulder before ending up in the back of the net.

The Poles looked lively from the start of the second half and continued to put pressure on the visitors but Jermain Defoe had a chance to put the game to be when he fluffed his lines from close range following another delivery from Gerrard.

Rooney had England's next chance but he blasted over from a Danny Welbeck pass and England were made to pay as Poland went up the pitch and scored – Kamil Gilk heading home with Joe Hart stranded.

Full report to follow…

Shouldering the responsibility: Wayne Rooney managed to turn the ball into the Poland net for the opener

Shouldering the responsibility: Wayne Rooney managed to turn the ball into the Poland net for the opener

Shouldering the responsibility: Wayne Rooney managed to turn the ball into the Poland net for the opener

Perfect 10: England striker Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring the first goal in Warsaw

Perfect 10: England striker Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring the first goal in Warsaw

Nice one: Steven Gerrard congratulates Wayne Rooney after England's first-half opener

Nice one: Steven Gerrard congratulates Wayne Rooney after England's first-half opener

Where's the rain The roof was on in Warsaw after Poland v England was washed out the night before

Where's the rain The roof was on in Warsaw after Poland v England was washed out the night before

Dangerous: Poland star Robert Lewandowski gets away from England skipper Steven Gerrard

Dangerous: Poland star Robert Lewandowski gets away from England skipper Steven Gerrard

Getting stuck in: England defender Joleon Lescott tries to halt the progress of Robert Lewandowski as the Poles threaten

Getting stuck in: England defender Joleon Lescott tries to halt the progress of Robert Lewandowski as the Poles threaten

Game for a laugh: Poland supporters turned up with swimming goggles and rubber rings... just in case

Game for a laugh: Poland supporters turned up with swimming goggles and rubber rings… just in case

Roof it up the park: A cheeky advert from Vauxhall could be seen at the side of the pitch

Roof it up the park: A cheeky advert from Vauxhall could be seen at the side of the pitch

Head boy: Kamil Glik beats Joe Hart and the England defence to the ball for Poland's equaliser

Head boy: Kamil Glik beats Joe Hart and the England defence to the ball for Poland's equaliser

All square: Kamil Glik salutes the crowd after drawing Poland level against England

All square: Kamil Glik salutes the crowd after drawing Poland level against England

Ian Thorpe suffered crippling depression through career

Swimming legend Thorpe afflicted by 'crippling depression' through career

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UPDATED:

08:37 GMT, 13 October 2012

Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe has opened up about living with 'crippling depression' throughout his career.

In excerpts from an upcoming biography, the five-time Olympic champion has revealed the illness was so bad at times he thought of suicide.

The 30-year-old said there were times in his life that made him 'shudder' at what he might have done as he planned potential places to end his life, although he was quick to add he is still uncertain whether he could have gone through with it.

Admission: Ian Thorpe says he has suffered from depression

Admission: Ian Thorpe says he has suffered from depression

And Thorpe – one of Australia's most recognised sports people – also revealed that at some of the worst times he turned to alcohol in a bid to quell the thoughts running about his head.

'It was the only way I could get to sleep,' revealed Thorpe in an extract from his upcoming book This Is Me: The Autobiography.

'It didn't happen every night, but there were numerous occasions, particularly between 2002 and 2004 as I trained to defend my Olympic titles in Athens, that I abused myself this way – always alone and in a mist of disgrace.'

Thorpe said he was able to hide the effects of alcohol from team-mates and coaches and continued to enjoy one of the best periods of his career, despite his private battle with depression.

Disguise: Thorpe felt he could hide the truth from his colleagues

Disguise: Thorpe felt he could hide the truth from his colleagues

The swimmer said he also felt the need to stay silent about his depression, thinking it was a 'character flaw'.

As a result he has never spoken about it to his parents.

'Not even my family is aware that I've spent a lot of my life battling what I can only describe as a crippling depression,' he wrote.

'Now I realise it's time to be open.

'I need to talk to them about it…I know how Mum will react; she'll cry and ask me why I didn't tell her and then she'll tell me how proud she is that I've finally talked about it.

'Dad is different. I'm not sure how he'll react. I know it'll take time for him to come to terms with it and how it fits in with his religious beliefs.

'I hope it does because family means a lot to me.'

Rafael Nadal plays down hopes of December comeback in Abu Dhabi

Injury-hit Nadal plays down hopes of December comeback in Abu Dhabi

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UPDATED:

08:40 GMT, 10 October 2012

Rafael Nadal concedes it is unlikely he will play tennis again in 2012.

Nadal has not picked up a racket since suffering a surprise second-round exit to Czech Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon in June.

Since then, the 26-year-old has missed the Olympic Games and US Open as he battles ongoing knee soreness.

Rafael Nadal has not picked up a racket since June

Injury blow: Rafael Nadal has not picked up a racket since June

There were reports Nadal could return at the Abu Dhabi exhibition
tournament, starting on December 27.

But when asked whether he would make a comeback before the end of the season, Nadal said: 'Impossible, no. But difficult, yes.

'I want to go day-by-day, I go every day to the gym, the swimming pool to continue with my recovery. I am trying not to think that far.

'It has been very, very tough for me because I feel that my knee didn't improve in the right way … but the last couple of weeks the improvement in my knee is something that I can really feel.

'That helps me to keep working hard doing every day what I have do.

'I am working to try to come back to practice on the tennis court in a not very long period of time.'

Rafael Nadal of Spain

Rafael Nadal of Spain

Nadal, an 11-time grand slam winner, has suffered his fair share of niggles over his career but very few long-term injuries and admitted he was unsure of how long this setback may persist.

'That is something I will know when my I feel my knee completely without pain when I start to practice,' he said.

'I didn't have in the past this long period of time outside of the tennis court, outside of the competition.

'I can imagine when I come back I will need time to practice and practice more and more every day, maybe that will take one month and a half.

'The most important thing is to continue with the treatment … when I don't feel nothing, hopefully that will happen soon, I will come back on the tennis court.'

St George"s Park opens: Wayne Rooney says England will be better

Time for a new beginning: England will aim for better standards, pledges Rooney

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UPDATED:

21:20 GMT, 9 October 2012

Meanwhile in Manchester…

Snubbed England defender Rio Ferdinand tweeted from Manchester United training. He wrote: 'It is treeeezing out there today but as its sunny+dry I'm loving it! Running + body weight gym session for me now! 200push ups for starters!'

The photograph of Kevin Keegan on his bedroom wall here at St George’s Park, Wayne Rooney was not so happy about. If he could have changed it, he said with a wry smile, he would have.

But the quotation he spotted on the wall of the stunning new hydrotherapy room was more inspirational.

‘It was from Ian Thorpe,’ said Rooney, and while he could not quote the Australian swimming legend exactly, he liked the sentiment.

It says this: ‘Losing is not coming second. It’s getting out of the water knowing you could have done better.’

Against the back drop of misbehaving international footballers, it could not have been more appropriate.

Say cheese! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge line up with the England players, including Ashley Cole, at St George's Park

Say cheese! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge line up with the England players, including Ashley Cole, at St George's Park

Exciting times: Roy Hodgson and his team enjoyed the visit from the Royal family

Exciting times: Roy Hodgson and his team enjoyed the visit from the Royal family

St George’s Park is not just a
state-of-the-art training base for England’s finest players and a
national centre for coaching education. It is a place that can create an
ethos; that can implement cultural change from the grass-roots to the
pinnacle of the professional game.

It actually started on the eve of the
official opening with the presentation of a new code of conduct for the
players and the message was reiterated.

From the Duke of Cambridge it was not
so serious. A playful threat to Ashley Cole to take away his Twitter
page if he continued to misbehave.

Game for a laugh: William shakes hands with Ashley Cole

Game for a laugh: William shakes hands with Ashley Cole

Game for a laugh: William shakes hands with Ashley Cole – despite the England defender calling the FA a 'bunch of t****' just a few days ago

So, what's inside St George's Park
Training pitch with exact dimensions of Wembley – plus exactly the same combination of grass and artificial fibres11 outdoor pitches – five of them floodlit with under-soil heatingA full-size indoor 3G artificial pitch, plus gallery for up to 200 peopleAltitude chamber to mirror specific playing conditionsIndoor 60m sprint track
Slogans dotted around, including this one from Jesse Owens – 'A lifetime of training for just 10 seconds.'Hilton hotel featuring suites named after former England players and managers

From the Football Association,
however, a point needed to be made. Roy Hodgson had his say and so did
the FA chairman, David Bernstein.

Clearly unhappy that Cole’s Twitter
antics had overshadowed a proud day for the organisation, Bernstein did
not pull his punches.

He dismissed talk of Cole — who has
played 98 times for his country — leading the side for his 100th cap
because certain standards are required to lead the national team;
something he said they demonstrated when they stripped John Terry of the
captaincy in February.

Had he been here, this might have
been uncomfortable for Terry. There were a number of references to the
ongoing fight against any form of discrimination, with Bernstein
referencing a quote from Martin Luther King in the dressing-room area.

Cole, we were told by Hodgson, had
displayed genuine contrition after branding the governing body a ‘bunch
of t**ts’ and it was interesting to hear Rooney expressing a certain
amount of regret about mistakes he has made more recently.

Thorpe’s message is clear. Don’t
waste opportunities. But Rooney reflected on his summer — in particular
the personal disappointment he endured at the European Championship —
and admitted he might have done things differently.

The trip to Las Vegas he made shortly before the Euros was not well received and Rooney accepted that criticism.

‘I can understand and see where you are coming from,’ he said.

Water world: Prince William shares a joke with Jermain Defoe, Ashley Cole and Andy Carroll in the hot tub at St George's Park

Water world: Prince William shares a joke with Jermain Defoe, Ashley Cole and Andy Carroll in the hot tub at St George's Park

Bunch of tats: Ashley Cole in conversation with Jermain Defoe and Andy Carroll in the Jacuzzi

Bunch of tats: Ashley Cole in conversation with Jermain Defoe and Andy Carroll in the Jacuzzi

‘I wasn’t in Vegas going out every
night, drinking and partying. Obviously I went out one night and that
was seen. But I couldn’t train anyway. That is why I had the extra time
off.

‘I had to have something done to my
toe and it was just a way to relax before I came into training. There
was no treatment for me to get at the time but, looking back, I can
understand why maybe yourselves and the fans weren’t happy.’

He said he could also understand why everything he does is so heavily scrutinised.

Rather you than me: The Duke and Duchess watch a demonstration of one of the treadmills

Rather you than me: The Duke and Duchess watch a demonstration of one of the treadmills

Poolside: The Duke and Duchess are shown the hydrotherapy facilities at the new 100m complex in the Staffordshire countryside

Poolside: The Duke and Duchess are shown the hydrotherapy facilities at the new 100m complex in the Staffordshire countryside

Lightning fast: The Duke and Duchess test their reflexes on the BATAK reactions board in the Human Performance Lab at St George's Park

Lightning fast: The Duke and Duchess test their reflexes on the BATAK reactions board in the Human Performance Lab at St George's Park

St George's Park by numbers

4,000 litres of water per night to service the under-soil heating

200 rooms in two hotels

5 gyms on site

2 Football League teams using the facilities on a full-time basis — Burton Albion and Notts County

1 60m sprint track

1975 was the year when the idea of the National Football Centre was first discussed

12 full-size pitches (five of them with undersoil heating and floodlighting) plus one futsal pitch

250 pounds per hour for teams wanting to hire the full-size artificial pitch

It is, he agreed, the territory he
occupies as England’s finest player and someone who would now like to be
regarded as one of the senior players; someone who should be setting an
example.

‘I have no problem with that,’ he
said. ‘Hopefully in the near future we will be coming out of a
tournament and you will all be praising me because we have won a trophy.
That would be great for everyone.

‘I always try to speak to the younger
players and offer advice. I always remember Alex Ferguson saying what a
big help Eric Cantona was to all those younger players at United. It is
something I can look at and try to do for England.

‘Hopefully I can bring the best out of them and they can bring the best out of myself as well.’

As the most popular British sportsman
on Twitter — he has more than five million followers — it seemed
appropriate to ask him about that particular social media site in the
context of the Cole controversy.

He agreed that, as an international footballer, being on Twitter ‘brings a sense of responsibility’.

‘It is a good way for the fans to see
a different side of you, away from football,’ he said. ‘But you
obviously know everything you put on there is seen by everyone who
follows you. It will be in the newspapers the next day so you have to be
careful.’

After the Euros, Fabio Capello
suggested the Rooney we so often see excel at Manchester United rarely
appears in an England shirt.

Big fan: Frank Lampard chats with the Duchess of Cambridge

Talking tactics: Roy Hodgson gets his point across to the Royal couple

Talking tactics: Frank Lampard chats with the Duchess (left) while manager Roy Hodgson gets his point across to the Royal couple

Marching on: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are given a tour of St George's Park by FA officials

Marching on: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are given a tour of St George's Park by FA officials

Teamtalk: The Duke enjoys a joke with a group of England players after their training session

Teamtalk: The Duke enjoys a joke with a group of England players after their training session

Proud day: The England team pose for pictures alongside William and Kate

Proud day: The England team pose for pictures alongside William and Kate

Rooney said he was not aware of the criticism from the former England manager but, again, he could see he had a point.

‘I’d have liked to have played better
for England,’ he said. ‘For whatever reasons it hasn’t happened but I
can hold my head up high and say I’ve always worked hard, given
everything and I’ll continue to do that.’

He said he was not as unfit as had been suggested at the start of the season, arguing that he had ‘only one bad game’.

Game for a laugh: Wayne Rooney jokes with England coach Gary Neville

In the spotlight: Ashley Cole was back in training with England

Raring to go: Wayne Rooney and Ashley Cole enjoyed themselves in training under the instructions of England coach Roy Hodgson (bottom left)

In charge: England boss Roy Hodgson instructs his players at their new HQ

Down to business: Rooney is put through his paces at St George's Park

He also said it would be ‘an honour’
to captain England should Hodgson turn to him if Frank Lampard is not
fit enough to play against San Marino on Friday.

That is what the FA want to hear at
the new national football centre. Rooney spoke of it being an
‘inspirational place’ and so did Steven Gerrard.

The Duke of Cambridge spoke of how it would one day deliver a ‘world-beating national team’.

That might sound a bit ambitious
right now. England players who can buy into the ethos and set the right
example would be a start.

Sight to behold: An aerial view of St George's Park, situated in the green of Staffordshire

Sight to behold: An aerial view of St George's Park, situated in the green of Staffordshire

Sight to behold: An aerial view of St George's Park, situated in the green of Staffordshire

Sight to behold: An aerial view of St George's Park, situated in the green of Staffordshire

Flying the flag: A bright day welcomed the official opening of the National Football Centre in Burton on Tuesday morning

Flying the flag: A bright day welcomed the official opening of the National Football Centre in Burton on Tuesday morning

Grand tour: The Duchess of Cambridge is shown around St George's Park by FA chiefs on Tuesday

Grand tour: The Duchess of Cambridge is shown around St George's Park by FA chiefs on Tuesday

Fresh scenery: Theo Walcott and Ryan Shawcross battle for the ball as they train with England at St George's Park

Fresh scenery: Theo Walcott and Ryan Shawcross battle for the ball as they train with England at St George's Park

Paul Casey loses ball to dog at Dunhill Links

Casey finds trouble at dogleg 12th as FORE-legged friend pinches ball off green

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UPDATED:

14:28 GMT, 5 October 2012

Paul Casey found himself unable to play on for a while in the Dunhill Links Championship after a dog came on to a green and had some fun with his ball.

The incident came on the 12th hole at Kingsbarns as Casey continued his partnership in the celebrity pro-am with Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps.

Here boy: Paul Casey tries to get the dog to drop his ball on the green

Here boy: Paul Casey tries to get the dog to drop his ball on the green

And he's off: The dog takes Casey's ball for a little run

And he's off: The dog takes Casey's ball for a little run

Eventually the dog, named on Twitter as Digby, decided to move on and the former world No 3, on in two at the par five, two-putted for a birdie that lifted him to one under par.

That was, however, still 11 adrift of South African Branden Grace, who equalled the European Tour record on Thursday with a 12-under-par 60 on the course.

Mugshot: The Dunhill Links Twitter page posted a picture of Digby

Mugshot: The Dunhill Links Twitter page posted a picture of Digby

Grace, switching to St Andrews for his second round, was among the later starters, but his lead remained two as France's Victor Dubuisson – round in a course-record 62 at the Home of Golf – covered his first five holes at Carnoustie in level par.

One shot further back were Dane Thorbjorn Olesen and Spain's Pablo Martin, who birdied the first four holes of Carnoustie's back nine.

Bored now: The dog eventually releases Casey's ball after having a play

Bored now: The dog eventually releases Casey's ball after having a play

It's a bit wet: Casey has a look to see what condition is ball is in

It's a bit wet: Casey has a look to see what condition is ball is in