Tag Archives: teenage

FA Cup mascot to run London Marathon

Farah takes on the FA Cup! Trophy mascot joins Mo on London Marathon start line

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Double delight: Farah won 10,000m and 5,000m gold at the London 2012 Olympics

Farah said: 'The whole point is to try and learn from it and my aim is to come out here, learn about the race and get used to the course so next year I'm ready to go. It's a no-brainer really. If someone's giving you a practice run, why would you turn that down There's a lot of criticism, but that's part of life. You can't keep everyone happy.'

And there is, he stressed, no chance of him going all the way to the finish line.

'I'm 25-1 to finish the race,' he added. 'That ain't going to happen. If anyone's got money lying around they can give it to the Mo Farah Foundation because I'm definitely not going to finish it.'

Teenage Cancer Trust will be joining in The FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations throughout the year, working together to raise the profile of the charity which plays an important role in transforming the lives of young people with cancer in communities across the country.

To find out more or to support Teenage Cancer Trust visit Adrian’s Just Giving page http://www.justgiving.com/adrian-wells.

Great Britain to play Croatia away in Davis Cup World Group play-off

Great Britain face away trip to Croatia in Davis Cup play-off… and Murray will play!

By
Stuart Fraser

PUBLISHED:

10:16 GMT, 10 April 2013

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UPDATED:

11:05 GMT, 10 April 2013

Great Britain have been drawn away to Croatia in September's Davis Cup World Group play-offs.

Leon Smith's team staged a stunning comeback to beat Russia 3-2 on Sunday in Coventry and earn a chance to gain promotion to the elite 16-team World Group for the first time since 2008.

Heroes: Britain beat Russia to clinch a place in September's World Group play-offs

Heroes: Britain beat Russia to clinch a place in September's World Group play-offs

World No 2 Andy Murray has already committed to play in the tie which will be held on the weekend following the conclusion of the US Open on 13-15 September.

Murray last played in September 2011 in a 5-0 win over Hungary and has opted out of each tie since, preferring to focus on his grand slam preparations.

Return: Murray (centre) has already committed to play in September's tie

Return: Murray (centre) has already committed to play in September's tie

James Ward and Dan Evans, the heroes
on Sunday as they won both their matches to clinch the win over Russia,
will likely battle it out for the second singles spot.

Croatia's team is likely to include world No 11 Marin Cilic, who Murray beat on his way to winning the Sony Open in Miami last month, and Ivan Dodig, ranked No 54.

The hosts have until April 30 to choose a venue and surface for the tie.

Leader: World No 11 Cilic will likely lead Croatia's team against Great Britain

Leader: World No 11 Cilic will likely lead Croatia's team against Great Britain

It will be Britain's first tie away from home since Smith, Murray's former coach, took over as captain from John Lloyd in 2010.

Smith has won six of his seven ties in charge and should be confident of promotion to the World Group, having avoided Spain and Switzerland in the draw.

Coach: Smith (left) was Murray's (right) coach when the world No 2 was in his teenage years

Coach: Smith (left) was Murray's (right) coach when the world No 2 was in his teenage years

Britain last played Croatia in the World Group play-offs in September 2007, winning 4-1 at Wimbledon.

Murray beat Cilic in five sets in the opening match, before Tim Henman – in his last match before retirement – clinched the tie by teaming up with Murray's brother Jamie in the doubles to beat Cilic and Lovro Zovko.

Handshakes: Cilic (right) played against Britain in 2007 in what was Tim Henman's (left) last match

Handshakes: Cilic (right) played against Britain in 2007 in what was Tim Henman's (left) last match

Manchester United move for two of City"s transfer targets worth 20million

Fergie riles Mancini as United boss swoops to pinch City's 20m transfer targets

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UPDATED:

22:51 GMT, 6 December 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson is plotting a January transfer raid for at least two of Manchester City’s top targets in a move sure to infuriate Roberto Mancini ahead of Sunday’s derby.

Sportsmail can reveal that Manchester United chief executive David Gill flew to Croatia on Tuesday for talks about signing Dinamo Zagreb’s 15million-rated teenage sensation Alen Halilovic.

United's front: Manchester United have discussed the possible transfer of Sime Vrsaljko and Alen Halilovic

Alen Halilovic

United's front: Manchester United have discussed the possible transfer of Sime Vrsaljko and Alen Halilovic

Mindful of Ferguson’s need for more defensive cover, Gill also enquired about 20-year-old right back Sime Vrsaljko and could now follow up with an audacious 20m double deal for two of Croatia’s hottest prospects.

Gill returned to Manchester on Wednesday and took his seat in the directors’ box for the Champions League tie with Cluj, confident that United are now in pole position to complete a transfer coup at City’s expense.

A third City target, Dinamo Dinamo midfielder Mateo Kovacic, also cropped up in Gill’s discussions. United asked about him in the summer but were put off by a 10m asking price.

Victory is mine: Sir Alex Ferguson's approach to the Croatian pair will not sit well with Roberto Mancini

Victory is mine: Sir Alex Ferguson's approach to the Croatian pair will not sit well with Roberto Mancini

Victory is mine: Sir Alex Ferguson's approach to the Croatian pair will not sit well with Roberto Mancini

Victory is mine: Sir Alex Ferguson's approach to the Croatian pair will not sit well with Roberto Mancini

Halilovic, 16, is expected to develop into an even more accomplished attacking midfielder than Luka Modric and is on the radar of Real Madrid as well as both Manchester clubs.

United made their move after being alerted to an approach by City that was given short shrift by Dinamo’s sporting director Zdravko Mamic, who said: 'I have seen the reports about City offering 7m for Alen, but that would not even buy his left leg.'

One up: United are still gloating from the fact they beat City to the signing of Robin van Persie

One up: United are still gloating from the fact they beat City to the signing of Robin van Persie

Gill’s transfer mission will do little for City manager Mancini’s mood in the build-up to Sunday’s eagerly awaited derby at the Etihad Stadium.

Mancini was left fuming at the way City missed out on the likes of Arsenal striker Robin van Persie in the summer and will demand answers if they are once more outmanoeuvred by their nearest, less noisy neighbours, who are also tracking Dinamo centre back Domagoj Vida.

Liverpool have the youngest squad in the Premier League but Bundesliga and Ligue 1 dominate European list

Liverpool boast the youngest squad in the Premier League… but they're a long way behind German and French top flights

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UPDATED:

11:28 GMT, 4 December 2012

When he took over at Anfield in the summer, Brendan Rodgers made no secret of his wish to introduce a philosophy of attractive, attacking football to restore Liverpool's glory days.

And central to that was bringing through the club's talented young prospects – the likes of 17-year old Raheem Sterling and 19-year-old Andre Wisdom – into the first team.

Little wonder then that Liverpool have the youngest squad in the Premier League this season, with an average age of 25.6 years.

Teenage kicks: 17-year-old Raheem Sterling has been brought through into the Liverpool first team by new manager Brendan Rodgers this season

Teenage kicks: 17-year-old Raheem Sterling has been brought through into the Liverpool first team by new manager Brendan Rodgers this season

Breakthrough: Liverpool have also played defender Andre Wisdom, 19, in 12 matches this season

Breakthrough: Liverpool have also played defender Andre Wisdom, 19, in 12 matches this season

This puts them just ahead of Newcastle United (25.7), who have 19-year-old Gael Bigirimana and 20-year-old Sammy Ameobi among those making a breakthrough, and Aston Villa (also 25.7).

Villa have a young complexion to their attacking options, with 21-year-old Andreas Weimann and 22-year-old Christian Benteke making an impact this season.

Manchester United, Arsenal and Norwich City are all tied on 26.2, with Southampton on 26.4 and Manchester City on 26.6.

Making an impact: Austrian striker Andreas Weimann has made 12 appearances for Aston Villa so far this season

Making an impact: Austrian striker Andreas Weimann has made 12 appearances for Aston Villa so far this season

But an analysis of the top leagues in Europe shows that the Premier League is trailing far behind in terms of promoting young players to senior games.

The top 12 on the list are all from the German Bundesliga or France's Ligue 1, with Werder Bremen boasting the youngest average age of 23.1.

Aside from captain Clemens Fritz, who is 31, Bremen's entire squad is aged between 18 and 25, putting them a good way in front of Hoffenheim in second.

Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund, Freiburg and Borussia Monchengladbach also feature in the top ten.

European leaders: German side Werder Bremen have the youngest squad in Europe's top divisions, including Nils Petersen (left) and Marko Arnautovic, both 23

European leaders: German side Werder Bremen have the youngest squad in Europe's top divisions, including Nils Petersen (left) and Marko Arnautovic, both 23

It is most likely a result of a process of rigorous youth development overseen by the DFL (German Football League) over the last decade which has required all sides in the top two divisions to invest in top class academy facilities.

Elsewhere, Roma come in joint 13th with an average of 25.3 years, Bayern Munich are joint 16th with 25.7, Barcelona joint 22nd on 26.3 and Real Madrid back in 24th with 26.5.

THE YOUNGEST SQUADS IN EUROPE

AVERAGE AGE OF THE SQUAD:

1 – Werder Bremen (Germany) – 23.1 years

2 – Hoffenheim (Germany) – 23.7

3 – Rennes (France) – 23.8

4 – Nice (France) – 24.0

5 – Bayer Leverkusen (Germany) – 24.1

6= Borussia Dortmund (Germany) – 24.3

6= Freiburg (Germany) – 24.3

7= Lyon (France) – 24.5

7= Nancy (France) – 24.5

8 – Sochaux (France) – 24.6

9= Pescara (Italy) – 24.7

9= Toulouse (France) – 24.7

10= Nuremburg (Germany) – 24.9

10= Greuther Furth (Germany) – 24.9

PREMIER LEAGUE CLUBS IN TOP 30

15= Liverpool – 25.6

16= Newcastle United – 25.7

16= Aston Villa – 25.7

21= Arsenal – 26.2

21= Manchester United – 26.2

21= Norwich City – 26.2

23= Southampton – 26.4

25= Manchester City – 26.6

28= Sunderland – 26.9

30= Chelsea – 27.1

30= Swansea City – 27.1

Ricky Burns to face Jose Ocampo

Ocampo lined up for Burns night! Filipino in for injured Walsh to take on champion Ricky

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UPDATED:

12:26 GMT, 29 November 2012

Ricky Burns will face Jose Ocampo in his latest world title defence after the Filipino was drafted in as replacement for the injured Liam Walsh.

Burns had been due to defend his WBO lightweight belt against Walsh next month until the Norfolk-based fighter hurt his back in a road accident.

Ocampo, rated 14 in the world by the WBO, will now face Burns at London's ExCeL on December 15.

Great Scot: Ricky Burns (right) celebrates his victory over Kevin Mitchell

Great Scot: Ricky Burns (right) celebrates his victory over Kevin Mitchell

The 23-year-old challenger has suffered five defeats, but most of them came in his teenage years, and 12 of his 17 victories have come inside the distance.

Should he win, Burns has been lined up for a unification fight with unbeaten American Adrien Broner, who added to his growing reputation by securing the WBC lightweight title this month.

The Scot, who swept aside Kevin Mitchell in four rounds in September, said: 'I'd say that this is going to be the hardest fight of my career so far against a young hungry challenger who will be looking to take my title.

Too good: Scot Burns beat Mitchell in four rounds in Glasgow

Too good: Scot Burns beat Mitchell in four rounds in Glasgow

'Filipino fighters are as tough as they come, just look at (Manny) Pacquiao and Nonito Donnaire, like the Mexicans and Africans they come to have a fight and Ocampo will do just that.

'If he fights like those two, as people say he does, then I'll be in for a tough night.

'It's unfortunate that Walsh had an accident and had to pull out of our fight, but I'm a world champion and I have to deal with these changes and I'm confident I'll deal with Ocampo.'

Bad luck: Liam Walsh (left) was forced to pull out of his fight with Burns

Bad luck: Liam Walsh (left) was forced to pull out of his fight with Burns

Promoter Frank Warren added: 'It's going to be hard for Ricky, he's been training to face Walsh and in an ideal world he would have had more time to prepare for the different style that Ocampo will bring.

'He can't afford to slip up, though, we are virtually there with the fight against Broner for next year and that will only happen if he comes through against Ocampo.'

Manchester United beaten to Noe Baba by Fulham

United pipped to Irish wonderkid Baba as Fulham pull off major coup

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UPDATED:

17:55 GMT, 14 November 2012

Fulham have won the race to sign Irish teenage sensation Noe Baba ahead of competition from Manchester United, Sunderland and Celtic.

The 16-year-old defender opted for the London club after being convinced their recruitment and academy set-up would give him a better platform to progress.

United headed a list of 16 clubs chasing the Cameroon-born kid who plays for Castlebar Celtic in County Mayo, but the presence of Fulham's Malcolm Elias, Steve Wigley, Huw Jennings and Stewart Henderson swayed his mind.

Can't say Noe: Young Irishman Noe Baba (No 2) has chosen Fulham over Manchester United

Can't say Noe: Young Irishman Noe Baba (No 2) has chosen Fulham over Manchester United

The quartet were key figures at Southampton in the production and development of players such as Wayne Bridge, Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain.

Although they went on to separate jobs they reunited at Craven Cottage this summer and their reputation is growing once again.

Fulham will formalise details on Thursday and Baba, who has already passed a medical and agreed a contract, will join from January for a fee of around 130,000.

Baba, who only turned 16 in August, was born in Cameroon and moved to Ireland with his family where he became the first African to captain an Irish age-group team when he led the Under 17s.

He was called into the Republic of Ireland Under 19 squad in October and can play centre-back, defensive midfield or full-back.

Arsenal want Adel Taarabt if they can"t sign Wilfried Zaha

Arsenal plot shock swoop for Taarabt if Wenger fails to land 20m-rated Zaha

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UPDATED:

07:03 GMT, 8 November 2012

Arsenal could switch their attentions to Queens Park Rangers playmaker Adel Taarabt if they are priced out of a move for teenage hotshot Wilfried Zaha.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger wants to bolster his forward line in January and has earmarked Crystal palace starlet Zaha, 19, as his top target.

But the Championship club have a slapped an unrealistic 20million price tag on the England Under 21 winger while Arsenal face competition for his signature from Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City.

Target: Arsenal could make a January move for playmaker Adel Taarabt

Target: Arsenal could make a January move for playmaker Adel Taarabt

Arsenal will launch a 9million move in January having watched Zaha, who grew up as an Arsenal supporter, on several occasions this season.

The winger is settled in London and
is in no hurry to leave Selhurst Park, but it is understood the youngster
would find it difficult to turned down a switch to a top Premier League
club.

Arsenal are
likely to start their bidding with a deal worth 9m, an offer which will
comprise of a number of performance-related add-ons.

But
Palace will not let their teenage
sensation leave Selhurst Park without a fight. Financially,
the club are under no pressure to sell Zaha in January, while chairman
Steve Parish has publicly insisted it would take a 20million offer for
Palace to part with their Ivory-Coast born forward.

Wanted: Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha has been watched by several clubs

Wanted: Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha has been watched by several clubs

And according to the Daily Mirror, that could lead to Wenger moving instead for Taarabt, 23, who has played only six times this season but scored two goals.

The mercurial Moroccan joined Rangers from London rivals Tottenham on loan in 2009 before signing a permanent deal.

He helped the club win the Championship under Neil Warnock and was linked with a move to big-spending French side Paris Saint-Germain but the transfer failed to materialise.

Arsenal to make 9m move for Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace in January

Arsenal to test Palace's resolve with 9m move for wonderkid Zaha in January

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UPDATED:

22:45 GMT, 2 November 2012

Football League blog

Arsenal will launch a 9million move to land Crystal Palace whizkid Wilfried Zaha in January.

The club have watched the 19-year-old, who grew up as an Arsenal supporter, on several occasions this season.

And Arsenal’s interest in Zaha took a
step forward last weekend when chief scout Steve Rowley watched the
teenager put in a scintillating display
against Leicester.

The real deal: Wilfried Zaha is attracting interest from a raft of clubs

The real deal: Wilfried Zaha (left) is attracting interest from a raft of clubs

The winger is settled in London and is no hurry to leave Selhurst Park, but it is understood the youngster would find it difficult to turned down a switch to a top Premier League club.

Arsenal are likely to start their bidding with a deal worth 9m, an offer which will comprise of a number of performance-related add-ons.

But Palace, who were continuing with their attempts to name Blackpool manager Ian Holloway as their next manager, will not let their teenage sensation leave Selhurst Park without a fight.

Financially, the club are under no pressure to sell Zaha in January, while chairman Steve Parish has publicly insisted it would take a 20million offer for Palace to part with their Ivory-Coast born forward.

The south London club remained determined to keep hold of Zaha, particularly if they remain in the hunt for promotion at the turn of the year, and will inform their incoming manager their are no plans to sell the forward in January.

But that will not stop Arsenal testing Palace’s resolve. It is highly unlikely Palace will accept an 9million offer – but the the Gunners are determined to land the youngster.

An improved bid between 12m-15m could leave Parish with a serious question to answer.

Rugby league: Kevin Sinfield honoured to be England captain for Wales clash

Sinfield delighted to be skipper at last for Tri-Nations clash with Wales

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UPDATED:

23:02 GMT, 26 October 2012

Twenty-two years after first wearing a captain’s armband with Lancashire Under 10s, Kevin Sinfield achieves his biggest personal honour on Saturday when he leads out England for the Tri-Nations clash with Wales.

Despite being marked out during his teenage years as a future national captain it is only now, aged 32 and with Jamie Peacock retired from international rugby, that he gets his chance. But 10 years leading Leeds have steeled him; it is not an opportunity he is likely to waste.

Key man: Sinfield in action for England against Australia at Wembley last year

Key man: Sinfield in action for England against Australia at Wembley last year

Sinfield said: ‘You have to be a leader of some sort just to be in this squad. Every player involved has got different leadership qualities. At 32 you think your time may have passed, but I’m really looking forward to it.

‘The last month with Leeds, then being made England captain, have been some of the most special moments of my career.

‘I love being involved with the England squad and love the morals and standards we’ve put in place.’

Sinfield’s courage, resilience and intelligence are key attributes, but it is his control and distribution that will be most needed against a Welsh side that lost in France last week.

The Oldham-born stand-off puts one name above all others when he considers his new role as national captain: Ellery Hanley.

Sinfield said: ‘He was the figurehead for British rugby and how he played and led teams left a big mark on me.’

TV: LIVE on BBC2 from 2.30pm.

Wayne Rooney – 10 years at Manchester United

After 10 years of mixing red cards and snarls with goals and glory, Rooney is still the special one at Manchester United

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UPDATED:

07:03 GMT, 19 October 2012

On September 1, 2004, Wayne Rooney attended a press conference at Old Trafford at which he was introduced as a Manchester United player.

Rooney, 18 years old, spoke so softly it was difficult to hear him. To his right, hidden from view by the TV cameras and journalists without seats, his teenage girlfriend Coleen sat on a chair by a wall with her hands in her lap and stared hard at the floor.

Eight years on, much has changed. Rooney has just captained England in a competitive game for the first time and Coleen — now a wife and mother — was this week telling her 850,000 Twitter followers about a day modelling her clothing range.

The fundamentals haven’t really changed, however.

Wayne Rooney

Remember the name: Rooney celebrates his winner for Everton against Arsenal in 2002

What a difference a decade makes: Rooney in action for Manchester United earlier this season (left) and celebrating his famous winner for Everton against Arsenal (right)

Ten years to the day since Rooney scored his first Premier League goal — for Everton at home to Arsenal — he remains as bullish, headstrong and compelling as he was back in the days when he was making his way in English football.

There are those who would change him, those who can’t see beyond the occasional snarl, the barrel chest and the attitude. They are quite wrong. Rooney — who joined a team that contained players of the stature of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Cristiano Ronaldo and Roy Keane — has arguably been United’s most valuable and important player for much of his time at Old Trafford.

Turkish delight: Rooney scores one of his three goals against Fenerbahce on his debut

Turkish delight: Rooney scores one of his three goals against Fenerbahce on his debut

At times he has been bumptious and he has been belligerent but rarely has that masked the depth of his natural talent. There
have been significant contributions during this period from Rio
Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Ronaldo himself, of course. But as we look
backwards and forwards, Old Trafford’s favourite Scouser dominates the
view.

One respected
columnist bemoaned Rooney’s record with England this week and he has a
point. We have not seen the best of him at a major finals since 2004 —
his first. The same writer also questioned the striker’s hunger, though,
and that is baffling.

Rooney’s pursuit of the football on an average Saturday or Sunday afternoon is almost obsessive in its fury. At times United’s shape would benefit from some restraint from their No 10 but his manager Sir Alex Ferguson has long since given up trying to tell him.

Like Keane and, indeed, David Beckham before him, Rooney views losing as a personal affront. When performance levels dip at United it cuts nobody deeper. Having scored a hat-trick on his United debut — in the Champions League against Fenerbahce — Rooney has spent much of the time since looking bemused as to why it can’t work out like that in every game.

As we would expect, there is more sophistication to his football these days. He passes the ball better and adapts more easily to the many different roles Ferguson has asked of him in recent years. It is almost inevitable that he will end his days playing in the centre of midfield.

The DNA remains the same, though. Rooney is a street-fighter who operates best when his blood is up and those who seek to criticise the occasional moment of rashness or obsess about his exact weight rather miss the point.

Says it all: Rooney jokes with Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Says it all: Rooney jokes with Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

For those who love statistics, Rooney has scored 181 times in 371 United appearances. That ratio is substantially better than those of Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best, Mark Hughes and Andy Cole. Last season he scored 34 times for his club. The year before that it was a modest 16 (from only 36 starts) and the year before it was 34 once again.

England assistant manager Gary Neville said this week that his former team-mate must improve. Even the best must evolve. Nevertheless, United must improve, too. Those who refuse to believe Rooney was seriously tempted by a move to Manchester City two years ago are in denial.

During their courting of Rooney, City told him he would play ‘every week’ if he joined. It was some promise from the richest club in the world but it spoke volumes for his perceived worth.

Some dispute Rooney’s right to be labelled ‘world class’ but it depends on the parameters. Certainly he is not in the bracket of Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Xavi. Few are. He would, however, get in the France team, the Germany team and the Italy team. Does that make him world class Maybe. Take your pick.

What is important and indeed undeniable is that Rooney remains at the forefront of an increasingly magnetic domestic game and we should value him. He does need to do better in an England shirt, especially at major finals. The team do need to get to the next one first, though.

Still the main man: Rooney in action during United's 3-0 win at Newcastle earlier this month

Still the main man: Rooney in action during United's 3-0 win at Newcastle earlier this month