20 Sep
2020

Job not done yet – Pearson

first_img Leicester host Southampton on Saturday and then face fixtures against relegation rivals Sunderland and QPR. Pearson, nominated for the April manager of the month award on the back of his side’s upturn in form recently, has warned his players that the job is not done yet. ”I’m very pleased with how we’ve played, but there’s a lot of hard work left – it’s not done, not at all,”the Foxes boss said. ”Of course it helps when things go your way elsewhere, but you can’t bank on that. We can’t leave the field with regrets.” Meanwhile, Pearson refused to be drawn on speculation linking winger Anthony Knockaert with a switch to Belgian club Standard Liège. The 23-year-old has been out of favour this season but his stock is still high in Europe after making 42 appearances and scoring five goals during last year’s Championship-winning campaign. Knockaert’s contract expires in the summer and, according to reports, Standard Liege are confident of luring him away despite the Leicester hierarchy hoping he will sign a new deal until 2017. Knockaert joined Leicester from French side Guingamp in 2012 but he has made just nine Premier League appearances this term – and none since mid-January. Press Association Five wins in the last six matches has lifted the Foxes out of the drop zone, with three games remaining. Only a couple of months ago, Pearson’s men were bottom of the table and being written off. When asked about talk of the player leaving, Pearson responded: ”I can’t confirm anything. ”I have heard the speculation but I can’t confirm it because the football club have had no formal confirmation on that. That’s all I can say on that.” Leicester have been handed a fitness boost ahead of the visit of Southampton with David Nugent back in the reckoning after a calf problem. Only midfielder Andy King will definitely be missing because of a hamstring injury, while both Jamie Vardy and Marcin Wasilewski should play despite foot problems. Leonardo Ulloa is also okay to play despite having an ankle issue. ”I would rule Andy King out but he has made very good progress,” Pearson said. ”He has done quite a bit of training with the group. If circumstances were slightly different then there would be a chance of maybe him being involved. ”He is an important player for us so we don’t feel it is in anyone’s interest to push him too much at this stage, so we’ll rule him out just on that basis. ”Everybody else really looks like they’ll be available for the weekend. ”Nugent is back into the reckoning which is a big plus for us. ‘With Vardy it’s a similar sort of situation as it’s been for a few weeks. We’re trying to manage the load. ”We’ve had a free week so it’s given us a bit of time to give him a bit more of a rest. ”He’ll go into the preparation for the game in the same way that he has for the last few games. ”Ulloa is training. We’ve had a few bumps and bruises, but nothing that’s not manageable. ”With Marcin, we could afford to take him off last week because we were in a pretty strong position during last week’s game. ”It’s always preferable if you can do that during games to protect players. Again, he’s available.” Leicester manager Nigel Pearson knows plenty of hard work still lies ahead as his side look to retain their Barclays Premier League status.last_img read more

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19 Sep
2020

Government awaiting Linden’s choice for 400m synthetic track, says Director of Sport

first_img… Residents to decide between MSC and BayrocBy Joe ChapmanIINTEREST is gaining momentum in Linden with regard to acquiring a 400m synthetic athletics track, as residents debate the best venue for this much-needed facility.Director of Sport Christopher Jones has been visiting Linden frequently to hear the views of residents and stakeholders of the venue to have the facility laid down for the sport-mad town and this has been a hot topic.Initially the focus was to find a place that could accommodate the 400m track and off the bat the Mackenzie Sports Club was suggested.However, this was reviewed and the Director of Sport did say that a venue other than the Mackenzie Sports Club was being pursued since that facility, if considered, would necessitate encompassing private lands which could pose some problems, since the existing venue cannot accommodate a track of the international size required.Subsequently, on request, Jones and Mayor of Linden Carwyn Holland discussed the kinks with the MSC Executive and its readiness to have such a track being considered coming to the club.Several considerations, including the operations of the club, were looked into and other general concerns emanating from the public about how it was managed were looked into at those meetings.Mayor Holland and Member of Parliament Jermain Figueira have also been involved and a stakeholders’ meeting was held last Saturday at the Linden Enterprise Network (LEN) building where the Mackenzie Sports Club Executive was represented, led by president Avery Trim, general secretary Victor Wright and other members drawn from the community gave their take on where the 400m track could be placed.But the twists continued, as the Bayroc Community Centre field, in the early 1970s, was earmarked to have a stadium built on its vast land space, and another in Amelia’s Ward.In recent times, however, the MSC ground has been placed back on the front burner for consideration, along with the Bayroc Centre field. To start this project in Amelia’s Ward from scratch, certainly was not what government had envisioned.So the debate has started and residents are expressing their views on this much-needed facility coming to Linden where apart from Georgetown, no other town has produced more promising athletes.The recent testimony is the National Schools track and field, swimming and cycling championships where Linden District 10 (Upper Demerara/Kwakwani) dominated with most titles, fifteen, in the history of those games.Two athletes from Linden were given recognition by the Athletics Association of Guyana when they performed well and represented Guyana last year.It was felt by many that the Bayroc Community Centre was the better venue and had much room for expansion with its sprawlning land space.The concern of congestion and parking area also seemed out of the question because of the land available there also.The main concern, however, at Bayroc is the open sesame of that facility which means that several considerations would have to be undertaken simultaneously to put down such a track as regards security in general.This certainly has not been budgeted for with government, as Jones made it clear at this time that the laying down of the 400m track was sole priority.The danger of vandalising the costly facility therefore factored in with placing such a structure in a virtual open space,. It really does not bode well for the track being placed at Bayroc, unless some other arrangements through financing can be guaranteed because this is a cause for worry.This is where the MSC ground comes back into serious contention without such cause for worry. The MSC officials explained at length that adequate parking space can be made available to the west of the ground and to the north which would have to be adjusted beyond the existing fence to accommodate a plan done by the Linden bauxite operations Chinese firm BOSAI’s Minerals Group (Guyana) Inc. Engineering Department.The survey was done and the necessary drawings were handed over to the Director of Sport for his consideration, showing where such a track can fit at the MSC ground with some modifications to the plan, and this has made the chances of it being placed there encouraging.The attendant security concerns would be greatly reduced and the money to be spent in general would be cut in a huge way if the MSC is chosen and which could make room for other modernisation to the facility which was first donated to the community by the bauxite industry in 1956.But the perceived cramped and apparent closeness to the track which is a concern to some, club officials countered saying it is no different from what obtains at some international venues.Director of Sport Christopher Jones has therefore thrown out the challenge to the stakeholders in Linden where the Mayor of Linden, Regional officials and identified stakeholders must come up with a decision, sooner rather than later, as to where they, not government, would like to have this international- size track laid down.Another stakeholders’ meeting is being planned by the Mayor and MP Figueira to make a final decision for this track to become a reality in Linden this year.last_img read more

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17 Sep
2020

Uncertainty hovers over USC basketball

first_imgIn between drills during Thursday’s morning practice at the Galen Center, senior guard Jio Fontan picked up a loose ball and slowly made his way down the length of the floor.On his way to the basket, Fontan slowly mimicked movements that seemed all too real just a few months ago.But just as USC’s supposed star attraction went up to punctuate his coast-to-coast journey, something was simply missing.He couldn’t get off the ground.The mirage of what could have been for the Trojans this season is apparent every time Fontan — who tore his ACL during a July trip to Brazil — picks up a basketball.For a team that bares little to no resemblance to the squad that nearly cracked the field of 64 in March, Fontan represented the promise of a new day. He was supposed to be the glue that would hold together last year’s late-season success with a group that’s about as diverse as any in Division I basketball.USC has been without Fontan throughout all of training camp, and it won’t have him for Saturday’s scrimmage against Long Beach State, or next Friday’s season opener against Cal State Northridge at the Galen Center. And it likely won’t have him for most of the season.In his absence, we know this about USC coach Kevin O’Neill’s inexperienced band of freshmen, transfers, misfits and unproven talents: They will do so having more holes than people to fill them.Sophomore guard Maurice Jones instantly becomes the team’s do-it-all scorer at the offensive end. Only one problem: He’s a pass-first point guard who averaged fewer than 10 points per game his freshman season. At 5-foot-7, 155 pounds, Jones’ fearlessness at the basket is laudable, but his perimeter game still doesn’t scream crunch-time performer. When the game gets tight, is this really the guy you want taking the final shot?I don’ think so — at least not yet.Freshmen guards Alexis Moore and Byron Wesley infuse athleticism and unselfishness into an offensive system that was sorely lacking at times last season. But the two are just months removed from their high school proms, so expecting them to instantly develop college-level basketball IQs overnight is naive to say the least.Apparently, 6.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game at Antelope Junior College can also create quite the buzz.That’s what Trojans’ big man sophomore Dewayne Dedmon has brought to the table entering this year. The defensive-minded center might be a force to be reckoned with on the boards and in the shot blocking department, but his offensive game leaves much to be desired. Combine that with a fracture on his shooting hand, and USC’s primary post scorer suddenly doesn’t seem so intimidating.Junior transfer forward Aaron Fuller from Iowa brings many intangibles to the table at the power forward position.  From offensive put backs to defensive intensity, he is an O’Neill guy through and through. Against the Cal Poly and Morgan States of the world, his 6-foot-6 frame might not be an issue, but against some of the tougher interior teams in the Pac-12, like Oregon, UCLA and Washington, matchup issues are bound to ensue.From top to bottom, I will admit there is a lot to like about this team despite my apparent sense of cynicism. Sophomore forward Garrett Jackson has beefed up and appears to have developed some maturity out on the court during the off-season after supposedly being involved in an altercation with former USC guard Bryce Jones.JUCO transfer junior guard Greg Allen will definitely provide a spark off the bench from the 3-point line á la Donte Smith. And junior James Blasczyk, a transfer from Lee College, provides USC with welcomed depth and raw aggression in the post.But there’s something to be said about having to replace four of your top six players from a year ago, especially when one of them, Nikola Vucevic, was recently selected 16th overall in the NBA draft.O’Neill has faced more than his fair share of challenges in a coaching career that spans more than three decades. From replacing Lute Olsen at Arizona to working with a poorly assembled roster in 2003 with the Toronto Raptors to motivating a USC team with no postseason to play for because of sanctions, the colorful coach as been there and done that.But something tells me this set of circumstances was never in the job descriptions O’Neill never really desired.You can put lipstick on a pig, as O’Neill has done in recent weeks, but sadly sometimes it still remains a pig.Though you can bank on this team playing hard every night from November to March, at the end of the day will that really be enough?“I know one thing, regardless of how things play out, it’s going to be a roller coaster this year,” O’Neill said on Thursday.The question remains: How long will the coaches, the players and the fans stay along for the ride? “For The Love Of The Game” runs every other Friday. To comment on this article, visit dailytrojan.com or email Dave at [email protected]last_img read more

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