BSA welcomes President Ramaphosa’s new era

first_imgBrand South Africa welcomes President Ramaphosa’s new era of a more prosperous and equitable society  Johannesburg, Tuesday 20 February 2018 – In his first state of the nation address, newly elected President of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa encouraged South Africans to ‘seize this moment of hope and renewal.’  “We will be initiating measures to set the country on a new path of growth, employment and transformation. We will do this by getting social partners in our country to collaborate in building a social compact on which we will create drivers of economic recovery,” said President Ramaphosa.National priority areas mentioned by President Ramaphosa included but were not limited to the pursuance of higher levels of economic growth and investment, firming up measures to address challenges of youth unemployment and inequality, job creation and poverty alleviation as well as reinforcing sustainable measures of basic and higher education systems. Brand South Africa’s CEO, Dr Kingsley Makhubela said: “A new era has dawned upon South Africa, it is time for South Africans to collectively rise to its challenges and move the country forward. President Ramaphosa mentioned accelerating progress in building a more prosperous and equitable society.“We at Brand South Africa stand ready to heed this call and we committed to working with all sectors of society to ‘contribute to greater economic growth, reduce poverty, reduce inequality, enhance earnings and increase the competitiveness of our economy.’” Dr Makhubela concluded: “Feedback from opposition political parties during the debate on the President’s State of the Nation Address is also testament that there is a growing consensus and a paradigm shift that sees South Africa on the cliff of an economic-take off — a much needed response to the creation of more jobs and transformation.” “It therefore, incumbent upon each one of us, in both the public and private sectors to ‘jointly, boldly, and strategically’ champion and cultivate the development agenda to improve the socio-economic state of South Africans. We have to so this collectively, because we owe it to ourselves and those whom we represent.” Notes to the Editor About Brand South Africa Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship. About Play Your Part Play Your Part is a nationwide programme created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa.  It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing. A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone. Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the not-so-young.  It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.last_img read more

10 Thoughts On Oklahoma’s 38-20 Win Over Oklahoma State

first_imgStat from @BerryTramel: Oklahoma’s last 3 possessions: 76, 82, 80 yards, 3 TDs. Oklahoma State has run 4 plays in that span.— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) December 3, 20166. OU was batteredOne of the most frustrating things about all of this is that Dede Westbrook was eviscerated in the second quarter and didn’t play at all in the second half. OU has no other receivers. This is not hyperbole. Their second-best true receiver came into the game with 320 yards on the season, and Mayfield still found a way to do work.Even further, Mixon didn’t look like himself and Perine was injured multiple times. OU was without defensive players all over the field, and OSU was completely healthy.With Jordan Parker down, Parrish Cobb, who the #Sooners hoped to redshirt is in the game— Ryan Aber (@ryaber) December 3, 2016And they still closed when it counted. Mostly because …7. Baker is a ballerI hate it. I hate it so much.I sports hate him with a passion when he’s playing Oklahoma State.This was my personal hell after the game.This is my own personal hell. pic.twitter.com/mZBDHwR1tF— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 3, 2016But that dude can go. He can play some college football. Johnny Mayfield is the best improviser in the country and he showed up when it mattered most. He’s a dude.(It also helps when he has more time in the backfield than it takes me to dress my two toddlers in the morning)“I think it’s pretty clear what happened,” said Gundy after the game. “One of the things that I had concerns with coming in was them getting in big plays, and that’s what happened. Unfortunately we played pretty good, in fact maintained some quality drives and had some defensive stands, but they big-played us.“I was concerned about Mayfield and his ability to buy time, move around and sling the ball down the field, and he was able to do that. He’s obviously really good at that.”8. Where Was Washington?The President had eight targets and it felt like two. Why not at least throw it up a couple times, especially when he’s making grabs like this?This is an insane catch by Washington. pic.twitter.com/gdtjH4e4qM— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 3, 2016I do think the rain helped OU in that Baker’s improv skills allowed his receiver to run around until OSU’s defenders fell down. Rudolph doesn’t do that (at least not like Baker), and you could tell the timing and patterns were all askew all afternoon. Especially for Rudolph2Washington.9. The Lone Bright SpotJustice Hill is a dog (and was the lone bright spot offensively for the Pokes — along with Chris Carson). He went over 1,000 yards on the season after a 16-rush, 99-yard performance on Saturday, and he was a complete maniac all day. /Whispers OU didn’t even recruit this guy, and he was the best RB on a field of great ones … at least for the first half.He was even impressive when his runs got called back.10. What’s next?Oklahoma State will get (probably) Colorado in the Alamo Bowl. This is a great outcome for the Pokes from a postseason perspective. The Alamo Bowl is the second-best Big 12 bowl game, and Colorado is a good matchup for the Pokes. It will be fun to play a former Big 8/Big 12 brethren in a bowl game, and you don’t have to worry about getting run off the field like you would if USC was the opponent.From a big picture standpoint, I don’t really know how to feel. I came into Saturday thinking Oklahoma State was either going to win or make it dang close. It did neither, although Grogan making the FG late could have made it a lot tighter than it turned out to be. Gundy now has 10 losses to OU in 12 years and is 1-3 in de facto Big 12 title games.You have a lot coming back next year for Round 3 (and Round 4?) with Baker and Co., but this was a butt-whupping of the most frustrating variety. It wasn’t like last year. Last year, you were hurt and OU was immense. This year, you caught a ton of breaks. It is OU that was riddled with injuries and hanging on by one of Baker’s facial handlebars.OSU couldn’t get it done when with the chips were down in Norman and a Big 12 title on the line. Just as winning 10 (!) Big 12 titles in 18 years likely never gets old for Bob Stoops, the sting of knowing your team wasn’t good enough (again) doesn’t dull. OSU had a real chance to turn the Big 12 and Bedlam tide on Saturday, and it failed as spectacularly as possible.On to the next one (which happens to be basketball tonight at Maryland!) BOX SCOREI just typed the words “someone should put a mullet on a Crying Jordan” if you wanted to know how this Saturday is going. Oklahoma State got beat up in Norman 38-20 on Saturday with the Big 12 title on the line. The score was only that close because Samaje Perine had mercy and took a knee at OSU’s 1-yard-line with a few seconds left.Shoutout to Perine for doing that, by the way. As one of our PFB squad members said: Joe Mixon probably would have run that in and thrown the ball in Jordan Sterns’ face.On Saturday, an injured Sooners team showed out in a game where OSU (and specifically Mason Rudolph) did not. It seemed everyone but Bob Stoops got hurt for the Sooners on Saturday, but OU kept coming and eventually overwhelmed OSU. The Cowboys ran the ball spectacularly in the first half (181 yards) but OU answered with 301 (!) on the ground in the second.It got away from Oklahoma State in a hurry, too. After somehow taking a 17-10 lead with two minutes to go in the second quarter, Oklahoma State was outscored 28-3 over the final 32 minutes. It was a second-half whipping for a team that is now 2-10 in Bedlam under Mike Gundy.Joe Mixon, fittingly, delivered the knockout blow with 10 minutes left in the game when he scampered 79 yards for a touchdown seconds after Ben Grogan missed a 38-yard FG that would have pulled the Pokes to within one score (and possibly changed the entire complexion of the game).We have much to discuss. Let’s get to work.1. Mike Gundy was not greatFor some reason Mike Gundy continues to coach Bedlam like he either A. Has the better recruits than OU or B. Is Kansas State. Why he chooses to do either of these is completely beyond me.Oklahoma State has to be creative in big games like this because it has worse players. This is just factual. Look at recruiting. Look at the rosters. I know this. You know this. Literally everyone who watches college football knows this. And yet, there is no creativity out of Mike & Mike. Year after year, that’s disappointing.Oklahoma State is playing like they’re just trying to cover the spread.— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) December 3, 2016There were two big issues when it comes to Gundy (well, really big issues) on Saturday that we need to address here.First, why did Oklahoma State not throw a Hail Mary from OU’s 45 with 10 seconds left in the first half after running it on first down? Even worse, why did Oklahoma State not try to throw a 15-yard pass from the 50 after Barry Sanders’ return? You had 18 seconds left in the half and Ammendola has 50-yard range. You have to get 16-17 yards and have all the time in the world. What are you doing?I really felt like this is where Oklahoma State lost its edge in the game. It was coming off a defensive drive in which it had just given up a game-tying touchdown, and OU was about to get the ball to start the second half. How do you not even try for points? It’s not like you were on your own 10-yard-line. This was the most unforgivable mistake (to me) for Gundy on Saturday. There’s just no “F you” in him when Stoops is on the other sideline.I want to see stuff like this out of Gundy:I want to see Gundy finger-wagging Stoops after big-time TDs. I want to see him winking at the camera and taunting the OU crowd after huge scores. Instead, he just tucks his mullet between his legs and heads for the locker room. Sad!The other issue is kicking the field goal with 10 minutes left in the game before Mixon put a dagger in our hearts (more on him in a minute). I have less of an issue with the decision to kick the FG and more of a problem with the way you ended up in that situation to begin with.Let’s recap: There is a three-minute replay of a potential first down earlier in the drive. If you don’t get it, you know you have fourth and inches in your own territory. You have literally three minutes to think about this. Then you send the punt team on the field before calling a timeout and changing your mind. What in the world?There was little to no rhythm to the OSU offense all day, and it seemed to be the result of indecision from Mike & Mike. And we can continue to talk about Gundy’s poor showing all we want (and I’m sure we will!), but the reality is that OSU did not lose that game because Gundy chose to kick a field goal instead of go for it on fourth down. OSU lost this game for two reasons …2. Mason Rudolph was horrificJust downright putrid. He was 11/25 for 186 yards, but that doesn’t even begin to tell the story. He dropped two balls including one under center on the goal line that could have cost OSU a touchdown, and he wasn’t even remotely close on a lot of his throws. Gundy said it as kindly as he could after the game, but Rudolph was bad.“We just couldn’t get a very good grasp of the ball,” said Gundy. “It wasn’t a really good day for us to have an opportunity to throw it down the field.”Rudolph’s struggles created two issues. The first is that Mike & Mike got gun-shy on throwing the deep ball (even though they should have probably done it on every down despite Rudolph’s woes because, well, it worked both times they tried it).The other issue is that OU realized this at halftime, loaded up the box and kept an OSU team that ran for 181 yards in the first half to 36 yards in the second. An offense that came alive early was buried late because No. 2 was no threat at all.There is no bigger Mason Rudolph fan on the planet than yours truly, but there is not a rational human being alive who could have watched what Rudolph did on Saturday and said he was anything but terrible. That crushed OSU’s chances of winning a Big 12 Championship.3. OSU didn’t take advantage in the first quarterThe other reason OSU lost is because it didn’t take advantage of its stingy defense in the first quarter. This game started a lot like the Texas Tech game at home in November. OU’s first three drives went like this:PuntPuntPuntOSU led by just three points after those three drives. If you didn’t think the OU offense — one of the best in Big 12 history — was going to come on late in the game, then you haven’t been paying attention to OU all year.You needed to be up 14-0 or 17-0 at the end of that sequence like you were against OU. That’s where the game was lost, not in Gundy’s decision to kick a field goal with 10 minuets left.4. Dr. 1st Half, Mr. 2nd HalfAre you prepared to look at the rushing charts for the first half and the second half? I’m not sure you are, but here is what they looked like.First halfOU: 40 rushing yards (ESPN previously had this number at 3, I have since corrected … apologies)OSU: 181 rushing yardsSecond halfOU: 301 rushing yardsOSU: 36 rushing yards[monkey covering his eyes emoji]OU’s plan was pretty clear — let Baker give you the lead and ride Perine and Mixon until they break. They almost did. Perine fumbled in the fourth quarter in a scene quite reminiscent of 2014.2014: OU leads 28-14, Perine fumbles/hurt on OSU 29 with 20 min. left2016: OU leads 31-20, Perine fumbles/hurt on OSU 18 with 13 min. left— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 3, 2016Alas, OSU could not take advantage.5. Those drive chartsAfter OSU took that 17-10 lead, this is how each team progressed.OU: TD-TD-TD-Fumble (that would have been a TD-TD-Perine kneels on 1OSU: Ends half abruptly-Punt-FG-Missed FG-Turnover on downsOU closed like a Big 12 champ is supposed to close on its home field. Oklahoma State closed like a bartender who over-served himself.I’m not sure if the moment overwhelmed the Cowboys or if they just didn’t have the horses to shut it down, but the game seemed to flip when OU went 76 yards for a TD at the end of the first half and Gundy ran the clock out at the 50. OSU strained to get field goals in the second half, and OU had its way on the ground.After that mess at the 50-yard-line before the half, OSU never truly got off the mat. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Mike Gundy’s Conservative Coaching May Have Lost Oklahoma State the Big 12 Title

first_imgWith 13 minutes left in the Bedlam-Big 12 title game, Oklahoma State was down 31-20 on the road in the Sooners’ house. After the Cowboys gave up a play that seemed like it would close the door on OSU’s Big 12 title hopes, Samaje Perine fumbled the ball at the Oklahoma State 18-yard line.A glimmer of hope?The Cowboys got their turnover. The team that leads the Big 12 in turnover margin rarely loses a game when they’ve won that battle. Unfortunately, the Cowboys didn’t pay it off. They dispossessed Perine. But Oklahoma State needed to get down the field and score.They again leaned on the run game with Justice Hill making one of the few second-half positive yard plays to start. Then, after a horribly marked (yellow line) first down marker was missed by Blake Jarwin just by inches, the Cowboys faced fourth down and very short at the Oklahoma 40-yard line.What is Mike Gundy going to do? Punt … right?Nope. Let’s call a timeout right after the officials ate up enough time to decide I was able to grab popcorn. Then decide to just to send your punt team back to the bench and let Chris Carson run for 16 yards… There you go, Coach.Unfortunately, the Cowboys found themselves at third-down-and-ten at the Sooner 29-yard line after a predictable draw play saw Justice Hill register a no-gain.So what do you do?Hand it off to Chris Carson for an impressive run that almost made the first down.Throughout this game (and in many past in-state Big 12 contests) Mike Gundy has been accused of coaching conservatively. This one may take the cake.Facing a fourth and short, Gundy held the dice in his hand. Instead of going for a first down, he elected to roll Ben Grogan out. It hooked wide left.I’ll say that the fourth-and-two field-goal attempt does less to cement Gundy as a “little brother” coach than the previous play call on third down that was obviously designed to get three points instead of seven.Now, Mason Rudolph had one of the worst games of his career and I can’t really blame the weather. When a quarterback of his caliber finishes with a 44 percent completion rate, 186 yards and no touchdown passes, you need to look behind center.Rudolph’s struggle on the road is a real thing.The field was wet. The ball was wet. But you can merely glance at Baker Mayfield’s stat line and you’ll dismiss that from your excuse list.Back to Gundy. He coached scared. There’s really no other way to look at it. But I think it was more of a collective effort on his part than just that one play/drive.If Grogan makes that kick, it’s a one-possession game with almost ten minutes remaining. But my problem isn’t with the miss. It’s with what the decision to go for a field goal represents. A field goal? A smart play, given the numbers, that could bring it to one possession. Going for it? That shows some gumption that you’re all in.Back-pedaling into the first half, another prime example of this. The Cowboys got a 49-yard kickoff return from Barry J. Sanders out to the 50. With 18 seconds left, even my daughter was drooling at the thought of a potential score before the half. Instead, they ran the clock out. With time and timeouts in hand.The Cowboys left a lot out on Owen Field, which is disappointing. But for all the swagger and moxie the mullet gives Mike Gundy, he had the opportunity at just his second conference title and put a cap on it. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Taylor, Carson, Lampkin All Headed to NFL Combine

first_imgThe Big 12 has a professional football player problem. This is no surprise to people who follow these things closely. Oklahoma State is certainly part of that, but this year the Pokes actually surpassed the Big 12 average in NFL Combine invites.Of the 19 Big 12 players invited to Indianapolis next month, OSU has three of them. Defensive tackle Vincent Taylor, running back Chris Carson and cornerback Ashton Lampkin will all take their talents to the next level to see how high they can move up draft boards.Other Big 12 invites include Rasul Douglas, KD Cannon, D’Onta Foreman, Dede Westbrook, Jordan Willis, Pat Mahomes, Seth Russell and Samaje Perine.I asked Taylor how excited he is to go to Indy.“I’m very excited being one of the guys from OSU to go as a junior,” Taylor told PFB. “I’m looking forward to going out there to do my best and just enjoy the moment because moments like this only come around once.”Lampkin got a 5.12 grade from NFL.com, Taylor got a 5.35 and Carson did not a grade on the following scale:“I think as a pro I will learn from some of the other guys who have been in the league and I think I bring my athleticism as a big guy,” Taylor told me. “I’m just looking forward to going in to contribute to any team that drafts me.”The Combine will take place from Tuesday, February 28 to Monday, March 6. Here is a full list of all the participants. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Watch: Mason Rudolph, Mike Gundy Talk Oklahoma State Spring Game

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Coach Mike Gundy and his quarterback Mason Rudolph chatted with the media after the Cowboys’ Spring Game. They spoke about what they saw and Rudolph’s Heisman Trophy candidacy.last_img read more

Coman out for ‘several weeks’ after ankle surgery

first_imgBayern München Coman out for ‘several weeks’ after ankle surgery Joe Wright Last updated 1 year ago 06:01 27/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) kingsley coman - cropped Getty Images Bayern München Bayern München v Hertha BSC France Bundesliga World Cup The Bayern Munich winger is not expected to play again this season — leaving his World Cup spot with France in doubt — after he had an operation Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman is expected to miss the rest of the season after surgery on his ankle.The 21-year-old was hurt in a collision with Mathew Leckie during the Bundesliga leaders’ 0-0 draw with Hertha Berlin on Saturday.Head coach Jupp Heynckes said afterwards Coman had avoided ligament damage and hoped the problem would not prove to be serious. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp However, the club confirmed on Monday the France international has had to have an operation that could cause him to sit out the rest of 2017-18.It also leaves his participation at the World Cup in Russia in serious doubt.”French international Kingsley Coman suffered a rupture of the syndesmosis ligament above the left ankle during Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Hertha Berlin,” Bayern said in a brief statement.”This resulted in a follow-up on the following day. Already this Monday, Coman was in Tubingen, where Dr Ulrich Stockle operated successfully.”The 21-year-old will be out for several weeks.”Coman has made 32 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring seven goals.last_img read more

‘Ronaldo can play at the top as long as he wants’

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo Ronaldo can play at elite level for as long as he wants – Fernandes Sacha Pisani 19:05 3/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(5) CristianoRonaldo-cropped Getty Images Cristiano Ronaldo Lokomotiv Moskva v Spartak Moskva Real Madrid v Getafe Real Madrid Portugal Primera División World Cup Lokomotiv Moskva Premier League The attacker may have turned 33 last month, but he shows few signs of slowing down, something his countryman puts down to his mentality Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo can continue playing at the highest level for as long as he wants, insists countryman Manuel Fernandes.Ronaldo celebrated his 33rd birthday in February but the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is still going strong for club and country.He has scored 14 La Liga goals and 28 across all competitions for Madrid in a relatively modest season by his own exceptional standards but netted twice in Madrid’s 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie last month. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Indeed, he has started 2018 better than any other calendar year with Los Blancos and now the former Manchester United forward will look to help Madrid complete the job at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday as Madrid seek to win the competition for the third season in a row.And Lokomotiv Moscow star Fernandes told Omnisport: “Cristiano is special because of his strong winning mentality.”He is very aware of what needs to be done in order to achieve his goals.”Obviously, he takes care of himself and that’s another main reason for his success. A true model of professionalism and constant superiority.”Keeping up his physical condition and wanting to achieve more, he can play at the highest level until he wants to.” Aside from a potential Champions League three-peat, Portugal’s captain, all-time leading scorer and most capped player will also be targeting World Cup glory.Ronaldo helped Portugal triumph at Euro 2016, and Fernando Santos’ men now head to Russia in June with heightened expectations.The European champions will come up against neighbours Spain, Morocco and Iran in Group B and Portugal’s hopes are set to rest heavily on Ronaldo.”Spain are one of the strongest candidates to win the cup,” World Cup hopeful Fernandes – who has 11 caps for Portugal – said.”It is true that the initial clash with them will be extremely difficult, but I’m sure they think the same when they consider their first match in the World Cup is against the European Champions.”We will be focused on that initial match, but also must consider how difficult the games against Morocco and Iran will be. Morocco has players featuring in the best European leagues and Iran has had an impressive qualification phase and has been preparing exclusively for this competition for over a year now. It’s a World Cup level group, one of the strongest.””Cristiano as always will be in his best form but if you ask him, I’m sure he will say the team’s form and belief will be the decisive factors.”last_img read more

‘Winter is not a good weather for me’

first_imgEredivisie Ghana’s Agyepong struggling with winter in Netherlands Evans Gyamera-Antwi Last updated 1 year ago 00:09 4/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Thomas Agyepong Getty Eredivisie NAC Breda The midfielder has revealed that he is having troubles with the cold despite being in Europe for several years Ghana and NAC Breda midfielder Thomas Agyepong has revealed that he is struggling to cope with the winter season in Netherlands.The 21-year-old, who joined the Dutch Eredivisie side on loan from Manchester City, has not been consistent in performance after recovering from an injury which kept him out for almost five weeks.”This weather is not for me. Due to the low temperatures, the muscles are hard and less supple, making these muscles even more vulnerable,” Agyepong told BN/De Stem. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp “For me, that applies to an extreme degree. I am an explosive player and come from a warm country called Ghana.Agyepong reminisced the first time he experienced such weather when he arrived in Scotland as on trial with Celtic at the age of 14.”It was so incredibly cold. I did not know what happened to me. We were not allowed to wear gloves, while white flakes fell from the air,” he said.’What is this?’ I had never seen snow before. My hands were frozen after training and I could hardly move my feet.”Do you know what I think is the worst? Go inside and then have to sweat out again for the second half. That is only cold,” he added.Agyepong made his debut for Ghana in the 5-0 drubbing of Ethiopia during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification in 2017.last_img read more

Kluivert gets first Netherlands call up

first_imgJustin Kluivert Justin Kluivert gets first Netherlands call up ahead of England and Portugal friendlies Goal 19:50 7/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Justin Kluivert Ajax Getty Netherlands Netherlands v England Portugal v Netherlands England Portugal Ajax Friendlies The 18-year-old continues to impress for Ajax and could be set for a first run out in national team colours after being included in the 33-man list Justin Kluivert has been given his first call up to the provisional Netherlands national team for the upcoming friendlies against England and Portugal.The 18-year-old winger and son of one of Netherlands’ all time top goalscorers Patrick, has impressed since cementing his place in the Ajax starting XI, scoring six times and scoring four in the Eredivisie this season.And his exploits have earned him a place in the first squad put together by new coach Ronald Koeman ahead of Oranje’s clash with the Three Lions on March 23 and Portugal three days later. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Kluivert is one of several players to make the 33-man list, which will be cut down by the former Feyenoord and Everton boss a week before they host Gareth Southgate’s side in Amsterdam.As well as Kluivert, PSV’s rising star Steven Bergwijn, Atalanta right-back Hans Hateboer and AZ trio Guus Til, Wout Weghorst and Marco Bizot are also named in the squad for the first time, while 29-year-old Ruud Vormer has been called up due to his role for Club Brugge.Koeman has called upon a total of eight Premier League players in his first squad since replacing Dick Advocaat at the helm, with Daley Blind, Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum among them.The full squad: Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace), Nathan Ake (Bournemouth), Ryan Babel (Besiktas), Donny van de Beek (Ajax), Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord) Steven Bergwijn (PSV), Marco Bizot (AZ), Daley Blind (Manchester United), Jeffrey Bruma (Wolfsburg), Jasper Cillessen (Barcelona), Memphis Depay (Olympique Lyon), Bas Dost (Sporting CP), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Timothy Fosu-Mensah (Crystal Palace) Hans Hateboer (Atalanta Bergamo), Daryl Janmaat (Watford), Luuk de Jong (PSV), Justin Kluivert (Ajax), Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax), Sergio Padt (Groningen), Quincy Promes (Spartak Moskow), Davy Pröpper (Brighton & Hove Albion), Karim Rekik (Hertha BSC), Marten de Roon (Atalanta Bergamo), Kevin Strootman (Roma), Kenny Tete (Lyon), Guus Til (AZ), Tonny Vilhena (Feyenoord), Ruud Vormer (Club Brugge) Stefan de Vrij (Lazio), Wout Weghorst (AZ), Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool), Jeroen Zoet (PSV)last_img read more

PAOK president apologises over gun

first_imgWTF PAOK president apologises after invading pitch with gun Dom Farrell Last updated 1 year ago 01:08 14/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) WTF Super League 1 PAOK v AEK Athens PAOK AEK Athens After the Greek Superleague was suspended indefinitely, Ivan Savvidis could not help criticising the country’s football even as he tried to apologise PAOK president Ivan Savvidis has apologised for storming the field while armed with a gun during Sunday’s match against AEK Athens at the weekend – an incident that led to the Greek Superleague being suspended indefinitely by the country’s government.Savvidis invaded the pitch along with members of his security detail after PAOK’s Fernando Varela had what he thought was an 89th-minute winner rule out for offside.The Georgian-born tobacco and media tycoon was wearing a pistol in a holster on his hip, although he did not brandish it in the ensuing furore that saw AEK players leave the field before the match was abandoned at 0-0. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Greece’s Deputy Minister of Sport George Vassiliadis announced on Monday that the country’s top flight was “on an indefinite interruption”, pending proposals from the Superleague and the Greek Football Federation (HFF).In a statement on PAOK’s official website, Savvidis offered a lengthy apology, albeit one peppered with references to what he believes to be a “totally ill soccer establishment” in his adopted country.”I want to apologise to all the fans of PAOK, all Greek fans, the global football community. I am very sorry for what happened. Clearly I did not have the right to go out on the pitch in this way,” Savvidis said.”My emotional reaction has been caused by the generalised negative situation prevailing in Greek football lately and by all the unacceptable, non-athletic events that took place towards the end of the PAOK-AEK – the actions of the referee and the supervisor (goal – offside – goal), the interruption of the match, the protests and the entry into the playing field of dozens of people of both teams.”Savvidis went on to claim his intention was to protect PAOK fans and made further allusions towards football in Greece being systematically unfair.”All of this created a degraded situation on the pitch and my only goal was to protect tens of thousands of PAOK fans from provocations – complications – human casualties,” he added.”Believe me, I had no intention of interference with the opposing team or the referees. And I certainly did not threaten anyone.”Unfortunately, both me and my family, as well as my colleagues, have been hostages of the totally ill soccer establishment.”I am struggling and will continue to strive, despite the constant attacks I take at all levels, for a fair football with honest arbitration in all the races and for winning the championships on the courts rather than in the courts.”Once again, I apologise.”Despite Savvidis’ apology, the European Club Association – the UEFA-recognised body representing the interests of professional clubs across the continent – has moved to suspend PAOK’s membership on account of his actions.In a statement, the ECA said it “strongly condemns” Savvidis’ behaviour and added: “In light of this, and in accordance with the ECA Statutes, the ECA Executive Board unanimously decided to suspend, with immediate effect, PAOK FC as member of the European Club Association.ήλωση Ιβάν Σαββίδη – https://t.co/NdmGjpgzd9 #PAOK #football #IvanSavvidis pic.twitter.com/BGRMN6rvnj — PAOK FC / ΠAOK (@PAOK_FC) March 13, 2018 “ECA exists to protect the integrity and regularity of competitions and matches as well as the sporting values and principles on which European football is based.”The suspension will be reported to the ECA general assembly in Roma on March 27.Controversy has marred Greek football over recent years.Games were suspended in all divisions after referee’s chief Giorgos Bikas was the victim of an arson attack in November 2016, while investigations into a match-fixing scandal that came to light in 2011 remain ongoing.Two weeks ago, PAOK’s home game with Olympiacos was abandoned before kick-off when visiting coach Oscar Garcia was struck by an object thrown from the stands. PAOK were initially docked three points but overturned the decision on appeal.last_img read more