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Saints duo not for sale

first_img But Krueger has refuted reports that Rodriguez, who is currently sidelined with a serious knee injury, and Schneiderlin will follow them away from Southampton. “They are part of the core that we have decided to keep at Southampton,” he told Sky Sports News. “Jay Rodriguez and Morgan Schneiderlin are not for sale and they will be a part of our club as we enter the new season. “In and around Jay Rodriguez and Morgan Schneiderlin and the rest of our core players, we’re excited to continue to build forward, but all those stories are false.” With the exception of Shaw, all of the players who have left the club have moved to sides which will be competing in the Champions League next season. With a place in Europe’s elite club competition the ultimate goal for Saints, who were playing in League One four seasons ago, Krueger accused those who have departed of taking the easy route to Champions League football. “We entered the transfer window with a plan. We have a clear strategic approach to this summer and we did not put any players up for sale,” he said. “It was quite clear that we had multiple players interested in taking a shortcut to Champions League football. With former manager Mauricio Pochettino believed to be interested in taking the duo to join him at Tottenham, Saints fans would have been worried that the outgoings at St Mary’s were set to continue. Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren have all moved to Liverpool while Luke Shaw has signed for Manchester United and Arsenal have taken Calum Chambers to the Emirates Stadium, with Southampton pocketing almost £100m for the combined deals. “We set premiums on the players and we reached those premiums. It was in the best interests of the club and in the best interests of our rebuild to make these deals and to continue to build forward with players and with the team that wants to go the hard way into Europe. “There was interest there and we saw that interest brewing a little bit before the World Cup and quite clearly we stayed patient, we didn’t make quick deals in any way, shape or form. “None of these deals were made on financial reasons alone, we were completely ready to have players stay in Southampton even against their desires if we didn’t reach our prices.” New manager Ronald Koeman has already started the rebuilding job by bringing in Eredivisie pair Dusan Tadic and Graziano Pelle but the Dutchman will be keen to add several other players to his squad before the Barclays Premier League campaign begins at Liverpool. Although Krueger knows adding more talent to the squad is a must, he refused to put a time-frame on any new arrivals. “We are excited to continue in the rebuilding process in the next few weeks,” added Krueger. “We will have players coming in, we will make transfers to strengthen the squad. I can understand some frustration but we needed to stay silent to do the best deals for the club. “Ronald Koeman has done an outstanding job so far. We are extremely pleased with the work going on at St Mary’s and we know we are going in the right way but we also know that we need more players and that we need more depth. “It is not about getting them in today or tomorrow, it is about getting the right players in on the right deal that fits the way Ronald wants to play. We want to give him the players that are necessary – of course we would like to see them in sooner rather than later but we will make the deals when the time is right for the club.” Press Association Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger has declared that neither Jay Rodriguez nor Morgan Schneiderlin will be sold this summer.last_img read more

Indian shooters raise hopes of bumper Olympics with stunning 2019 show

first_imgNEW DELHI: Hitting the target with monotonous regularity, Indian shooters’ dominance in a phenomenal 2019, at times, made world events look like domestic tourneys.At the forefront of the incredible showing was an extremely talented youth brigade that knew no fear.Some of them studied hard, did their homework, appeared for exams, practiced harder and then shot, to win. While some dominated the range first and wrote their papers later. And then, they were back at the range again, working on their game to continue what has been an unprecedented upswing.In terms of overall medals, the tally stood at 21 gold, six silver, and three bronze as India topped all the Rifle-Pistol World Cups and Finals this year.The number of Olympic quotas, which now stands at a record 15, is not an only reflection of the country’s rapid rise in the sport over the last one year but also sets up the shooters nicely for a record haul in Tokyo Olympics, after the meltdown at Rio de Janeiro.Indian shooting’s best show at the Olympics remains the two medals won at London in 2012, but if the shooters’ exploits in recent months are anything to go by, the country can easily emulate or better than in Tokyo.However, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), having endured an unpleasant experience in Rio, is far from basking in its shooters’ glory yet.Impressed the association is with the performance that may have exceeded expectations but, instead of celebrating, it is looking at ways to protect them from “exploitation and distractions”.That called for taking some very tough decisions, including banning the shooters from signing any fresh commercial deals in the run-up to the Olympic Games, a move that may not have found favours with many.NRAI president Raninder Singh said even the shooters’ parents will have to sign a bond that no exploitation will be done for “financial gains”, something that has been termed infringement of personal space.Besides the shooters, the federation has also worked extensively towards bringing the sport to where it is today, and it doesn’t want all their hard work to go waste in the Olympic year.From drawing a blank at Rio to winning a bagful of medals almost everywhere in recent times, it will be wise to say that Indian shooting has come of age, and a lot of credit for the turnaround must go to the NRAI.Paying heed to the corrective measures suggested in the Abhinav Bindra-led committee’s scathing report, which was filed after the disastrous outing in the last Olympics, the NRAI changed Indian shooting’s attitude, its policies, and practices, and it is paying rich dividends for a while now.With the help of people like Jaspal Rana and Smaresh Jung, the federation has effectively managed its junior programme, leading to the emergence of talents like Manu Baker, Saurabh Chaudhary, Divyansh Singh Panwar and Elavenil Valarivan.Thanks to their exploits as well as some telling contributions from seniors such as Sanjeev Rajput and Tejaswini Sawant, India topped the medal charts in all the World Cups this year.India dominated the 10m field consistently, with Apurvi Chandela, Anjum Moudgil and Elavenil Valarivan finishing the year as world number one, two and three respectively.But nobody jumped as big as Rajput, who came out of obscurity to clinch the men’s 50-meter rifle 3-position silver and the Olympic quota place in the Rio World Cup.Sanjeev moved from the 75th spot to eighth.Also, nine medals, including five golds at the September World Cup in Rio and three in the year-end prestigious World Cup Finals in Putian, China, suggest that the sport is headed in the right direction.As the year drew to a close, unheralded 18-year-old Zeena Khitta of Himachal Pradesh claimed the air rifle gold medal at the Nationals ahead of the established Mehuli Ghosh and Apurvi Chandela.Likewise, Ayushi Podder won the team silver in 50m rifle 3 positions event at the Asian Shooting Championships in Doha.Their success also displayed the depth of the talent pool in Indian shooting.The federation is hoping that its trailblazers carry their form into Tokyo, but before that, the shooters will also have opportunities to win a few more medals and boost their morale further.One of them is the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in New Delhi in February.While its shooters set the range ablaze, India vehemently objected to the Commonwealth Games Federation’s (GCF) move to exclude the sport from the roster for the 2022 Birmingham edition.Refusing to go back on its decision despite pressure from India and the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), the GCF last month made it clear that there was no plan to have a Commonwealth Championship of shooting in India during the 2022 Birmingham Games to make up for the sport’s axing from the multi-sport showpiece. AgenciesAlso Read: 2020 Tokyo Olympics marathon course unveiled Also Watch: Anti-CAA protests: AASU and Artistes Society of Assam jointly conducts protest meeting in Sualkuchilast_img read more

LA Clippers roar back to beat Thunder 103-98

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Chris Paul concurred.“No question,” he said. “That energy and intensity they brought into the game, I think they got the crowd back into it. We picked it up from there. We started going downhill, as Doc would say. And just finding guys.“Wes (Wesley Johnson) made some big shots. And then our defense. We got some runout layups and that’s what got us back in the game.”Paul led the Clippers with 21 points and 13 assists. DeAndre Jordan scored 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, Redick scored 16, Jamal Crawford 12 and Johnson 11.Johnson started 1 of 11. But he hit two big 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. The first came with 4:59 to play and brought the Clippers within 95-84. At the 4:27 mark, Johnson sank a 28-foot bomb to cut the deficit to eight (95-87).Johnson said he was encouraged by his teammates.“I mean, every time I came to the bench, they kept saying, ‘Keep shooting,’ ” Johnson said. “So I couldn’t be bashful.”Paul loved the mettle his team displayed.“We showed a lot of fight,” he said.Paul mentioned the defense. The Thunder scored only five points over the last 7:26. The Clippers outscored OKC 35-13 in the fourth quarter, during which the Thunder were forced into six of their 17 turnovers.Austin Rivers scored six points off the bench in his first game back after missing a month with a fractured left hand. His father praised the defense his 6-foot-4 son played on Durant when he was on him.Durant finished with 30 points, but shot just 12 of 27. Russell Westbrook scored 24 and Serge Ibaka scored 11 points and tied Durant for team-high rebounding honors with 11.“I just tried to get under (Durant),” Austin Rivers said. “You cannot stop a player like Kevin. You just try to make it as difficult as possible, and I feel like we were kind of getting punked a little bit in the first half. The whole team, honestly.”The Thunder outrebounded the Clippers 63-45.OKC coach Billy Donovan seemed peeved at his team, rather than complimentary of the Clippers.“I don’t think L.A. did anything drastically different,” he said. “It was turnovers, it was maybe not great shot selection, it was not getting back in transition, it was giving up 3s — everything that we were doing at such a high level in the first half.”Clippers starting forward Luc Mbah a Moute missed the game because of a left eyelid laceration. Jeff Green started in his place.The Clippers play at OKC two more times this month and they also play at Golden State and San Antonio. There are games at Dallas and Memphis and Houston and home games against Atlanta, Cleveland, Boston and the surprising Portland Trail Blazers. Tough, indeed.Doc Rivers shrugged it off.“I don’t have a lot of thoughts,” he said before tipoff. “(Clippers voice) Ralph (Lawler) keeps reminding me of it during our interviews. But, obviously, I don’t think much about schedules.“I look at rest and stuff like that. I don’t look at the opponent much. We have to be ready to play every night and I don’t mind that it’s a tough schedule. I think in some ways that could be good for us.”Then there is Griffin. He has not played since Dec. 25 because of a partially torn quad tendon and, more recently, a fractured right hand.Austin Rivers told reporters that the way Griffin looked at the morning shootaround, he appears ready.“He looked like he was normal out there,” the younger Rivers said. “He was shooting it like Blake shoots it, from that mid-range. He was rolling to the basket, jumping high. He looks pretty good.”Knowing his son had, in his words, “spilled the beans,” Doc Rivers said that Griffin is indeed just about there.“Blake’s close and he’s looking good,” the elder Rivers said. “I mean, honestly, watching him today I was like, in my mind, I’m thinking, ‘Well, we can use some of that tonight.’ ”Once Griffin has been given the green light by doctors, he must serve his four-game suspension for fracturing his hand on team equipment staffer Matias Testi. March could be the most important month of the regular season for the L.A. Clippers. They play 16 games — six against elite teams with better records than the Clippers — and several more against playoff-bound teams.The Clippers will get Blake Griffin back, which will be a big deal moving toward the postseason.The first test came Wednesday, and the Clippers passed with flying colors. Down by 17 points after three quarters, they roared back to take a 103-98 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder before a delirious sellout crowd of 19,304 at Staples Center.The Clippers went ahead for good on a three-point play by DeAndre Jordan for a 99-97 lead with 1:12 to play. Jamal Crawford then made a short bank shot with 38.6 seconds left for a 101-97 advantage.center_img After OKC’s Kevin Durant made one of two free throws, J.J. Redick made two free throws with 5.8 seconds left to seal the Thunder’s fate.The victory moved the fourth-place Clippers (40-20) to within 1 1/2 games of third-place Oklahoma City (42-19) in the Western Conference standings. The Clippers were down 85-68 entering the fourth quarter.The comeback, which was the Clippers’ biggest of the season, began with the second unit on the floor to start the fourth quarter.“The bench,” coach Doc Rivers said. “That was the key. … I just thought Oklahoma played harder, more aggressive, downhill, for 2 1/2 quarters; really, three quarters. And then the bench came in and then they started doing it back at them.”last_img read more

GOLF NEWS: ROY MC CRORY IN GREAT FORM AT BARNHILL

first_imgWith golfing weather still on our side, it was “Roy of the Rovers” stuff on Wednesday last, 26th, with no less that four of the club’s single figure handicappers battling it out for top spot.Indeed, it was “Roy” himself who came out on top, Roy Mc Crory [7], that is, taking his second prize of the month since he received lessons from the “Killea Yank”, Michael Costello. With bogeys at first and third, Roy was probably thinking more of the restaurant than finishing the course, but that built-in sportsmanlike fighting spirit had him finish level par for the next fifteen holes and, despite a birdie-bogey at fourteenth and fifteenth, a 35pt finish for a total return of 40pts. In runner-up spot was Don Ponsonby [6] just one point behind on 39pts. Don’s strange looking card read of a birdie at 3rd, double bogey at 6th, bogey/birdie at 13th & 14th and again, bogey/birdie at 17th & 18th, yet still finishing on level par 36 gross shots and 21pts for inward nine! The other “title” contenders on the day were Martin A. Gallagher [5] and Clifford Malone [7], finishing just two points behind. Saturday 29th Open, again played in such benign weather conditions that the only “leggings” to be seen worn were that of the green-keeping staff, was won by one of the club’s team stalwarts, Kieran Walsh [11]. Renowned for his canniness around the greens, honed by his many exploits playing in Ulster Cup matches, Kieran had set himself up for an unassailable lead by recording a score of 21pts at the turn, only to blemish the card with uncharacteristic bogeys at the final two holes yet still managing the win with 41pts, a margin of three points over his nearest rival. That runner-up was, indeed, another renowned team player and team captain, John Doran [7] whose outward nine of bogey at 1st, birdie at 4th followed by double bogey at 6th would not have given him much odds if he was a betting man but, with the help of a birdie at 14th, John managed the back nine in 37 gross shots, one over par nine and 20pts to finish on 38pts. Gross on the day was won by the back-to-form Gerard Duffy [6] with 30 gross points.Sunday 30th was so calm and peaceful on the Swilly banks that the only words being heard were either “fore” or “birdie”! Indeed, it was so hard to believe that it was the last day of November but for long standing member John Mc Closkey [21], it was a day to remember. With the help of a birdie at 2nd, John recorded his handicap score on front nine, 21pts, and, with golfing knowledge evolved around shrewd course management coming home, John’s return of 40pts was enough to give him his first win of the winter season. Running a close second, yet two points adrift, was that man aforementioned regaining his form, Gerard Duffy [5] who, despite birdies at 7th and 18th, had to console himself with exceptional bogeys at 4th and 15th after having driven into the water on both holes, returning 19pts over both nines for a total of 38pts. Best gross on the day went to Don Ponsonby [5] with 32 gross points.NB. The timesheet for the Christmas Hamper to be played for on Saturday 6th is now fully booked. Anyone who wishes to play at this late stage must tel. Pro shop,[ 07491 21150]. and leave name with Seamus in case of any late withdrawals.CAT 4: With over thirty names now on the sheet, convenor Gerry O’ Sullivan is proud to announce that the Cat. 4 Christmas Hamper will take place on Sunday 7th December. This is not a “draw” entry so competitors can book their own tee- time with their own chosen playing partners.Letterkenny Golf Club’s A.G.M. will be held on Thursday 11th December.TURKEY TROT:There will be a confined 11 [eleven] hole “Turkey Trot” competition every day from Monday-Friday [incl.]. Entry fee @ €3.00. Re-entry anytime @ €3.00. Tee-off from 1st hole only.“It may not be your divot or pitch mark but, as a club member, consider it your duty to repair it” [anon]HAVE YOU SIGNED UP? Letterkenny Golf Club’s newly launched Online Lotto’s fourth draw took place on Wednesday 26th and, although there was no Jackpot winner, two lotto members who smiled happily were Paul Doherty & Mary Duffy, winners of the “lucky dip” prizes of €50 each. Congratulations to you both! The Lotto draw takes place every Wednesday evening, closing time for entries at 6pm Wednesday, and entry page can be found on club website, www.letterkennygolfclub.com and follow the prompts. Thank you for playing and please continue to encourage your fellow members, friends & family to play our Club Lotto.GOLF NEWS: ROY MC CRORY IN GREAT FORM AT BARNHILL was last modified: December 2nd, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BarnhillgolfNoticesSportlast_img read more