Kearns unhappy with Cavan venue

first_imgThe qualifier is set to be played at Kingspan Brefini Park in Cavan next Saturday evening and Kearns questioned the rationale of choosing the venue stating it’s not a neutral venue and will require a four hour trip.Meanwhile on the pitch the Tipperary Senior Football bass says he’s happy with the progress his panel have made this year adding nobody can have any complaints about the efforts of playersTipp FM will have live commentary on the match at Kingspan Breffni Park.last_img

VIDEO: Jordan Ayew’s wonder goal against West Ham wins Amazon Prime goal of the season

first_imgJordan Ayew’s brilliant solo goal against West Ham in the English Premier League has been named Amazon Prime Sport’s goal of the season.Our 2019/20 Premier League Goal of the Season!@CPFC‘s @jordan_ayew9 produced the extraordinary 👏 pic.twitter.com/l7EHyfDt8h— Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) July 27, 2020The Ghanaian international meandered his way through a wall of Hammers defenders before lobbing over Roberto Jimenez.The 28-year-old produced a Puskas award-worthy finish as he secured all three points for The Eagles.Robert Snodgrass handed the visitors the lead before Kouyate drew parity for Crystal Palace.With the match heading for a draw, Jordan Ayew showed just why his teammates could rely on him.Ayew picked the ball from the right flanks of attack, cut into the edge of the box, did a 360 which beat five West Ham players before lobbing the ball into the back of the net.The Ghanaian international finished the 2019/2020 season as his side’s top goalscorer with nine goals. He also finished the season the highest goal-scoring Ghanaian in the English Premier League.Watch the goal here:last_img read more

Cam Newton shows arm strength during Panthers’ first camp practice

first_imgBoogie is back 💪 pic.twitter.com/cjwRRNY5ow— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) July 26, 2019Carolina’s offense sputtered during a seven-game losing streak from Weeks 10 through 16 in 2018. Newton played in the first six games of the streak, and while his yards per attempt (7.2) were the same as his first-half average, he was forced to mostly throw short because of the shoulder ailment. Judge for yourself:Opens laptop.Immediately sends to haters 😏 pic.twitter.com/30kabvcDlf— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) July 26, 2019FANTASY: QB Consistency Ratings Suffice it to say that the Panthers’ coaches were thrilled to see that throw and another, tougher deep ball later in practice. The Panthers’ first practice of training camp featured the first live test of Cam Newton’s surgically repaired throwing shoulder. Looks as though Newton aced it.Carolina’s QB1 smoothly delivered a long ball to wide receiver Curtis Samuel, who was running free in the secondary, on Thursday. The completion, practice or not, had to look really good to a team and fan base that watched Newton struggle to throw deep during the Panthers’ second-half collapse last season. The Charlotte Observer’s Brendan Marks estimated the ball traveled 35 to 40 yards in the air.center_img Newton underwent a postseason procedure in January and was throwing by minicamp in June. He was on a “pitch count” Thursday with a limited number of throws, the Observer reported.last_img read more

Aim is to make it to the Quarterfinals in the World Championships

first_imgThe U-17 national basketball team of BiH started preparing for the upcoming World Championships in Spain. On this occasion, a press conference was organized in Sarajevo where the officials of the Basketball Federation of BiH, coach Josip Pandža and players addressed the media.Coach of the national team Josip Pandža is satisfied with the start of preparations.“We started on Monday. Boys are constantly making progress, but the injuries of Čampara and Čerkezović corrupt our plans. Čampara has foot issues and Čerkezović suffers from a knee injury. Other players are investing maximum efforts and making progress every day. Regarding Spain, the most important for us is to make it to the quarterfinals, and anything can happen in the knock out stage. The players are very firm and courage and we can mark this championship as well. We have some serious matches in the preparation period, something I am especially looking forward to. Egypt and Turkey are coming to Kakanj on May 24 and 26, then we go to Travnik to an international tournament, and Spain is coming to Sarajevo on June 11 and 12,” Pandža said.Dženan Musa, the best player in the national team, hopes that the people in BiH will be proud of the golden boys again.“We tell everything we have to tell on the court and there is nothing to add, after everything that the coach said. We will try to represent BiH at the World Championships in the best possible light,” Musa said.Apart from presenting players at the press conference, the Basketball Federation of BiH also signed a sponsorship contract with the company Securitas Ltd., thus ensuring conditions for good preparations and performance in Spain.(Source: klix.ba)last_img read more

Read which Indian legend Aaron Finch picked to open in an India – Aus…

first_imgImage Courtesy: AFPAdvertisement 0s4NBA Finals | Brooklyn VsawWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ehf( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 1lhWould you ever consider trying this?😱nCan your students do this? 🌚uRoller skating! Powered by Firework India and Australia, the two heavyweights of the history of cricket has gifted a number of astounding opening batsmen. Forming a squad with picking players from the historical rivals was a task for Aaron Finch, and picking his compatriot and legendary batsman Adam Gilchrist as one opener, the Aussie skipper named Virender Sehwag as the Indian counterpart.Advertisement Image Courtesy: AFPCricket has been on the shelf on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the month of December will possibly see a Test series between India and Australia, if the cards are played right. On the topic of the upcoming red ball series, Aaron Finch remembered the previous tour Virat Kohli and his team made in Australia.Speaking to Sports Tak, the 33 year old was proposed to put up a squad consisting of current and former players from the two countries. Starting with the opening batsmen, Viru was a no-brainer for the Aussie skipper, as he picked Gilchrist along with the men in BLue icon.Advertisement “Sehwag is my number one pick. He was so dominant. As soon he was on, the game was over,” Finch praised Sehwag’s signature swashbucking performances he used to churn out in his prime.India’s current opening sensation Rohit Sharma was a potential choice for Finch, but he had to go for Viru as to get Gilchrist sharing the pitch with him.Advertisement The veteran batsman continued: “I want to go with Rohit Sharma, his record is amazing but I want to watch Adam Gilchrist open with Virender Sehwag.”Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting was named, along with Kohli in the batting order. “I will go with Ricky Ponting at 3 and Virat Kohli at 4,” Finch added.The other players that Finch picked for the combined XI are- Hardik Pandya, Andrew Symonds, Brett Lee, Jasprit Bumrah and Glenn McGrath.If you like reading about MMA, make sure you check out MMAIndia.com Also follow India’s biggest arm wrestling tournament at ProPanja.comAlso read-How Will The Coronavirus Pandemic Affect The Football Transfer Window?Robin Uthappa reveals cricket was the only thing that probably kept him from ‘jumping off the balcony’ Advertisementlast_img read more

Laird Named NSU Head Football Coach

first_img“Recruiting is the focal point of the future of Northwestern State football,” he said. “This is a very vital time with the midyear signing date Dec. 20, and the traditional signing date on the first Wednesday in February. We will get out into the high schools and look forward to visiting with the head coaches throughout Louisiana, and also in Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi. Laird said he’s already under way on two fronts: building his coaching staff, and honing in on recruiting. “Coach Sam Goodwin took a chance on me as an undersized quarterback out of Ruston High School, and had a great influence on my life. Coach Scott Stoker brought me back to NSU in 2003, and took a chance on me in the coaching profession. Bradley Dale Peveto gave me my first college job as a graduate assistant here in 1996, and kept me here when he came back as head coach. Laird left coaching in 2012 and served as director of university advancement, overseeing the NSU Alumni Association and the NSU Foundation, into 2013 before his father retired as Ruston’s football coach and he was wooed to fill the post. His father remained as Ruston’s athletics director until his sudden passing in May 2015. “Our football team has momentum as well. We won three of our last four games, played our best football as the season went forward,” said Laird. “It’s an exciting time for everybody in the Northwestern family to come together to bring this program to the heights we want to make sure to reach, on a year-to-year basis competing for championships on and off the field, academically and athletically.” “We will ensure we’re in every high school in this state,” said Laird. “There’s nothing better than Louisiana high school football. Our program is going to be based on recruiting outstanding high school student-athletes.” NATCHITOCHES, Louisiana – Brad Laird, one of Northwestern State’s greatest football players and most successful defensive coordinators, is the Demons’ new head football coach, athletics director Greg Burke announced Monday afternoon.  “Then I go back to my high school coach, Chick Childress at Ruston, who was so influential to so many young men, and so successful; and of course, to my dad. The reason I got in this profession was watching how he handled young men. “At a moment like this, you want to thank so many people, and a few especially stand out. First I’ve got to thank Coach Thomas, who I have such great respect for, and who brought me back here to run the defense this season,” said Laird. “This program is nowhere near broken. We’re closer than the win-loss record reflects because there’s a great foundation, in every aspect, that he has instilled. He has already been a tremendous advisor for me, which is a tremendous asset. Laird, 44, will be officially introduced as head coach early next week on campus. The university is currently on Thanksgiving break. Laird’s promotion from associate head coach and defensive coordinator, a position he assumed this past January, is pending approval of the University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors, which oversees nine state institutions including Northwestern State. “To come back to your alma mater was an exciting opportunity a year ago for (wife) Renee and I, and although I didn’t envision this day, it’s even a greater thrill to have the trust of (NSU president Chris) Dr. Maggio, (vice president of external affairs Jerry) Mr. Pierce, and Mr. Burke,” said Laird. His coaching acumen blends with his experience recruiting Louisiana and East Texas, and his knowledge of state high school football enhanced during his time as Ruston’s head coach, to further strengthen his portfolio.After his record-setting playing career at NSU, Laird coached on Goodwin’s staff in 1996, then worked for Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame coach Don Shows at West Monroe High School in 1997, going on to coach at Ouachita High, Longview (Texas) High and Nashville (Ark.) High before joining Stoker’s staff as defensive coordinator prior to spring practice in 2003.Mrs. Laird, an NSU graduate, is an educator. They have two children, Brianna (14) and Brock (11). As a coach, Laird was running the Purple Swarm defense when NSU was second nationally in total defense (2004, 274.7 yards allowed pg) and ninth (2003, 287.3 ypg) and produced 75 turnovers from 2003-05. The Demons set three NCAA records and led the Southland Conference in total defense and rushing defense, also ranking highly in pass defense each season.  The Demons won their most recent Southland championship and made their last FCS playoff appearance in 2004. His 2016 Bearcats were ranked sixth in Louisiana’s largest prep classification, Class 5A, and became only the third RHS team since 1990 to win at least eight regular-season games. Before this season, Laird had been the Demons’ DC twice before, for a total of seven years, under Scott Stoker (2003-05, 2008) and Bradley Dale Peveto (2009-11). The Demons’ all-time career passing leader (6,037 yards, 1991-95), he was a 2015 inductee in the N-Club Hall of Fame, the university’s highest athletic honor. “While NSU has hired a great number of coaches and staff from around the country through the years who have had a high level of success, sometimes the best choice is right in your backyard.  So with tremendous confidence, I’m announcing that Brad Laird will be the new football coach at Northwestern State University,” said Burke.  A wide-ranging list of attributes made Laird the clear choice to take over the program, said Burke. An all-state quarterback in the state’s largest classification at Ruston, Laird was the 1991 Superdome Classic MVP for the Bearcats’ unbeaten team that finished ranked No. 1 nationally by USA Today. While Ruston won a pair of state titles, Laird set school career passing records and was 30-1 as the starter. He was inducted in the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. He becomes the Demons’ 15th head football coach, succeeding Jay Thomas, whose contract was not renewed following five seasons in charge. The Demons finished 4-7 overall, 4-5 in Southland Conference play, this season, winning three of their last four games, capped by a 38-21 victory Saturday over Stephen F. Austin. “My vision is to excel on and off the field. First of all comes the academic piece, and the community involvement this team will have. Then we will excel on the field, between the white lines. It’s going to be created by attitude and effort in everything we do. We’re going to win, and win the right way, in every aspect.” Laird spent his early years in Natchitoches when his late father, Billy Laird, was offensive coordinator for the record-shattering, NFL talent-laden Demons of the late 1970s and early 1980s under head coach A.L. Williams, when future pro stars like Bobby Hebert, Joe Delaney and Mark Duper shined for NSU. In 2017, Laird restored the “Purple Swarm” brand for the NSU defense, which had struggled in the past two seasons but showed flashes of brilliance, especially down the stretch. In the past month, the Demons twice recorded 13 tackles for loss in wins over Houston Baptist and Abilene Christian, and staged a series of goalline stands, two in Saturday’s victory over SFA. Monday, senior linebacker Peyton Guidry was named the national FCS Defensive Player of the Week after making 18 tackles against the Lumberjacks. “What a time to be here at Northwestern State University, with the momentum that has taken off first under (former president, now UL System president) Dr. (Jim) Henderson, and increased under Dr. Maggio, with record enrollment and so many great things happening here now and coming up in the near future. Laird has coached at the high school level as an assistant at some of the region’s most powerful programs: West Monroe, Ouachita, Longview (Texas) and Nashville (Arkansas), in addition to his four seasons as head coach at Ruston. He spent one season, 2007, at SFA. “Brad got back in the game with a special opportunity at Ruston High School before he came back to us last winter,” said Burke. “He has an outstanding coaching pedigree, strong relationships with the high school coaching community, and a perspective on our football program gained over the past year which gives him a tremendous head start as he assumes leadership of the program. Perhaps the best intangible is his burning drive and desire to elevate the success level of Demon football for our campus and community, as well as for our loyal fans and the NSU football alumni base.”Laird returned to NSU 10 months ago from his high school alma mater, Ruston High School, where he averaged more than seven wins in four playoff seasons as head coach. He was also the Bearcats’ athletics director in 2015-16. “It’s football, and it’s the X’s and O’s, but for him it was about how he influenced them on and off the field. That’s what I wanted to be a part of, and that’s the approach we’re going to continue here.””I look forward to the opportunity to coach this football team. We’re going to have a good team next season and in the years to come. “Brad has many assets that make him an outstanding choice to lead his coaching staff and over 100 student-athletes while also representing NSU with a high level of class and professionalism,” said Burke. “Having been outside of athletics in an administrative role with the NSU Foundation, he has a ‘global view’ of our university and a great appreciation for all involved in the Northwestern family.” “Brad has a passion for NSU, as a former coach and administrator, and as one of the best players to ever wear a Demon uniform, that cannot be surpassed. He’s ready for this opportunity, he wants this opportunity, and he will make the best of this opportunity.” His college days in Natchitoches profoundly impacted Laird. Laird was named to NSU’s Top 100 Demon Football Players roster during the centennial celebration for the program in 2007. “Renee and I met and fell in love at Northwestern, and fell in love with Northwestern. So many of the people who have been our best friends, and people who have had huge impacts on our lives, have been at NSU and in Natchitoches,” said Laird.last_img read more

Perese has “beast mode” up sleeve: Kerevi

first_imgKerevi, Perese and Fijian flyer Filipo Daugunu will be the enterprising outside backs that could set the Suncorp Stadium crowd alight come Friday, when the Tens take hold of Brisbane.Kerevi will captain the Reds and he has high hopes for their campaign this weekend.”Izzy has the switch he can put on and he can just go beast mode,” Kerevi said.”Filipo has amazing feet, he’s been training well for us and he played exceptionally well for (Queensland) Country so I am excited to see him out there.”They’re real quick – at training they have been turning on the gas.”Australian rugby fans have had a taste of Perese’s electric feet but it’s Daugunu remains somewhat of a mystery, given his exposure at the elite level remains limited.”The first time I saw (Daugunu) he was playing for Wests, against Souths, in a trial match and straight away I said ‘Who’s that guy?'”He scored three tries game, kicked a goal and for me, I’m just happy he’s on my side.”He will be amazing for the Tens, I know that.”The Reds haven’t named a wildcard in line with the other Australian franchises and that’s testament to Thorn’s dislike for frills.”Speaking to Thorny, I think he just wants to give opportunity for all the boys to play,” Kerevi said.”We’ve got a great, young side coming through and we have some exciting players here for the Tens.”We want to win but we also want to get the cobwebs out.”After a preseason packed with gruelling sessions under Thorn’s observant eye, Kerevi looked at the tournament as a reward, of sorts.”It’s been a long preseason so we are ready to start playing footy,” he said.”I just really want the young guys to express themselves and enjoy playing footy.”It’s the reward we get after a long couple weeks of preseason.”last_img read more

Murray excited to end 11-month absence at Queen’s this week

first_imgIn fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Only 1 of 32 coaches at World Cup is black Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations “When, after six months of not competing, you’re still not good enough to be where you want to be and looking like you’re going to have to have surgery, it’s the lowest point you can get to in your professional career,” he said.“People might say, ‘oh, you’ve got it great’ – which I’m aware that we do, and I’m very lucky I get to play tennis for a living. But that’s what I’ve been doing since I was a child, and when you’re not able to do something that you love it’s tough.”Wimbledon starts on July 2.ADVERTISEMENT Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Britain’s Andy Murray returns the ball, during a practice session on day one of the Queen’s Club Championship at the Queens Club, in London, Monday June 18, 2018. (Steven Paston/PA via AP)LONDON — Andy Murray is excited to be returning at the pre-Wimbledon Queen’s Club event this week after the former top-ranked player in the world experienced the “lowest point” of his career during an 11-month absence from tennis.The 31-year-old Briton, who has been out of action with a hip injury since losing in the 2017 Wimbledon quarter-finals, has been drawn to meet Australia’s Nick Kyrgios in the first round at Queen’s.ADVERTISEMENT “I’m really looking forward to playing again,” Murray said in his regular BBC Sport column. “While I will be nervous, it will be great to finally step back on the court.“With sport you play to win, but when you are away from something you love doing for almost a year, you realize you’re playing because you love it.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“I didn’t start playing to win Wimbledon or get to number one in the world. I never believed that was something I was going to do, or something I thought about when I was a kid growing up. I played tennis because I loved it and continued doing that throughout my whole career.”Murray, who won the Wimbledon title in 2013 and 2016 and the U.S. Open crown in 2012, had an operation on his hip in January. View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

Rockets hope ’Melo can help them to 1st title since 1995

first_imgLights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew His tenure in Oklahoma City seemed to start going wrong before it even got started. He became a meme after the Thunder’s media day last year when he was asked about how he’d feel about coming off the bench and he responded with: “Who, me?”He laughed about that exchange Monday but he and coach Mike D’Antoni skirted questions about exactly what his role would be in Houston.“All the questions of coming off the bench, I don’t even want to answer those questions,” Anthony said. “At the end of the day whatever I have to do to help this team win a championship then that’s what’s going to be done.”Harden and Paul both seem thrilled to have the 34-year-old Anthony on their team. Harden had a simple answer when asked why he thought Anthony would be successful in Houston after struggling to fit in elsewhere.“He’s playing alongside me and Chris,” Harden said.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. General manager Daryl Morey has admired Anthony for years and tried to land him in the past before finally convincing him to join the Rockets this year. He believes Anthony will be a good fit in Houston.“Even if in recent past maybe they’ve had some bumpy roads where the fit maybe hasn’t been good. We feel like our players, Chris Paul and James Harden and our coaching staff can really get the most out of guys with talent,” Morey said. “We really look for players who they have talent in other places that maybe people aren’t appreciating but will work better when they’re here.”Anthony averaged a career-low 16.2 points in 78 games last season for the Thunder. The third overall pick in the 2003 draft has averaged 24.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3 assists in a 15-year career that also included stints with the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks, but many feel he has never lived up to his potential.Though Anthony tries not to let those who doubt him bring him down he did admit that the excitement everyone from Ferttita on down expressed when he signed with the team made him feel good.“I think everybody loves that feeling. We all need that feeling,” Anthony said. “We all need that validation of the hard work that we put in people see that and people recognize that and people to want you to be a part of what they’ve got going on. And also, they want to be part of what you have going on, too.”After plenty of ups and downs over the past few years, the veteran wants to put the past behind him and is only looking ahead to how he can help this team get over the hump.“I look at this as almost a clean slate for me and like a fresh start to get out there and have a new team, live in a new city, embrace new fans and also have fun playing basketball again,” Anthony said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Houston Rockets’ Carmelo Anthony holds up a sign while posing for a photographer during media day Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)HOUSTON — Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta didn’t waste any time telling Carmelo Anthony why he wanted him on his team.“I’ll tell you exactly what I told him,” Fertitta said Monday. “‘We couldn’t win a championship without you last year. And if we win a championship with you this year you’re going to be the guy that got us over there. So, it’s all up to you.’”ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Warriors vow to live in the moment, chase another title Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew LATEST STORIES Anthony, who joined the Rockets this offseason after one disappointing season in Oklahoma City, chuckled when asked about that phone call. He was vacationing in South Africa with his family when the phone rang, and Fertitta delivered the message.“He put a lot of pressure on me,” Anthony said. “I’m not even going to lie.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissAnthony signed a one-year, $2.4 million deal with the Rockets in August after he was traded from the Thunder to the Atlanta Hawks in July before the Hawks released him.Fertitta and the rest of the Rockets believe that the 10-time All-Star could be the piece that will help them win their first NBA title since capturing back-to-back championships in 1994-95. But there are questions about how Anthony will fit in with a team that stars last year’s MVP James Harden and fellow star Chris Paul. View commentslast_img read more

Lone Star: Poor Planning against Zimbabwe

first_imgLone Star playersAs the national soccer team, Lone Star, face another challenge abroad against the Warriors of Zimbabwe, the information is that someone somewhere at the Liberia FootballAssociation (LFA) is making selections for Coach James Salinsa Debbah, and this is not encouraging.And so while Zimbabwe is at peace and resumed camping early this week to prepare to welcome Liberia on June 11, Liberia is sadly complaining about someone usurping the job of the team’s head coach and selecting players without his knowledge.However, there are also reports that some sports journalists have recordings of Coach Debbah making an announcement of the same players that he now says he did not select.Some of the sports journalists have sworn that they can prove Coach Debbah may be hiding something with his denial of his own selection of 14 players for the match against Zimbabwe.So as we speak Liberia has not made a good selection of the best 22 players, at least, from the national league to participate in friendly matches as a way of keeping the spirit of the team alive, since majority of the players for the 2019 qualifying rounds of the African Cup of Nations would be mainly players from abroad anyway.Some interesting questions are: What is going on? If it is true that Coach Debbah did not know about the selection of the 14 players for the Nations Cup encounter against Zimbabwe, then who did it? Or is it because, as someone at the LFA told me, the LFA owes the technical team and therefore someone who is unhappy is blowing smoke against what was agreed upon?Though the LFA has remained mute on the issue, there is a report that the national team will welcome their Sierra Leonean counterparts, Leone Stars, in a friendly international match in Monrovia this weekend.The weekend friendly match is to help both teams in the wake of their respective encounters the weekend of June 11. Sierra Leone is set against the Harambee Stars of Kenya and they may use the game to smooth their players’ rough edges.What does Liberia get to gain from the friendly match this weekend, since the team against the Leone Stars may not be the ‘real’ members of the team against Zimbabwe?This is a tricky question because friendly matches are played for good reasons. For example, when FIFA and or CAF announced windows that provided all countries a chance to try their teams against stronger teams in friendly international matches, Liberia did not take advantage of it.Wasting that advantage, the technical team of the Lone Star does not know how good the best 22 players would fare in any match. And so without playing together enough, it goes without saying that the technical team will work from the blind side, as it is said in sports, not knowing what to expect from its own players.If Liberia has had to play friendly matches, like other nations, the coach could have by now know what is needed on the team to change or strengthen it. It could have made sense to play a friendly match to “see” the team’s response and reaction and then the coach could have devised a strategy to smooth what is necessary in attack or defense.I am convinced that the good Lord above rewards those who make efforts in their lives and request His spiritual support to win over adversities. If you don’t make use of your advantages, prayers alone cannot change a dream to succeed, and dreams simply become dreams. So, unless we change the lackadaisical means of handling important issues, we will not make progress like the rest of the countries make in developing their national teams.When that happens is our heroes will be Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar and those whose achievements on the soccer field are meaningless to our national pride.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more