Maher says AI title hasn’t sunk in

first_imgRonan Maher says winning the All-Ireland senior hurling championship title still hasn’t sunk in yet.The Thurles Sarsfields player was a member of the Tipp side that claimed the Liam MacCarthy Cup at Croke Park last month.He also won the county championship with his club last weekend. The Young Player of the Year nominee is hoping to add to his medal haul before the year is out…last_img

McIntyre: might be hard to recover from Galway defeat

first_imgPhoto © Tipperary GAA Former Galway manager John McIntyre says Tipperary might find it difficult to recover from last weekend’s League final defeat.The Tribemen won by 16 points in Limerick on Sunday.Tipp man McIntyre says it won’t be easy to bounce back from being completely dominated like that. And  speaking to Ronan Quirke on Extra Time he says Michael Ryan’s management team will have to address the fact that their team malfunctioned in key areas including the full back line and the ”much vaunted” forward division.last_img read more

Adamu Begs Buhari to Release Funds for Team Nigeria

first_img“Time is running out fast and there is no time to start pressing the Sports Ministry to retire funds earlier released last year. The truth of the matter is that there is no way the former Director General of the NSC, Alhassan Yakmut, wouldn’t have retired the funds he collected before being posted to the another ministry,” observed Adamu.He insisted that instead of dissipating energy on the retirement of the funds released last year, Team Nigeria ought to be in Brazil now doing final preparations for the Games.“But at the moment that is not the pressing issue, but for the Team Nigeria members to get to the venue of the Olympics early enough so as to participate in some friendly competitions that would go a long way in preparing the athletes and coaches for the challenges of the Olympics, since the Team Nigeria didn’t embark on a comprehensive foreign training tour,” Adamu noted.The former FIFA and CAF Executive Committee member, stated the issue of the N2.9billion should be revisited after the Olympics“Team Nigeria’s good performance at the Rio Olympics is what should be on the front burner of the federal government now. The president should also remember that the Team Nigeria athletes strived very hard to qualify for the Olympics and they deserve a fair chance to compete for honours at the Rio Olympics.”He noted that those suggesting that the number of athletes for the Games should be reduced, are only calling for bigger troubles for Nigerian sports as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) would come down heavily on the country with sanctions that would cost a lot of foreign exchange to offset.Meanwhile, the Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Mr Ben Akabueze, has promised that the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports will receive its budgetary allocation for the Rio Olympics tomorrow, July 20.Akabueze gave the assurance monday at a meeting of the House Committee on Sports held with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Account General of the federation and the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC).The Deputy Chairman, House committee on Sports, Hon Anayo Nnebe had enquired why funds budgeted for the Olympic Games in Rio were yet to be released barely three weeks to the opening ceremony.The Minister of Youth and Sports Development Solomon Dalung however assured that the ministry had done its best in preparing 78 athletes for ten events despite the non-availability of funds.In his response, the Director-general, Budget office of the federation stated that his office had a budgetary allocation of N600m for the Olympics. N415.6m was for preparations of Olympic and Paralympic Games and an allocation of N184.6m to the Nigeria Olympic Committee to facilitate the Games proper out of which the ministry had sought the release of N503, 977,710.00“You will recall the late approval of the budget and the challenges of processing this release which was occasioned by the long public holidays. The bottom line is that in a day or two, the funds will be released” the DG assured the federal lawmakersThe Olympic Games Village is scheduled to open to athletes on July 24 while the opening ceremony is billed for August 5, 2016.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram RIO2016 OLYMPIC DG Budget Office: Olympic money to be released WednesdayA former Director-General of the National Sports Commission, Dr. Amos Adamu, has sent a passionate appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently release needed funds to Team Nigeria to enable the country participate at the Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Adamu noted that, the president should put aside the long wait for the Sports Ministry to retire the N2.9billion released for the 2015 All Africa Games and the 2016 Olympic preparation and do the needful by speedily releasing the N2billion to execute the Olympic Games proper.last_img read more

Ademola Lookman: A New Star for Super  Eagles?

first_imgLookman came on in stoppage time of Everton’s 4-0 win over Manchester City on Sunday to score the fourth goal after capitalising on a mistake from John Stones despite being on the pitch for just for minutes.The £7.5m signing from Charlton was delighted with his performance and said afterward: “The gaffer just said ‘play behind Rom. I was lucky to anticipate the ball and put it in the back of the net. My first premier league goal, this is my chance to score it – and I took it well.”With his goal-scoring debut for Everton, 19-year-old Lookman is already dreaming beyond the Toffees. “One day I want to win trophies. Of course I want to play at the highest level – whether in England or Spain, I want to be at the top. You have teams like Barcelona and Real Madrid. As a kid, I dreamt of playing for one of those teams,” he said. When Everton poached Leicester’s head of recruitment Steve Walsh in the summer, it was easy to understand the logic. The 52-year-old’s reputation had hit new heights after he unearthed Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante to inspire Leicester’s title triumph, and Everton were eager to apply the same expertise at Goodison Park.Idrissa Gueye, Yannick Bolasie and Ashley Williams were the headline arrivals in Walsh’s first transfer window as Everton’s director of football. Penultimate week, they began their January spending with a less familiar addition, when Lookman arrived from Charlton as a little-known teenager with no Premier League experience. At £10m, he is the most expensive ever signing from League One.The fee reflects just how highly he is regarded by Everton. A rapid rise into Charlton’s first team convinced Walsh that the speedy, skillful little forward could be the next breakout star from the lower leagues, and Ronald Koeman has already described him as an important part of his long-term vision for the club.Like many of Walsh’s best signings, Lookman has had an unconventional route to the top. The jump from League One to Premier League has drawn parallels with Dele Alli’s move to Tottenham, but while Alli was on MK Dons’ books from the age of 11, Lookman did not set foot in a professional academy until he was 16. Charlton U21 coach and former Wimbledon striker, Jason Euell remembers how Lookman came to the club’s attention. “It was right at the end of the U-16 year in 2014,” he tells Sky Sports. “The majority of scholarship decisions had already been made, but every year our U-16s play a game against Inner London, an FA side for the best players in South London.”Charlton had received a tip-off about Lookman. The youngster was playing what Euell describes as “innocent Sunday football” for an amateur team called Waterloo FC in the London borough of Lambeth, but he produced a dazzling performance for the county side in front of Charlton’s watching coaching staff.“He had no academy background at all,” says Euell. “Sometimes it can happen that a player slips through the net, but we were lucky to already have a relationship with the county and with Waterloo FC. We signed him on a scholarship straight away.”Lookman was drafted into Charlton’s U18 side during his first season at the club, scoring 17 goals in 29 appearances as they clinched both regional and national titles. It wasn’t long before Premier League clubs started to take note, but Charlton are experts in youth coaching and understood the need to be cautious with his development.“We knew the talent he had but sometimes it’s about taking your time with someone like him,” says Euell. “He had been training once or twice a week but he had to get used to every day, professional football while doing his school work. He had growing to do and he had to start a full-time weight programme, so we had to be careful with how we used him.”Lookman was eventually promoted to Euell’s U21s, and in November 2015 he made his senior debut in a 1-0 defeat to MK Dons. Charlton’s season would end in relegation to League One, but a little over a year on from playing Sunday league football, Lookman took the step up in his stride, scoring five goals in 24 appearances and landing the 2015/16 Championship Apprentice of the Year award.Lookman’s breakthrough was recognised with his first England U19 call-up last May. His outstanding attributes are his pace, dribbling and powerful finishing ability with both feet, but without any professional coaching before he joined Charlton, there were areas of his game which required extra attention.“There were a lot of things he missed out on, and that was the learning and understanding of the game,” says Euell. “Young lads always say they can play football, but then comes the tactical side of it, the game understanding and the decision-making process.“We didn’t want to stop Ademola from doing what he does because that’s what makes him special, it was just about getting him to understand when and where to do certain things. At every level, every game is different. He had to learn what was needed from him in and out of possession.”Charlton rejected an offer from Crystal Palace in the summer, but Lookman never lost focus and added seven goals in 25 appearances for Charlton in the first-half of this season. Euell chuckles as he recalls having to drag him off the training pitch at Charlton’s Sparrow’s Lane headquarters. That determination to improve should serve him well at Everton.“He’s a great character and everyone else at the training ground would say exactly the same thing,” says Euell. “He is just a humble boy who loves his football. He hates being injured and he always wants to do extra work. He just wants the ball at his feet and wants to improve. He’s one of those guys who absolutely hate losing.”Charlton manager Karl Robinson only coached Lookman for a few weeks having taken over at The Valley in November, but he described the teenager as an “incredible talent” and a “joy to work with” when the deal was confirmed. Lookman has made a positive impression on just about everyone who has known him, and he heads to Everton hoping for more of the same.“He called me up to say goodbye,” says Euell. “I said: ‘Goodbye? It’s only a see you later; you’re only going up north!’ We had a nice chat. I gave him a bit of advice and wished him well.” Lookman is still learning, but he has the talent and he has the temperament too. In his new Merseyside surroundings, he might just become Walsh’s latest success story.Former Nigerian international, Paul Okoku, is of the opinion that it would be a right decision in the right direction if the NFF should make a move to convince Lookman to don the colours of the Super Eagles.In a telephone chat with Okoku from his base in the United States, the St. Finbarrs College of Lagos graduate, who claims he has been watching the progress of Lookman from his days at Charlton Athletic, said it would not be a bad idea if the NFF starts monitoring the progress of the 19-year old from now on and try to woo him to play for Nigeria.“I think he is the kind of player that will fit into the style of the Super Eagles. I’m not saying he should just be drafted into the Super Eagles just like that. Of course, he would have to earn the national team’s shirt to justify his inclusion when the time comes. However, the federation should first try to convince him on the need to play for his fatherland and not another country,” Okuku said.The 1988 Africa Cup of Nations silver medalist is of the opinion that with the performance of Nigeria in the World Cup qualifier, it won’t be too difficult to convince Lookman as the Super Eagles is in a good stead to hoist its flag at the 2018 Mundial in Russia.“Unpalatable experiences of some Nigerians that had tried to play for England in the past are enough for any Nigerian player to think twice in their choice of country to play for. Moreover, Eagles’ dominance of their group in the World Cup qualifying rounds is enough to lure any player of Nigeria extraction to play for the country. “Also, at this time, we need young players that would play for the country for 10 or more years and dominate the world stage like what we witnessed during Clemence Westerhof’s era. That is why players such as Lookman is important to the Super Eagles’ project,” the defunct Union Bank of Lagos player said.Born as Ademola Olajade Lookman October 20, 1997, in Wandsworth, London to Nigerian parents, he attended St. Thomas the Apostle College in Peckham where he achieved three As asteriks and five As at GCSE.Lookman signed for Everton on January 5, 2017 for a fee of £7.5m rising to £11m on a four-and-a-half year contract and made his debut for the club 10 days later. He scored on his debut.He received his first international call up on May 16, 2016 being named in the England U19 squad for a double header against Mexico. He was subsequently named in the England squad for the European U19 Championships the same summerShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram From Playing on the Streets to Everton WonderkidPep Guardiola is regarded as one of the best coaches in world football, especially with the successes he recorded with FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich not only in terms of trophies but the way he transformed the clubs. But last Sunday, against Everton, the Spaniard was handed his worst defeat in his coaching career. One of the players that orchestrated Everton’s victory was Nigerian-born England Under-21, Ademola Lookman. His performance has been enjoying media attention since then. Kunle Adewale, in this report, writes about Lookman’s spectacular performance and the lad’s possibility of earning a call to the Super Eagles squad or choose to play for the Three LionsWith the attention Ademola Lookman is enjoying, it may not be too long before the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) starts making move for the England Under21 player to play for Nigeria as against the country of his birth, like the federation had done in the case of many English players with Nigerian descents. Victor Moses and recently, Alex Iwobi are good examples.last_img read more

EPL: City Score Seven, United Earn Draw at Anfield

first_imgManchester City maintained their blistering start to the season as the Premier League leaders demolished Stoke City 7-2, while champions Chelsea crashed to a shock 2-1 defeat at lowly Crystal Palace  saturday.With second-placed Manchester United settling for a drab stalemate at Anfield earlier in the day, it was their Manchester rivals who provided the thrills as City moved two points clear at the top. Capping a dramatic day, Arsenal trail nine points behind City after Watford came from behind to snatch a surprise 2-1 win.Pep Guardiola’s free-scoring City struck three times in the first 27 minutes at Eastlands, securing their sixth successive league win in swashbuckling style.City took the lead through Gabriel Jesus in the 17th minute and Raheem Sterling doubled the advantage two minutes later with a tap-in that capped a flowing move. David Silva got City’s third with a simple finish after another incisive raid in the 27th minute.Stoke’s Mame Biram Diouf reduced the deficit with a deflected effort in the 44th minute and City’s defence was breached for just the fourth time in the league this season when Kyle Walker scored an own goal two minutes after the interval.But Jesus’s second goal in the 55th minute restored order and his compatriot Fernandinho put the result beyond doubt five minutes later.City reached six goals in a game for the second time this season as Leroy Sane netted in the 62nd minute. Bernando Silva’s first City strike, in the 78th minute, made it 24 goals in his team’s last five league games.They are first team to net 29 goals in the first eight games of an English top-flight campaign since Everton in 1894-95 and Guardiola said: “We can always do better but I cannot deny today was the best performance since I arrived here.“I am here to win, I am not here to entertain, but this is the way we want to play. Our confidence is high.”Bottom club Palace had lost their opening seven league games without scoring a goal, the worst start to a season in English top-flight history.But stunningly it was Chelsea who were the victims as they finally ended that goal drought at Selhurst Park.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Pinnick Supports Nigeria’s Team to Amputees World Cup in Mexico

first_imgThe money is for the team’s preparations and travel expenses, and a further $5,000 contribution for the upkeep of the players during the competition.Pinnick who was presented the team jersey shared some moments with the players. He said the gesture was to show that football is one family in which the physically challenged are an integral part.“Even though we are under different bodies, football is football, there is no difference. The team is going to represent Nigeria, that is what is important. “It is also gladdens my heart to see how football provides a window for our brothers to continue to pursue their dreams to achieve a place in the world sports.“It opens new opportunities and hope for all physically challenged people. I urge the team to remain focused and keep their spirit high. I plead with all Nigerians to support them as they support the Super Eagles,” stressed Pinnick who captained Family United By Sports (FUBS) team which comprised several ex internationals like Victor Ikpeba, Godwin Okpara, Peter Rufai, Friday Ekpo, Friday Elaho against a Lagos SWAN team.The Nigeria Amputee team recently launched a public appeal for funding support to foot their bill to the World Cup following non-response to their requests for sponsorship from the Federal Ministry of Sports and Corporate Nigeria.They had failed to attend three previous editions of the World Cup to which they qualified, for lack of funds, and may possibly be suspended from the global competition for long years should they fail to attend for the fourth.The Nigeria amputee team requires about N40m to provide for flight tickets, pre-competition camping, procurement of standard amputee sports equipment, upkeep and other logistics for the delegation of 15 players and five officials.Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, Kenya and Liberia are representing Africa in the 24 countries competition. While the Nigerian team is still searching for funds and yet to go into camping, their Ghanaian counterparts have been on a training tour of the UK where they played the Arsenal FC Amputee squad last Sunday. President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Amaju Pinnick, at the weekend in Lagos donated N2.5million to assist Nigeria’s amputee football team participate in the Amputees Football World Cup scheduled to kick off in Mexico on October 24 through November. Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

SWAN Past Presidents Caution against Fifth Columnists

first_imgRising from a meeting, past presidents of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria have cautioned those fanning embers of discord in the sports body.This is just as they praised members of the association for resisting attempts by fifth columnists to cause disaffection.The communique signed by Steve Alabi, Olu Amadasun and Saidu Abubakar further commended the transparency of the processes leading to the election of a new National Executive led by Honour Sirawoo. According to them “we commend the commitment of the entire leadership of the Association across the 37 chapters in the country, to democratic principles in the emergence and renewal of leadership without compromise.“We commend the stout resolve of the entire membership of the Association to resist absurd overture from some quarters to subvert the 2019 National Triennial Delegates Conference which successfully held in Port Harcourt from Sunday, October 6, 2019 to Wednesday, October 9, 2019.While expressing satisfaction with the peaceful and orderly manner the Triennial Delegates Congress was held, they were appreciative of the support of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike to the Association, commending his giant strides in sports and other areas of development.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

NOC Sets up Four-man Committee to Mediate in AFN Crisis

first_imgThe National Olympic Committee (NOC) wednesday set up a four-man investigative panel to mediate in the crisis rocking the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).The Public Relations Officer of NOC, Phemmy Adetula, said in Abuja that the panel has President of Badminton Federation,Francis Orbih as chairman with , President, Taekwondo federation, Binga Margaret, Toyin Aluko as members and Emmanuel Nweri is to serve as secretary of the committee.According to Adetula, the NOC cannot afford to close its eyes to happenings in the AFN. The Olympic movement and solidarity is known for peaceful co-existence. So, for this simple fact, athletics as a sport including other federations in the country must enjoy a peaceful environment without any rancour as they prepare for the forthcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan next year. He said the committee was mandated to report its findings within the shortest possible time to NOC.Also, the NOC hosted its first Patrons Forum during it’s AGM in Abuja.The objectives of this Forum is to further highlight our roles, expectations as Patrons of the Olympic and Commonwealth movement amongst other vital issues that is affecting our sport. In attendance were His Excellency, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, representative of HRM Oba Saheed Elegunshi, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, Rt. Hon Marc Wabara, Mrs kofo Nwokedi and Maj. Gen. Adamu Dyeri.The Annual General meeting of the NOC will take place today at the Starview Palace Hotel in Abuja.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Ahmed has 5 RBIs in Diamondbacks’ 10-1 win over A’s

first_img WATCH US LIVE SUBSCRIBE TO US Written By Last Updated: 19th August, 2020 07:00 IST Ahmed Has 5 RBIs In Diamondbacks’ 10-1 Win Over A’s Nick Ahmed homered and had five RBIs, Luke Weaver pitched five effective innings and the Arizona Diamondbacks stretched their winning streak to six games with a 10-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday First Published: 19th August, 2020 07:00 IST COMMENTcenter_img FOLLOW US Associated Press Television News LIVE TV Nick Ahmed homered and had five RBIs, Luke Weaver pitched five effective innings and the Arizona Diamondbacks stretched their winning streak to six games with a 10-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday.The Diamondbacks put the game out of reach right away, batting around each of the first two innings to complete their first undefeated homestand since Aug. 25-31, 2017.Ahmed hit a three-run homer off Frankie Montas (2-2) in the first inning and had a two-run single in the second. Kole Calhoun also homered off Montas and Weaver (1-4) allowed a run on three hits, retiring the final 10 batters he faced.The A’s had four hits — one after the second inning — and struck out 13 times.The right-handed Weaver has struggled to start his second season in the desert, allowing at least four earned runs in three of his four starts. He was on a tight pitch count (3 1/3 innings) the last time out in attempt the limit the potential for blowup.Weaver worked out of a jam in the first inning, but pitched so well manager Torey Lovullo left him on the mound to earn his first win. He struck out six.Montas was scratched from his last start Friday against San Francisco and had not pitched since Aug. 8 against Houston.The right-hander had control issues coming off the long layoff, uncorking a wild pitch for the game’s first run and walking three in the first inning. Ahmed’s homer put Arizona up 5-0.Montas gave up a leadoff homer to Calhoun in the second inning and was lifted after his fourth walk loaded the bases with two outs. Ahmed greeted Lou Trivino with a two-run single to put the Diamondbacks up 8-1.Montas allowed nine runs on six hits.TRAINING TABLEA’s: LHP A.J. Puk will likely need a couple more bullpens before facing live hitters as he tries to return from a shoulder injury. He threw 30-pitch bullpen at the club’s alternate site Monday and is scheduled to throw again Wednesday.Diamondbacks: OF/INF Ketel Marte was given the day off. … 3B Jake Lamb took a bad-hop shot to the neck on a ball hit by Stephen Piscotty to third in the second inning, but stayed in the game.UP NEXTA’s: LHP Jesus Luzardo (1-0, 4.79 ERA) will start Wednesday’s series opener at home against Arizona after allowing six runs in 3 1/3 innings against San Francisco his last start.Diamondbacis: RHP Merrill Kelly (3-1, 1.71) has allowed one run in 12 2/3 innings his past two starts heading into Wednesday’s game.___More AP MLB: and last_img read more