Cleverley keen to silence doubters

first_imgAston Villa newcomer Tom Cleverley wants to “prove a few people wrong” as he begins a new chapter of his career following a sad exit from Manchester United. Cleverley has clear objectives in his mind, which he hopes to achieve by securing regular football under Villa boss Paul Lambert. “Firstly, I’ve got to get into the team,” he said. “Secondly, I’ve got to play well. “Thirdly, I want to help get Aston Villa back up in the top half of the table where they belong. “Then hopefully as a product of those three things I can get back into the England squad. That’s exactly what Fabian Delph has done, so I want to follow in his footsteps.” Cleverley could make his debut in the claret and blue colours when Villa travel to Anfield to face Liverpool on Saturday. “I’m motivated to prove a few people wrong,” said the 25-year-old. “Hopefully that will also increase my performance levels too. First of all I’ve got to get into the team and hopefully play some part in a successful day at Liverpool on Saturday.” Cleverley has taken some stick on social media networks in recent weeks, not least during a Premier League question and answer session on Twitter. But the former Bradford trainee is happy to shrug off such abuse. I’m sure one season doesn’t turn you into a bad player,” he said. “That’s football for you. The year before last I won the Barclays Premier League title and played 20-odd games, so it’s swings and roundabouts. “I probably wasn’t the only player to get it last year and for as long as Manchester United aren’t winning trophies, players will get criticised. “I’ve still got a league title and 13 England caps. You don’t turn into a bad player just because somebody says so on Twitter.” Press Association Midfielder Cleverley joined Villa in a last-minute deadline day loan transfer just over a week ago following a difficult year at Old Trafford last season. His departure was welcomed quite vocally by some United fans, but the some-time England midfielder is eager to silence his critics and eventually return to international football by impressing at Villa Park. last_img read more

Bolt wants to be ‘among best’ footballers in world

first_imgPARIS, France (AFP) — Usain Bolt conquered athletics and now the fastest man on the planet says he wants to become among the top players in world football.The Jamaican sprint legend, 30, will retire after the World Championships in London in August after a track and field career in which he has amassed eight Olympic gold medals, 11 world titles and three world records.Bolt has already made clear his desire to become a footballer, but spelling out his ambitions, the Manchester United fan told France’s So Foot magazine: “I have the ambition to become one of the top 50 (players in the world), if I get the chance to play regularly, and I want to be an attacker who scores at least 20 goals per season.”Warming to his theme, Bolt added: “I hope to have the chance to play football at the highest level.“I love this sport and it’s been in my head for many years. In the last few months I have spoken to clubs, and there have been possibilities, but nothing concrete at the moment. We are waiting to see.”Bolt previously made clear his dream was to play for United, but he is likely to get a taste of top-level football in September with Borussia Dortmund for “three or four days” of training.Dortmund have rejected suggestions it is a publicity stunt for Puma, the sports manufacturer they and Bolt use.I will see at this point whether I am as good as I hope,” Bolt said.“Football is a very physically demanding sport, and I’m not very young anymore, but I think I can play well for at least four years.”Asked if he was prepared to play in France’s second division if nothing better comes along, he replied: “Why not?“I would do it if I need to prove myself, I have to start somewhere… but I need an ambitious team.”last_img read more

Obua takes over lango province ahead of FUFA drum kick off

first_imgWhereas Obua’s arrival is considered a big boost to the team, Moi says they are aware that their encounter with Buganda Province won’t be an easy match since they will be facing defending champions.Geoffrey Omara, the chairman Fans Association for Lango Province, says they have embarked on a fundraising drive to secure sufficient funds for the team.About 16 provinces have been created and confirmed to participate in the second edition of the FUFA drum tournament.******URNShare on: WhatsApp FUFA Drum competitions participating provinces. PHOTO via @OfficialFUFAKampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The former Uganda Cranes striker, David Obua has pitched camp in Lira town to coach the Lango Province team a head of the FUFA drum kick off this week.Obua, who arrived on Tuesday afternoon, is overseeing the training of more than 40 players who have camped at Uganda Martyrs University, Ngetta Campus. His arrival triggered excitement among team members who have been undergoing drills ahead of their tie with Buganda Province at Bishop SS in Mukono district this weekend.Shortly after his arrival in Lira Town, Obua appeared on major radio stations to drum support for the Lango Province team and promised better performance in the second edition of FUFA Drum competitions, which started two weeks ago.Obua said he was in Lira for good performance, saying Lango region is known for producing good players and athletes and assured soccer fans of clean results. He urged them to support the team so as to deliver credible performance.Daniel Moi, the Spokesperson Lango Province is optimistic that the arrival of Obua combined with a number of senior players like KCCA’s Allan Okello among others; they are destined for victory in their first match against Buganda Province in Mukono this weekend.last_img read more

Some colleges tell players not to sign autographs

first_imgIn this April 1, 2014, file photo, Florida State quarterback and 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston autographs a program from the BCS National Championship for Michelle Reilly in the Capitol Courtyard in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phil Sears, File)Mississippi State star Dak Prescott says he is taking steps to avoid being the next college football star to be accused of exchanging autographs for cash.“I’ve started just personalizing things — making sure I write to the person that they’re asking for. And I don’t sign things in bundles — just being a lot more aware of what I’m signing,” the Heisman Trophy contender said.Personalizing an autographed item lowers its value.Good idea, but still a simple Google search of ‘Dak Prescott autograph’ generates about a dozen images of photographs, mini-helmets and footballs for sale with Prescott’s signature on them. Or at least a signature the seller claims to be Prescott’s. Prices range for $20 for an 8×10 print to $200 for that mini-helmet, which would otherwise go for about $30.Somebody is making a nice profit off this stuff.From left are file photos showing college football players Braxton Miller, Ohio State; Bryce Petty, Baylor; Nick Marshall, Auburn; Myles Jack, UCLA; Marcus Mariota, Oregon and Todd Gurley, Georgia. Six players that have a chance of taking home the Heisman trophy. (AP Photo/File)A year after Johnny Manziel was suspended for a half after an investigation by Texas A&M and the NCAA into whether he was paid to sign memorabilia, Georgia’s Todd Gurley is being investigated for the same thing. The star running back has already missed one game, and it’s unclear if he’ll return.The quantity of signatures from Heisman winner Jameis Winston  — many authenticated by the same company linked to Gurley — has forced Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher to field questions about whether his two-sport star has done anything wrong.“He’s never taken a dime for anything,” Fisher said earlier this week. “He’s signed thousands of things. I mean, the guy sits for an hour and a half before a baseball game and signed and an hour and a half after a baseball game. … He is very accommodating to people.”In some cases, schools have encouraged their players to be less accommodating.Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel reacts after being selected by the Cleveland Browns as the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Thursday, May 8, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)Arizona wide receiver Austin Hill said coach Rich Rodriguez has made the team cut back on the impromptu autograph sessions after games.“I think our media staff and everyone we have now controls it a little better than what we had in the past, because in the past there used to be people around McKale (Center) just with pieces of paper, with footballs, with random things, trying to get us to sign,” he said. “To be nice, we used to sign them. But since Coach Rod got here, it hasn’t been too much of a problem.”Of course, sometimes the school asks him to sign material.“I had to sign a couple of footballs for some big donors, things like that,” Hill said.Former Louisville player Calvin Pryor, now with the New York Jets, said he didn’t get asked to do much signing in college but saw plenty of demand for teammate Teddy Bridgewater, the record-breaking quarterback who is now with the Minnesota Vikings.Pryor, who played under coach Charlie Strong, now with Texas, said Louisville coaches had a very clear policy: Do not give any autographs, and that the staff monitored it closely.He said the message was: “Better be safe than sorry, because we don’t want you to get suspended or having to go through the NCAA. They just kept us away from it.”That meant occasionally disappointing fans, though Louisville would hold formal sessions that gave fans access to players. Pryor said those took the pressure off the biggest stars.“I think that’s a smarter way to do it,” he said.South Carolina receiver Pharoh Cooper said there are no rules against signing away from school-sponsored events, but the Gamecocks are drilled on the rules by compliance staff and coaches and told to be wary.“They just ask us to be careful about it, about what we sign and how many items,” he said. “But sometimes, they’ll tell you to personalize it. People are going to try and get money off your name and sell it, so you’ve just really got to be smart about what you do.”Those school sponsored autograph sessions can be part of the problem, though. They produce hundreds of signed items that nobody is tracking.“It’s always a concern of ours any time that there’s an issue in college football that’s very, very difficult to control externally,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “We are very vigilant with our process of how we counsel players, teach players. Our compliance people try to do the best possible job that we can so that we don’t have those issues. There’s a lot of folks out there that are trying to do these types of things for their own personal benefit, and the player is the one that’s going to suffer the consequences if he doesn’t make a good choice and decision.”___AP sports writers Rachel Cohen in Florham Park, New Jersey, Pete Iacobelli in Columbia, South Carolina, David Brandt in Starkville, Mississippi, and John Zenor in Montgomery, Alabama, contributed.___Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAPlast_img read more

Finding the Hero Within: Evergreen Employee Pulls Man from Flames

first_imgFacebook247Tweet0Pin0Submitted by The Evergreen State CollegeOn Monday, July 30, 29-year-old Heather Zabrowski was running a lunch-time errand, taking a break from her work helping students and faculty at The Evergreen State College. Driving along Cooper Point Road, she wasn’t prepared for what she saw next. The car in front of her began weaving erratically, swerved off the road, and careened down an embankment.She was prepared to act, however. Zabrowski turned her car around, dialed 911, and headed toward the scene. As she approached, she saw smoke.“I just knew that person needed to be out of that car,” she recalled. Acting quickly, she unbuckled the 67-year-old man, who was suffering from a diabetic episode. By that time, flames had erupted in the rear of the vehicle. She, and others who had gathered, pulled the man up the embankment to safety.“I’m sore today,” she admitted, back to work on July 31. She was tired, too. She had spent the evening responding to KING 5, KIRO, and KOMO reporters, patiently recounting the unnerving event.“Evergreen employees are deeply connected to our community, and Heather’s selfless actions are a testament to that commitment,” said Evergreen President George Bridges. “We’re in awe of her quick thinking and grateful that she’s back to work safe and sound.”Just a few months ago, Zabrowski took a free employee CPR and first-aid training certification program at Evergreen. While the training did give her more confidence, she remembered one piece of information in particular.“I remember the instructor saying, ‘In an emergency, everyone else will watch and expect someone else to do something.’”Zabrowski would be the one to do something this time, and the victim’s family is immensely grateful.“His son found me on Facebook and reached out to say thank you and to let me know his dad was home and recovering well,” she said. “I slept better that night knowing he was Okay.”The following day, when she returned home from work, there was a letter waiting for Zabrowski.“The gentleman wrote to give thanks, though he said there was no way to really thank me, he at least wanted to put it down onto paper,” she said. “When I called to thank him for the letter, I told him more about how it had happened and how I wasn’t strong enough. He told me that ‘Strength isn’t always about muscles, it’s also between the ears.’”The Thurston County Sherriff’s office also recognized her bravery in a social media announcement of the incident, “Without her heroic effort, the 67-year-old male could have been seriously injured … She found her hero within. Well done!”Before becoming an employee of the college in April, Zabrowski was a student worker, transferring in after completing her Associate’s Degree at South Puget Sound Community College. She plans to resume her studies in humanities and social sciences at Evergreen.last_img read more