Wenger: Training key for youngsters

first_img The findings, including proposals for some clubs to have ‘B’ teams playing lower-league football, as they do in Germany and Spain, will be announced at Wembley Stadium at 2pm. Wenger – who earlier this season took charge of his 1,000th match and was one of the hundreds of people spoken to by the commission – believes getting youngsters up to the required standard for first-team football at whatever level should be the priority. “At the moment with the development of young players in England, you have to balance the training and the competition. For me the competition has too much importance, and the training too little,” the 64-year-old French coach said. “The time the kids spend on the pitch from the age of eight to 17 in training is too short. The time they spend in competition is too big, so to add more competition does not make sense. “The sense is made by reducing the competition time and increasing the time in training. “I have seen too many kids come to the age of 17 or 18 and they cannot head the ball, they have no left foot because they have not practised enough. “After, what they try to do is to improve the level of competition after the age of 18, when the education is finished. That makes sense because at the moment you have a problem for the people who come out of the academies who don’t get the level of competition they need. That is why some clubs have feeder clubs.” Wenger rejects the notion that England just simply do not produce enough players of the highest quality for the national squad. Press Association Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes greater technical education of young players who “cannot head the ball and have no left foot” over simply just playing matches is key to the development of English football. “We read in the papers at the moment that everyone pushes England to take as many young players as we can (to the World Cup), so you see England still produces young talent,” the Arsenal boss added. “Every single club, despite the big foreign players, the young players come through when they have the quality, and that is what you have to target. “It is not to fight for mediocrity, it is to fight for quality.” The report from Dyke is also likely to call for a crackdown on the abuse of work permits for non-EU players – the rules state they are supposed to be regular internationals, but that is often not the case. Wenger maintains having high-quality overseas talent can only enhance the progress of home-grown talent. “The bigger players we have in England, the more the young players will develop because they develop in contact with those players,” he said. “To get rid of big players would be a massive mistake for the education and quality of the young players – the kid who is good at school, if you put him in a good class he will develop. If you put him in a bad class he will not develop as quickly. In our game it is exactly the same. “I give you one training session with very good players, and one session exactly the same with average players and you will see two different things, that is why the quality of the development of these very young players is very important.” Following the publication of the report, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Sport, Clive Efford, said: “This report focuses the majority of its attention at elite player development – but without improving facilities and the quality of coaching at the grass roots throughout our communities this will all come to nothing.” “At a time when the wealth in the game has been growing at an eye-watering rate investment in grass roots has been going down. “This cannot continue and the FA and the Premier League cannot continue to get away with this.” A plan of action to increase the number of English players in the Barclays Premier League is expected to be unveiled when Football Association chairman Greg Dyke reveals the findings of his England Commission later on Thursday. Dyke set up the commission to tackle the issues around the lack of opportunities for English players in the top flight and also focus on the future of the England team. last_img read more

Johnson confident in freshman following pair of wins over SCSU

first_imgFollowing a disappointing pair of close losses to No. 1 Minnesota, Mark Johnson was pleased to see the consistency of the women’s hockey team, particularly the freshmen, as they earned two wins against St. Cloud State.The No. 2 Badgers (4-2, 4-2 WCHA) trounced the Huskies 4-1 Friday night in a game where UW fired 56 shots-on-net. The team returned Saturday to post a decisive 6-0 game two win.“Just reflecting on our two games this past weekend against St. Cloud, as I told the team Saturday night or afternoon after our second game, we were able to put six good periods together,” Johnson said. “I thought our intensity and our pace in Friday night’s game was excellent.”With tough losses against the No. 1 Minnesota Gophers the prior weekend, the Badgers’ ability to bounce back and to execute their game plan against St. Cloud State was a refreshing sight for Johnson.“I think the mindset, as a coaching staff, we have to make sure our players are on the same level that we’re at, and I think we were able to do that,” Johnson said. “We talked about competing and having that intensity Friday night, and for certainly the first two periods, when the shots were certainly lopsided if you looked at the shot chart, and we were able to do that.”With a strong sense of mentorship between veteran and new players, Johnson has expressed confidence in his freshman players.Freshman goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens earned the start in Saturday’s matchup against the Huskies, giving senior goaltender and captain Alex Rigsby a rest. Desbeins recorded an impressive 6-0 shutout in her first-ever start.Johnson was not only impressed with Desbiens’ performance, but also the mature mentality he saw coming from a young player.“I thought her composure, I thought her poise, didn’t look like it was her first game,” Johnson said. “What was interesting, as we were taking the ice at the start of the game, Alex was leading the team out. I was trying to think in the back of my mind, ‘does Ann realize she’s playing?’ Usually in our business, the goaltender that’s going to start leads the team out. Someone told me, ‘No, Ann didn’t want to lead the team out.’ She wanted our captain to lead the team out.”Desbiens is not the only freshman to impress Johnson so far this season. As the team gets deeper into their schedule, the young Badgers will be increasingly looked on to make an impact on the ice no matter who the competition may be. Freshman forwards Sydney McKibbon and Sarah Nurse have both recorded their first career goals of the season and have tallied two points apiece thus far. Johnson has been pleased with the freshmen’s ability to exude confidence and skill, not only in practice but in big game situations.“I’ve been very impressed since our first practice with this group. They seem to be composed. They haven’t been really nervous at any other point than maybe taking our team photo,” Johnson said. “But I think for [McKibbon] and for [Nurse] to get some production early on, especially goals, it takes the pressure of that away real quickly … They seemed comfortable playing against Minnesota’s top line throughout both the games up there.”Wisconsin will look to keep their momentum going against a winless Lindenwood this coming weekend.While the Badgers are primed for another pair of wins on paper, Johnson was adamant that it doesn’t matter how well or poor his team performed last week, the preparations for the next opponent remain set at the highest standards.“You practice today and then throughout the week, the expectations are we practice at a high level,” Johnson said. “And one thing I’ve learned is, you know, you have to respect your opponent. Don’t look at their record. Don’t look at their history. Prepare for that 60 minutes Friday night like it’s the last game of the season and you have to go out and win it.”The Badgers will go up against the Lions (0-7-1) Friday and Saturday at LaBahn Arena. The series will serve as the final UW home stand before the team goes on a six-game road stint in November.last_img read more

Here’s how Lamar Miller’s free-agent signing fits into Patriots’, Bill Belichick’s plans

first_imgThe Patriots agreed to terms on a one-year deal with 29-year-old running back Lamar Miller on Monday, according to ESPN — a move that adds to their already crowded backfield.Miller is the type of player New England loves: inexpensive, multi-dimensional and capable of proving the rest of the league should not have cast him aside. Miller, coming off a torn ACL, will need to show he’s physically up to par in order to crack coach Bill Belichick’s rotation of running backs. But in terms of what he looks like near his peak, he’s miles ahead of everyone the Patriots have outside of James White, who plays a different backfield role. It should also be noted that 2018 first-round draft pick Sony Michel is out indefinitely with a foot injury.So how might Belichick use Miller in an offense led by Cam Newton, not Tom Brady? There are several possibilities, assuming he resembles where he was two years ago, when he averaged 4.6 yards per carry with the Texans and racked up 1,136 all-purpose yards.MORE: List of 2020 NFL opt-outsFor a team that’s losing a significant chunk of players to coronavirus-related opt-outs, the addition of Miller represents a rare boost.Here’s a look at what fans should take from the Patriots’ move:What does Lamar Miller’s contract look like?ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the deal is for one year and is still pending a physical. The exact value of the contract is not yet known.Former Texans’ RB Lamar Miller and the Patriots reached agreement on a one-year deal, pending a physical, per @RosenhausSports.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 10, 2020What does signing Lamar Miller mean for Sony Michel?Michel has been a disappointment since New England used a first-round pick on him in 2018. After an injury-shortened rookie campaign in which he showed promise, he averaged 3.7 yards per carry last year and was considered average to below-average by more advanced metrics. Offseason foot surgery will limit the time he has on the field this year.Still, Miller’s presence probably shouldn’t be seen as a threat to Michel. Miller is at the back end of his career and coming in on a one-year deal. Michel is 25 and under contract beyond 2020. While Michel needs to step up following his return to action, Miller at this point isn’t really relevant to him. Will Lamar Miller ever start for the Patriots?It would be useless to attempt to decipher what Belichick is thinking at any given moment, but it wouldn’t be surprising for Miller to have multiple games with at least a dozen carries. Outside of 2016, he has been a lead back averaging no more than 16 or 17 touches per contest, meaning he would never be used in an old-school workhorse role. As the run-oriented half of a pairing with a receiving back, though, he could certainly be designated the starter in 2020.Why did the Patriots sign Lamar Miller?Miller is a low-risk veteran presence who could compete for a significant role with a team in transition after the departure of Tom Brady. It might not work out, but there’s no real downside here.Does Lamar Miller fit with James White?James White fits with everyone, really, and his presence as a receiving back has no bearing on what Miller will provide. That said, Miller does give the Patriots a second super shifty option to attack defenses.last_img read more

Communities Remain Below the Ladder in W/A Oil Palm Industry

first_imgDelegates at the regional dialogue organized by the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) that brought together representatives of advocacy groups from Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Cameroon.…SDI dialogue conference unveilsAs the oil palm industry becomes attractive to West Africa because of its humid climate, and fertile soil, inhabitants of communities wherein the investment goes on remain in tears as their land is grabbed randomly thus leaving them with limited accessibility to their own land.At a recently held regional dialogue organized by the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) that brought together representatives of advocacy groups from Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Cameroon, it was unveiled that in most of the agreements leading to getting land for oil palm plantations, community members are left unaware. Instead, they are startled by the movement of bulldozers clearing their land, and this has resulted to conflicts between investors and the communities.It can be recalled that when oil palm investment began in Liberia during the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, there were instances of conflict plantations operated by Sime Darby in Grand Cape Mount and Bomi counties, and Golden Veroleum in Sinoe and Grand Kru counties.Community dwellers, who rely on the land for farming and other sacred activities complain that companies were clearing their land indiscriminately without respect for protected forest and sacred destinations.The regional dialogue held from November 27 to 28, 2019, aimed to assess the impact of the project launched on January 15 this year with the aim to Improving Communication and Understanding of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Standard, and mechanisms and their application in Liberia and at the regional level.”In continuation, the project seeks to create platforms at the national level to train rights-based NGOs, and communities affected by oil palm plantations on how to effectively use the RSPO standards and mechanisms, and how to effectively and efficiently engage with the RSPO so that their concerns and needs are fully taken in.”Mr. Lavala addresses the opening of the SDI regional dialogue.Lavala further said the oil palm industry in Liberia is very strategic, because it creates employment, changes the lifestyle of farming activities, and promotes urban migration as many people because of opportunities have for years seen Monrovia as the only place of opportunity for seeking job.“But considering all of that, we realize that we have signed a lot of agreements, not too sure of how to work with our communities; and not too sure we have a quarrel next door that we have to be extremely careful with,” he added.Dr. Chris Kidd, an expert from the United Kingdom (UK), who shared his view on the oil palm industry in West Africa, noted: “There is a huge demand for investment in oil palm in West Africa, because the region has a large area of land, which attracts that. Also, Indonesia and others have gone out of land where the industry is huge.”Dr. Kidd said the RSPO was meant to bridge the gap between the communities and the companies, but oil palm companies that are not a part cannot live by its mandate and rules, and therefore it cannot resolve conflicts arising between such companies and the communities.He said without the RSPO, it will be expedient if a national government devises a policy that will bring cohesion between companies and communities in order to prevent and avoid conflict.Ubrei-Joe M. Mariere, Project Officer for the Nigerian based Democracy Outreach Program, and he Environmental Rights Action Friends of the Earth, described the RSPO as “Satanic,” arguing that it is there for the oil palm companies, and not community sensitive as companies continue to grab land from community members without remorse.Chairman of the Multi-Stakeholders Platform for Bomi County, Abraham B. Combay, said unlike the past when communities were not involved with the operations of investors in the oil palm industry, the coming of the RSPO has brought some improvements by enhancing the involvements of communities.Director for Partners Initiative for Conflict Transformation in Sierra Leone, Maxwell V. Kemokai, says the problem with the Sierra Leonean oil palm industry puts local community members under the ladder as the government of the past only dealt with the investors, and the local paramount chiefs, who do not account for the transaction to the local communities.For Nornor Bee of the This is my Backyard (TIMBY) project of SDI, said her work to liaise with communities in using an app developed to send information about human rights abuses, and other gross violations by companies has been working well.At the end of the dialogue, the delegates came out with a declaration outlining some challenges, and ways to address them.According to the declaration, some countries in the region are initiating reforms to increase financial flow through investment to address poor governance, and management of natural resources, including land and forests.  The group observed also that despite the reforms, land acquisition by oil palm companies is often characterized by lack of respect for the rights of local communities.The delegates in their declaration notes with emphasis that community rights should be at the center of natural resource governance and management, especially those related to land lease agreements.It further called for expansion of a large scale mono-culture; ensure that oil palm companies respect the collective rights of customary land owners and users and operate in a way that enables communities to secure benefits from their resource; ensure access to information through robust monitoring and reporting of oil palm companies’ compliance to national laws, and international standards as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, and ensure that women and other marginalized people have their rights respected, including access and equal participation in natural resource management with specific focus on land.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more