Minister wades into NFF, Falcons coach face off

first_imgRelatedPosts Minister gives condition for resumption of contact sports Minister pledges support for development of AI, robotics in Nigeria Oshoala visits Lagos Oba The Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, has waded in to the lingering crisis between the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation and Super Falcons coach, Thomas Dennerby. The coach was on Monday alleged to have quit as the national women’s team handler over undue interference by some officials of the Glass House. The NFF, however, named U20 Women’s coach Chris Danjuma and his back room in temporary capacity to guide the African champions ahead of their Tokyo 2020 qualifier against Cote d’Ivoire. In a swift reaction, the Sports Minister stepped in to resolve the lingering crisis. Dare stated via his verified Twitter handle: “I have personally stepped into the matter of Thomas Dennerby, the Coach of Super Falcons. I received a brief and will proceed to seek a quick resolution to ensure he continues to Coach Nigeria’s female team. “I had a constructive conversation on the telephone with Super Falcons Coach Dennerby in Sweden. I have also spoken with the NFF leadership. We are working to resolve the issues in the interest of football development.”Tags: NFFSunday DareSuper FalconsThomas Dennerbylast_img read more

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Substitutes provide key boost off bench

first_imgThe University of Wisconsin men’s soccer team has gotten out of a recent scoring slump, thanks to strong play from its substitutes up front.Two of the consistent substitutes for the Badgers are senior captain Jacob Brindle and freshman Chris Mueller. Brindle has seen playing time to give rest to forwards Mark Segbers and Tom Barlow, while Mueller generally comes into the midfield to add speed on the outside.Mueller has been getting solid minutes from Wisconsin head coach John Trask, which he has put to good use recently to help the team.“[Mueller’s] been working hard on his defense,” Trask said. “He offers some great things attacking-wise, he can unbalance the other team off the dribble. He’s maturing as quickly as these other guys.”Mueller’s speed has been a valuable asset against tired defenders, as he can create opportunities from the edge for his fellow freshmen forwards.Mueller played 64 minutes on the road against an experienced Michigan State team, along with consistent playing time in their other recent games. In Wednesday’s overtime game against Loyola-Chicago, Mueller played 87 minutes out of the possible 110 minutes.However, Trask is waiting for Mueller to be ready to play for the full 90 minutes, and Mueller is quietly putting in the extra time to get better which could help him see the field for the whole game.“I’m right there,” Mueller said. “I’m putting in some extra work off the field, so I’ll get there.”With each practice, Mueller builds chemistry with the other forwards, which he will be able to translate to games soon.Mueller’s determination to improve could be what pushes him to more time on the field to help the team with important minutes off the bench.“I’ve been working hard in training with these guys,” Mueller said. “It’s just coming more naturally. We’re improving every day, and if that’s what is going to help the team, I’ll take it.”Another piece on the attacking end is Brindle, who has been coming off the bench to help the Badgers late in their games.The challenge with substitutes is that none of them know how many minutes they will play on a given day, so they consistently have to be prepared.“We never know when it’s going to be, but when we do get in the game, we try to lift the team,” Brindle said.Brindle and Mueller bring fresh legs on the field to run and wear down the opposing defense, which has been on the field the entire game.The substitutes also play a role in keeping both Segbers and Barlow, who lead the team with 12 and 11 points, respectively, fresh and energized to play to the end of the game.Trask sees Brindle’s contributions as vital late in the game. Brindle is a finisher in the box, which Trask wants to use late in games. After the Badgers’ recent performances, Trask may move Brindle into the starting lineup.“Jacob [Brindle] is coming in off the bench right now,” Trask said. “We may change that up, but we are not quite sure if we’ll make a change up front. Some of the other guys are continuing to get better and stronger.”With Brindle and Mueller coming off the bench, Wisconsin’s attack is becoming stronger, which has shown through the scoring over the past four games.Given the time to play in game situations with each other, all five of the potential attacking players have a better understanding of what each of them likes.“[We] all play differently though. Mark [Segbers] likes the ball in space because he’s quicker,” Brindle said. “Tom [Barlow] and I work together well because we both track to the ball, so we can work off of each other that way.”Even though they have lost two of those four games, the Badgers have scored a goal in each of them, something they were not able to do consistently in their previous eight games.In their game Wednesday, Trask played freshman Tyler Yanisch to see what he could do as an outside midfielder, giving the Badgers another change of pace player and fresh legs to wear down their opponent.Trask is using this time to evaluate his young players outside of practices, to see what they can contribute to the team as substitutions.By evaluating all of the talent on the roster in game situations, Trask hopes he can find pieces of the puzzle to possibly turn the season around.The Badgers have been close in their past eight games, which means a small switch in the lineup could be the deciding factor in any of the upcoming games. Trask could very well look to a key substitute as the deciding factor.last_img read more

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Dodgers’ Rich Hill, Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu are on the mend

first_imgLOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw preferred to work in relative silence as he threw his final bullpen session before his 2019 debut.Rich Hill grunted and groaned his way through four simulated innings at Dodger Stadium on Friday. Good, bad or ugly, Hill followed each of his 46 pitches with a primal moan that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the tennis courts of Indian Wells.You wouldn’t know if you were within earshot, but Hill left the mound feeling encouraged. Kershaw remains on track to start Monday. Hyun-Jin Ryu, who played long toss without impediment, didn’t appear too far behind his teammates. Friday was a good day for the Dodgers’ injured starters.“I didn’t feel anything. It felt great,” Hill said. “The ball came out great. Very good curveballs, fastballs, was able to shape my breaking ball better.” The manager had less incentive than usual to make a decision public. The Brewers started left-hander Wade Miley in Game 5 of last year’s NLCS, only to replace him with right-hander Brandon Woodruff after Cody Bellinger walked to begin the game.Roberts all but ruled out the possibility of an “opener” – a tactic the Brewers deployed against the Dodgers in the NLCS.  This strategy requires the first pitcher to record six outs or less, and another pitcher to record the plurality of outs in relief. Miley’s start in Game 5 was an extreme example.“You could” use an opener, Roberts said, “but with these guys, Cain hits in the 1, Yelich in the 2, and then they kind of flip-flop the third hitter. It’s really not ideal but you could do it. Yelich hits lefties. Cain hits righties. So this is not typically a team that an opener advantage is that beneficial.”ALSOCatcher Russell Martin (lower back stiffness) still hasn’t taken part in baseball activities since he went on the injured list Wednesday. … Max Muncy wasn’t in the starting lineup one day after a ground ball clipped his right index finger, causing swelling and a blood blister. Roberts said Muncy was available off the bench. … Three members of Jackie Robinson’s family – wife Rachel, daughter Sharon and son David – will participate in Jackie Robinson Day celebrations prior to Monday’s game against the Reds. Hill hasn’t pitched since spring training due to a left knee strain. He pitched to two minor leaguers and utility player Chris Taylor, and allowed two or three hits. (Since there were no fielders behind him, it was impossible to know for sure.) Hill threw an additional 15 pitches without a batter in the box, bringing his total to 61 pitches.The left-hander will make a four-inning rehab start in five or six days, Manager Dave Roberts said. The location is to be determined. Triple-A Oklahoma City begins a homestand next Tuesday. Double-A Tulsa and advanced Class-A Rancho Cucamonga begin homestands Thursday.Hill threw with a brace wrapped around his left knee. That will continue, he said, once he begins pitching in games. The brace holds one positive side effect when he throws sidearm, which Hill called a “silver lining.”“It forces me to throw the ball a little more correctly instead of getting out of sync with where my release point is,” he said. “The quality of the pitch is way better.”Speaking of silver linings, Ryu is expected to throw a bullpen in the coming days after straining his left groin Tuesday against the Cardinals. Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco center_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies “It’s probably been a best-case scenario since what transpired that first game in St. Louis,” Roberts said.GRANDAL RETURNSYasmani Grandal returned to Dodger Stadium for the first time since he signed a one-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. Grandal, who played 510 games for the Dodgers from 2015-18, received his National League championship ring. The catcher was greeted with a brief tribute video prior to his first plate appearance, eliciting mostly loud applause.“This is like coming back home,” Grandal said. “When hitting early BP, seemed like I was hitting at home. Only difference is I’m going to be in the other dugout.”It was an interesting about-face. The Dodgers dispatched the Brewers in a seven-game NLCS last October, though Grandal barely played after struggling to hit during the Division Series against the Atlanta Braves.He was benched in favor of Austin Barnes for all but two games in the NLCS. Grandal went 2 for 11 with six strikeouts in the series. He also committed two passed balls, an error, and a catcher’s interference in Game 2 alone.The Dodgers tendered Grandal a qualifying offer after the season, but he declined. Milwaukee gave him a one-year contract with a 2020 option that will pay a minimum of $18.25 million.“I knew they were going to make a qualifying offer,” Grandal said. “Besides a game, it’s a business, and they didn’t want to lose a draft pick. I also knew that there are other guys here who need to get their shots to play. Barnes has been up here for a while, and you have (Will) Smith and (Keibert) Ruiz in the minor leagues, a lot of guys who I worked with who I believe can do really good in the big leagues. Those guys need to get their shot at the big leagues. I was in their shoes not too long ago in San Diego.“I knew they believed in those guys and they need an opportunity to play, so knew there wasn’t going to be too much contact. I was prepared for that.”OPENING ACTRoberts still had not named Saturday’s starting pitcher when he addressed reporters prior to Friday’s game. The Dodgers will either rely on a “bullpen game” – using their existing relief pitchers to record 27 outs – or recall a starting pitcher from the minor leagues.Related Articleslast_img read more

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