The left-back has impressed since joining Saints last summer and was thrilled to complete a permanent move on Monday’s closing day of the winter transfer window. He told saintsfc.co.uk: “I wanted to sign and commit somewhere instead of carrying on doing loans. When I had the chance to sign here, it was the perfect match. Ryan Bertrand has described his move to Southampton as the “perfect match” after making his St Mary’s switch from Chelsea permanent. “I have really enjoyed my time here in the first half of the season and I’m delighted to make it permanent. “Whether I’m on loan or permanent, I will give 100 per cent, no problem, but moving here gives me added incentive as well. “Finally I can say this is my club and I’m proud to do that. The work starts here and I’m really looking forward to it.” Bertrand hopes to be successful individually and with Saints. “I want to keep progressing as a footballer,” he added. “Hopefully we can progress as a team and go on to achieve some really great things. It’s no fluke where we are in the league at the minute. “We’re playing to the best of our ability and striving to become better players. If we all maintain our hard work we can only go forward as a club.” Bertrand won the 2012 Champions League with Chelsea and earned England recognition, but found first-team opportunities limited. The 25-year-old added: “I have very fond memories of Chelsea. I have a lot of people to thank at the club having been there since the age of 15. The fans were fantastic with me there from day one. “We had a fantastic relationship so from that aspect it was hard, but to finally get to a team that I can say is mine and my own is a really big positive for me on a personal level. “There’s not one reason in particular why this was the club for me. The stability of the club and from what the owners are thinking right down to youth level is clear, honest and transparent. “It’s very important that the club shares the same ambition as the players. They are forward thinking, so are we as players, together that makes us a really strong unit. “Everyone is pulling in the right direction and I wanted to be part of that.” Press Association
LONDON: Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, who became the first Premier League player to test positive for the coronavirus, is making ‘great progress’ in his recovery, manager Frank Lampard said.The 19-year-old’s positive test last week had prompted the London club to partially close their Cobham training center, with the first-team squad and coaching staff asked for self-isolate as a precaution.“I’m happy to say that in Callum’s case, he has made great progress and almost feels his usual self, which is obviously the news we all want to hear,” Lampard told the club’s website.“I’m aware that not everyone can or will recover from this virus, so I urge the football and sporting community to continue to act responsibly and look out for the health of others.”Chelsea said their training facility had been reopened for those who did not have recent close contact with Hudson-Odoi.The league has been suspended until April 4 because of the outbreak that has virtually shut down world sport.Globally, the flu-like virus has infected over 190,000 people and killed more than 7,500.“We still don’t know when competitive football will restart, but it isn’t worth worrying about that too much at the moment,” Lampard added.“We all miss football but right now it’s about acting responsibly and in the best interests of society.” (Agencies)Also Read: Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta, Callum of Chelsea test positiveAlso Watch: KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi granted bail as NIA fails to submit charge-sheet
Pique said players told the club they would accept delays to pay to help the club meet Financial Fair Play rules.“We were ready to adjust our contracts,” Pique told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.“We weren’t going to contribute money, but we were going to make things easier by allowing some payments to be made in the second or third year instead of the first.”Barcelona spent more than £200m in the summer, including deals for midfielder Frenkie de Jong from Ajax and Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid.Financial Fair Play rules, which prevent clubs from spending beyond their means, were understood to be one of the issues Barcelona would have had to have overcome to sign forward Neymar.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Barcelona’s players offered to accept delays to their pay if it would help the club re-sign forward Neymar in the summer, defender Gerard Pique announced Thursday.Barcelona did “everything possible” to sign the Brazil international but a move did not materialise.Neymar left Barcelona for Paris St-Germain for a world record fee of 222m euros (£200m) in 2017.
The issue has hovered over Brandon Ingram like a pesky defender. It’s been more discussed than his intriguing jump shot and positional versatility.So when Ingram trained with the U.S. Select team in Las Vegas this summer, it hardly seemed surprising he elicited countless inquiries about his rail-thin physique. Reporters were not the only ones who brought it up, though.Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant also broached the subject. This time, Ingram was eager to address his 6-foot-9, 190-pound frame with his childhood idol, namely because of the unique perspective he provided.“He was telling me to be patient and not rush everything,” the Lakers’ No. 2 draft pick said. “When guys like him tell me that, I believe in him. He’s putting on weight and is doing great in this league.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Lakers (2-3) play host to the Warriors (3-1) on Friday at Staples Center with Durant as the headliner for multiple reasons. He wouldn’t even take a meeting with the Lakers to let them make a free-agent sales pitch in July, then left Oklahoma City to sign with Golden State. Durant went into Thursday’s game against the Thunder averaging 28.5 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals per game.Well before Durant established his credentials in a 10-year NBA career that includes a league MVP (2014) and seven All-Star appearances (2010-2016), the Warriors forward faced scrutiny about his strength as a thinly framed No. 2 pick out of Texas.He entered his NBA rookie season with the then-Seattle Sonics in 2007 listed at 6-9 and 215 pounds. The Seattle Times cited a confidential pre-draft document that revealed Durant could not bench press 185 pounds. The Portland Trail Blazers drafted Ohio State center Greg Oden ahead of Durant partly because of Oden’s superior strength.Since then, Durant has bulked up to 240 pounds and downplayed his previous weaknesses in the weight room. And while Durant has grown into one of the league’s most dominant scorers and versatile players, Oden played only three NBA seasons because of multiple knee surgeries.That explains why Durant “never really believed in” the concern surrounding his thin frame. Durant dismissed the same criticism of Ingram, adding that he “could see why he’s picked No. 2.” “The narrative comes from the outside. If that came from GMs, he wouldn’t have been picked No. 2. So he must have been doing something right,” Durant said. “A lot of players might be stronger than him, but they don’t have the other things. He’s a sponge. He wants to get better and he wants to learn. Those are much more important than lifting 185 pounds.”Ingram nodded his head as Durant’s words were relayed back to him, adding that the feedback “means a lot coming from a guy that I have looked up to” for the past decade.Ingram rooted for the Sonics after admiring the skills Durant showed in college, with his outside shooting, post presence and positional versatility. Ingram has a copy of Durant’s rookie card and jokingly said he will buy Durant’s jersey “maybe when I retire.”For now, Ingram remains intent on fulfilling a different childhood dream.“I try to compare my game and pattern it after him. But at the end of the day, I want to be Brandon Ingram,” he said. “When I grew up, I always wanted to be just like him. But I think the comparison is beyond my years. The comparison is more when he came into the league.”The Lakers share that sentiment.“I don’t think any comparison to any player of Kevin Durant’s talent to a young kid is fair,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “Brandon has the opportunity to become that type of special player. But to compare him right now at the age of 19 is a little unfair.”Nonetheless, the way Walton assembled his coaching staff could help Ingram’s quest to model his game after Durant. Walton hired Brian Keefe as one of his assistants after Keefe spent time as an assistant with the New York Knicks (2013-15) and with the Thunder (2009-2013). Keefe originally was the franchise’s player development coach in Seattle and Oklahoma City (2007-09), giving him unique insight on Durant’s growth.“The idea that he was with a young team in Oklahoma City and was part of that buildup was definitely something on his side,” Walton said of Keefe. “But the reason we brought him here was because every reference I called said nothing but great things about him.”Still, Keefe’s insight about Durant is one of the reasons Ingram has enjoyed working with him. The Lakers declined to make Keefe available for comment, but Ingram credited Keefe for helping with his footwork and balance. Keefe also put together a daily workout for Ingram that mirrored Durant’s regimen.“That’s ironic,” Ingram said of the connection. “Coming in, I didn’t know he worked with (Durant). It’s helped me a lot with his teaching and the routine that he has given me to work on every day.”That instruction also shaped Durant’s development.“It seems like everything has come full circle. Brian’s teaching Brandon the same stuff he taught me when I came into the league,” Durant said. “Brandon has what every great player has, that want to get better and that want to go out there and compete.”Ingram had the same thought process when he matched up against Durant in two preseason games last month. As Ingram acknowledged, “when you’re going against one of your idols, you want to get a piece of him.”It did not take long, though, for Durant to get a piece of Ingram. In one game, Durant stuffed Ingram’s shot as he attacked the basket, but Ingram stayed aggressive looking for his shot and defending Durant.Afterward, Durant provided more feedback on how Ingram can affect the game by scoring in different ways and using his versatility. Durant walked away with increased optimism about Ingram’s trajectory.“I’ve seen the skills. I’ve seen the length, the effort and the competitiveness. He looks like a quiet, reserved and nonchalant kid. But when he steps in between the lines, he just wants to play,” Durant said. “I have nothing but good things to say and nothing but support for him. I’ll be here no matter what, trying to encourage him and helping him out through the process.”It sounds like he’s already helped. Ingram echoes Durant’s perspective on the weight issue.“I don’t think weight matters at all,” Ingram said. “Of course, you need to get stronger. But it’s all about will, talent and skill level. The work you put in on the basketball floor will help me build over time.”Ingram can look at Durant for validation. Durant can look at Ingram and imagine the same thing happening again.
Central Arkansas is picked to finish fourth with 202 points while Houston Baptist rounds out the top five with 185 points. Lamar (172), New Orleans (168), Stephen F. Austin (144), Nicholls (122), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (92) and Northwestern State (74) were voted sixth through 11th while Abilene Christian and UIW (40) are tied for 12th. The 2018 season begins Friday, Feb. 16 with 13 games, starting when Houston Baptist welcomes Western Michigan at 2 p.m. CT. Southeastern Louisiana earned seven first-place votes and just 21 total points behind Sam Houston State with 261. The Lions finished second in the regular season in 2017 with a 20-10 Southland record. After bowing out in the second round of the Southland tournament, they went on to earn the No. 2 seed in the Baton Rouge Regional, defeating Conference USA champion Rice in the opening matchup. 6.Lamar172 T12.Abilene Christian40 3.McNeese (1)246 After finishing third in the regular season in 2017 with a 19-11 conference record, Sam Houston won four straight in the Southland tournament, winning its second-straight title and fifth NCAA Regional berth in the last six seasons. The team went on to win four games, including three straight out of the consolation bracket, to win the Lubbock Regional and become the first Southland baseball program to advance to the Super Regional. T12.UIW40 Southland preseason polls are voted on by each program’s head coach and sports information director. Individuals rank the conference’s other 12 teams in predicted order of regular season finish, with first-place votes worth 12 points, second-place votes worth 11 points and so on to one point for 12th place. 2018 Southland Conference Baseball Preseason Poll Pl.School (First-place votes)Total 8.Stephen F. Austin144 2.Southeastern Louisiana (7)261 Sam Houston enters the 2018 season with a conference-best four preseason all-conference selections. 5.Houston Baptist185 FRISCO, Texas – Defending Southland Conference tournament champion Sam Houston State is favored to win the 2018 regular season as voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. The Bearkats earned 18 first-place votes to top the preseason poll, the league announced Thursday. 9.Nicholls122 1.Sam Houston State (18)282 Southeastern begins the season with three preseason all-conference first team members, headlined by senior third baseman Taylor Schwaner. The reigning Southland Player of the Year notched a .330 batting average last year against league foes in 112 at-bats, including 41 RBIs and nine home runs with a .670 slugging percentage. 7.New Orleans168 4.Central Arkansas202 Defending regular season champion McNeese earned one first-place vote and 246 total points to rank third in the preseason poll. The Cowboys capped the regular season with a 37-20 overall record (22-8 Southland) and return with the reigning Southland Hitter of the Year Shane Selman. The Lake Charles, La., native hit .362 last season against conference opponents in 127 at-bats, tallying 10 home runs. 11.Northwestern State74 10.Texas A&M-Corpus Christi92
Donovan Bailey, the Canadian who produced a world record to win the 100 metres at the 1996 Olympics, wants to cleanse the all-time track and field performance list of drug-tainted marks.In an interview earlier this week, Bailey believes a reset of world records in athletics would do a world of good.According to the retired sprinter, a cleanse by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) would help fans focus on wonderful athletes like Olympic champions Usain Bolt of Jamaica and South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk.”I think the IAAF has to do something to ensure that doping is not the first thing you speak of,” he begun in an interview posted on www.insidethegames.biz.”I think for one you should press reset and get rid of all the records which were on the books if there has been a doping issue,” he recommended.His suggestion might also affect records and medals accumulated by East German athletes in the 1980s and 1990s.Documents released from that country after the unification of Germany confirmed the activity of a state-organised doping programme for its track and field athletes.”If there is a doping charge,” he explained, “you erase it – it becomes very simple – so we can talk about amazing positive things because there is so much to talk about, like Wayde van Niekerk and Usain Bolt.”Olympic GamesBolt famously did the 100 and 200 metre double for the third time in a row at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In the same Games, van Niekerk smashed the 400 metre world record with a fine run of 43.03 seconds from the outermost lane.Bailey, who ran a world record of 9.84 second to win his Olympic gold 20 years ago, also agrees with the ban of Russian athletes from Rio.”My stance would be any country that has been accused of and found guilty of statewide doping,” he asserted, “all the athletes would be banned.”He believes it is unfair for clean athletes to lose medals, prize money and sponsorship to users of illegal performance enhancers.”It is a terrible thing to do,” the 48-year-old Canadian lamented, “because most athletes are clean and believe in the power of clean sport.”He was interviewed in Monaco at last week’s SPORTELMonaco sports marketing and media convention in Monte Carlo.
Dear Editor,In a recent interview with Guyana Times (March 26, 2017), the Alliance For Change (AFC) General Secretary, Marlon Williams, boasts about Guyana being a “beautiful” democracy. But there is nothing democratically beautiful about removing independent voices from the State-owned newspaper. And Williams cannot not know of the direct and indirect role AFC leaders played in removing me and Lincoln Lewis from the Chronicle.We are now reliably informed that a senior AFC Minister has over time been raising at Cabinet the issue of Hinds and Lewis’ columns. It was that same Minister who gave the instructions to the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) to axe the columnists. To add insult to injury, two top AFC members, Sherod Duncan and Geeta Chandan-Edmond voted at the Board level to rubber stamp the decision, citing the legal right of the Editor-in-Chief to make the decision. Whether Duncan and Chandan-Edmond knew they were rubberstamping a political decision is not known, but it would take a lot of convincing to assure me that they did not know. I hereby challenge the AFC to deny this version of events.The Chronicle and the rest of the State media are controlled by the AFC as part of the distribution of spoils after the election. The Prime Minister has direct oversight of this sector. He is a journalist by profession, but we have not heard a single word from him on this matter. The AFC, as a party, has not said a single word. The AFC has from time to time hinted that it is being shortchanged by the A Partnership for National Unity within the Government. It is hypocritical to complain of being bullied when you engage in similar behaviour in areas where you exercise authority. This was the same party that famously warned me that I should be thankful to it for the freedom it allowed me and one of its leaders– Freddie Kissoon – accused me of wanting to return the PPP to power.Days before receiving the letter from the Editor-in Chief, I had been tipped off that the column would be discontinued and who were behind the move. I learnt that the EIC was tortured by the situation, but he had no choice in the matter. Armed with that information, I wrote to him asking for an explanation regarding the non-publication of the column for two consecutive weeks. It was then that he sent the letter informing me of the decision. We now know that he did so without the knowledge of the Board.What should be known is that in addition to my column, I have written scores of editorials for the newspaper; most of them complimentary to the Government. That they dispensed with the column while wanting to retain my services as an editorial writer speaks volumes about the mindset – they cannot stand my criticisms but are comfortable with my writings that sanitise them.I always knew that my independent stances were causing concern among Government Ministers – some of them have told me directly. I often wondered why they are so uneasy about self-critique. What is it about us that we cannot deal sensibly with dissent. Despite, the uneasiness, I remained at the Chronicle as a matter of principle. I took the position that they must shove me out and prove to Guyana who they really are. And true to the tradition of Guyanese leadership culture, they have done just that. What a shame!The People’s National Congress section is being blamed for what was executed by the AFC. But the public utterings of the party’s General Secretary suggest that they have no problem with the action – a case of the AFC doing the dirty job for them. One must ask if a Government is prepared to encourage that kind of behaviour towards a coalition member, how would they behave towards presumed enemies? There is something very ugly about government leaders stifling free expression and still preach about the beauty of democracy.For me, my lifelong struggle for a better Guyana continues. My voice will not be silenced. I will continue to speak back to power and the powerful and challenge them to do better. I am determined that this Government must break the cycle of authoritarian governance. In this regard, I am inspired by the words of our national poetic voice and conscience, Martin Carter:No I will not still my voice/I have too much to claim …And soif you see melooking at your handslistening when you speakmarching in your ranksyou must knowI do not sleep to dream,but dream to change the world.Sincerely,David Hinds
…Opposition Leader says entire bonus handled improperlyGovernment has brushed aside allegations that it possibly spent or transferred a US$18 million signing bonus it received from ExxonMobil, claiming that there is nothing sinister about this move.While Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman did not confirm nor deny allegations that the signing bonus might have been transferred from a private account at the Central Bank, or spent, the Minister did reiterate that the monies were put aside to deal with a specific matter.“The Minister of Finance (Winston Jordan) has been speaking to Cabinet about this over a year and how it is going to be disbursed. Once we (Guyana) qualifiedOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeofor our appearance at the World Court which was the 30th of January I believe, then that triggered some release of the funds. There is nothing untoward or sinister about it,” referring to the border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela.Guyanese Economist Ramon Gaskin on Monday in a letter sent to the local media called on the Government to explain to the Guyanese people the circumstances which led to the bonus being spent unlawfully and without the approval of the National Assembly.Gaskin wrote, “The Bank of Guyana has published the list of 128 Government Account Balances at the end of January 2018 in excess of 36 billion Guyana dollars.” Gaskin said “the US$18M ‘Signing Bonus’ received by Guyana and allegedly placed in the account is not listed”.“I conclude subject to correction by the Minister of Finance that the monies if indeed placed there have been removed or withdrawn or spent without the authorisation of the Parliament as required by Article 217 of the Constitution of Guyana,” Gaskin said in the letter.He, therefore, called on “the Minister of Finance to immediately disclose precisely where exactly the money is, how much has been spent from it, and for what purpose, and what is the present balance in the account if, at all, there is any.”Natural Resources Minister Raphael TrotmanGaskin said he was prepared to address the media on the matter once his findings were published as he was reliably informed that the monies might have been spent. Commenting on the issue, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said he is still upset with the manner in which the Government dealt with this matter, since the money was kept secret until it was brought to the public’s attention through the media.“I think the way they treated the US$18 million knowing that it was illegally kept out of all Government accounts, so it could not be audited, once it is not formally in Government accounts. Then the Auditor General would not be able to audit it. That it was parked in that way, to be stolen. So while parts of it may be used to pay a lawyer etcetera, we would have seen inflated bills and a whole range of other issues… expenditure that would have used up all the money and it would have gone into people’s accounts.” The existence of the oil bonus and the renegotiated oil agreement with the company was kept a secret until evidence of the transaction was leaked in December 2017. After mounting criticism, President David Granger defended the transaction by saying it was the thing to do at the time.Government subsequently defended its move not to deposit the singing bonus into the Consolidated Fund, saying it was holding the money to pay legal fees for Guyana should it have to take its border case with Venezuela to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).Government’s decision to deposit the signing bonus received from ExxonMobil into a private account is being challenged by Opposition Member of Parliament, Anil Nandlall. Nandlall is contending that Government is in “breach of and contrary to, the letter and spirit of Article 216 of the Constitution of the Republic of Guyana and Section 38 (1) of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act, Chapter 73:02.”At the last hearing on March 13, 2018, timelines were given for the parties to file the requisite documents. Nandlall had to file an affidavit in reply on or before March 26. Thereafter, the applicant has to file the submissions before April 20 and the respondents have to file their submissions before May 11.The matter was adjourned to June 14 for hearing or ruling.
Overseas-based Guyanese Ravindra Bufhraj, also called “Rick,” of Lot X 7 Amla Avenue, Prashad Nagar, Georgetown, reportedly drowned on Sunday, July 15, while jet-skiing in the Demerara River in the vicinity of Coverden, East Bank Demerara.The 46-year-old had reportedly arrived in Guyana with his wife and daughter on July 7, and a family outing was subsequently planned to Santa Mission, Kamuni River, Region Three.This family, along with relatives, travelled to Jettoo’s Sawmill wharf at Block ‘Y’ Coverden, EBD on Sunday, where they joined a speed boat which took them to an Amerindian reservation. They reportedly returned at about 17:00h.Wanting some more fun, Bufhraj and a friend mounted a jet-ski and went for a ride in the Demerara River. Bufhraj reportedly lost control of the jet-ski a short while after, resulting in both men falling into the Demerara River. Upon realising what had taken place, several persons rushed to their rescue with a boat. Unfortunately, only the friend was rescued, there was no sign of the overseas-based Bufhraj.Panting for breath, the rescued man was rushed to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre, while a search was launched to find the missing Bufhraj. After several hours of looking, the search party came up empty-handed.The search continued on Monday, but up to late that evening, the body was yet to be recovered.
Bagotville fatal accidentD Division Commander Edmond Cooper has confirmed that 20-year-old Trevon Callender who was injured in the recent accident at Bagotville, West Bank Demerara (WBD) remains hospitalised in a serious condition.Dead: Dan BatsonCallender was the pillion rider on 18-year-old Dan Batson’s motorcycle which collided with a motorcar head-on resulting in the two being flung into the air on the Bagotville Public Road just outside Batson’s home on Wednesday evening. Batson was said to be turning into his residence.Batson lost his life while Callender was pitched into a nearby trench and rushed to the hospital in a critical condition. According to reports, the duo was proceeding on motorcycle CJ 2217 without headlamps at about 20:30h when they collided with the car HC 3870. The driver of the car has been identified as a 24-year-old Sisters Village, WBD resident who was reported to be a known speedster. A breathalyser test conducted on him reportedly showed no trace of alcohol.When Police had taken the driver the retrace his recollection of what transpired, drama unfolded as several of Batson’s relatives gathered, some of whom witnessed the accident and demanded that Police conduct a “proper investigation”. Batson’s 17-year-old cousin was identified as the principal eyewitness.