The recent group draw for the Copa Centennial coming up in June, which pits Jamaica in a preliminary group up against Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela, has ignited pleasant memories of the Reggae Boyz sojourn in last year’s Copa America in Chile, where they narrowly lost all three games against top calibre teams Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, with the general consensus being that not only were they not disgraced, but they represented and performed quite well.There were, however, some fundamental mistakes made in that run at the Copa America, followed by their run in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, where they historically got to the final.However, the very next game they played after than run was the crucial first round World Cup qualifier at home against lowly Nicaragua. Three of our key players; Wes Morgan, Jobi McAnuff and Gareth McCleary were missing in action, injured and or fatigued. Jamaica went on to lose that game after going down 3-0 and were on the brink of World Cup elimination at the very first hurdle.This was absolutely poor and naive resource management by coach Winfred Schafer and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF). World Cup qualifying must be the priority with every other game and or tournament serving as part of the preparation process.Schafer basically ran the players into the ground at the Copa and the Gold Cup and subsequently turned out a weakened and jaded team for the first round of World Cup qualifying. Older players such as Morgan and McAnuff were overused and overworked in those tournaments with conventional football wisdom suggesting that was gross mismanagement on the part of Schafer, as these were key players to the team’s success and should have been handled with ‘kids gloves’ and deployed instead in tip-top shape in the high priority World Cup qualifying assignments.local based playersI have long advocated for the systematic infusion of our best young local based players into the national senior set-up in order to create a wider pool of players overtime for exactly these types of circumstances.If that philosophy was pursued with conviction and the belief that there are qualities that local based players can bring to improve the senior team and the very best of players were being exposed and invested in over the past two or three years, those players would be better and more complete players today and better prepared for international duty.With the clear and present danger of fixture congestion and overwork issues with the overseas-based players, in addition to the understandable injury and fatigue concerns from the clubs of these players, Schafer really had no choice but to finally select a local core of players all be it very late in the proceedings. If, however, as I suspect he does not truly believe in the quality of the local players, then he will hardly deploy them as he should, which would leave us very much back at square one with himself and Captain Horace Burrell more than likely heading off to England to continue begging unwilling mediocre players to become a part of Jamaica’s player pool.It would be far better for the development of our football if Schafer, even if his hands were forced by circumstance, learns to value, respect and believe in the quality of the best of our local players. There is no doubt in my mind that as we venture into this crucial year of football, that we can get quality playing minutes from some players based right here in Jamaica.My understanding is that Schafer will be paid his overdue salaries in very short order and these are the crucial crossroads and the big decision moments in which he should earn every single dollar of that salary.
South Korea’s Jo Su Sie 16), of the combined Koreas team, hugs South Korea’s goalie Han Dohee (20), of the combined Koreas team, after the classification round of the women’s hockey game against Sweden at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. Sweden won 6-1. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)GANGNEUNG, South Korea — They cheered. They cried. They hugged. They watched as fans by the thousands shouted, “We are one.” Unification flags for the two Koreas, longtime rivals and sometimes bitter enemies, flapped across the Olympic arena.And now they go back home, quite possibly never to see each other again.ADVERTISEMENT Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ LATEST STORIES The team was formed just days before the Pyeongchang Games began during an eleventh-hour push by the two Koreas to improve ties after a year of spiking nuclear tensions that triggered fears of a war on the Korean Peninsula.The team’s makeup was a key part of agreements the Koreas struck to cooperate in the Olympics, which eventually provided a breather from a nuclear standoff involving the North, the South and the United States.Despite initial worries about their teamwork, North and South Korean players were seen getting along with each other. There were many small moments of warm relations that seemed to improve as the games went on.During Tuesday’s classification round game against Sweden, the Korean team played with newfound pace and more confidence against a team they were earlier routed by 8-0 in a preliminary-round match. On Sunday, they lost 2-0 to Switzerland, which beat them 8-0 in their landmark debut match. The Korean team lost 4-1 to Japan its final preliminary-round match.The Koreas’ improving performances were likely because players gradually got over nervousness and pressures from the spotlight.Every minor interaction between North and South Korean players was in the news because it was so extraordinary. They took selfies, visited a beach and created a dictionary to overcome the North-South dialect divide.“We have really enjoyed working with the North’s players and coaches and we really do want to help them in the future,” Murray said. She said a possible “exchange game” has been discussed to maintain the connection.“They want to get better, they want to keep learning from us and we want to help them,” she said. “And there are things that we can learn from them, too.”The team’s formation raised hopes that Olympics-related warming gestures could transcend beyond sports and contribute to easing nuclear tensions.But it is unclear if the good mood will last after the Olympics end, particularly since Seoul and Washington are set to kick off delayed springtime military drills that Pyongyang views as a rehearsal for invasion. Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award The Korean women’s hockey team, which included players from both North and South, ended its historic Olympic run on Tuesday with a fifth straight loss but a host of unforgettable feel-good sparks.Team Korea was defeated by Sweden 6-1 in a seventh-place match in the Pyeongchang Games on Tuesday, a healthy crowd again on hand to cheer them on.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkThe team lost by a combined score of 28-2 in its games and was rarely competitive. Yet the repeated defeats were, for many, insignificant. Instead, this notion dominated discussion: the significance of the Koreas’ first-ever joint Olympic squad taking the ice smack in the middle of an abrupt, now ongoing reconciliation between the rival Koreas.“They are an amazing group,” said the team’s Canadian coach, Sarah Murray, who wept while hugging some of her squad. Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano GALLERY: Barangay Ginebra back as PBA Governors’ Cup kings View comments D-League: Che-Lu-San Sebastian whips Go for Gold for back-to-back wins UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano “I could have never imagined our players being this competitive in the Olympics,” Murray said after the game. “So when I was standing there I was just so proud of them, just watching them skate around and salute the fans.”South Korean forward Kim Heewon wiped away tears as she and teammates waved to cheering fans during a standing ovation. Some spectators wept as Korean players — North and South — stood in a circle at the center of the rink and hit the ice with their sticks in a post-game ceremony before leaving the rink.“It’s been a special opportunity to get to know those girls, and we’ll miss having them around,” said player Randi Heesoo Griffin of Cary, North Carolina, whose mother is South Korean.The two governments bar their citizens from visiting each other’s country and exchanging phone calls, letters and emails. Griffin said she understood that when it came to staying in touch, “there’s some barriers to that, obviously.”“I mean, none of them have Facebook, so might be hard,” Griffin said. “But there were definitely bonds that were formed. And I think if we end up playing against each other again, South Korea vs. North Korea, there’s definitely going to be some hugs and some smiles.”ADVERTISEMENT Joo Moon-sook, a 43-year-old who attended the game Tuesday with her husband and 12-year-old daughter, said the joint team’s Olympic appearance has helped soften South Koreans’ hawkish views on North Korean people after years of animosity.“It’s an educational experience for children, letting them see for themselves that North Koreans aren’t scary and bad people, but part of who we are as a nation,” Joo said. “I can’t forget the first game — the moment they stepped onto the ice. I was choking with tears.”For South Korean goalie Shin So Jung, the opportunity to experience such a moment from the inside — and appreciate it while it was happening — was unforgettable.“Our win-loss record isn’t good, but I hope we brought them joy and heartfelt moments,” Shin said. “I don’t think I will experience anything like this again. So many people came here to see us and cheer for us. I hope their love for us lasts.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Sea turtle trapped in net freed in Legazpi City
The launch of the 3rd annual Letterkenny Trad Week, which takes place from January 20th to 30th, 2017, was held at An Grianán Theatre yesterday.The event goes from strength to strength each year and the 2017 festival has an expanded programme featuring five great concerts, music workshops and artists-in-residence The Rheingans Sisters from England.A brilliant series of folk and traditional music concerts includes performances by some of the world’s leading musicians including: Billy Bragg and Martin & Eliza Carthy from England, Julie Fowlis and Kris Drever from Scotland, Na Mooneys, Lynched and No Crows from Ireland and Joe Henry and Special Consensus from America. All concerts start at 8pm and tickets can be booked at An Grianán Theatre on 00353 74 9120777, or online at www.angrianan.comTickets for RCC concerts are priced €12 / €10 concessions, Martin & Eliza Carthy is €20 and Billy Bragg & Joe Henry is €25. Trad Week not only sorts out any January blues you might have but with a special Pre-Christmas Early Bird Offer, of all 5 concerts for €60 only, it also provides a great option for Christmas presents (offer ends December 23rd).Letterkenny Trad Week is organized by Donegal County Council Regional Cultural Centre and An Grianán Theatre, in association with Earagail Arts Festival, Donegal Music Education Partnership, Music Network and media partner Donegal News.Regional Cultural Centre Concerts Letterkenny Trad Week kicks off with three concerts at RCC Letterkenny.There’s a blistering double-bill with classic US Grammy nominated Bluegrass band Special Consensus and the first Letterkenny visit by Sligo’s dynamic folk orchestra No Crows on Friday January 20th.Leading Scottish outfit Lau’s frontman Kris Drever teams up with the exquisite Hebridean singer Julie Fowlis and two of Ireland’s leading traditional musicians Aoife Ní Bhriain (fiddle) and Padraig Rynne (concertina) as part of a Music Network organised Irish Tour on Sunday 22nd.There is another incredible double-bill on Friday 27th with leading Donegal traditional music family group Na Mooneys, featuring sisters Mairéad and Anna Ní Mhaonaigh, their brother Gearóid and his son Ciarán, and the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards winning Rheingans Sisters from Sheffield.An Grianán Theatre Concerts The final two Letterkenny Trad Week concerts take place in the wonderful surroundings of An Grianán Theatre.The ‘A Family Affair, Gala Concert’ on Saturday January 28th features an amazing line-up of Martin & Eliza Carthy, Lynched, Rheingans Sisters and young local musicians Coirm.Martin Carthy ‘the greatest English folk song performer of them all’ (Q Magazine) and his twice Mercury nominated daughter Eliza, will be joined by brothers Lynched ‘the most convincing folk band to come out of Ireland in years’ (The Guardian), 2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Winners (Best Original Track) and Folk Award Nominees (Best Newcomer), the Rheingans Sisters and Coirm, the wonderful young ensemble from Letterkenny’s Ceol na Coille traditional music school.The final concert on Monday 30th features Billy Bragg & Joe Henry. In March this year Bragg and Henry, boarded a Los Angeles-bound train looking to reconnect with music inspired by the railroad. On this ‘Shine A Light’ tour, they’ll be playing songs from that journey, along with favourites from their own considerable back catalogues.Launch of Letterkenny Trad Week 2017 hits the right note was last modified: December 13th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegallaunchLetterkenny Trad Week