Chelsea Ladies boss challenges players

first_imgChelsea Ladies manager Emma Hayes has challenged her players to prove they deserve a regular place when they face London Bees in this weekend’s Continental Cup clash.The Blues should have little trouble dispatching the Women’s Super League 2 side at Staines Town’s Wheatsheaf Park ground on Saturday.But two defeats against Arsenal this season, plus a loss against leaders Birmingham, have given Hayes food for thought ahead of her team’s upcoming return to WSL action.“We know we should beat London Bees although it will be tough and we will need to earn the win,” said Hayes, whose side are top of Group One in the Continental Cup.“But having lost last time out at Arsenal this is a chance for my players to show they deserve to be in the starting XI, not just this weekend but in the big games to come against Arsenal once again and Manchester City when we return to the FA WSL.”She added: “Of course we are expected to win, but I will be watching closely as I expect a reaction from my players following the 3-0 loss at Arsenal last time out.“We play Arsenal twice more before the end of the season, having lost in both cup games we’ve played, and my players need to show me they can find a way to win these big games as until now we haven’t shown we can.“We have underperformed in big games and the players need to remember they are only playing against another shirt – the name of the team is irrelevant. We have shown too much respect and it needs to change.“I have challenged the group to prove themselves and expect a positive reaction against London Bees.’Chelsea Ladies v London Bees kicks off at 2pm at Wheatsheaf Park, Staines. Tickets are available on the door priced £3 for children and £5 for adults, or via www.chelseafc.comFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

2010 media hub at Nasrec

first_imgTamara O’ReillyApart from being one of the host cities for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, Johannesburg will also be the location for the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) where journalists and broadcasters from around the globe will be stationed to broadcast the event.About 14 000 media personnel, including commentators, camera crew, journalists and technical staff, who are expected in the country in the run-up to and during the 2010 Fifa World Cup will use the 30 000 square metre Nasrec Expo Centre, one of the city’s oldest and largest exhibition centres, as their headquarters.The expo centre is located less than two kilometres from the FNB Stadium which will host the opening and final matches of the tournament. The South African Football Association headquarters as well as the Fifa headquarters and Local Organising Committee for the event are located here.A key feature of the area is its strategic location with regard to infrastructure such as transport, roads and the provision of power, water and sanitation. It is situated close to other accommodation facilities as well as to other stadiums which will be used as training venues for World Cup teams.Almost four billion spectators worldwide will rely on this communication hub to broadcast the games in 2010. According to Fifa figures, the final match of the 2006 Fifa World Cup in Germany between Italy and France was seen by 715 million people – an increase of 15% from the previous tournament held in 2002. The IBC set up in Munich broadcast images and reports of the 2006 event to more than 120 television and radio stations in 190 countries to a cumulative audience of over 26 billion people across the world.Johannesburg is already the primary broadcasting hub for international and local television and radio as well as home to almost 60% of all information communication technology enterprises in South Africa.The City of Johannesburg also announced a R120 million investment plan that will see a hotel being built in the vicinity of the expo centre to accommodate journalists and the IBC support staff. Expected to have 500 rooms, the hotel will be completed in time for the Confederations Cup in 2009. In addition, an exhibition and film centre, offices and retail buildings, and an events facility will also be constructed at Nasrec.The expo centre will house the host broadcast services logistics offices, and all South African, Asian and European broadcasters. According to a press release issued by the City of Johannesburg, included in the high-tech facilities that will be constructed at the IBC are satellite teleport and telecommunications infrastructure which will support 40 gigabytes of data per second to be transmitted.“As you know, I am a supporter of modern communication and this IBC will be one of the most advanced centres of information in the world,” said Fifa president Sepp Blatter via video feed at the announcement. “Through a sophisticated network dedicated for this event, it will be linking the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa to the rest of our football family all over the globe. This way it will also create a legacy far beyond the event in terms of telecommunication infrastructure for the country.”The communications hub is expected to add at least R513.7 million in revenue to Gauteng’s gross domestic product and will create more than 3 000 temporary jobs.Useful linksFIFASouth Africa 2010Expo Centre City of Johannesburglast_img read more

Knicks Whomp Nets Again

first_imgNEW YORK — At least the New York Knicks can say they won a city championship.Only the Brooklyn Nets have a chance to compete for a real one — though they’d better play a lot better than this.Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 16 points and the Knicks, playing without the injured Carmelo Anthony, beat the Nets 109-98 on April 16 night to win the season series between city rivals.And in an otherwise massively disappointing season, apparently local bragging rights do matter.“Hell yeah,” Knicks guard J.R. Smith said. “I mean, I’m cool with some of those guys over there, so I can still say something when we’re in the gym this summer. As long as I can say they didn’t beat us that many times, we’re good.”The Knicks prevented the Nets from clinching the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and won their third straight in their too-little, too-late strong finish. Amare Stoudemire and Smith each added 14 points.Anthony had an MRI exam Tuesday that revealed a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He won’t play April 17 against Toronto, the final game of the first season in his 11-year career that won’t end with a playoff berth — and potentially his last as a member of the Knicks. He has said he will become a free agent in July.Marcus Thornton scored 24 points for the Nets, who weren’t sharp despite playing starters Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. The other starter, Shaun Livingston, remained sidelined with a sprained right big toe.The Nets still have a magic number of one for finishing fifth. But they could fall to No. 6 if they lose in Cleveland and Washington beats Boston.“Tonight was an example of how not to take a step forward. We were off our game offensively, defensively, all phases of the game and that’s not how you want to go into the playoffs,” Pierce said.The Knicks would be in the playoffs themselves if they played against everyone else the way they did against the Nets while winning three romps.All four games were on national TV, though none was really worth watching after halftime. The Knicks won a pair of routs, 113-83 at Barclays Center in December and 110-81 at Madison Square Garden two weeks ago. The Nets won by 23 in their lone victory.The overhyped city series didn’t live up to preseason expectations, much like the Knicks. Players from both sides had sparred in the press during the summer after the Nets made their big off-season moves, expecting to battle to be the best in New York and also the Atlantic Division.Well, the division champion isn’t from New York — or even the U.S. Toronto finished ahead of both teams.The Knicks have defeated the Raptors, Bulls and Nets, currently the East’s Nos. 3-5 seeds, in their last three games, and coach Mike Woodson said it was “irritating” that his team would be watching the playoffs from home.“If we had handled our business early on and didn’t let some of the close games get away, we probably wouldn’t be standing here. We’d probably be preparing for playoff basketball, but that’s not the case,” Woodson said. “We put ourselves in this hole and we’re going to have to live with it this summer and then try to figure it out next season.”The Knicks led 29-18 after one and the game got fun midway through the second quarter. Stoudemire had a powerful follow dunk over Mason Plumlee, screaming into the rookie’s ear afterward. Plumlee responded in the best way possible, dunking on the Nets’ next two possessions.Plumlee finished with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds.But Brooklyn never really got into the game, and the only real interest in the second half were some occasional dueling chants between the split crowd. A “Goodbye Melo!” chant from a section of Nets fans was soon followed by a loud “Let’s go Knicks!”(BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more