UNDER THE NTL SPOTLIGHT 2…

first_imgRelated Filesgary_sonda_ntl_profile_2007-pdf The 2007 National Touch League is Australia’s most prestigious touch football tournament. In the lead-up to the NTL, Touch Football Australia will be profiling some of the biggest names in the game who will be in action at the showcase event.Today’s featured player under the NTL spotlight is Sydney Mets stalwart Gary Sonda. “GS7” has represented Mets in every National Touch League tournament since its inception in 1997.The dual World Cup champion has been a fixture in the Australian Open Men’s team since 2000 and is one of the most competitive players to have ever laced on a boot.Renowned for his intelligent ball playing ability, never say die attitude, leadership skills, and the occasional well-worded sledge, the Mets maestro is passion personified.A player who hates losing a game of marbles, his commitment to the cause and willingness to pay whatever price is necessary to secure victory for his team is legendary. Loved by teammates, and loathed by the opposition on the field, Sonda makes no apologies for his “playing for keeps” attitude in the heat of the battle.By his own admission, he plays hard on the field, but that is where the competitiveness and aggression stays. In the great tradition of Aussie sporting champions, the crafty middle plays hard but fair, and is always gracious and generous in his praise of opposition teams and players who might get the better of him occasionally.He is always one of the first players to outstretch the hand of friendship and have a drink with an opponent once when battle is done.The long serving champion was all set to take a break from the NTL in 2007, post World Cup, but answered an SOS call from his life-long NTL franchise when several other big names decided to rest from the tournament.The New South Wales Men’s Open Captain is one of the best students of the game and his passion for and knowledge of the sport is amazing.He has endured a hectic playing schedule around NTL for the last three years, playing both the Open Men’s, and then the NTL Senior tournament without missing a beat.He has annexed two NTL Open Men’s titles for Mets in 2002 and 2004, and a hat trick of Men’s 30’s titles from 2004-2006.He has had to build on a room to house the trophies that keep coming his way for his dominant work on the field for his beloved Mets at NTL level.“GS7” took home the Men’s Open Player of the Series in 2002, and has won a hat trick of Men’s 30s Player of the final awards in the Mets three-peat from 2004 – 2006.There have been some absolutely outstanding pieces of individual magic on field One at the Coffs Harbour International Sports Stadium on Finals day in a decade of NTL action, but few present will forget one moment from the 2006 NTL Men’s Open final that will be etched in NTL history forever.Despite his Mets team being on the end of a Drumayne Dayberg Muir and Nathan Jones inspired “Shark attack” in the final, Gary Sonda produced one of those moments that just make you stand and cheer, regardless of where your allegiances are.Under the pump to get a quick pass away, Sonda threw an instinctive no look flick through his legs to give his winger a saloon passage to the line to score a crucial touchdown.His side may have gone down to the rampaging South Queensland Sharks, but few present will ever forget Sonda’s inspired piece of wizardry.Click on the attachment and find out a little more about one of the most durable, hardworking, and talented players to have played the game as we put Gary Sonda under the NTL spotlight.last_img read more

23 days agoMan City boss Guardiola: Dinamo Zagreb made it difficult

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man City boss Guardiola: Dinamo Zagreb made it difficultby Paul Vegas23 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City boss Pep Guardiola praised Champions League opponents Dinamo Zagreb after last night’s win.City encountered a stubborn Dinamo defence at the Etihad Stadium, who were eventually unlocked by what has become a trademark Guardiola move.Having worked the ball wide, Riyad Mahrez played it across the face of goal and Raheem Sterling, as he so often is, was there to bundle it home.For the Catalan, it is the perfect way to score and he admitted the visitor’s resolute defending made the goal even sweeter.“We don’t have big headers for crosses,” added the boss.“We play that way for the quality of the players we have in small spaces.“We believe when you attack inside and put a ball wide and people arrive for the cross, that’s the best way to score a goal.“It was really nice, but they defended so well. Even for the goal the defender was there. They were so good.“I didn’t expect them to play so deep, because they didn’t have a shot on target, apart from one or two set pieces.“But what they did in that part of the pitch was so good. They won duels and anticipated all the time.“They deserve a lot of credit. That’s why it was an incredible battle.” last_img read more

Pamela Anderson In Tears Over Plight Of Elephant In India

first_imgMoments after learning about the plight of a young elephant who has been beaten so badly that he sustained an eye injury, Pamela Anderson fired off a letter to Vinay Kore, a member of the legislative assembly of the Indian state of Maharashtra and the leader of the Jan Surajya Shakti Party, from her home in Malibu, California.The blond bombshell with the big heart, who visited India in November 2010, wants the little elephant, named Sunder, to be removed from Jyotiba Temple in the Maharashtra district of Kolhapur and sent to a sanctuary in order to spare him further suffering. Last week, former Beatle Paul McCartney interrupted his Olympics rehearsals to send an urgent appeal to Forest Minister Dr Patangrao Shripatrao Kadam to help free Sunder from his chains.“I am in tears over the plight of the little elephant, Sunder, who you so kindly gave to Jyotiba Temple with the best of intentions. … He is the age of one of my sons, and as sensitive as anyone’s child”, writes Anderson. “Sunder must be rescued without delay. May everyone, including me, count on you, please, to save this youngster?”Anderson’s plea follows PETA India’s discovery that Sunder was being abused by his handler, who has been on the run from police since the group became involved. Sunder, who sustained injuries after the handler jabbed him in the right eye with an ankus (a sharp, hooked metal poker-like weapon), is also confined to chains with sharp spikes and is kept alone inside a dark shed. Lesions all over his body indicate past beatings by the handler.A scandal is growing over the way some elephants used in Indian temples to represent the Hindu god Ganesha are being housed and mistreated. Frequently controlled through beatings and prodded and gouged in sensitive areas behind their knees and ears with an ankus, they languish without veterinary care for even serious conditions, sustain leg injuries and are fed unsuitable food. Many elephants at Indian temples also show signs of severe psychological distress, such as swaying, head-bobbing and weaving – behaviour not found in healthy elephants in nature. Elephants also suffer from a lack of exercise and years spent standing in one position on hard concrete surfaces amid their own waste, which can lead to painful and crippling foot ailments and arthritis.Find out more here.last_img read more

Big Papi Needs More Time To Think

At the beginning of this season, Major League Baseball instituted a new set of rules to make the games go faster. The idea was to limit how often batters can step out of the box during at-bats, thereby shortening the delay between pitches. The Red Sox’s David Ortiz was not happy about these rules and suggested that the changes could harm his performance. As indicated by his temporary benching two months into the 2015 season, Ortiz may have been right.Thus far, the much-discussed batter’s box rule changes have had at most only a minor effect on the overall time of games. For individual batters, however, the impact of the rule has been anywhere from negligible to remarkable. Some hitters already had quick routines and didn’t need to make any alterations. Others liked to step off the plate after every pitch, a habit that the new rules outlaw.The older veterans have been the most affected by the rule change. I’ve shown before that older batters are the players most likely to dawdle, the 39-year-old Ortiz included. From last year to this year, Ortiz has decreased his time between pitches by almost two full seconds, according to Fangraphs.1The Baseball Prospectus numbers are different from Fangraphs’, perhaps because they exclude foul balls and delays longer than 60 seconds. However, both sets agree that Ortiz has sped up. Given Ortiz’s rather vocal opposition to the idea of cutting any time from his routine, it seems reasonable to believe that this was a change the new rules forced upon Big Papi.Whatever his struggles with the clock, Ortiz has endured a disappointing season so far at the plate. Big Papi is currently earning a .289 weighted On-Base Average (wOBA), 20 percent worse than an average hitter in this overall measure of offensive production. This mark is far off his projected performance (.365 wOBA, according to the Steamer projection system) and the worst he’s put up since 1999, when he played in only 10 games.Ortiz isn’t the only veteran slugger suddenly looking helpless with the bat. Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez has gone from tearing the cover off the ball (a .411 wOBA last year) to rarely getting it out of the infield this year (.246 wOBA). Aramis Ramirez has fallen apart in a similar fashion, dropping from .334 to .274. Some of these hitters’ underperformance can be blamed on injuries, small sample size and bad luck, but some of it likely comes down to decreased skill. Hitters over 35 who have racked up at least 100 plate appearances (PAs) have been an underwhelming lot this year, collectively falling .016 shy of their projections by wOBA (on average). To put that in perspective, that’s roughly the difference between the offensive performances of Mike Trout and Brandon Belt this year.Older hitters are always risky and come with the chance of sudden collapse, but last year hitters over 35 with at least 3002This is the same 100-PA cutoff as above, but roughly prorated out to the length of a full season. PAs hit only 3 points worse than their projected outcomes.It’s tougher to figure out whether it’s the rule changes that are causing older hitters to do poorly, though. For all hitters, no correlation is obvious between being forced to speed up and doing worse than expected.3The correlation coefficient is a measly -.025, nowhere close to statistically significant. The lack of a relationship implies that pace may not be the driving factor.When you look at it with regard to specific hitters, however, pace begins to seem much more important.4Here I am using data supplied to me by Pitch Info. Every pitch that’s thrown in the majors has a run value attached to it. If a 1-1 pitch is a strike, it increases the probability of a strikeout happening, and an average 1-2 count is going to lead to .0748 fewer runs than the 1-1 count. If we take those expected run values of each pitch, we can see whether a long delay before the pitch changes the number of runs that come from it.For all hitters in 2014, pitches that were preceded by more than a 30-second delay were worth about .0028 runs per pitch.5This data set does not include the first pitch of each at-bat. Pitches that followed less than a 30-second delay were worse (at -.0052 runs per pitch), but only by a small margin. So there was a very slight advantage to the batter to stepping out of the box or otherwise postponing the pitch.Ortiz, on the other hand, gains an inordinate amount of value from delaying the pitch.For Ortiz in 2014, pitches thrown after 30 seconds gained .0289 runs, whereas pitches under 30 seconds were worth only .0014 runs. The difference a few seconds makes to Ortiz is about three times the value for the average batter. This isn’t a fluke just for 2014: Four of the past five years have seen Ortiz reap great benefits from delaying the time between pitches by 30 seconds or more.Ramirez’s numbers tell a similar story. Since 2011, Ramirez has been building his value from delays that last more than 30 seconds. In 2014, Ramirez added .0556 runs per pitch when time between pitches was long, but he lost .0013 runs per pitch when it was short.We can also contrast Ortiz and Ramirez with younger sluggers. The Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton, for example, is every bit as powerful and patient as Ortiz (if not more so). But Stanton delivers his hits about equally whether the time between pitches is long or short (.0183 for long and .0224 for short). If anything, Stanton does slightly better when there’s less time.We can’t say for sure that the delay between pitches causes Ortiz or Ramirez to do better. But consider that these players are on the older side and are potentially losing the physical skills that made them threats in their younger years. In the absence of the muscles needed to adjust to pitches in the air, these more seasoned sluggers might make up for it with experience. By taking their time to anticipate what pitch is coming next, Ortiz and others like him may be able to guess where a pitch will go before it leaves the pitcher’s hand. In this way, experience can compensate for deteriorating bat speed.That process of educated guessing takes time, Ortiz says. If Big Papi feels hurried or distracted by the umpire (even if he isn’t actually taking any less time between pitches), it could contribute to a reduced ability to predict the next pitch. In turn, that could change hard-hit fly balls to weakly struck grounders, as Ortiz estimates the wrong location of an oncoming pitch.It’s hard to ever count Ortiz out. Many commentators incorrectly predicted his demise in 2009, but Ortiz came roaring back to post a couple of his best seasons in the last five years. Still, Ortiz is facing a new and difficult task: adjusting to his declining physical skills, potentially without having the time to use his most valuable mental skill (experience). Thanks to the new emphasis on pace of play, it’s a dilemma common to many of the elder statesmen of baseball. read more

Lopetegui Real Madrid expect a stronger Roma

first_imgReal Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui expects AS Roma to be stronger than they were last season heading into Wednesday’s Champions League clashLos Blancos will begin the defence of their European crown by hosting a Roma side that knocked out fellow Spanish sides Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in last season’s competition.However, the Giallorossi have only won a single Serie A game this term and currently lie in ninth-place in the league table after four games.But Lopetegui is taking nothing for granted ahead of his Champions League debut.“Debuting in the Champions League gives me pride, responsibility and a lot of enthusiasm,” Lopetegui said at a Press conference.“I won’t explain what Real Madrid are for the Champions League and the Champions League is for Madrid.“Roma knocked Atletico out of the Champions League last season and then eliminated Barca.James Rodriguez, Real MadridZidane hails ‘quality’ James Rodriguez after Real Madrid’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane reserved special praise for James Rodriguez after his starring role in Real Madrid’s 3-2 win over Levante.“I expect a better Roma than last season. We expect to face an intense and aggressive team.”Real Madrid are aiming to win the Champions League for a fourth successive season.Although they will have to make do without star man Cristiano Ronaldo and coach Zinedine Zidane.“We’re focused on the players who are still here and we’re all ready to compete on all fronts,” said Lopetegui.“More pressure after three Champions Leagues? Firstly you must take your hat off to Madrid, their squad and Zidane. There is absolute recognition on my part.“Pressure on me? You have to face each competition with ambition and enthusiasm. Pressure always exists at Madrid.”last_img read more

Jose Gimenez hopeful of Diego Godin stay

first_imgAtletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez has revealed he wants teammate Diego Godin to remain at the club despite speculation over his future.Gimenez is keen to continue playing alongside Godin with Los Rojiblancos for a long time as the veteran defender continues to be linked with A move to Italy.Godin’s contract expires at the end of the current season and the former Villarreal defender has been tipped to join Serie A outfit Inter Milan in July.The 32-year-old, who reportedly rejected a move to Manchester United at the start of the season, has called the Wanda Metropolitano home since arriving from Villarreal in 2010.Gimenez, who’s also a teammate of Godin at international level with Uruguay, is keen to continue learning from the experienced defender.Five players who might struggle at Inter Milan next season Taimoor Khan – August 5, 2019 Inter Milan are going to be a different prospect next season with Antonio Conte in charge and some players are going to find it…There is a lot of talk of team-mates and I want everyone to do well in their careers,” Gimenez said, according to FourFourTwo.“But I want them with me because they are great players and we need them.”“I hope everyone stays, I love them all personally. The club also loves them and will do their best for everyone. I hope Diego is my partner for a long time.”last_img read more

Coast Guard to Make Budget Gains in House Homeland Security Appropriations Bill

first_img ADC AUTHOR The Democrat-led House Homeland Security appropriations subcommittee advanced its fiscal 2020 defense appropriations bill Wednesday that would total $63.8 billion in discretionary DHS spending, CQ reported.“With this bill, House Democrats continue fighting to strengthen our national security while reflecting our American values,” Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.The panel’s draft includes $12 billion in funding for the Coast Guard, $162 million more than in fiscal 2019, and $894 million more than the administration’s fiscal 2020 budget request. A bill summary detailed that the Coast Guard would get $2 billion for procurement, construction and other service improvement.Photo by Michael Darcylast_img

RBIs Reference Rate for Dollar Today

first_imgThe Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday fixed the reference rate for the US dollar at 49.6445 rupees and the euro 65.7995 rupees.The corresponding rates of dollar and euro for the previous day (February 9, 2012) were 49.2895 rupees and 65.5895 rupees respectively.Based on the reference rate for the US dollar and middle rates of the cross-currency quotes, the exchange rates of British pound as against the rupee is 78.3539 as against 78.0992 on the previous day (February 9, 2012) and that of Japanese yen is 63.94 as against 63.86 the previous day.last_img

Easter Shooting Leaves FiveYearOld Boy Injured

first_imgBy Michelle Richardson, Special to the AFROPolice have arrested a man accused of shooting a family of three, including a five -year- old boy, on Easter Sunday.Devron Paul Goodwyn, of the 3800 block of Coronado Rd. in Gwynn Oak, MD, was arrested Apr.3.Devron Paul Goodwyn has been arrested in the shooting of a family on Easter Sunday. (Courtesy Photo)Goodwyn is charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, and the use of a firearm in the commission of a violent crime.According to Baltimore County Police, they received a call around 5:45 p.m. on Easter Sunday for a triple shooting at Cinnamon Circle in Randallstown. The suspect and the victim allegedly had a prior business dispute that led to the shooting, although the nature of that business relationship is unclear. According to police, Goodwyn drove to the home where the 24 year-old victim lived with his 21 year-old girlfriend, and five-year-old son. Police stated Goodwyn then got out of his vehicle and opened fire while the family was playing outside. The three victims then ran and hid inside of an apartment while the suspect fled in his vehicle.All three victims, including the five-year-old boy were transported to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries from the gunshot wounds. There was no attorney listed for Goodwyn in online records. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 27 in Baltimore County.last_img read more

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp 18 ru

first_imgLos Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (18) runs into the end zone for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against Arizona Cardinals at Twickenham Stadium in London, Sunday Oct. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland) Defensive lineman Frostee Rucker (knee/hip) went from not practicing to being limited, while running back Andre Ellington (quadriceps) was again limited.The 49ers’ injury report listed eight players as not practicing, including four starters: right guard Brandon Fusco (biceps), wide receiver Pierre Garcon (neck), left tackle Joe Staley (eye) and defensive end Solomon Thomas (knee); all of whom have now missed two straight practices. Also not on the practice field were tackle Garry Gilliam (knee), defensive tackle D.J. Jones (knee), defensive end Aaron Lynch (calf) and cornerback K’Waun Williams (quadriceps).Running back Matt Breida (knee) and linebacker Reuben Foster (ribs) were both listed as limited. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Another day in padsFor a second straight day, the Cardinals practiced in pads. They had not held back-to-back padded practices since training camp, though if head coach Bruce Arians had his way, “I wish we could practice in pads every day. It’s a crazy rule, because every time we’re in pads we have great practices.”The NFL’s collective bargaining agreement allows for two padded practices only one during the regular season. The Cardinals chose this week coming off the bye and knowing next week is a short week with a game on Thursday.“Today’s NFL, college football or high school football, you really don’t do pads a whole lot anymore. It’s just good to have,” offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said. “You get some banging in, get some technique work because it’s hard really and truly to work on the run game or work on twists in 1-on-1 pass rush without the pads on, but it’s been great. I think at first the guys were kind of hesitant but at the end of the day, they’re professionals and they rose to the occasion, so it was two good days.”Wide receiver depth takes a hitAfter being limited in practice the day before, neither Brittan Golden (groin) nor Chad Williams (back) practiced on Thursday, which could leave the Cardinals thin at the wide receiver position on Sunday. Also not participating in practice was linebacker Karlos Dansby (finger/hamstring), who missed a second straight day of work, and center Daniel Munyer (toe). 1 Comments   Share   Bettcher added they’ve spent extra time in practice working on “winning third down one play at a time.”As far as turnovers, the Cardinals have only forced seven, all interceptions, meaning they do not have a fumble recovery.“The ball just hasn’t fallen our way as of yet,” cornerback Patrick Peterson said.Takeaways aside, Peterson mentioned two other areas where the defense has failed: energy and passion. He believes that has led to too many mistakes, namely busted assignments, through the season’s first seven games.“That was something that we were missing in the last two games for sure and I think now we are well-rested and should be ready to roll the second half of the season,” he said.For Peterson, the bye week couldn’t have come at a better time.“You had the opportunity to look yourself in the mirror and you got to be true to yourself and that is what we were last week. We looked ourselves in the mirror, looked at our scars (and) saw some of the things that was preventing us from being a dominant defense. Hopefully, we should have corrected that, as men, individually,” he said.“We had a great week of preparation this week, probably one of the better weeks I’ve seen since I’ve been here. That doesn’t mean anything if we can’t put it on tape on Sunday. Guys are dialed in, guys are honed in on their assignments. Can’t wait to see the energy and the passion that we’re going to play with come Sunday.” Top Stories TEMPE, Ariz. – Beginning with himself, defensive coordinator James Bettcher, like all the Arizona Cardinals coaches, spent the bye week self-scouting. His defense, especially the last three games, has not been good. And he believes he knows why.Bettcher on Thursday pointed to two areas: third down and turnovers.“Third down, the biggest thing is the rush has got to work with the coverage and the coverage has got to compliment the rush,” he said. “Get a couple of guys running free but you’re not holding up in the backend in coverage or you’re making the guy hold the ball and we’re not getting home. Those are core things on third down.” ErrorOKFree Rate QuoteCall now 623-889-0130 ErrorOK Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Support for Drew StantonAs it would be expected, Cardinals players are rallying around quarterback Drew Stanton, who will make his first start of the season in place of the injured Carson Palmer this week.Stanton is in his 11th season and fifth with the Cardinals.“Drew, he’s proven. He’s won many games for this organization and we have confidence in him,” running back Adrian Peterson said. “He’s had a couple of great days of practice. I remember looking out there today and I seen one ball, like ‘Wow!’ and it was just a beautiful pass.”Over his career, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has played with a number of different quarterbacks, so a QB switch mid-season is nothing new.“As a player, you start worrying about who’s playing right guard and who’s playing running back and who’s playing quarterback, you lose focus on what you need to be doing and I need to be getting open, I need to be winning and I need to be getting separation and I need to be catching the ball when it’s thrown my way. You need to let professionals be professionals and do their job and you need to do yours,” he said.“So I’m not worried about Drew. Nobody is worried about Drew. We all have won with Drew and we’re going to win again with Drew and that’s the mentality that we have.”last_img read more

TDCs board has recommended shareholders accept a

first_imgTDC’s board has recommended shareholders accept a €5.4 billion takeover offer from a consortium of bidders, in a move that lays to rest plans to buy MTG’s Nordic broadcasting and entertainment business.TDC received an offer from Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets and three pension funds – PFA, PKA and ATP – to buy the entire share capital of TDC for an all-cash consideration of DKK 50.25 per share (€6.74).The deal values the company at roughly DKK 40 billion (€5.4 billion) and represents a premium of 25.6% on TDC’s share price as of January 31, prior to announcement of the combination of the company with MTG’s Nordic Entertainment and Studios assets.TDC said the offer is an “attractive valuation of the company” corresponding to a eight-times multiple of 2017 EBITDA and 17.6-times operating free cash flow. The offer was also subject to the previously-announced deal between TDC and MTG not proceeding.“After careful review of our options, the board of directors of TDC believes that the consortium’s offer represents both the most compelling value and the highest transaction certainty benefiting the TDC shareholders. As a result, we have decided to recommend that the shareholders of TDC accept the offer,” said Pierre Danon, chairman of TDC.In a statement the company said that the TDC’s board of directors and executive management remained convinced in the strategic merits in the previously announced combination of the company with MTG’s Nordic Entertainment and Studio businesses.However, it said the board had concluded that the takeover offer provides TDC’s shareholders with a “highly attractive, immediate and secure value” and was therefore its fiduciary duty to recommend the deal to shareholders.TDC said earlier yesterday that the board would drop its MTG plans, which were announced on February 1, if an offer for all shares of TDC was made.The Macquarie group bid represents improved terms from a previous non-binding proposal made by the same buyers last week. TDC’s shareprice dropped by 7.1% over the period January 31 to February 9 after the TDC-MTG deal was announced..MTG and TDC had planned to establish a fully converged provider of media and communications services with a footprint extending across Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.last_img read more