Piutau roots not forgotten Piutau roots not forgotten

first_imgThe 25-year-old could now be at the peak of his powers and dominating the international game while continuing to wear the silver fern with pride, however, it’s a far different path which he is now travelling.The decision to leave NZ and play overseas is going to reap mighty financial benefits for Piutau, a talented and powerful outside back who will become the sport’s first million-pound man when he leaves Ulster at the end of the season to join Bristol.But despite all the attention that that very public contract figure brings, the former Auckland and Blues utility doesn’t seem phased by the prospect, and remains a humble figure who has certainly not forgotten his roots. In an interview with The Guardian, Piutau explained how his original decision to shift away from representing his country – for whom he managed a perfect record, with 17 wins from 17 tests – was an extremely tough one, but at the same one that he was certainly willing to take up for the good of his family.He admitted there was some ache of missing the All Blacks when he first moved overseas, but now he has got used to being a fan.”I really had to see the bigger picture,” he said.”When I was in New Zealand it felt like the All Blacks were everything. It felt like you were going to play forever. You felt invincible. But, taking a step back, you realise it’s such a short career.”For me, what really hit home was remembering everything my parents had done for me and my siblings. They left Tonga for New Zealand to give us better opportunities. And for me, coming here, I had the same chance to do something similar for my family.”Piutau is the youngest of 10 children who grew up in Mangere. Five girls came first, then the five boys, who “lived in the garage”.”We had three beds and a couple of bunk beds,” Piutau said.”I guess they were hard times but it never felt like that. It speaks volumes for my parents that I never thought ‘I’m still hungry’ or ‘I need clothes.’ But you look back at 12 people needing to be fed and you think: ‘How did they do it?’ I just take the positives – the love they showed and the discipline they taught us.”Piutau’s two-year deal with Bristol – who are a long way from test rugby, currently playing in the second-tier of the English setup – is one that highlights the growing trend of players choosing clubs over country, and which could further diminish the international game, and he looks back on his All Blacks career with absolute fond memories.When it ended, it did so in abrupt fashion, and it was the hardest point in his career.”It was another dream to play in a World Cup – and falling short was tough,” Piutau said.”But the Ulster offer came out of the blue. I was counting on my agent agreeing a contract with New Zealand and he had to tell me about Ulster the night before we were meant to finalise things. I was like: ‘You’ve got to give me two weeks to think about this.’ I wasn’t thinking of coming overseas.”After being relieved to earn a short-term deal at Wasps, alongside brother Siate, who he will reunite with at Bristol, Piutau got into the swing of the northern hemisphere game, and notes it isn’t as far removed from the southern hemisphere style as many think, in fact labelling the quality as equal.With former team-mate Steven Luatua and past coach Pat Lam to be familiar faces at Bristol that was a big pull, as of course was the money. But for the right reasons. “I speak to my dad about his early struggles when he moved to Auckland,” Piutau said.”He’d be working three different jobs – labouring and taxi driving. It was really hard for my parents but we’ve come a long way and one of the best feelings is knowing that my family are happy and secure. They’re proud of what I’m doing and where I am.” Photo: ANTHONY PHELPS/REUTERS (Caption: Charles Piutau had a perfect record with the All Blacks – 17 tests for 17 wins – before deciding to head overseas)last_img read more

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Tony Williams’ last chance with the club he loves Tony Williams’ last chance with the club he loves

first_imgKid from humble beginnings makes it in the big time. Makes big money. Achieves big things. Everything about the man they dubbed “T-Rex” was big.”I was young and things were going good,” Williams remembers.”I thought everything was always going to be all right. I was on top of the world.”But like many before him, the fame and fortune began to take its toll. He crumbled under the heavy burden of expectation. And the criticism only grew louder.”I’ve got a lot of regrets,” Williams told NRL.com as he continues his comeback from an ACL injury.”I didn’t handle myself right.– making Australia and that. But to be the best, you have to stay consistent and I didn’t do that.”Williams talks about how he wasn’t ready. How “it happened too quick”.As a teenage wrecking ball at the Parramatta Eels, Williams left his junior club for the high life on the northern beaches, agreeing to a deal with the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.It is there, in a winning team surrounded by players with a winning mentality, Williams developed into one of the most destructive forwards in the Telstra Premiership.The rep honours came. Origin. Australia. And so too did his big pay day, following coach Des Hasler to the Bulldogs on a mammoth deal.”It all happened quick, playing for Australia and Origin at a young age – it probably got to me,” he admits.”Which happens to a lot of players … Having to hold expectations of what I did at Manly and what I was going to do for the [Bulldogs] – it just got to me. Pressure, and stuff like that. But I have no excuse.”He had a short-lived stint at the Cronulla Sharks last season but now he’s come back to where it all began. Back to Parramatta. The club he has “always loved”.But he also comes back trying to prove he is not damaged goods. Williams knows this is his last chance.He’s coming off a season in which he played just one game from the bench at the Sharks before a knee injury playing for Tonga in the mid-season Pacific Test ended his campaign.He was on the NRL scrapheap, trying to find a way back to right the wrongs of a career littered with regret.Enter Brad Arthur and the Eels.”I’m surprised he took me in,” a brutally honest Williams said.”The last couple of years haven’t been my best and I’ve been injured most of the time. I think I’ve played something like close to 30 games in three years. It was a big risk for him. And I’m grateful he’s willing to take the risk with me. I’m willing to pay back his faith. I think he’s confident that he will get me there. I think we had a bond in that way.”I’m lucky enough that I have done what I did in the past. I think they based it on what I did in the past. If anyone can get me back I believe Brad Arthur will get me there. I’m in a good place. I’m happy. I’m happy to be back and be around the boys. If I’m happy off field, my job on the field will be a lot easier.”There’s a common frustration from fans in regards to Williams.Many struggled to comprehend why a man with such a colossal frame didn’t just run off the back fence. Give himself some room, and just run.”The game is more than that. It doesn’t matter how big you are or small you are,” Williams said.”It’s about how you go about things on the field. If it was based on size, all the big players would be the best in the world, wouldn’t they? Look at JT and Cameron Smith – are they the biggest players?”Most have also written off any chance of Williams returning to his former glory.But the man himself isn’t short on confidence, gaining a far greater appreciation for the opportunity that has been presented to him because of what he has endured throughout a tumultuous career.It’s why he is adamant he isn’t just taking a walk down memory lane at the Eels, confident he can return to his best.”I truly believe I can,” he said.”If I can get this knee right, I should be right. I’m hoping I can get a trial in. Depending on how I go from now until February will give me that timeline.”I’ve been in first grade for 10 years. It’s flown. I’m not getting younger. It’s happened so quick. The beauty of it is I can change things. I get a chance to do my best again for the team and do the best for me and my family. It possibly will be my last chance. I’ll make the most of it for myself and my family.”last_img read more

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SBW sees positive signs for Toronto SBW sees positive signs for Toronto

first_imgThe New Zealand great, who began his professional rugby career with the Canterbury Bulldogs, switched codes again last year when he left the Blues to join Toronto ahead of their inaugural Super League season.Twice a World Cup winner with the All Blacks, Williams was unable to help the Wolfpack avoid a 28-10 defeat to Castleford Tigers in their opening match of 2020.The 34-year-old came closer to victory on Saturday as the Canadians fought back to level their match with Salford Red Devils at 16-16, only for late tries from Dan Sarginson and Niall Evalds to inflict another defeat.However, Williams is positive about the team’s progress and feels as though he is becoming more accustomed to playing rugby league again.”As a team, we’re definitely improving, which is the main thing,” Williams told Toronto’s media channel before heading to New Zealand for the birth of his fourth child.”There was a lot of… people would say mistakes but, for us, we look at it as learning. We went out there and we fixed a lot of those wrongs we did last week.”Individually, last week I was happy to get out there and get some minutes under my belt, but I felt like I played like a rugby union player trying to play rugby league, whereas this week I felt like I played like a league player. I’m happy.”Williams went on to urge the Toronto fans: “Stay with us. Although we didn’t get results in the past two weeks, we’re building.”I’ve been involved with a lot of clubs, a lot of franchises and the chemistry within this team is right up there.”We’ll keep working hard and hopefully we start stringing some wins together.” Photo Getty Images Caption: Sonny Bill Williams of Toronto Wolfpacklast_img read more

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Spaniards around the world: Dani Ramírez, Borjas Martín, Víctor Ruiz … Spaniards around the world: Dani Ramírez, Borjas Martín, Víctor Ruiz …

first_imgIn Portugal we find one of the great nonsense of the day. The Famalicao, great revelation of the NOS League, fell 0-7 against Vitória de Guimaraes, who had no mercy with the team of Álex Centelles and Toni Martínez. Those of Vila Nova, who played with a player less since 23 ’for the expulsion of Anderson, lost the opportunity to finish the day in third position.Yes it is third the Honka, which rose to the third place of his group in the Suomen Cup thanks to a goal from the Canary Borjas Martín In the discount. Those of Espoo, who started the competition with a draw and a defeat, achieved their first win of the season and in the next day will be measured at TPS Turku.He also suffered to take the three points St. Gallen, who had to play the last minutes of his game against Servette with one player less after the expulsion of Valencian Victor Ruiz. Those of San Galo prevailed thanks to a goal from Itten and continue to lead the Swiss First Division with the same points as the Young Boys. Jordi Quintillá, who also started, played 90 minutes in the midfield of Peter Zeidler’s.Tables in the Costa Rican classicThe weekend also left Spanish protagonists in America. Without going any further the Alajuelense of the sports director Agustin Lleida he reaped a home draw in the Costa Rican classic against Saprissa. The Guabirá of Bruno Easter, which ended with a streak of three consecutive losses 2-1 imposing Bolivar at the Opening of Bolivia.In Nicaragua he highlighted Pablo Gállego, who opened the scoring in the visit of his club, Managua FC, which was his first team in the Central American country, Real Estelí. The confrontation between two of the teams called to play the Clausura ended with a 0-2 visitor victory. After reaping three victories and one defeat in the first four days, Gállego’s team is second.It is also second, although in Mexico, the Pumas de Michel Gonzalez, which beat Atlético de San Luis 4-0 and is the only team in the MX League that after five days still does not know defeat. “It has been a more complex game than the result reflects,” said the Spanish coach after the meeting.In Asia, the achievement of the Vissel Kobe of Andres Iniesta Y Sergi Samper, which was proclaimed champion of Supercopa in Japan after defeating Yokohama Marinos in a round of agonizing penalties in which there were up to nine consecutive failures. The Mohun Bagan of Kibu Vicuña also lives a great moment, which defeated Punjab 1-0 with Fran Morante, Fran González and Joseba Beitia in the 11th and already accumulates nine consecutive games without losing. The return of the Ekstraklasa (Polish First Division) marked the weekend in code ‘Spaniards around the world’. We also have protagonists in Cyprus, where ‘Spanish AEK Larnaca’ managed to impose itself on APOEL, or in Greece, where Marc Fernández and Fran Vélez signed the goals of the draw between Asteras Tripolis and Aris de Thessaloniki.Poland smells like football againThe return of the Polish First Division marked the European weekend. Santi Samanes, Already recovered from the pubalgia that kept him away from the playing fields since his arrival in Poland, he played his first minutes with Arka Gdynia, who fell at home (0-1) against the Krakow of Rubio López. They also debuted in the competition Carlos Moros Y Samu Corral, Headlines during the visit of the LKS Lodz to the Warsaw Legia. The spring knights came forward in 53 ’, but the leader turned the scoreboard in the final minutes. He signed it 3-1 José Kanté, whose role in the attack of the Vukovic team will be crucial after the departure of Jaroslaw Niezgoda to the MLS.Like Kanté, he also ‘wet’ Jorge Felix -Recently elected best foreigner of 2019 in the Ekstraklasa-, which opened the scoring in the Piast Gliwice victory over Zaglebie. And although he did it with the subsidiary, he also scored Dani Ramírez, whom the accumulation of cards prevented him from playing this weekend with the first team of Lech Poznan. The Spaniard, brand new winter signing of the railroad, will be under the command of Dariusz Zuraw to visit Krakow next Sunday.The Asteras Tripolis-Aris of the 23rd round in the Greek Super League also had a Spanish flavor. Six Spaniards – Dani Suárez, Marc Fernández and Xesc Regís for the locals and Julián Cuesta, Fran Vélez and Matilla for the visitors – were headlines and two of them signed the only two goals of the match: Vélez advanced to Aris in the 13th minute and Fernández matched the light in the 26 ’. Borja Fernández, Albert Riera and José Luis Valiente were the changes of the Asteras in the second half.Also in Greece, although in the Third Division, it is worth noting the triumph of AO Trikala, which won 1-0 against Aspropyrgos Enosis thanks to a lonely goal by the Spanish Diego Peláez, former Teruel, Conquense or Mirandés.In Cyprus it was AEK Larnaca who monopolized all the prominence. The team whose sports management occupies Arnal Llibert managed to defeat APOEL and did it with eight Spanish soccer players in 11: Toño Ramírez, Acorán Barrera, José Manuel Fernández, Román Golobart, Mikel González, José Naranjo, Lluís Sastre and Joan Truyols. It is curious, therefore, that the only goal of the match was signed by Dutch Hector Hevel.last_img read more

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Sheriff: “To think that he was going to score and the responsibility we had has been able to all” Sheriff: “To think that he was going to score and the responsibility we had has been able to all”

first_imgThe Real Sociedad coach, Imanol Alguacil, tried not to show the disappointment that undoubtedly affected him after the first leg of the semifinals of the Copa del Rey against Mirandés and focused on the positive result that will allow his team to attend to Anduva without obligation to trace. “It has not been the best result, but we have won. Of the last seven games we have won six,” said the realistic coach, who believes that the difference with which he will travel to the town of Burgos is “small” but it may be enough.“We know that it will be difficult because the Mirandés has eliminated three teams of the First but if we play as we have done the first half …”, speculated Alguacil, who also said that although he is not “at ease” with this result, he is “optimistic “.Alguacil considered that his rival will also play “under pressure”, forced to come back at home but also to a Real that “came from making great matches and good results in the Cup”, which led many to “think that he was going to score Mirandés and the responsibility has been able with everyone, “he acknowledged.He was grateful for the reception he gave the fans on the way to the stadium, something that “instead of giving strength charged us with responsibility, the team was gripped but with bad game it has won and there have been three very clear occasions to have made more goals in the second time”.He was critical of the “precipitation” of his players, typical of a Cup semifinal, and noted that “no player of the Real has been at his level today, which greatly reduces”, admitted a Sheriff who also valued and congratulated the Mirandés For your good game.The Orio coach brought up that in the previous round his team was able to beat Real Madrid at the Santiago Berbabéu and is not afraid of the return clash, because he sees his players capable of beating in any stadium and any rival.last_img read more

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Sheikh returns 5 months later to meet with the squad Sheikh returns 5 months later to meet with the squad

first_imgWithout prior notice, the owner and president of the UD Almeria, Turki Al-Sheikh, has appeared by surprise today at the Stadium of the Mediterranean Games. The news would not be news if it were not because the Saudi sheikh had barely been twice before in Almeria land, specifically, at the beginning of August, when he bought the Alfonso García shareholding package, and at the end of September, to give the first (and only one) press conference. Thus, Al-Sheikh returned to Almeria almost five months after his last visit. He did it lightning and after a month in the United States, where he has received surgical intervention (several sources point to a brain tumor). Before returning by private jet to his country he has made a stop in Spain to meet with the Indian staff after the worst bump of the Guti era. Both players – some did not know the Saudi – and the red and white coach have chatted with the owner in the room where they usually have breakfast. Among other aspects, the president explained what the promotion to First would report to them.We have not been able to capture images of the maximum shareholder of the Almeria entity, because security officials have limited a perimeter in the municipal premises of La Vega de Acá. The discretion has been maximum, putting the vehicles in the inner track of the Stadium of the Mediterranean Games. Also present at the facilities were scout Darío Drudi and agent Joao Gonçalves, important pieces in the Turki Al-Sheikh project.last_img read more

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Women’s football: the collective agreement celebrates its first month Women’s football: the collective agreement celebrates its first month

first_imgExactly one month ago, professionalization officially knocked on the door of the First Iberdrola. Clubs and unions then signed the first collective agreement for Spanish and European women’s football. An unprecedented milestone in the world that seeks to regulate the contractual aspect of the Primera players, collecting points as important as the minimum wage (12,000 euros gross per year), motherhood or injuries.Several weeks have passed since the staging of the firm, with presentation in the Congress of Deputies, and most clubs have started to deliver on what was promised: adapt the contracts to the conditions set out in the agreement. In total, it has been calculated that 40% of the players in the highest female category will see their work situation improve, with the marked increase in wages as a strong point.As AS has learned, there are no problems to highlight in the contractual adaptation, but the process is being slow, due to the novelty and the doubts that some procedures present for the clubs. It should be noted that all this time will not be lost for the players. The agreement is retroactive, with the date of application of the contracts on July 1, 2019.The main keys of this collective agreement– It will be of retroactive nature, with application date of July 1, 2019. It will end on June 30, 2020.–Extension and ultraactivity. This Collective Agreement will be extended in its entirety for successive periods of a football season (July 1 to June 30 of the following year) if not denounced, by either party, at least three months before the date of its termination or that of any of its extensions. During the extension of this agreement, an increase in the CPI will be established.– minimum salary from 16,000 euros gross per year to 75% partiality of the working day or, what is the same, 12,000 euros. In this line, it also includes compensation for all players who currently have contracts with a partiality or 50% working day, with a mandatory change to 75%. Thus, salaries that are between 12,000 and 15,999 will become 16,000 euros gross per year, applying a linear increase of 2,000 euros in which they are from 16,000 to 30,000 euros gross per year. – Maternity protocol: In the event that a player becomes pregnant, she will be able to access an automatic renewal without a limit in the contract. It does not include any section for breastfeeding.– Seniority Plus: the bonding award would range from 2,000 euros (6 seasons) to 3,500 (9 seasons or more).– The personal scope of application of the agreement: limited to players who are called at least twelve official matches with the first team or, where appropriate, ten games played.– Break of a day and a half weekly and holidays of 30 days a year.– Workday: 7 hours a day / 35 hours a week in semi-annual computation without including periods of concentration or displacement. In the case of home matches, the concentration will not exceed 24 hours, with the maximum period for away matches being 72 hours.– Economic consideration for the player of 15% of the agreed price in case of transfer or image rights (needs the agreement between the parties). In the latter case, it is established that for a player who exploits her image rights in her own name, the amount that the club satisfies her for the use of her image, name or figure for economic purposes will be considered a salary concept.-Compensation for death or disabling injury for any work activity. Regardless of the compensation that may correspond to the professional soccer player or his heirs, as a consequence of an accident resulting in death, absolute invalidity, which prevents him from carrying out any work activity and, provided that such event is a direct consequence of the practice of soccer under the discipline of the Club / SAD, it must indemnify it, or in its case its heirs, with € 60,000 for death, € 90,000 for absolute disability.-Prevention of workplace harassment.-Conciliation of family and professional life.-Measures in case of gender violence suffered by footballers.-Replacement program. The parties will make the best efforts to develop a soccer player relocation program at the end of their sports career.last_img read more

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Suso: “Playing again with a 1% risk is crazy” Suso: “Playing again with a 1% risk is crazy”

first_img* Data updated as of April 20, 2020 LaLiga Santander Suso, Milan attacker on loan at Sevilla, went through Canal Sur Radio’s microphones to analyze the situation in which he finds himself, both personally and as a group. The player from Cádiz clearly showed that his priority is to finish LaLiga, but as long as the resumption of the championship had all the sanitary guarantees: “I would like to finish the League, it is what a footballer wants, matches like the derby came, but if there is a 1% health risk it is crazy to play. I’m not saying that because of Sevilla’s classification, I don’t have any fear of finishing the league, if we were third it would be for something and we can surely defend that position.center_img “It would be an illusion to continue in Sevilla and also do it to play the Champions League, which is the competition the club deserves,” added Suso, who has all the ballots for Sevilla to exercise the purchase option they have on him when the season concludes. Logically, Suso was questioned about the salary reduction that has been made to the first team, something with which he agreed: “For my part, there was no problem in lowering my salary to help the club and the people of the club, in a tragedy putting a grain of sand is the least that needs to be done. “Finally, Suso could not help but regret the moment when the competition’s break came, since the team had regained its spirit and he saw himself being called by Luis Enrique for the international matches that were sighted on the calendar: “It was the perfect time, not for me but for Sevilla. It is true that there was a selection call with Luis Enrique and that he could be in it, because things went well and the team was also fine. “last_img read more

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Chanderpaul, Best, Edwards, Santokie for Masters League Chanderpaul, Best, Edwards, Santokie for Masters League

first_imgST. JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC- Four West Indies cricketers have been given permission to play in the inaugural Masters Champions League (MCL) T20 scheduled to start tomorrow in the United Arab Emirates. The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) announced yesterday that so far No Objection Certificates (NOCs) have been granted to Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Tino Best, Fidel Edwards and Krishmar Santokie. All four players have written to the WICB indicating that they have retired. The MCL is an approved tournament of the International Cricket Council for players who have retired from international cricket. However, the players are still eligible to compete for their respective Franchises in their member countries, regional tournaments and other worldwide leagues. The exception is Barbadian Edwards, who is a Kolpak player, having opted to play for Hampshire in the United Kingdom after giving up his right to play for his member country. West Indies batting legend Brian Lara, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Adam Gilchrist, Kumar Sangakkara, Jacques Kallis and  Andrew Symonds  are also among stars to feature in the MCL. The MCL, which will feature six franchises, is set to run from Thursday, January 28 to Saturday, February 13 in the United Arab Emirates. MCL T20 will showcase 18 matches including the semi final and the final at the Dubai International Stadium.last_img read more

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