21 Sep

New Ireland boss could face Germany

first_img Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney has admitted that, in an ideal world, he would like to have Giovanni Trapattoni’s replacement in place in time for next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Group C leaders Germany – who won 6-1 at the Aviva Stadium in October last year – and Kazakhstan. Delaney told Sky Sports News: “Ideally it would be nice to have a manager in place for the games in October, but that’s not a must because it’s 12 months until we play our first European qualifiers in September. The new Ireland manager could face a baptism of fire in Germany. “It’s important that we get the right man in so we qualify for France 2016.” Martin O’Neill remains the overwhelming bookmakers’ favourite with one bookmaker offering odds of 4/7 for his appointment. It is understood the 61-year-old Ulsterman, who has been out of work since being sacked by Sunderland in March, is open to an approach, while former Ireland manager Mick McCarthy, currently in charge at Ipswich, has not distanced himself from speculation linking him to the vacancy. However, Norwich boss Chris Hughton and Leeds counterpart Brian McDermott, who were both mentioned – along with O’Neill, McCarthy and Roy Keane – by Delaney as prospective candidates in a radio interview on Wednesday, have ruled themselves out. The Keane camp was remaining tight-lipped on Thursday, and Delaney would not be drawn on his chances of being appointed after his infamous departure from Saipan in 2002. Delaney said: “It would be an interesting appointment, but it’s probably inappropriate for me to comment on individuals because if I start talking about one being ruled in or ruled out, that wouldn’t be correct for me. “We are going to get a new manager and that manager’s objectives will be to get us to the European Championship in 2016. “Football, as we all know, tends to surprise us, but I wouldn’t read anything in to someone being a favourite or not being a favourite.” Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert believes O’Neill is an ideal candidate. He said: “There’s no doubt about it, he could do the job standing on his head. No problem. “I’ve always said he’s a fantastic manager and it would be up to him whether he’d want to go into international football or go back to club football. I don’t know but whoever takes him has got a great manager.” Press Associationlast_img read more

18 Sep

Simmons says Windies spirits high despite quarantine lockdown

first_imgMANCHESTER, England, (CMC) – Head coach Phil Simmons says West Indies have shown great character over the first week of their quarantine since arriving here for next month’s three-Test series against England.The 25-man contingent comprising a 14-member Test squad and 11 reserves have been locked away at Old Trafford since touching down last Tuesday, while also undergoing intense training amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.Under the protocols adopted for the seven-week tour, the tourists will be isolated from the public in what have been termed “bio-secure” facilities at Old Trafford and the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.“Training has been going good, it’s been going very good,” Simmons told media via Zoom.“The facilities at Old Trafford are second to none so we’ve been enjoying that. To be honest, the bio-secure [environment] is a little bit similar to what we would’ve done for our training camp so we’ve not had to do much different to that.”He continued: “I think we’ve been good from the point of view that we have everything here so far. The lockdown, as you would call it, has been eased because we all have been locked down for a number of months which ever part of the world you were in.“Now part of the lockdown is coming out to practice in the morning and having lunch and practice in the afternoon and having dinner, playing some games with some of your colleagues. So I think this part of lock down is better than what we’ve had in March, April.“But it’s early days and it’s been very educational because you have some characters here including the captain who keeps everything lively.”The United Kingdom has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, with authorities here recording 296 000 infections and over 41 000 deaths.Unsurprisingly, the public health crisis forced the the England and Wales Cricket Board to postpone the series from last month, and following negotiations with Cricket West Indies, settled on new dates in July.The first Test will be played at the Ageas Bowl from July 8-12, with the second Test scheduled for Old Trafford from July 16-20 and the final Test set for the same venue here starting July 24.Simmons, who resides in England and linked up with the squad upon arrival, said team spirit was high and players were making the most of in-house entertainment.“There’s always dominoes and if you’ve ever been to the Caribbean it’s a highly explosive form of entertainment especially when you’re getting six-loved so that’s been part [of the entertainment],” the former West Indies player explained.“We have a golf simulation centre, we have cards, we have a few things that guys are playing and enjoying themselves and like I say, when you have characters like Jason Holder everyone’s always laughing and having fun.”last_img read more