Tag Archives: Sports

Hibernian Ladies’ head coach Kevin Milne has had a “massive impact” since his appointment last month.

Photo Above: Football © derJani on Pixabay

Hibernian FCs head coach Kevin Milne has made the perfect start to his tenure at Ainslie Park, with midfielder Lisa Robertson stating that he’s had a “massive impact” since stepping in.  

Continue reading Hibernian Ladies’ head coach Kevin Milne has had a “massive impact” since his appointment last month.

Sports Desk Round-Up

A round-up of  today’s developing Sports stories:

  1. A survey conducted by players’ union FIFPro into the working conditions of players found more than one third of footballers surveyed in Scotland say they received threats from the stands on a match day.
  2. The FA chairman, Greg Clarke, says he’s not ruling out a cover-up in the football child abuse scandal.
  3. Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson will reportedly hold talks with League One side MK Dons later this week.
  4. England’s cricketers have been beaten by eight wickets in the third Test with India.
  5. Gareth Southgate is expected to be confirmed as England’s permanent manager tomorrow.
  6. Forthcoming Scottish Football fixtures.


The Murray Effect: Securing his legacy

Andy Murra. Source: Ian Dick
Men’s Tennis No.1 Andy Murray. Source: Ian Dick

It’s been little under a month since Andy Murray made history by securing his position as the world number one in men’s singles tennis.

Claiming the title from his rival Novak Djokovic, he became the first British player to reach the top-spot since computerised rankings began in 1973.

On November 6th he celebrated the achievement by winning the Paris Masters  for the first time in his career.

Murray has brought much attention to Scottish Tennis and has had a considerable effect on the uptake in the sport.

Tennis Scotland said:

“Since Andy broke into the top 10 of world rankings in 2007, the number of people playing tennis in venues and clubs across Scotland has risen from around 30,000 to almost 54,000.”

Continue reading The Murray Effect: Securing his legacy

New Coaches – A Boost for Scottish Hockey

(Scottish Hockey)
(C) Scottish Hockey

Scottish Hockey has made its first announcement as part of the Professional Coaching Programme this week. Three coaches have been selected to work on a full-time basis with National League clubs.

The Professional Coaching Programme aims to improve the quality of hockey players in Scotland.

This will lead to stronger National League competitions and result in Scotland becoming more competitive at international level.

After a successful application three candidates were chosen to begin the programme.

Chris Anderson will coach Grove Menzieshill’s men, Sandy Keith will be in charge of Granite City Wanderers’ women, and John McKnight will be coaching men at Clydesdale Hockey Club.

Director of Scottish Hockey, Lee Cousins, believes their appointment will be rewarding in the long term. He believes that this programme will not only benefit players already affiliated to local hockey clubs, but will also help university players dreaming of becoming professionals.

Shaun Miller, men’s hockey captain at Edinburgh Napier University, believes the developments in coaching and a switch in focus to encourage the younger generation are necessary for the development of Scottish hockey

He said: “I think at school level we are missing out on a lot of people, I know at my old school hockey wasn’t anything big.

“They are starting to do it more at primary level but previously if you were not at a private high school you miss out. You almost get forced into the rugby and football background.”

The Professional Coaching Programme was established with the help of Aberdeen Asset Management. Its contribution is the largest ever investment in the development and growth of hockey in Scotland.

These developments are the beginning of Sport Scotland’s “Coaching Scotland 2011-15” strategy. The funding will ensure coaches are financially supported, allowing them to dedicate themselves to the improvement of Scottish hockey.

This is the beginning of a long process for Scottish hockey and the results of the new effort will only become evident after several years.

Miller believes there are already causes for optimism.

He said: “Scottish hockey is catching up. I’ve noticed that Scottish players are getting more recognition at international level. It’s becoming a bigger sport especially after the Olympics.

“For a smaller country we are getting there slowly. We are beginning to be recognised again.”

Audio Interview:

shiv das interview with napeir shaun Miller hockey1st xi captain – shaun miller

Valiant Scotland bows out

By: Al Muthu

The Netherlands survived a minor scare to kill Scotland’s hopes of appearing in the 2012 Cricket World Twenty-20 championships.

Tom Cooper carried the Dutch to a vital three-wicket victory over Scotland at yesterday’s Twenty-20 qualifiers match. Abused by a smattering of injuries within the team, the Scots leaked 50 runs in the last 5 overs allowing a competitive target of 167 to be overhauled with relative ease.
Once again, Majid Haq made Scotland proud. In addition to being extremely miserly, the crafty off spinner accounted for three of the opposition’s top batsman, one of which almost swung the game Scotland’s way. He is currently the highest wicket taker for the entire tournament.
But Haq was forced to lead a lone battle as Australia-born Tom Cooper exploited Captain Kyle Coetzer’s lack of bowling resources. His belligerent 60 off a mere 32 balls included a hat-trick of sixes against second spinner Moneeb Iqbal.
Gordon Drummond, returning for this game after a side strain, teamed up with Majid Haq to cause a small stir. The duo removed three Dutch batsmen including Tom Cooper, in the space of three overs.
In a brave move, the skipper took the responsibility to capitalize on his men’s efforts, but 20 year-old Tim Gruijters smashed him for a massive six over midwicket to throw momentum back in favor of the Dutch.
In a final display of game-losing misfortune, Tom de Grooth miscued a slow bouncer, which flew over the keeper, Craigh Wallace’s head, and became the winning runs. This signalled the end of the Scottish campaign to qualify for the Cricket World T20 Championships later this year.
Scotland’s batsmen have had an impressive tournament. Openers Calum MacLeod and Richard Berrington consolidated with a blistering partnership amassing 59 runs in just 6 overs. Berrington contributed 37 off 25 balls whilst MacLeod became the tournament’s second highest run scorer in the process of notching up his second half century (57 off 42 balls, with two sixes and five fours). MacLeod also holds the record for the second highest score in an innings for his undefeated 104 against Oman.
Preston Mommsen compiled a handy 26 off 19 and Jan Stander (17 off 15) guided the tail end of the Scottish innings to reach 166/6 in their allotted 20 overs.
The Scots sorely missed Safyaan Sharif, their 20-year old hero, whose final against the Americans secured Scotland entry into the playoffs. Matthew Parker and Moneeb Iqbal, were forced to fend for themselves on the big stage and were found wanting. The Netherlands, as a team, shamed England at Lords in the 2009 Twenty-20 Championships and Pakistan in the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Scotland faces Canada today to battle for fifth place in the tournament.

Self-talk in sports helps to improve performance

Talking to yourself is not always bad,
according to a recent study.

Sports and exercise psychologist Dr David Tod, from Aberystwyth University, has found that positive self-talk has beneficial effects in sports performance.

The study suggests overcoming one’s weaker self is not always easy, even if one  regularly engages in sports. Many people often either lack motivation or tend to demotivate themselves and give up too early. Negative self-talk has always been believed to be counterproductive for motivation and success in sports. But “the existing literature suggests that negative self-talk does not impede performance,” said Tod’s report.  He claimed a little chatter with oneself during a run, combined with a bit of self-motivation can help to keep a person going when sports start to become laborious.

Performance benefits were clearly seen for positive self-talk, the team found. The study differentiated between instructional self-talk, which helped to improve technical performance, and motivational self-talk, which  increased strength and endurance. Both types of self-talk were found to positively influence performance. Talking to oneself, the study concludes, is not simply an activity that people regarded as weird do, it’s a common way to interact with oneself and keep oneself motivated.

“Novice athletes may benefit more frequently from the use of self-talk as compared with their skilled counterparts,” said the report. So the next time you’re out playing sports, try a bit of self-talk, it will help you to be more motivated and might even improve your performance.

The sporting week ahead

Scottish Premier League

Hibernian FC vs Kilmarnock- 19/11/11 at 3pm.

Manager-less Hibs take on Kilmarnock at Easter Road in a bottom of the table clash on Saturday. Caretaker boss Billy Brown will be hoping for three points to help his campaign to become full time boss.

Dundee United vs Heart of Midlothian- 19/11/11 at 3pm.

Hearts are looking to halt their recent slump in form with a win at Tannadice. Manager Paolo Sergio begins his five match touchlink ban with former Hearts player Robbie Nielson making his debut for United.

 English Premier League

Manchester City vs Newcastle United- 19/11/11 at 5.30pm.

The two remaining unbeaten teams in the league meet this Saturday afternoon as both attempt to maintain their excellent start to this season.

Swansea City vs Manchester United- 19/11/11 at 3pm.

Alex Ferguson’s boys will be hoping to keep pressure on City when they clash with Swansea at Liberty stadium on Saturday evening.


Edinburgh Rugby vs Racing Metro 92- 18/11/11 at 8pm.

Edinburgh hopes to build on their impressive away victory against London Irish last weekend in front of their home fans at Murrayfield.

McGrady loses game but wins applause

McGrady scored 26 points in his Knicks debut Saturday night, two days after being acquired in a trade. Though the Knicks ultimately fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 121-118, in overtime, it was an encouraging start.

McGrady played 32 minutes and finished 10 for 17 from the field, with 5 assists and 4 rebounds, lifting his teammates and energizing Madison Square Garden said by New York Times.

 With 7:55 left to play, the Knicks trailing by 5 and McGrady on the bench, a pocket of fans began a chant of “We want T-Mac!” Within seconds, the entire arena was booming with the request. When McGrady tried to check in with 6:54 to go — only to be turned back by the referee Ron Garretson — the fans booed in displeasure.“I haven’t felt that good in a while, to really be received that way, to hear those chants,” McGrady said. ”It really gave chills down my spine.”

It had been two months since McGrady’s last game for the Houston Rockets, and 12 months since he underwent knee surgery. He played longer and better than anyone expected including himself.

mandarin speaking

Scots prevail but old frustrations remain

By Shane de Barra                                    

At the end of his first game as head coach, Andy Robinson’s head must have been filled with mixed emotions. His primary aim of acheiving victory had been accompolished; victory over a team that was  until last weekend, ranked above Scotland in IRB rankings, is on paper a day well spent at the office.

But if he looks at the weekend’s 23-10 win over Fiji from a wider perspective, the former England coach will realise that this did very little to inspire the rugby loving public into believing that Scotland may once again be a force to be reckoned with in world rugby.

“That was a very good performance. We’ve beaten quality opposition and we’ve beaten them comfortably”, Robinson stated proudly at the post-match press conference.

But while the head coach will always look to defend his troops in light of harsh criticism, and dear God Scottish rugby has had its fair share of that in recent years, surely Robinson is pushing the boundaries of all that is charitable by describing his team’s performance as “very good”.

The Fiji team that took to the pitch last Saturday were indivdually an ok-match for the Scots on their first run-out of the international season, but as a collective unit their set-up was farcical. Stripped of their best players by English and French clubs who refused to release them for the November series, that Fiji managed to produce a someway competitive team at all is highly commendable.

Here is where we get to the crux of the arguement. Scotland, while not blessed with same resources as other European top-tier nations such as England, France, Wales and Ireland, in comparison with Fiji are, for want of a better expression, “rolling in it”. Training days in St Andrews and international camps are but dreams to the islanders.

In the immediate aftermath of the weekend’s game the buzz (short in supply it may have been) was about the strenght of the Scottish pack and how they managed to destroy the “big men” of the Pacific.

There was some substance to this; the pack wasn’t on the back foot once and the lineout was almost  faultless for the majority of the afternoon. Scotland had been in camp for weeks in the run-up to this game however. How long do you reckon the Fijians had? Well add all of the days Andy Robinson had with his men and divide by the square root of nothing and you still aren’t close.

They say a week is a long time in sport; this may be the case if you are the well prepared, teak-toned unit Scotland aspire to be, but not so on the Fijian front.

There remains hope though that this was a simply a rusty performance against a team that was never really good enough to beat Scotland at home anyhow. Fair comment but if we can only labour our way to victory against the minnows, how is victory over the current pace-setters of the world game ever a going to be a realistic achievement? It seems to be a basic case of believing we can run before we can walk.

The visit of Australia this weekend will be a real test of this currnet side’s mettle. They may have destroyed the Fijians but how they will deal with a side that has for the past number of months, been mixing it up with the Springboks, All Blacks and most recently, the current Grand-Slam champions, Ireland, is another matter. You fear for them really. 

Rugby is a funny old sport though where anything is possible and to be fair to the man from down south he delivered victory from a game that was certainly there for the loosing. But instead of a new dawn, the rain clouds of a time we hoped had passed lingered a little too close for comfort. A good attempt at stealing some Aussie sunshine would go a fair way towards banishing them.

From Athens to Lanarkshire

Picture Courtest of http://www.hamiltonadvertiser.co.uk

By Jennifer Russell

The International Children’s games 2011 will be hosted in Lanarkshire after a joint bid from North and South Lanarkshire Council was successful. This will bring the worlds biggest youth sporting event to Scotland for the first time. Up to 1,500 competitors aged between 12-15 from more than 70 countries will descend on Lanarkshire in August 2011.

In June this year it was hosted in Athens and Scotland is proud to be hosting the next event.

Both North and South Lanarkshire council believe the 2011 games represent a unique opportunity to encourage young people to take part in sport. The hope is that many children taking part in the Children’s Games in 2011 will go on to represent Scotland in the Commonwealth games in 2014.

The first International Children’s Games took place in Celgic, Slovenia in 1968 and more than 40 years later they are still going, growing from strength to strength with each new vision from the each new host.

In a statement to the Lanarkshire Children’s Games Committee, Alex Salmond, First Minister, stated, “We are looking forward enormously… to starting a process of great sporting events in Scotland over the next few years, with the Children’s Games in 2011, culminating in the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and the Ryder Cup of 2014. So from all of Scotland, we wish North and South Lanarkshire well … and we look forward enormously to the Children’s Games of 2011.”

The range of facilities in Lanarkshire are extensive. From new sport facilities being built on the Ravenscraig site which will hold Judo and Badminton events, to the Esporta Health and Racquets club home to the seven indoor tennis courts and 3 outdoor courts, Lanarkshire has a lot to offer.

With the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games in 2014, Scotland’s Sporting calendar is full. We have great events to look forward to that will really put Scotland on the sporting map.

Fighting for a nation

By Darren Shek5/11/09

November the 14th, a date of destiny for the hopes and dreams of a whole nation carried on the shoulders and fists of one man. On the day of his fights crime rates in the Phillipines are next to zero, sports halls and shopping malls erect large screens to show the action and poverty stricken citizens experience hope and joy through every victorious bout. Adored by Hollywood megastars such as Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, and mobbed by hundrerds of adoring fans of all nationalities whenever he makes an appearance. On November the 14th his punches will carry the weight of a nation.

Manny Pacquiao faces Puerto Rican slugger Miguel Cotto in what promises to be an epic and violent clash of titans. Manny Pacquiao coming off impressive back to back stoppage wins over Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton, both of whom had a considerable weight advantage over the Filipino who fought many of his bouts in the U.S.A at 9 stones. Miguel Cotto after coming off a devastating loss to Antonio Margharito will be fighting to prove he belongs at the elite level and will have every Puerto Rican in New York and beyond cheering for him come fight night. If the Filipino southpaw brawler can outwork the bigger man and use his speed to his advantage then a lucrative fight with Floyd Mayweather afterwards is one prospect which will have fans around the world foaming at the mouth. The bout which will be held in Las Vegas should generate millions in pay per view buys and advertising.

For many however this fight will mean more than just bloody entertainment. With the recent floods in the Phillipines which have destroyed countless homes and devastated the lives of millions, this fight will be the light at the end of the tunnel. The victory will lift the spirits of a nation and allow them to forget if only for a moment the pain and misery that surrounds them. Should the outcome be defeat however, the dreams and pride of a nation could be crushed from one sporting event. With every one of his fights being a national event, the pressure could break a smaller man. Manny Pacquiao, with his motto of no fear, is a man who excels under intense pressure. He basks in the limelight and come fight night will be ready inspire the hearts and minds of Fillipinos with every punch and evasive movement. Pinuelo Mastaf, a Fillipino student said ”Of course we hope he wins, he makes us all proud. With Manny our country has something to show the world the power of our people.”

Miguel Cotto the underdog has not said a bad word about his opponent and both mild mannered individuals will be letting their fists do the talking on November the 14th. The world will be waiting for the outcome, and whoever emerges victorious from the ring which has destroyed so many will be toasting with a country.

Manny dismantling Oscar De La hoya

Time Running Out For Keane

Simon Crosbie

Darlington 2-1 Shrewsbury. It may not have been one of the most glamorous fixtures in the weekends football calander but the result was a significant one.  Darlington, the club bottom of the Football League recorded their first win of the season on Saturday, meaning that Roy Keane’s Ipswich Town are now the only team in England still without a win this season.

Roy Keane arrived at Portman Road not just with a big mouth but also with a big reputation. When Keane took over at Sunderland the team were languishing second bottom of the Championship but by the end of the season – under Keane’s guidance – the club had secured not only promotion to the Premiership but also the Championship title. Keane was a hero. Things eventually turned sour at Sunderland however. Keane spent millions on players who could only be described as “Fucking bollocks” as ‘Keano’ would say (Paul McShane anyone?), results began to suffer and rumours of fallouts between Keane and several of his first team squad surfaced and Keane and Sunderland eventually parted company in December 2008.

In April 2009 Roy Keane was appointed as Ipswich Town’s new manager replacing Jim Magilton. Famous for his brutal honesty and no nonsense approach, Keane seemed an ambitious appointment and Ipswich fans were quietly confident for the future. Keane made a promising start winning his first two games in charge, Ipswich’s final matches of the season, including an impressive 3-0 victory away to Cardiff.

Unfortunately for Ipswich that has been as good as it ever got. Despite being tipped by many for promotion during the pre-season predictions, the club are now the only team in England without a win after 12 league games and are suffering their worst ever start to a season in their history.

Fans have lost patience and Keane has already recieved the dreaded “vote of confidence” from Ipswich’s chairman and owner Marcus Evans. Once again Keane has spent big on mediocre players (a combined £2.7 million for Carlos Edwards and Grant Leadbitter from Sunderland, £1.7 million on Tamas Priskin and another £600,000 on Jon Stead plus several others). Big money in terms of the Championship.

According to the manager Ipswich are, “making progress”, and in fairness there were signs of improvement in Saturdays draw with Swansea, however in football managers are judged by results. If they do not win games then they will pay the price and end up looking for another job.

The ‘Tractor Boys’  face Watford in a crucial match at Portman Road tonight. Ipswich may be bottom of the league on just 6 points and without a win after 12 matches, however only league leaders West Brom have had more attempts on goal this season. Unfortunately for The Tractor Boys though they have the worst defensive record in the division. It is clear to see then where their problem problem lies.

For Ipswich’s sake, we can only hope Roy Keane isn’t too busy walking his dogs to do something about it.

Meadows marathon madness

courtesy of Henmiker.org
courtesy of Henmiker.org

By Stewart Primrose

It was a sports fest this weekend for sports fans, but with more than just rugby and football to indulge on. Keen runners were able to take part in the third Meadows half marathon in Edinburgh.

It is the only sporting event due to be held in the Meadows this year, due to concerns over the condition of the grass.

Joggers must run seven laps of the famous park, with may runners taking to opportunity to raise money for charity while serious competitors challenge for the top places. While runners are free to chose their own charity, five organisations have close links with the organisers, including Four Square and Barnardo’s Scotland.

Richard, who dressed up as a condom, took 1 hour 47 minutes to complete the course. He was happy with his time. “I felt okay doing it, but I’m shattered now. Its a good time considering I thought I’d take over 2hrs,” he said.

Listen Here:

Murray Harkness running for the Parkinson’s Disease Society was covered in pink lycra throughout the run. He spoke to Edinburgh Napier News about his experience. “The course was pretty good. I did the Inverness marathon and it was snowing so this was much better. There was some fantastic entertainment around the Meadows.”

The event was created in 2007  by  Paul Hewett and Alex Robertson. It was run mainly by students with 250 runners raising over £10,000 for Comic Relief. With the event proving to be such a success, it promises to be an annual event for many years to come.