Tasmania, one of Touch Football’s growth States, will be out to impress at the 18 Years National Championships in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, from 17 – 20 September, 2007. Tasmania’s best young players have been plucked from around the State to form the Boys and Girls teams that will contest the premier event on the National junior calendar. The teams will be mentored by two of the most experienced coaches in Tasmania, John Dowling (Boys) and Deb Button (Girls). Mr. Dowling, who has coached at representative level for 12 years, and socially for more than 20, has been in charge of the Tasmanian 18 Years Boys team for the past four years.He said he was satisfied with the team that has been picked, but said the key to a successful campaign was not to be overconfident. “You’re goals have to be realistic, and we should realistically be aiming to play on the Saturday, which is finals day,” Dowling said. In 2004, Dowling’s first year in charge, Tasmania defeated Victoria and South Australia.“That was a magnificent result for us because everyone expected us to finish at the bottom of the table,” Dowling said.Unfortunately the team couldn’t repeat the positive result, finishing near the bottom in 2005. Last year Tasmania drew with the Gold Coast and defeated the Crusaders and Northern Territory.Dowling was looking to 2007 for better results from his charges.“Our main goal is to play on finals day because in 2005 we didn’t win a game and we actually finished up on the Friday, which wasn’t pleasant.” Mr. Dowling said.The standard of Touch Football in Australia’s island state has improved markedly over the last five years.This is largely due to the introduction of a development program from under-12s to opens, as well as an increase in the amount of people qualified in technical areas of the game.The three major affiliates, the Southern, Devonport, and the Launceston Touch Associations, have provided all players in both the selected sides. Training sessions will rotate between the affiliates to offset the tyranny of distance and minimize the costs of travelling for all. Some players will have to travel as far as 300km to attend some of the sessions. The Girls’ first training camp will be this weekend 16 – 17 June, with the Boys meeting the following weekend. “I’ve got some parameters that I would like the team to achieve. I’ve got a vision for the team as to what I expect, and I’ll actually give the players, in partnership with myself and the other officials, some team goals,” Mr. Dowling said. Dowling will also be constructing individual training programs for each of his players. One of the main objectives of the team will be to gain respect. “We certainly want to finish as high as we possibly can. We’re not going to make the top four or five, that’s an unrealistic expectation, but I’d be confident that we could make the playoffs for the plate or shield finals. I want the opposition to think of us as being highly skilled and disciplined. We’ll play with a high level of intensity and meet all the challenges thrown at us and hopefully earn the respect of our opponents,” he said. The Boys’ side will feature four players that played in the National Touch League Under-20s division in 2006. There will also be a number of experienced players that have progressed from the Under-15 ranks. One of the strike weapons for the Tasmanian Boys team will be newcomer Trent Gutteridge, who has only been playing Touch Football for about 18 months but has plenty of potential. “He’s still learning the game, but he’s exceptionally quick. We’ll be looking to develop him further through our training program,” Dowling said. The girls will be similarly strong. Last year the team aimed to finish in the top 15, and achieved its goal. This year they will be trying to improve on the result.One of the stars of the girls’ team will be 2006 TFA National 18 Years Youth Development Squad member Emily Hudson. This year’s event will be the bubbly Hudson’s third tournament. In 2005, aged 15 and in just her first year of Touch Football, Hudson participated in her first Under-18 National Championships. She, along with current National Youth training squad member Emma Haines impressed all and sundry who attended the Inaugural National Youth Development Training Camp at Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast in 2006.The two “Tassie devils” competed well with their more experienced squad mates from NSW and Queensland, and showed great talent and determination at the Youth Camp to stamp themselves as players of the future. This year Emily is looking forward to taking on more of a leadership role. She said she was excited about the upcoming tournament. “For me the best thing will be seeing the other talent, especially in the NSW and QLD teams. You learn heaps from playing against quality players. For the team it will definitely be about progression for the next two years because we’ve got a pretty young team this year,” Hudson said. Hudson believed the Tasmanian side was definitely on the improve. “We’re a very quick side this year. Even though we’re a young group, we’ve all been playing for five or six years, so we know the game pretty well.” Both the boys and girls’ teams will be busy in preparation for September. When the 18 Years National Championships role around, keep an eye out for the Tasmanian teams and let’s hope they get their wish and extend their tournament into Finals day.
This is Significant Digits, your daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. With Walt Hickey away on vacation — and with the third round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament getting underway tonight — I’m hijacking SigDig today and tomorrow in the name of March Madness. Enjoy! 6 ACC schoolsSix schools in the Sweet 16 — Duke, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia, Notre Dame and Syracuse — hail from the Atlantic Coast Conference, setting a record (at least, since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985). The ACC had tied the previous record of five last season, so at this rate they’ll claim all 16 slots by 2026. [USA Today]24.5 pointsIn their two NCAA Tournament wins thus far, Villanova has outscored foes by 49 combined points, or 24.5 per game — more than any other team in the Sweet 16 field. Granted, one of those games was against 15th-seeded UNC Asheville, but the Wildcats also beat No. 7 seed Iowa by 19 and have exceeded the scoring margin our Elo ratings would expect by 11.8 points per contest. They’ll try to keep that hot streak going tonight against Miami. [Sports-Reference.com]63 pointsOklahoma’s Buddy Hield has enjoyed a season for the ages this year, and it’s carrying over into the NCAA Tournament, where he’s scored a tourney-best 63 points (31.5 per game) on a scorching 73.2 true shooting percentage. But maybe it’s best for the Sooners if Hield doesn’t keep that average up against Texas A&M tonight — Oklahoma was 4-5 in conference play this season when Hield scored 30 or more points, and 8-1 when the Sooner scoring attack was more balanced. [Sports-Reference.com]5 startersEach basketball team has five starters, and in the case of Maryland’s game against Kansas tonight, each Terrapin starter will be taller than the Jayhawk lined up across from him at tip-off. As a team, Maryland has the fourth-biggest roster in the nation, with an average height a good inch and a half taller than Kansas. But will it matter against the skilled Jayhawks? Our model says “probably not” — we’ve got Kansas favored with a 73 percent probability of winning, despite Maryland’s size advantage. [KC Kingdom]109th bestIf defense really does win championships, nobody clued in Oregon or Duke. The combatants in tonight’s late game ranked 43rd and 109th, respectively, in schedule-adjusted defensive efficiency this season, per Ken Pomeroy’s stats. Aside from their 116th-place finish in 2013-14, this year’s Blue Devils have given Coach K more defensive fits than any Duke squad since Pomeroy started crunching numbers 15 seasons ago. [KenPom.com]More than $30 millionWith those aforementioned six entries in the Sweet 16, the ACC stands to make a cool $30 million, at least, from an NCAA cash pool that rewards conferences when their teams go deep in the tournament. Naturally, none of that money will ever be seen by Brice Johnson, Malcolm Brogdon, Grayson Allen, Angel Rodriguez or any of the other players who powered those teams to the Sweet 16. [ESPN.com]If you haven’t already, you really need to sign up for the Significant Digits newsletter — be the first to learn about the numbers behind the news.If you see a significant digit in the wild, send it to @WaltHickey — or to @Neil_Paine, I guess, if you want.CORRECTION (March 24, 5:35 p.m.): A previous version of this article incorrectly described the average height difference between the starters on Kansas and Maryland’s men’s basketball teams. Maryland’s starters are, on average, about an inch and a half taller, not a foot and half.
Ohio State freshman defensive end Chase Young (2) sacks Maryland quarterback Caleb Rowe and forces a fumble during the Ohio State-Maryland game on Oct. 7. Ohio State won 62-14. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThere was a case to be made that Ohio State’s defensive end depth in 2017 was as strong as any in college football. It could even have been the best of the past several seasons.It not only had the 2016 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year in Tyquan Lewis, but also the 2017 winner in Nick Bosa, as well as future NFL draft selections Jalyn Holmes and Sam Hubbard. Waiting behind the four starters were a pair of former top defensive end prospects in five-star freshman Chase Young and four-star redshirt freshman Jonathon Cooper, both of whom spelled the starters when needed.That depth was envious in 2017. It will not be there in 2018.Ohio State lost Hubbard to the draft while Holmes and Lewis both graduated, leaving Bosa, Young and Cooper as the only returning players at defensive end.“We’ll find some guys to play with them,” defensive line coach Larry Johnson said after the Cotton Bowl. “We’ll make some changes. We’ll make sure those guys have a chance to be fresh. We’re a long ways away from that, but I think we’ll be OK.”The concern with Ohio State’s defensive end group will not come from the talent present. Bosa and Young could be a dynamic pairing at the top, potentially the most explosive duo in college football, if the talent they have shown in the past continues in 2018. Cooper will present the Buckeyes with a strong third option in the rotation.And even though Young and Cooper have only part of one season full of garbage time minutes under their belts, they both feel ready to step into larger roles in the 2018 season.“I think we were prepared right now,” Young said after the Cotton Bowl. “But even this spring and this winter and the summer, it’s going to get us, and after all three of those [seasons], man, I think we going to be there. Just watch out.”The depth from there takes a bit of a hit and will remain questionable heading into the season.Since the bowl game in December, Ohio State has a clearer vision of who will be able to provide backup to next year’s starters. The Buckeyes brought in defensive end recruits four-star Tyreke Smith, four-star Tyler Friday and three-star Alex Williams. However, Friday will be making the change from defensive tackle to end while Williams might get a shot at playing tight end in college.Even with the recruits coming in, it seems unlikely any of them will have extended roles. None are as highly regarded as Young coming out of high school. Young appeared in 10 games and had 3.5 sacks while Cooper played in nine games.Still, that playing time proved valuable for the pair. It was given chances to play against collegiate competition — though almost always toward the end of blowouts. Bosa remembers that even when the game was not on the line, the playing time was important for his own development.“My freshman year, I was able to play a decent amount,” Bosa said. “Just get that big game experience. Just get used to the speed of the game. It’s a lot different than high school and you just learn a lot when you actually get in there, you can’t really replicate it in practice.”The recruits could be thrust into playing time due to the lack of depth, but none are expected to have Young’s impact. He demonstrated speed and elusiveness during his freshman season that has convinced the Buckeyes he will be a force when he steps into a starting role for Ohio State.Cooper’s name often gets lost in the shuffle — overlooked in favor of Bosa and Young — when looking ahead to 2018. Cooper did not have as much impactful playing time as Young in 2017 and had just two sacks. But the players all believe he has the chance to be another top option for the Buckeyes when they need relief.“If you name me and Nick, you’ve got to name Coop too,” Young said after the Cotton Bowl. “Coop, his motor is unreal and I don’t think guys have seen a lot of him this year, but like I said with [defensive tackle] Davon Hamilton, you going to see a lot of him next year, you going to see what he brings to the table.”Ohio State is going to have to deal with a lack of depth, but there is still plenty of talent at defensive end. With Young, Bosa and Cooper, the Buckeyes have a formidable trio that should present challenges to opposing offensive lines, just like they did in 2017.“I think it could be the best pass-rushing unit ever,” Bosa said on Jan. 19. “I think it could be a step up from last year just because they’ve really set the bar for us and we’re going to enhance it and just so much talent on this D-line right now, even though we’re young. Some of the best talent that I’ve ever seen, so it’s going to be really good once we get all the chemistry together.”
Ohio State freshman midfielder Talani Barnett (4) scores a goal off a header in the second half of the game against Iowa on Sept. 27. Ohio State won 2-0. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorThe Ohio State women’s soccer team (6-4, 3-1 Big Ten) extended its three-game winning streak Thursday, prevailing 2-0 over Iowa (5-5-2, 1-3-1 Big Ten) at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Senior goalkeeper Devon Kerr continued her scoreless streak, recording four saves against the Hawkeyes for the fifth shutout of the season. In the past three games, she has recorded 16 saves, bringing her total to 42 saves in nine games this season. Ohio State has not won a game without a Kerr clean sheet.Freshmen defender/midfielder Talani Barnett notched the Buckeyes first goal of the night on a header off a corner kick with the assist by sophomore defender Izzy RodriguezRodriguez was not done. She scored the second and final goal of the match on a penalty kick late in the match. “I think our performance was pretty good,” Rodriguez said. “We took advantage of the moments we had and were just going to have to get better for Sunday.”The Buckeyes came off a victorious weekend prior to the match, taking down Illinois and No. 21 Northwestern with two consecutive shutouts. After three consecutive wins, head coach Lori Walker-Hock said she is glad that the team gets to play at home this weekend. “We’ve been on the road so much that there’s a great energy about the team,” Walker-Hock said. “I thought they came out with the right energy, we really pinned Iowa in, got to the end line a ton of times and created a bunch of corners, so we figured out a way to win.”Ohio State was also able to hold a 4-2 advantage over the Hawkeyes in corner kicks in the first half. The Buckeyes return to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium to play Nebraska on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Even after making 10 signings this summer, Rangers boss Steven Gerrard wants “a few” more players, saying “this will be a different team from last year”.The coach say he wants to sign another centre-half during this transfer window to bolster his team’s defence, although he had already signed Connor Goldson from Brighton and Nikola Katic from Croatian side Slaven Belupo.Rangers have had a bid of £200k rejected for Hearts striker Kyle Lafferty, however, Gerrard has refused to be drawn on their interest in the player.“We have tried to add players who are hungry, the idea was to have two quality players in each position,” said Gerrard, according to Sky Sports.Owen reveals why Liverpool didn’t offer Gerrard a new contract Manuel R. Medina – September 6, 2019 According to Owen, the Reds wanted to sell Gerrard two years before he left the club and that’s why they didn’t offer him a contract renewal.“It’s no secret we are still looking to add a few pieces to the jigsaw. This will be a different team from last year.“I can’t speak on last season but the mentality of my players will be there and we will have winners on the pitch and winners on the bench.“We don’t just want numbers, we want quality. We know our targets and who we will go after.”
West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic refused to shed any light on his future at the club after helping Austria claim a 2-1 win over Northern Ireland on SundayThe 29-year-old came off the bench at Windsor Park to assist Valentino Lazaro’s stoppage-time winner in the UEFA Nations League.Arnautovic’s brother and agent, Daniel, suggested last week that a West Ham exit to a Champions League-type club could happen.But Arnautovic remained quiet on his future at London“I don’t want to talk about it. I am concentrated on West Ham,” Arnautovic told Sky Sports.“We have a big game against Manchester City on Saturday and I am only thinking about this game and the following games and what is being said is not my business.Report: Euro 2020 qualifying Group G George Patchias – September 9, 2019 Euro 2020 qualifying Group G, saw Robert Lewandowski draw another blank.What should have been a plane sailing group for Poland, has turned out to…“My business is to perform on the pitch, to put in performances and that is what I want to do.”Despite knee injury troubles this season, Arnautovic is confident he will feature this Saturday for West Ham.“I will be OK,” he said.“Two days in a row was a bit too much but the gaffer asked me to play the last 25 minutes if needed, and it was needed. I am glad I could help.”Arnautovic has scored five goals in his opening 10 Premier League matches this term.
Iran and Iraq tied 0-0 in Matchday 3 of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, and the Iranian team is now ready for the next stage of the competition.Iran and Iraq tied 0-0 today as the Iranian team ended up on the first place of Group D in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.And Iran coach Carlos Queiroz has said that the real competition starts now.“I have no energy now. It was so intense, but it was played in good spirits. There was a lot of excitement in both teams,” Queiroz told The Khaleej Times.“We controlled the game. In the first half, we played better. We created two chances. The second half, it was 50-50. At the end of the day, for the commitment and the effort from both teams, I think the draw was a fair result.”Ali Daei wouldn’t be upset if Ronaldo breaks his scoring record Andrew Smyth – September 13, 2019 Iranian legend Ali Daei wouldn’t be upset to lose his record as international football’s all-time record scorer to the “great” Cristiano Ronaldo.“We played a very good game against a very tough team. My players came out with great character,” Queiroz added.“When it’s necessary to play, they play. When it’s necessary to fight, they fight. Now they must be ready to play the game that is in front of them.”“We will try to be mentally fresh for the next game because now the real Asian Cup starts. From now on, only the team that wins will survive,” the Iran coach said.“For us, our goal was to qualify. After the first two games, we felt that we could be top of the group. Another goal was to give the opportunity to some players against Iraq. We made five changes. All of them showed that they are ready to compete.”
Security forces patrol outside St. Anthony’s Church, one of the targets in a series of bomb blasts targeting churches and luxury hotels on Sunday, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on April 27, 2019.Xinhua/A. Hapuarachchi/IANSWith Sri Lanka still reeling in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday terror attacks, the government has frozen the bank accounts of 41 terror suspects. The suspects are mainly those with alleged links to the National Thowheed Jam’aath, which was behind the suicide blasts on April 21. The blasts had killed over 250 people and injured more than 500. The blasts targeted churches and high-end hotels across the country.PTI reports that the 41 bank accounts have a total of $759,000 while $79,333 was seized from the possession of the alleged terrorists during the time of their arrest.Ruwan Gunasekara, the Sri Lanka Police spokesman, was quoted as saying by Time Online that the 41 suspects are in the custody of the Terrorist Investigations department as well as the Criminal Investigations Department.The CID is also looking into the assets of the suspects which amount to USD 30 million.A state of emergency was imposed on the island nation of Sri Lanka since April 23 and the president, Maithripala Sirisena, extended by another month on Wednesday.The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria claimed responsibility for the attack but the country has not let the NTJ due to its alleged links to the ISIS. The attack’s mastermind, Zahran Hashim found dead in a hotel after the suicide blasts. Hashim was a key operative of the NTJ as well.Two days after the bombings, the ISIS, through its news agency al-Amaq, claimed responsibility for the attack saying that it was revenge for the mosque shooting which took place in New Zealand in March. They said that the bombings were a “bloody gift to you”.
Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /50:33 X On Monday’s Houston Matters: Religious leaders are holding key meetings this week amid newly-uncovered allegations about sexual abuse and misconduct and how they’ve been addressed in their churches.First, the Southern Baptist Convention holds its annual meeting starting Tuesday for the first time since the Houston Chronicle uncovered widespread abuse by hundreds of pastors, employees, volunteers, and missionaries. We hear from a survivor, and from a pair of Chronicle reporters.Then: We talk with a spokesman from SNAP – the Survivors Network of those Abused By Priests – about why that organization wants Cardinal Daniel Dinardo, the Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, to step down as head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which is also meeting this week.Also this hour: Protecting Houston’s seniors from scams. Answers to your dog and cat care questions from veterinarian Dr. Lori Teller. And a preview of the women’s World Cup soccer tournament and its Houston connections.We offer a daily podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and other podcasting apps. This article is part of the Houston Matters podcast Share