Chadwick back for unfinished business

RIGHT TIME: Hong Kong jockey Matthew Chadwick relishes the challenge against the top-quality expat riders at Kranji and the warmer weather is a bonus.
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Epson launches tourney for U-15s and U-17s

Inaugural event allows young footballers to enjoy playing and learn from the best

YOUTHS HAVE A CHANCE TO SHINE: (From left) FAS president Zainudin Nordin, Sinad Sports director Bambang Sugeng, managing director of Epson's regional office in Singapore Toshimitsu Tanaka, Sinad Sports chairman Jeremy Chan, Epson Singapore general manager (sales, marketing and customer service division) Tan May Lin and FAS general secretary Winston Lee at the launch of the Epson Singapore Cup yesterday at The Refinery.

Teenage footballers will get another platform to strut their stuff and the opportunity to learn from the best at the inaugural Epson Singapore Cup in September.

Epson Singapore and Sinad Sports jointly announced the launch of the competition at The Refinery yesterday.

The Epson Singapore Cup will take place at Safra Tampines, with preliminary matches on Sept 3 and 4, and the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals on Sept 10.

The seven-a-side tournament will include Under-17 and U-15 categories. The winners of each category will earn a five-day training camp with J.League club Matsumoto Yamaga and a two-day stint with the Valencia CF Soccer School in Singapore respectively.

STAGE FOR TALENTS

"Youth development is an integral element of our CSR (corporate social responsibility) focus in Singapore and around the region - and we believe that the Epson Singapore Cup represents our continuous commitment to inspire and empower our youths," said Toshimitsu Tanaka, managing director of Epson's regional office in Singapore.

"Epson Singapore Cup was borne out of a common desire to reach out to as many youths as possible, to fuel their passion and to learn from the best in the field," added Tan May Lin, Epson Singapore's general manager (sales, marketing and customer division).

"We hope that this tournament will become a viable platform for talents to be discovered, thereby contributing to raising the standard of play for the sport locally, regionally and even globally."

Before and during the tournament, S.League club Geylang International will be involved as head coach Hasrin Jailani, as well as former and current national football stars, will be making appearances to provide participants with coaching tips and playing advice.

Registration for the Epson Singapore Cup 2016 opens from today till Aug 31. Interested youth teams can download the online registration form at www.epson.com.sg/epsonsgcup2016.

The registration fees are $500 for the U-17s and $350 for the U-15s.

This competition is the latest CSR initiative by the technology giant to extend its outreach efforts in the local communities where it operates.

Other recent efforts include a one-year sponsorship agreement with Geylang International Football Club since February and an overseas training stint for local youth players (U-14 and U-15) at Matsumoto Yamaga last month.

They were also instrumental in facilitating national goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud's trial with Yamaga last December.

"I am very happy because we have a partner in Epson who is very committed and involved," said Zainudin Nordin, president of the Football Association of Singapore, who also has a three-year deal inked with Epson that runs out this year.

"We are very fortunate to have Epson as our partner and the launch of the Epson Singapore Cup is also an illustration of how they are looking at ways to develop younger talents."

FAS assistant director Rikram Jit Singh said: "We have had good synergy working with Epson Singapore and experienced how they help Singapore football with not just technology, but also with heart.

"We hope to continue working with Epson for the good of local football and also see other partners come on board."

Lopetegui is new Spain coach

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Tampines beaten into second place

Tampines likely to face defending champions Albirex in semis after failing to top group

SET-PIECE STUNNER: 
Brunei DPMM were sent on their way to victory with Adi Said's (above, No. 20) free-kick.

SET-PIECE STUNNER: 
Brunei DPMM were sent on their way to victory with Adi Said's (above, No. 20) free-kick.


GROUP A

BRUNEI DPMM FC 2
(Adi Said 24, Azim Izamuddin 86)

TAMPINES ROVERS 1
(Billy Mehmet 75-pen)

Tampines Rovers blew their chance to finish top in Group A of The New Paper League Cup when they were beaten 2-1 by Brunei DPMM FC at Jalan Besar Stadium last night.

The Stags suffered a late blow four minutes from time when a back pass from Jufri Taha led to goalkeeper Joey Sim making a silly mistake which allowed Azim Izamuddin to score the winning goal.

The win saw DPMM top the group on nine points and Tampines in second on six points.

Hougang United finished third on three points after beating Warriors FC 4-1 in the other match yesterday.

Despite the loss, Tampines qualified for the semi-finals with DPMM, but are likely to face defending champions and S.League leaders Albirex Niigata.

Albirex lead Group B on six points, three ahead of Home United. Albirex play Geylang International tonight, while Home take on Balestier Khalsa.

"We're all humans. Who wouldn't be disappointed when we conceded a goal like that?" Tampines coach Akbar Nawas said of the late DPMM winner.

"I'm sure Joey will be really disappointed with himself, but the team will back him up and so will I.

"We have to take the positive as well as the negative aspects from today's game and learn from there."

A perfectly taken free-kick just outside the box in the 24th minute by Adi Said gave DPMM the lead.

MATCH DELAY

Just as when the players were coming out from the half-time break, a heavy downpour triggered the lightning warning system, forcing the players to return to the changing rooms.

Play resumed after 40 minutes.

Tampines restored parity when young gun Gautam Selvamany sent a through-ball to Jufri who was brought down in the box by Yura Indera in the 75th minute.

The referee pointed to the penalty spot and Billy Mehmet stepped up confidently to send DPMM goalkeeper Wardun Yussof the wrong way.

Just as it looked like Tampines might be able to hold on to the point, the silly mistake from Sim allowed Azim to score the late winner.

"I am delighted with the result but, honestly, I feel that Tampines played better than us tonight," said DPMM coach Steve Kean.

"They were able to play the ball better and create more chances than us. We missed (Paulo) Sergio today and that made it difficult for us to penetrate their defence."

Kean was pleased to avoid a potential semi-final clash with defending champions Albirex.

"If you're trying to win the competition like how we are, you're bound to meet the best teams," he said.

"In the last stages, in all honesty, we were just trying to keep winning."


LINE-UPS

  • BRUNEI DPMM FC: Wardun Yussof, Brian McLean, Azwan Salleh (Hendra Azam 10), Azwan Ali (Shahrazen Said 90), Najib Tarif, Maudidi Kasmi (Azim Izamuddin 46), Helmi Zembin, Rafael Ramazotti, Adi Said, Abdul Aziz Tamit, Yura Indera Putera.
  • TAMPINES ROVERS: Joey Sim, Ismadi Mukhtar, Jufri Taha, Noh Rahman, Jordan Webb, Fabian Kwok, Irwan Shah, Billy Mehmet, Ariyan Malik, Saifullah Akbar, Gautam Selvamany.

 Goetze re-signs for Dortmund

Germany's World Cup-winning goalscorer Mario Goetze has returned to Borussia Dortmund after a frustrating three seasons with Bayern Munich, the clubs announced yesterday.

The clubs did not disclose the transfer fee, but Bild newspaper said Dortmund paid between 22 million euros ($33m) and 25m euros for the 24-year-old.

That would mean Bayern have incurred a loss of about 13m euros on the price they paid for Goetze.

Dortmund fans repeatedly jeered Goetze when he appeared for Bayern against his old team, but he said yesterday: "I want to try to convince everyone with my performances, especially those who are welcoming me with open arms."

In the off-season, Dortmund have lost defender Mats Hummels to Bayern, midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Manchester United and defender Ilkay Guendogan to Manchester City. - AFP.

Big Sam's not small-minded

Former England boss Eriksson believes Allardyce will adapt his style if he gets Three Lions job

He’s very organised, so it will be a very organised team... I think it depends on the situation, whether you have a top team, a middle team or a bottom team. — Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson (left) on Sam Allardyce’s (right) style
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Neil Humphreys: Three things Big Sam needs to do

To succeed as England coach, Allardyce must put old habits to bed

TAKING ENGLAND'S REINS: Big Sam is set to be handed the big job.

With the farcical Three Lions about to make a managerial appointment so surreal it makes their Euro 2016 campaign look normal, here are three key problems Sam Allardyce needs to fix quickly.

1 WIN OVER SCEPTICS

In the interests of both clarity and comedy, it's worth highlighting Allardyce's managerial honours.

He's achieved promotion, via the play-offs, with Bolton and West Ham, earned the old Third Division crown with Notts County and, lest we forget, reached a pinnacle in Limerick, where he won the League of Ireland First Division title.

Even Steve McClaren had a League Cup win on his resume before hiding under an umbrella for his country.

Allardyce's appointment must be considered England's nadir, the darkest hour for a country that essentially invented and codified the world game and then dropped the ball.

The 61-year-old has won nothing of note and managed no club side of real pedigree, beyond a dreadfully unpopular stint at West Ham, where the limit of his ambition was to avoid relegation.

Slaven Bilic led the Hammers into Europe last season with an attacking pattern of play entirely alien to Allardyce.

As Rio Ferdinand pointed out, Roy Hodgson's appointment succeeded only in hinting at a nation's demise.

Allardyce, like Hodgson before him, ensures that the Three Lions get the manager they deserve.

He's another Englishman with an inferiority complex about his Englishness, still insisting that he'd be a top-four manager with a surname like "Allardici".

No, he'd just be an English coach in favour of a two banks of four with all creative (risky) players tasked with tracking back. He just has a funny name.

So the first job, the only job really, that Allardyce must pull off in his opening World Cup qualifiers is convince sceptics that he is worthy of leading a mediocre nation to another early exit at a major tournament.

The task isn't an easy one. Expectations of England getting to at least the quarter-finals every two years remain stubbornly high, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Allardyce has nothing to fall back on, beyond a reputation for putting out resilient sides that are tough to beat; traits shared with every pub team coach at Farrer Park.

England are already at rock bottom. Should they descend any further, historians won't judge the Allardyce era. Archaeologists will.

2 REGENERATE THE ENGLISH SPIRIT

Steve Bruce recently lamented the loss of the English spirit and everyone laughed, partly because these trite comments suggest mental strength and endurance are uniquely English qualities.

The Germans, French, Portuguese and those bearded brutes from Iceland might disagree.

But mostly because the alleged English spirit evaporated in the Mexican sunshine the moment Bobby Charlton was substituted against West Germany in 1970 and hasn't been since seen. However, at the risk of jumping feet first into a quagmire of cliches, Bruce has a point. England freeze at major tournaments.

Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Joe Hart, Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy just could not replicate their club form at Euro 2016.

Glenn Hoddle was arguably the last England manager to get close to maximising his resources.

But there is an undoubted aura about Allardyce, a willingness to get his hands dirty (and often around a poor performer's neck), that the Three Lions have sorely missed.

A chequered career, embracing Limerick, Preston, Blackpool, Notts County, Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn, West Ham and Sunderland, instilled a backbone - in both the dugout and the dressing room that eluded Sven-Goran Eriksson, McClaren and certainly Hodgson. 

Allardyce has a decent track record of analysing each player in microscopic detail to get a different, better outcome from essentially the same squad.

3 COACH LIKE 'ALLARDICI'

Allardyce's argument that his birth certificate curtailed his managerial progress has always had a grain of truth.

Foreign managers are trendy. Their hiring and firing follows fickle cycles. Without Jose Mourinho, the EPL would have been spared Andre Villas-Boas for instance.

But Allardyce's view that Sam "Allardici" could challenge Pep Guardiola doesn't hold up under close scrutiny.

He loathes the "hit and hope" long-ball stereotype, but he rarely grants creative freedom without limits, if ever.

At Bolton, Youri Djorkaeff and Jay-Jay Okocha usually had their wings clipped, their explosive talents often stifled for the overriding masterplan.

At West Ham, there was anarchy on the terraces, with supporters booing dreadfully dull 1-0 victories.

The Hammers' misplaced sense of entitlement aside, Allardyce's reputation for sterile play and irritating gamesmanship are well earned.

Rafael Benitez, Arsene Wenger and Mourinho all sucked on sour grapes after coming unstuck to a rugged Allardyce side.

That's the Allardyce way. Now it's time for "Allardici" to shine.

He inherits a young, talented squad that eclipse anything he's handled at club level.

Until yesterday, Allardyce always said the colour of his passport restricted his progress.

Today, it's the only reason for his appointment. To succeed as the new England manager, Allardyce must put old habits to bed.

The long-ball king is dead. Long live "Allardici".

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