Fun Facts About Nigeria – Birthplace of Hakeem Olajuwon!

Welcome to Nigeria-A Multicultural Country in Africa

Hakeem Olajuwon

Did you know- Nigerian-born Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon is the "second-best player in the world" in the words of George Karl, former coach of the United States Men's National Team. Like Sade (singer) and Wole Soyinka (1986 Nobel Prize), Mr Olajuwon is an idol in Nigeria. He once said, "I do not like it when TV only shows the bad things and then say, 'This Lagos' (Nigeria's former capital). There are bad things, sure, but in Lagos we have designer clothes, big buildings, videos , and many other things that people enjoy in America. TV doesn't show that, and I get tired of trying to explain it ".

Geography

Did you know – The modern country of Nigeria, once the seat of an ancient kingdom, is located on the southern coast of western Africa. This former British colony is bordered by Benin (known as Dahomey until 1972) to the West, Niger (ex French colony) to the north, Chad (former French colony) and Cameroon (former French & British territory) to the East, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. It is an African country of considerable contrasts: It is home to mangrove swamps, plateaus, semideserts, and tropical rainforests. Abuja is the capital city of Nigeria, but Lagos, former capital, is the largest city.

Independence

Did you know- On October 1, 1960, Nigeria, after a 102-year European occupation, became an independent country within the British Commonwealth.

Nigeria & USA

Did you know- Abuja and Washington have maintained excellent diplomatic ties. Under this context, America's leader Jimmy Carter visited the African country in 1978. Subsequently, on August 24, 2000, Lagos was visited by Bill Clinton.

Population

Did you know- The English-speaking country is the ten-largest country in population in the world, with 154 million people. About 50 percent of the population is Muslim. At least 1.5 millions Nigerians live in abroad, 70% of them in Western Europe

Democracy

Did you know- The 38-year of military rule ended in 1998 when Olusegun Obasanjo won the country first free elections. In the subsequent years, Nigeria, an oil-rich country, became a democratic state.

United Nations

Did you know- After independence, on October 7, 1960, the country joined the United Nations. Post 1960, it was one of the anti-apartheid leaders on Earth.

International Awards

Did you know- At the end of 1986, Wole Soyinka became the first black author to win a Nobel Prize for Africa. Indeed, Mr. Soyinka was one of sub-Saharan Africa's well-known novelists in the latter half of the past century. In addition to his career as novelist, he was a prominent campaigner for democracy and human rights on the African mainland in the 70s and 80s.

Soccer

Did you know- The 1999 FIFA Under-20 World Cup was held in Nigeria an event that was the envy of the rest of the world. In fact, this is the largest soccer tournament to be held in Nigeria.

Tourism

Did you know- From a culturally perspective Nigeria is a notable place with over 100 ethnic groups. Apart from that, the English-speaking country is interesting in terms of its biodiversity: there are many national parks and wildlife sanctuaries; lions, elephants, wild birds and reptiles all populated these national parks. In addition, its capital, Abuja, is one of sub-Saharan Africa's most modern cities. Music is also one of the main activities of the nation, birthplace of Sade, one of the world's most successful female singers. Finally, it also has spectacular architectural sites: the Osun-Sogbo Sacred Grove, a World Heritage Site, is one of the most visited scenic places in Nigeria.

Famous Visitors

Did you know- In the early 1980s, Pope John Paul visited Nigeria.

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Play Better With The Right Soccer Cleats For Flat Feet

Flat feet cannot be ignored in any given circumstance. The only way you will remain comfortable when you are flat footed is to find shoes that are designed with the condition in mind. Nobody chooses to have a foot arch or not, but fortunately shoes can be designed to conform to any given shape and offer it comfort. When it comes to soccer, the feet receive lots of abuse when handling body weight during walking and running.

This is a game that involves physical activity and plenty of footwork. Players with balanced feet seem to have an upper hand in it compared to players with feet issues such as flat feet and wide feet. When you fail to adequately dress flat feet, you risk experiencing acute aches and pains. Finding the right shoes with enough support and room for the feet is therefore paramount. You should not miss enjoying your favorite game just because you have flat feet; all you need is a comfortable pair that is designed for flat feet to play better.

Choosing cleats for flat feet

Keep off high arched shoes – You may not have a foot arch, but this does not mean that you choose cleats with a very high arch. Such shoes will only cause you pain; you may even end up with a sore around the arch area which can be uncomfortable and painful. Focus on arch support that will not do you harm during play, moderate arch is the best way to go.

Choose roomy shoes – Flat feet require plenty of space to feel comfortable. Ensure therefore, that you select a size that offers enough space to accommodate the feet and keep you comfortable. It is most advisable that you measure your feet so you are able to select the perfect size for you.

Go for flexible midsoles – This is one of ways of ensuring that your feet remain comfortable. The midsole should not only be flexible but also well-padded to keep your feet at their best. Some cleats are employing orthotics technology to offer more comfort and flexibility.

Get assistance – when you are not very sure which cleats are best for flat feet, it would be a good idea to let a professional offer you the help you need. Just because a shoe is popular and appealing does not always mean it is best for your feet. Reputable soccer cleat stores will have all the details you need and will know which brands offer cleats suitable for flat feet.

No player should be shut out of what they love most simply because of body features they have little control over. Fortunately, manufacturers are coming up with all kinds of features and technologies to ensure that all players get equal chances to put their skills to best practice. Do your research to find cleats that are best for you.

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Sheer Heart Attack (1974)

For a generation of fans who grew up listening to ‘Radio Gaga’ and ‘Another One Bites The Dust’, it is easy to forget just how much of a hard rock band they were, particularly on their first three records. Drummer Roger Taylor, reflecting in 2014, claimed that they «were like Led Zeppelin with harmonies», as ‘Sheer Heart Attack» shows. In parts as energetic as The Who, in others musically dexterous as Cream, at other times as seductive as Kiss, ‘Sheer Heart Attack» is a fantastic visage of seventies glam metal.

Much of this visage is down to Brian May’s stellar playing, whether it is the choppy chords on ‘Stone Cold Crazy’, the psychedelic riff heard in ‘Flick Of The Wrist’ or, best of all, the long, blistering solos of album opener ‘Brighton Rock’, May’s playing would never sound as good as this again on a future Queen record. This is made all the more remarkable when you consider how many recording sessions May missed, his absence the fault of a bad case of hepatitis, an illness he contracted while touring North America with Mott The Hoople in 1974, a band he paid tribute to on ‘Now I’m Here’.

In his absence, the other three soldiered on as much as they could with producer Roy Thomas Baker in Trident Studios, Freddie Mercury providing many of the songs which made the album’s final cut. A chameleon writer, Mercury threw himself from genre to genre with gusto, from esoteric pop ‘Killer Queen’ to skiffle influenced ‘Bring back that Leroy Brown’ to anthem closer ‘In The Lap Of The Gods… Revisited’ (so-called, due to the similar title of another track). Best of all, Mercury wrote the plaintive ‘Lily Of The Valley’ a sombre ballad, its mood only equalled by May’s succulent ‘She Makes Me (Stormtrooper In Stilletoes)’ and funereal ‘Dear Friends’, three light respites from the riff driven energy of the other songs.

Drummer Roger Taylor also contributed ‘Tenement Funster’, a fifties rock ode sung by Taylor giving his best Rod Stewart impersonation. A classic tune of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll, it proved to be Taylor’s first truly great song. Taylor also wrote the record’s title track, although fans would have to wait a further three albums before they heard the song, due to its incompleteness in 1974.

Bassist John Deacon, having abstained from previous records, finally recorded one of his own compositions. True, ‘Misfire’ is not en par with the songs of May, Mercury and Taylor, but it proved to have enough musical potential to show that Deacon was far from the band’s Ringo Starr; by their next record, ‘A Night At The Opera’ (1975), Deacon proved himself very much a song-writing equal to the other three.

But as a musician, Deacon truly excels on the record. If May’s guitar playing was the album’s best attribute, Deacon’s thrills were an added incentive. From the jazz frills on ‘In The Lap Of The Gods… Revisited’ to the aggressive power playing on ‘Flick Of the Wrist’, Deacon was a very versatile player, a fit match to Taylor’s sparse playing, together a rhythm section capable of equalling Bruce/Baker, Jones/Bonham or Redding/Mitchell.

Queen would record albums of better songs and more cohesion. But there is something special about ‘Sheer Heart Attack’. Dense and exciting, varied and accessible, the band never sounded as good a unit as they did on this record ever again.

Marrying Yourself: Positive Songs, Positive Music And New Marriage

Chante Moore is known for love songs which are seen as positive songs by listeners all over the globe. Hits like "Chante's Got A Man" are balanced by her large repertoire of mellow songs. Some positive music, including one (and possibly more) of Chante's love songs, can be used in weddings and commitment ceremonies. Those songs are relaxing and ideal for ceremony. The type of marriage involved has typically featured a couple. Chante broke new ground when debuting on a reality show and deciding to marry herself. The act was documented on the television show; it represented the theme of a book which was released around the same time period.

Her book was marked as a source of self-love material. Positive songs about romantic love provide the perfect opportunity to describe how self-love is important. By writing this material, Chante merged the romance with wisdom and the music. While we can not all marry ourselves on a network television show, Chante's example showed that positive music and its' singers do not have to stick to the status quo. And, in fact, if they have something interesting and informative to share, they will often depart from the status quo at some point: sharing information that is seen as marginal and uncommon.

Another artist willing to break the mold, Queen Latifah, went through a similar theme in her life. In past songs, Latifah has advocated for more respect for women and more unity among people as a whole. In her past appearance on an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, Latifah expressed that she was currently discovering and loving herself day by day. She described the unique move while wearing a wedding ring, which she was asked about by the show's host. Latifah's comments would suggest allegiance with a similar theme in the self-love community- real love begins with self-love.

Music can be a motivating. Backing up the positive songs with action can increase the effectiveness. When you're reaching for relationship happiness, and lowering your standards, this can mean you will have to talk yourself into things- instead of being completely clear on sincerity, you have to ask questions, repeatedly play devil's advocate, to turn away from the internal pulls which signal problems.

Positive music and can help us remember how we are supposed to be treated and treat others. And unique methods, like self-love marriage, can make it that much harder for us not to follow through with the messages in the music.

2014 Ton Series Cricket Bats Produced By SS

Sareen Sports more commonly known as SS is one of the reputed cricket manufacturer brands coming from India. Over the years SS has produced some of the best bats such as SS Gladiator, SS Limited Edition, SS Ton Matrix which are used by many international cricketers such as Kumar Sangakkara, Shikhar Dhawan and Kieren Pollard. SS also manufactures mid range bats such as SS Yuvi 20-20, SS Ton Professional, SS Ton Premium which are affordable to common people and good for club level and first class cricket.

Going into 2014, SS has come up with a new range under a new flagship brand called TON. Ton has always been SS’s identity as SS bats have Ton letters embossed on the edge. In TON series, SS has brought 5 english willow bats in different price ranges and covering all grades. These 5 bats are Ton Reserve Edition, Ton Player Edition, Ton Vertu, Ton Slasher and Ton Super

Ton Reserve Edition is top of the line cricket bat and used by India international players such as Yousuf Pathan and Rohit Sharma. This is SS Ton’s flagship product and is made from only the finest and selected clefts of English Willow.

The next in the line is Ton player edition cricket bat. Ton player edition is grade 1 english willow bat too and usually comes with lot of straight grains and can be obtained in medium and medium to heavy weight. Again sweet spot for players edition bat is mid and mid to low.

The three next bats in the Ton series are Ton Vertu, Ton Slasher and Ton Super English Willow Cricket bats.

Ton Series was briefly used by rohit sharma during India’s 2013 – 14 domestic season. Ton vertu can be found usually light and light to medium weight i.e. around 1130 to 1190 grams and in terms of Lb-Oz measure, it could be anywhere between 2.7 to 2.9~. Lots of ruller straight grains, thick edges, traditional SS concave profile are some of the highlights of all these three grade 1 English willow bats.

Next in line is Ton Slasher which usually comes in green attractive Decals. Lot of first class and club level cricketers use this bat mainly because of its price which is 8650 Rs or $150 USD. Having said that, the bat provides all the nice to have features such as thick edges, straight grains, good balance etc just that this one is a grade 2 english willow which means the willow is not as good as some of the grade 1 bats that I just mentioned. But that shouldn’t’t really deter anyone from trying one’s hands on this willow.

The last in the series that we at crickstore have in stock is Ton Super. This is a grade 3 english willow cricket bat, which usually comes in 6-7 grains. This is perfect for someone who has just started playing or for someone who wants to have a second cricket bat for practice in nets where you want to protect your big blades for the important games. The ping, pick up are quite good for their price tag which is 5500 Rs or just less than $100 USD.

Fantasy Cricket World Cup Gives Unique Experience Of Being Part Of Real One

There is different charm altogether of cricket world cup, after all this event happens after every four years. Being part of cricket world cup is most flourished desire of a cricket fan. What a wonderful thing it would be to a fan if this comes true. Fantasy cricket world cup is such a fantastic medium to fulfill dream of playing cricket by own will. For playing fantasy cricket world cup, you don’t need to go to any ground. You just require an internet-enabled computer and the desire to participate and play. Fantasy cricket world cup fills fans with the enthusiasm, action and emotion of a real world cup.

The websites providing fantasy cricket world cup are innumerable. You need to hunt those websites giving chance to play fantasy cricket world cup. After searching that website, you get yourself registered to become a member to play the game. Each websites has its own rules for fantasy cricket world cup. That attracts even non-cricket lover to play the game as the rules are easy and simple to follow.

There are certain rules followed for selection of players to take part and play fantasy cricket world cup. Points are allotted to players depending on their performances on the field. The points allocated to a player are determined by the contribution of performances in team. The points in the game are scored from actual performance of player in world cup. Fantasy cricket world cup is based on similar format on which the world cup takes place.

There are as many countries in fantasy cricket world cup as those participating in world cup. Each team will have 11 members comprising 5 batsman, 4 bowlers, one all rounder and a wicket keeper. The selection of players must be with the aim of balancing and maintaining the whole team. You have to select 11 cricketers from international cricket squads taking part in the world cup. Fantasy points are scored according to how the players in your team perform in real life.

The team, which accumulates the highest points, will be declared winner. The actual performance on the field will determine the fate of fantasy cricket world cup. There are good chances of wining massive prizes in game. You need to be cautious to select players. You should not be swayed by big names of cricketing world. That can prove a burden in your victory. You must concentrate choosing players of current form.

It can be a good experience for those fans who dream of selecting their own players to play on the field. They have full authority of selecting players from all the teams of the world. They can view it with full enthusiasm and see how their favorite stars are performing on the field. Fantasy cricket world cup takes fans on a ride of thrills and excitement. Being a part of fantasy cricket world cup will be a unique experience for fans. So fans must makes sure that they play the game at least one to get a feel of the real thing.

Flying the Flag: World Cup Gift Ideas

World Cup Fever is beginning to reach high pitch, excuse the pun, through the world. In early May however, drivers sporting flags on cars and those draping large banners from bedroom windows could only be considered as premature flagulators. Now, as the World Cup is about to begin, flag waving and associated football mania seems much more acceptable. This year, Father's Day (June 18th 2006) coincides with the World Cup. Dads and grandads everywhere can look forward to a wide variety of soccer related gifts.

World Cup Gifts for Soccer fans

World Cup Gifts can be found in many shapes and sizes which can be fun, practical and useful. General gifts for football supporters include flags for cars, large flag banners, hats and t shirts, stationery and mugs. National team football shirts are also likely to be a great hit amongst fans as is the 2006 Official World Cup football, great for those needing to go and play out their skills after watching a match.

Gadget Gifts

For gadget lovers that are also football fans there are a wide variety of novelty gifts available to celebrate the World Cup, including inflatable armchairs and giant inflatable balls, football TV remote controls and blow up beer buckets. Gadget style toys such as a choking refere bendy toy (for those feeling the urge to throttle a ref during a match) are a great idea for the fun loving person.

World Cup Stress Relief

Gamers may also enjoy the World Cup 2006 Fifa games which are available for most platforms, including PS2, DS, Xbox 360 and PSP. These enable the players to play matches with world class players of their choice and vent off their stresses via a gamepad.

Got the T shirt?

For the fashion conscious, there are many football clothing gifts available including home and away team shirts, shorts, football boots and a multitude of fashion accessories such as mobile phone charms, caps and bags.

Shoppers Dream

Online and down the High Street, World Cup gifts are everywhere. Gift shopping for football fans during the World Cup season is probably a dream. You should not have to look far to find something suitable!

World Cup 2006. Gift ideas for football fans .

English Premier League Players to Watch For This Season (2008-2009)

Season on season stars are born in the most prestigious and glamorous league of the world. Be it goal-machine Cristiano Ronaldo or the prolific Chelsea scorer Didier Drogba or Liverpool striker Fernando Torres, everyone plays for a reason. Fame, money and substance follows the best in the breed.

Now let us look at the players who are favorites for this season of Barclays Premier League :

1 – Cristiano Ronaldo

Club: Manchester United

Position: Winger

The best and safest bet to put your money on is Cristiano Ronaldo. He has been the buzz of the summer regarding his transfer to Spanish club Real Madrid. And why not, we are talking of a player who scored 42 goals in a season, winning his team both Premier League and UEFA Champion’s league. With the news that he’s going to stay ateast for one more season at Old Trafford ManU fans can expect their third consecutive Premiership title this season.

While Sir Alex Ferguson is yet to sign a striker for the team (most proabaly Tottenham striker Dimitar Berbatov), Ronaldo along with Wayne Roonay and Tevez forms one of the most lethal forward line-up to face with. If he continues his scoring streak, he surely is the best that Premiership can offer this season.

2 – Didier Drogba

Club: Chelsea

Position: Striker

He has done it before and he can do it again. To win big games for Chelsea. A prolif striker of the ball Didier Drogab is the only player whose presence gives Chelsea any hopes of winning titles this season.

With both Premiership and UEFA Championship’s loss to rivals Manchester United being very close, Drogba will be accompanied this time by ex-Barcelona

playmaker Deco to fill up th gaps. World Cup wiining coach Luis Felipe Scolari will also accompany them for the titles this season.

3 – Fernando Torres

Club: Liverpool

Position: Striker

Right man in right time at wrong place describes ace Liverpool striker Fernando Torres the best. After his wonderful season in 2007/08 Liverpool couldnot afford any titles as they lack players in other sections of the field.

This year, with Robbie Keane partnering him towards the goal post Liverpool can hope of any miracles. But Torres is the key player, and if he scores 40+ goals and Keane adds some then who knows, they might pull off something. Afterall football isn’t always prediaction.

4 – Cesc Fabregas

Club: Arsenal

Position: Central midfielder

Young and refreshing, Cesc will return to Arsenal with winning memories of Euro Cup winning. Arsenal has lost its top players this summer, but Samir Nasri’s inclusion in the team could do some young-wonders for Arsenal.

Cesc Fabregas’s performance, both in international and club football has been promising, but comparisons of him with Thierry Henry is like expecting a lot from the young legs.

5 – Jo

Club: Manchester City

Position: Striker

This Brazilian International is no easy customer to deal with. All of 21, the product from South American soccer giant Brazil, Jo will have to play a huge role in Man City because of their financial problems to bring in good players.

6 – Peter Crouch

Club: Portsmouth

Position: Striker

The tallest player in EPL with 6’7″, Crouch is considered by many as a under-rated player. With a goal per game ratio of 2 for national team England, his presence in Liverpool was nothing more than a substitute. He surely has found a right place to play in.

This was our list of some players to watch out for this season. Let us know which players found a place in your list of favorites.

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Creating and Maintaining Environments for Young People in Football

Over the last four weeks (and having been coaching for 18 years) I have noticed some very worrying environments. It’s worrying to me as a coach, parent and independent observer having witnessed the top level academies, middle ground and grass roots and being constantly told «its getting better.»

I have seen some good examples of well-meaning people who manage safety whilst giving ownership to young people. Not easy to do. The other thing that isn’t easy to do is manage adrenaline and feelings. We all want our own children to do well. That’s a given. Whether its homework, model making, swimming or football. From the mentioned however which do people change their methods in? Which would an adult change their mindset in?

The game is passionate – Fact. People visit stadiums, watch adults, moan at refereeing decisions and complain all week if our supported teams lose. To the point of becoming almost Piers Morgan like. There is a distinct difference however. The people you shout, cheer and bemoan are indeed adults. They can cope in pressurised adult environments. The very best can even block them out and perform. It takes years of practice. Playing in the champions league for millions of pounds is one thing, playing in front of 30 people in a 5v5 astro turf court is simply another.

The two environments are not linked. They are not replicas. Children will with their imagination, mentally attempt to visit and dream of such stadium. This is all the pressure they need.

We are missing a huge trick. The street and playground we used to commentate on whilst playing and pretend to be gazza or maradona was our pressure. The next defender is pressure. The last gasp save is pressure.

Unfortunately the following is additional pressure to young people:

· Making kids play in set positions – most that have played will tell you – you don’t end up playing in the same one for very long.

· Shouting things such as «don’t mess about with it in your box, get rid, clear it, pass it, down the line» and so on. The things said from my last 4 weeks up to 25 times in one hour by one adult to 1-5 children. Confusion and pressure.

· Spectators shouting «tackle him, pass-pass-pass, well-in.» it’s been done for years I know I played but it does no good.

· A parent shouting «tackle» Is also a motivation for increased aggression. Was the child going to tackle anyway? Probably.

· The good players can’t play – they face managers of young teams going man for man, even 2 players marking them but not child led, just so the adult can win.

· I have witnessed excessive fouling by young players who instead of shake hands and pick kids up are laughing as the «tackle» has become over emphasised. Just wait until the tackling sort plays at a good level (if they manage it with no technique or skill – probably not), the tackle will become a chase as the players will dance around them and or play through them.

Do you want your child to be playing and enjoying and be good and win at 15, 16 and beyond? I’m sure the answer is yes. Then you need to stop now and think. The u7-9 age groups is the key to the following to develop them into good 16 year olds:

· Freedom to try things – 1v1 moves without fear of losing the ball, playing from the goalkeeper and dribbling anywhere on the pitch.

· Remember the 5v5 pitch is only a quarter of a full size pitch. What they do in front of their own goal they will do in the whole quarter when older. If they just clear the ball now they won’t know any different.

· Scores should not be recorded. Any leagues asking for scores for u7-14 games in my opinion are failing kids. It makes adults record them and it makes them cut development corners. It doesn’t make any sense.

· Trophies and man of the match awards – I have rarely seen an award given for a good series of turns, skills, and technical aspects. I hear lots of «brave, worked hard and even its… ‘s turn this week. what is the point? Again an adult idea for some strange reason not the idea of the child (beginner not tainted).

· Not commenting on kids showing off and forcing them to pass – many skills not just taking players on are lost – agility, acceleration and deceleration, movement, awareness, touch and use of both feet, use of different parts of the foot etc. by not allowing dribbling and own decisions you’re stopping the whole round athletic development of children.

The best game environments I have seen are as follows:

· Kids arrive, hand shakes with coaches.

· Changing room – random selection, age group pairing, no birth bias, let kids choose their teams, get ready together if possible for social reasons

· Little talking from coaches – apart from «have fun, be an exciting player, can you think of how to improve as you play.»

· No formational organisation – let this happen. Kids will drift into positions but know they can move anywhere on the pitch. I often hear «you be the defenders and don’t go over the half way line.» You may as well say don’t play.

· Never say things such as «do a job or work hard» it isn’t a chore it’s a fun game

· Questions are asked in intervals only – what if? How could you? If that happens what should we do? Scenario planning.

· Say nothing to them whilst playing the game. They will communicate if allowed anyway. They’ll communicate like other 7 year old kids do. In a way they understand. Saying things during play is one of the worst things any coach or parent can do adding pressure, stifling creativity and decision making and ends up panicking about results.

· Referee needed? Or just a facilitator that manages safety? The latter is fine. If we encourage honesty and fair play and set nice guidelines it works.

· Certain rules – allow dribble ins, futsal pass ins – why do we encourage throw ins with young children? Mix it up.

· Parent comments – are they encouraging? If I’m a goalkeeper and I stop a certain goal scoring opportunity then I have just saved it. I’m happy in myself as it was me. I already know or even pre-empted it. Why do I then need a chorus of «great save» as it probably wasn’t a great save but my own and my teams’ achievement. Debateable?

If you have 4 outfield players, rather than stating «let’s play 2 defenders, 1 midfielder and 1 striker,» ask the kids. They will come up with some wonderful concoctions and they might then go and play that way or go and follow the ball. The ball, you must remember is the real reason we play the game from a young age. This changes somewhat over time when we spend hardly any time with it at all working on tactics as we get older and play a higher level. There is absolutely nothing wrong with kids wanting the ball. There is nothing wrong with encouraging dribbling. They will lose the ball. That’s when the next player has a turn. Too many are ramming passing and getting rid of the ball down kids throats. Let’s get their techniques spot on and then worry about winning later.

I have watched 4 weeks of games of late and haven’t yet seen any child that’s played in goal come off their line yet. Why aren’t children being taught the whole game? Again the instruction from the adults isn’t that of intelligence but more aggression and the Dunkirk spirit.

At such frustration one grand dad told his grand son just to boot it up the pitch «it might as well be up there so they don’t score.»

I have also seen a rise of the wannabe match reporter. They too talk of scores, winning and so on. Gladly the team my son has begun playing for doesn’t promote this. The kids don’t know the score. They carry on playing after the game. They have the social and psychological corners catered for. They are answering questions and behaving in a nice manner. They are playing. An opposition coach stated his team had won ‘again’ 11-7 (I think). He told his player as they didn’t know of course. Then proceeded to hand out the M.O.M award to claps from parents. My sons team thankfully carried on playing with each other into one goal still smiling. Not one asked «why don’t we get a medal?» This particular game, whatever the score was full of «pass, pass, down the line,» but a goal was scored from a dribble with the player not listening. Good job he didn’t really. «we won» said the coach; the other team had shared equal playing time and taken off the two better players not concerned of the score. They changed the goalkeeper 3 times. The kids had fun. This information wasn’t taken into account by the ‘coach,’ as so many only live off the end result not the process. They don’t see the potential 16 year old.

I write this with a huge passion for developing young players. I have seen some excellent kids thrive in the last 10 years and unfortunately seen some with great potential be ruined by coaches. Coaches that aren’t really putting themselves in the kids boots.

Compare the smile to the serious pressurised face and I know which id rather see.

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AC Milan’s Dutch Trinity: Van Basten, Gullit and Rijkaard Showing Unique Soccer Skills

AC Milan, the reigning champion, won the Italian league 18 times now. A remarkable period in their rich history was highlighted by Dutch influence. The Dutch stars Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard and Marco van Basten played a major part in the club’s successes in the late 80’s and first half of the 90’s. National and international titles found their way to Milan and to this day Milan fans and (former) players still express their gratitude.

Gullit and Van Basten joined the club in 1987, Rijkaard one year later. At first, it was Gullit who had the biggest influence. Charismatic Dutch captain Ruud Gullit’s first season at Milan saw the club win the «Scudetto» for the first time in 9 years. To sign Gullit, AC Milan paid the world record transfer fee (at that time) to PSV Eindhoven. But they earned that back in no time.

Marco van Basten played for Ajax in Amsterdam before moving to AC Milan. In Holland, he became the top scorer in the league for four seasons from 1983 to 1987, scoring 117 goals in 112 matches. In 1987, he also scored the only goal in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup final. That was the last European trophy Ajax was missing. So it was a great «going-away» present to the club, as a new adventure awaited in Italy.

Like Van Basten, Frank Rijkaard took his first professional steps on the pitch playing for Ajax. He lived in the same part of Amsterdam as Ruud Gullit during their teenage-years. After becoming Europe’s best with Holland in 1988, he completed AC Milan’s Dutch Trinity. In the end each played a significant role in the career of the other.

AC Milan was almost invincible and played a revolutionary type of soccer, demonstrating skills hardly ever seen before in the Serie A. This was part of the owner’s Master plan. In 1986 entrepreneur Silvio Berlusconi acquired the club and saved it from bankruptcy. Berlusconi got manager Arrigo Sacchi to lead the team to success. He was followed up by Fabio Capello, England’s current manager. The «Rossoneri» signed the Dutch trio, where they already had players like Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini and Carlo Ancelotti. This was the start of arguably the most successful era in the history of AC Milan.

During the time of the Dutch trinity (1987-1994) they managed to win four domestic titles, reach the final of the Coppa Italia in 1990 and won four Supercoppa Italiana. They were also a force to be reckoned with in Europe. They won three Champions League trophies, three UEFA Super Cups and two Intercontinental Cups. In all of this the Dutch players effectively used their super soccer skills. AC Milan won the 1989 Champions League final with 4-0 against Steaua Bucuresti. Gullit and Van Basten both scored 2 goals and Van Basten become top scorer with 10 goals in total. The year after it was Frank Rijkaard’s turn. In the final against Benfica he scored the only goal, Van Basten provided the assist.

Along with Boca Juniors, Milan won more FIFA recognized international club titles than any other club in the world. There is no denying the Dutch trinity played their part.

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