BRIMSON: From Touch Footy to NRL

first_imgScott Prince and Benji Marshall are among a number of NRL stars to have waxed lyrical about how the touch football skills honed in their youth enabled them to maximise their talents as professional league players.In his autobiography, Marshall went as far as to say that “everything I would eventually do when I played rugby league came because of what I learnt on the touch football field”.The 19-year-old Brimson played alongside rising NRL star Kalyn Ponga in the Queensland under 15 touch side that swept all before it in 2013 before joining powerhouse Gold Coast league school Keebra Park High.“Touch was my life back then,” Brimson told NRL.com.“When I went to Keebra Park when I was 15 I didn’t really know how to play rugby league.“I knew how to step and run around people but I didn’t know how to play as a halfback, but I reckon touch helped me with my ball skills, agility and with defensive movements.“In touch it is all about trusting inside defenders. That all comes together in league especially as a halfback defending on an edge.”It has all come together for Brimson since his move to Keebra Park and then his development in the Titans system.He was the Titans’ Mal Meninga Cup player of the year in 2016 and the club’s joint NYC player of the year in 2017, while also making that competition’s team of the season at five-eighth.He set himself the goal in 2017 of making the Queensland under 20s side and did so.Brimson, who is contracted to the Titans until the end of 2020, paid tribute to the systems that have been vital in his development.“It was just so professional at Keebra Park and with previous students like Benji Marshall, Corey Norman and Te Maire Martin all coming through there it gave me great belief in the programs they had set.“A lot of really good halves have come through there.“I really like it here now at the Gold Coast Titans. I have a lot of respect for the club and I am stoked to be in the rookie squad.“I am still in and around the first graders and I am getting a lot out of it.“I am learning as much as I can from Ash Taylor and asking him questions every time we train.”Greg Lenton, Brimson’s former schoolboy coach at Keebra Park, has no doubt his former pupil will carve out an NRL career like so many naturally gifted players who have come to the game relatively late.“AJ definitely can go all the way,” he said.“There are a few kids who have come through the program and gone on who didn’t come out of the coaching manual.“Benji had virtually never played rugby league and Te Maire Martin was the same. Greg Eastwood and Bodene Thompson were both soccer players.“They don’t come to you as robots because they haven’t had rugby league jammed into them since they were five-years-old.“AJ Brimson had these outstanding skills that you could see had come from touch football, like Benji and Te Maire.“I have always believed that what makes players special is their unique gifts and not the actual coaching they’ve had.”Lenton said Brimson’s off-field qualities would also assist his rise to the top.“AJ took a while to learn the complexities of the game but slowly and surely he has climbed the rungs and is now getting everything he deserves,” he said.“He is a very mature young guy who always tries to do the right thing. He was always first to training and last to leave. He never missed sessions and did all his gym work.“He is a very focussed kid.“I reckon he could be a good foil for Ash Taylor, who I think is a great footballer, because everyone will be zeroing in on him.”This article first appeared on NRL.com The path from touch football to the NRL has been trodden by some of the leading halves of the modern game, and Gold Coast Titans teenager AJ Brimson is determined to follow in those footsteps.last_img read more

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10 months agoGenoa deal in place for Juventus midfielder Stefano Sturaro

first_imgGenoa deal in place for Juventus midfielder Stefano Sturaroby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveGenoa have a deal in place for Juventus midfielder Stefano Sturaro.Sky Italia says Genoa will take Sturaro on loan from Juventus with €8m option to buy, which becomes compulsory after a certain number of games.Sturaro has been with Sporting CP for the first-half of the season.It is a return to Marassi, where Sturaro already played in several different stints, beginning his career in their academy.The midfielder is leaving Sporting due to board room upheaval. TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img

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Photos: Ohio State Groom Marries Michigan Bride In The Big House

first_imgOhio State fans holding Go Bucks signs during a football game.INDIANAPOLIS, IN – DECEMBER 02: Fans of the Ohio State Buckeyes cheer as they take on the Wisconsin Badgers during the Big Ten Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)How many die-hard Ohio State football fans have gotten married at Michigan’s Big House? Well, at least one. ESPN is reporting that Mike and Stephanie Stout got hitched recently and held their reception at the Wolverines’ football stadium, despite the obvious rivalry between the two fan bases. While it would appear that Stephanie won the overall argument, Mike certainly did all he could to make the wedding feature both schools.The photos, produced by E. C. Campbell Photography, show Mike spelling out O-H-I-O in Michigan’s tunnel. He also had his groomsmen wear Ohio State socks and grey tuxedos. Finally, there were Buckeyes koozies and pom-poms for each guest.When an Ohio State groom marries a Michigan bride and the reception is at the Big House … [Credit: E.C. Campbell Photography]A photo posted by espn (@espn) on Jul 31, 2015 at 8:08am PDT(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));A fun feature on ESPN today. 🙂 #lovewinsPosted by E.C. Campbell Photography on Friday, July 31, 2015(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));What happens when a Buckeye fan falls in love with a Wolverine fan? Check out Mike and Stephanie’s wedding day to find…Posted by E.C. Campbell Photography on Thursday, July 30, 2015You can check out all of the photos over at the photographer’s website. Ohio State fans – is this acceptable?last_img read more

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Oppn in disarray Cong confident of winning all 13 seats in Punjab

first_imgChandigarh: The ruling Congress in Punjab is confident of winning all 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state as it faces a “faction-ridden” and “divided” Opposition in the hustings. Congress will be firing on all cylinders to take on the SAD-BJP alliance and AAP in the parliamentary polls beginning April 11. “We are seeing the opposition the way it is. Akali Dal has disintegrated and AAP has also broken into groups. BJP, within its cadres, has a lot of infighting,” said Asha Kumari, Congress Punjab affairs in-charge. Also Read – MP woman hangs herself after killing three children She exuded confidence that Congress will win all 13 seats in the state. To accomplish its ‘Mission 13’, Congress will highlight the achievements of its two-year regime and target the BJP-led Centre for its “failures” at the national level. Both Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) will highlight the “non-performance” of the Punjab government on poll promises like farm debt waiver and smart phones for youths etc. It is going to be interesting to see how SAD fares in the elections in the backdrop of expulsion of Taksali (old guard) leaders Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, Rattan Singh Ajnala and Sewa Singh Sekhwan. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ The three floated SAD (Taksali) late last year. SAD president Badal has described the leaders as of “no consequence”. The resignation of senior leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa from party posts in September last year also did not augur well for SAD. It came at a time when the party was facing heat over sacrilege of religious scriptures and pardon granted to Dera Sacha Sauda chief in a blasphemy case. The SAD, which claims to be the “only custodian” of Sikh issues, has rejected the Ranjit Singh Commission report, which dealt with sacrilege incidents in Punjab. It also accused the Special Investigation Team, probing the 2015 sacrilege and police firing incidents, of implicating party leaders at the behest of Congress. The going is likely to be tough for AAP as well, which has grappled with infighting and factionalism in the state unit. It is going to be an uphill task for the party to retain the four Lok Sabha seats which it had won in the 2014 polls despite a Modi wave across the country. Senior leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira parted ways with AAP after he was ousted from the post of the leader of opposition. Khaira, along with seven other MLAs, had formed a parallel ad hoc political affairs committee and declared the party’s state unit “autonomous”, before resigning from AAP in January this year. He floated a new party — Punjabi Ekta Party (PEP). The Progressive Democratic Alliance (PDA) comprising PEP, Bahujan Samaj Party, Lok Insaaf Party, suspended AAP MP Dharamvira Gandhi-led Punjab Manch, CPI and Revolutionary Marxist Party of India (RMPI) is also in the fray. The PDA has announced seven candidates for the parliamentary elections. Besides AAP’s four seats, Congress had won three, SAD won four and BJP bagged two in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. However, in 2017 Gurdaspur bypoll, necessitated by the death of BJP MP Vinod Khanna, Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar won the seat. Polling will be held in Punjab in single phase on May 19 and results will be announced on May 23.last_img read more

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201516 NBA Preview The Hornets Coulda Been A Contender

Is Al Jefferson more like Carlos Boozer or Zach Randolph? Jefferson turned 30 last season and was a significantly less productive player than he’d been the year before. Randolph has turned his career back around in his 30s. Boozer, though, kept declining after turning 30. They’re both among Jefferson’s top comparables according to CARMELO. The Hornets need him to be much more like Randolph if they’re going to make the playoffs. Read more:All our NBA player projectionsAll our 2015-16 NBA Previews Nicolas Batum played a niche role in Portland’s offense. Now that he’s in Charlotte, can he adjust to bigger demands? His shots, points per minute and 3-point percentage declined in each of the last three seasons. He shot or turned over the ball on just one of seven possessions when he was on court last year. The Hornets will expect more of Batum. His defense, at least, is solid across the board — a must for replacing a stopper like Kidd-Gilchrist. After a mediocre rookie season, Cody Zeller improved markedly last year, shooting more effectively while turning the ball over less often. Can he keep it up? CARMELO says yes — sort of. He’s likely to remain at his sophomore-year level but not graduate to All-Star level. How he does will determine how much of an opportunity he has to improve — the roster is crowded with big men. The offense runs through Kemba Walker, but too often it stops with him: He takes and misses too many shots. His teammates last year didn’t give him many great alternatives; this year he should do better if the new Hornets give him better options. In the preseason, Walker has been clicking well with Lin, which at times means Walker shoots even more and passes less while Lin plays more like a point guard setting up his backcourt mate. Marvin Williams has done well to reinvent himself as primarily a 3-point shooter. His accuracy shooting over defenders from outside, coupled with his effective rebounding, made him a valuable player last year. CARMELO doesn’t expect that to last. Few of Williams’s closest comparable players avoided big declines in their 30s, and Williams is 29. We’re inaugurating our NBA player projection system, CARMELO, with 2015-16 season previews for every team in the league. Check out the teams we’ve already previewed here. Learn more about CARMELO here. Before Kidd-Gilchrist went down, Charlotte had taken steps to bolster its depth at just about every position but his small-forward spot. The Hornets signed guard Jeremy Lin and power forward/center Tyler Hansbrough, drafted Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky at No. 9 in the first round and traded for power forward Spencer Hawes and shooting guards Jeremy Lamb and Nicolas Batum. Well, Batum really was more of a small forward for the Blazers, but he was going to move over to the No. 2 spot before Kidd-Gilchrist went down. Batum’s shift back to small forward leaves lots of room for young Hornets to move around the lineup and step up. CARMELO’s projections, though, call into question whether the healthy Hornets have enough talent to make the playoffs.Here’s what’s in store for the key Hornets in 2015-16 (and beyond): After the giddy rush of Linsanity, Jeremy Lin settled into a recurring role as a very standard, effective guard: For the Rockets and Lakers, he shot effectively, got to the free-throw line, handed out assists and stole the ball, but did little else on defense and turned the ball over too often. He’s expected to back up Walker but probably will play alongside him at times, as well. Jeremy Lamb disappointed in Oklahoma City. Will moving to a team with less talent free Lamb to play a bigger offensive role, or will he struggle even more with less help from teammates? CARMELO expects modest improvement for the 23-year-old, but not enough for a starting — let alone starring — role. Everything changed for the Hornets on Oct. 3. Before that day, Charlotte looked like a young, talented team on the rise, with lots of new players fighting for minutes. In a preseason game that night, though, forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist injured his shoulder, requiring surgery that will likely keep him out for most of the season. Charlotte’s depth at small forward, and one of its best defensive players, vanished. With Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte looked like they could add a dozen wins to their total (33) last season, the team’s first rechristened as the Charlotte Hornets after New Orleans became the Pelicans. The new Hornets’ sophomore year won’t exactly be a slump, but Charlotte likely will struggle to reach .500 and make the playoffs. FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO projects the Hornets to go 40-42: read more

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Four underclassmen sign contracts to play in MLB

Former OSU first baseman Jacob Bosiokovic at bat versus Wright State on June 5. Courtesy: OSU AthleticsLast week at the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft, six Ohio State players were selected — the most since six were taken in the 1998 draft.One week later, it has been confirmed that all six of those Buckeyes will play professional baseball. OSU coach Greg Beals told The Lantern that each former OSU player has signed an MLB contract, which includes four underclassmen.The Buckeyes were set to lose nine seniors from the 2016 group that won a Big Ten tournament championship. With outfielders Ronnie Dawson and Troy Montgomery, first baseman Jacob Bosiokovic and starting pitcher Tanner Tully all signing with a year of eligibility left, the Buckeyes will now have to replace six of their starting nine hitters as well as two members of their starting rotation.The first player drafted for the Buckeyes was Dawson, who was taken in the second round with the 61st overall pick by the Houston Astros. According to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, he signed a deal with a bonus of $1,056,800.Montgomery was drafted 246th overall in the eighth round by the Los Angeles Angels. His bonus was worth $150,000.In the 19th round of the draft, the Colorado Rockies selected Bosiokovic. The 560th pick in the draft was signed with a bonus of $40,000. He flew out Monday to join the Rockies short-season single-A affiliate, the Boise Hawks.“I really didn’t know (I would be drafted) until I had spoken with (the Rockies) after the second day of the draft,” Bosiokovic said. “They were asking me what my signability was, but I really didn’t know what was going to happen until I got the phone call from our area scout.”Left-handed reliever Michael Horejsei was also selected in the draft, taken in the 21st round with the 626th overall pick, but it is unknown at this time how much he signed for. According to Baseball America, the slot value for his place in the draft is $100,000.Co-captain and third baseman Nick Sergakis was taken later in the 23rd round of the draft with the 700th pick in the draft and signed with the New York Mets for a bonus of $5,000. The final Buckeye taken in the draft was left-handed ace Tanner Tully, who signed with the Indians on a $100,000 bonus after being selected in the 26th round with the 782nd overall pick. read more

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Goodbye 2018 Tight race for the Bundesliga top scorer title

first_imgBayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski was the most lethal goalscorer last season in Germany, but this year he’s in fifth place so farIn the 2017-2018 season, Polish striker Robert Lewandowski won the German Bundesliga title as top scorer.He scored 29 goals in 34 matches, more than 14 goals ahead of second-place Nils Petersen from Freiburg.But now, he’s fifth on the list with only 10 goals.Jadon Sancho, Borussia DortmundCrouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.This year Borussia Dortmund’s Francisco Alcacer has surprised everybody, scoring 12 goals for his club.He’s tied in first with Luka Jovic from Eintracht Frankfurt with 12.On third place, Dortmund’s Marco Reus and RB Leipzig Timo Werner have scored 11 goals each.Will the 2018-2019 see a new top goalscorer?last_img read more

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