Postponements, prices and plastic – what’s the state of pitches in Wales? With the winter bringing the state of our sports pitches in to ever sharper focus, Graham Thomas and Paul Batcup provide a snapshot of the current picture in Wales. Anyone familiar with playing community football or rugby at this time of year will know the feeling. The rain falls, the wind howls, and as you peer through your living room window to assess the conditions for the weekend game, your phone pings with a message: “postponed – see you next week.”
Mike Ruddock insists Toby Booth convinced the Ospreys players he was the man to take the region out of its desperate slump. The current Harlequins assistant coach will take in charge at the Liberty Stadium for the start of the 2020/21 season after their long search for a replacement to sacked Allen Clarke came to an end. Ruddock – hired as performance director earlier this season – has revealed that senior Ospreys players were involved in the assessment process and gave their thumbs-up that Booth was the man for the job.
Neil Harris admitted Cardiff City’s play-off hopes have taken a nose-dive after a defeat to Nottingham Forest which ended with Callum Paterson and Leandro Bacuna literally at each other’s throats. The Bluebirds boss insisted there were no serious issues between the pair who clashed at the end of the 1-0 defeat and had to be pulled apart by teammates. Tiago Silva scored the only goal of the game as Harris’ side suffered his first Championship defeat at home since he took over from Neil Warnock in mid-November. The result leaves the Bluebirds six point
The Celtic Dragons began their Vitality Netball Superleague campaign with an agonizing, but encouraging 44-43 defeat to Surrey Storm at the weekend. But despite a huge turnaround in players, former Dragon Suzy Drane tells Graham Thomas she feels optimistic about this season. The Celtic Dragons can overcome the loss of key players and prove themselves a surprise package in netball’s Superleague this season – according to the woman who was once their heartbeat. Suzy Drane – a key player for the Dragons for over a decade and a Wales legend who reached the 100-cap mark last season – believes the team’s youngsters can rise to the challenge created by major change at the club over the past few months.
Hal Robson-Kanu has paid thanks to Slaven Bilic for making him a recall option for Wales again at this year’s Euro 2020 finals. The 30-year-old striker has become the central figure in West Brom’s revitalised promotion surge and underlined his influence for the Championship leaders with two goals in their 3-0 victory at Bristol City at the weekend. The Baggies are now nine points clear of third-placed Fulham after going seven matches without a win at the turn of the year.
Neil Harris has told his Cardiff City players to show they are “serious” about promotion as they begin life without Lee Tomlin on Tuesday night. The Bluebirds manager is demanding a reaction from his side who were beaten 2-0 at Stoke City last weekend, a result which stalled their play-off surge and allowed Swansea City to climb back above them in the Championship. With 12 matches of the season left, Cardiff are six points adrift of the play-off places, giving the visit of fifth-placed Forest a critical feel in the eyes of Harris.
Jeremiah Azu was involved in a dramatic 60m final at the England Athletics age group championships in Sheffield at the weekend. The Cardiff teenager got off to a relatively slow start, but soon got into his stride to challenge Liverpool’s Henry Nwoke for the title with a late dip for the line in a desperately close finish. The commentators initially called Azu as the winner, but it soon became evident no-one could be certain whether the Welshman had retained his title or if Nwoke had just held on to earn the crown.
Cardiff City Stadium
Neil Harris is at the forefront of a Cardiff City Academy revolution. The Bluebirds manager is delighted the Championship club are looking into upgrading the Academy to category one status - and have appointed a former Wales international to take charge of the under-23 development team. Steve Morison, an English-born striker who... Read More
Cardiff City manager Neil Harris has told his players: “The FA Cup is finished - let’s go for Championship success.” Harris was bitterly disappointed that his team lost 4-1 on penalties against Reading in last night's FA Cup fourth round replay after the sides had finished locked at 3-3 after extra... Read More
Striker Gary Madine is the latest player to leave Cardiff City. Gateshead-born Madine, a 29-year-old former Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United player agreed to end his contract by mutual consent 27 appearance over the last two years, nine off those this season. The 6ft 3ins Madine, who failed to score for City, ... Read More
Wales will put extensive security measures in place, amid rising tension in the Persian Gulf, when they play the United States in a March friendly. Contracts are about to be swapped between the Football Association of Wales and US Soccer for a March 30 friendly at the Cardiff City Stadium.... Read More
Wales are on a four-year high after their 2-0 Euro Championship win against Azerbaijan and are back in Cardiff feeling positive. That is a first European Championship qualifying away win since September 2015 (v Cyprus under Chris Coleman). Ryan Giggs and his team will finish second in group E if they beat... Read More
Tom King was given a crash course in learning the Welsh national anthem after he received a mobile call from Ryan Giggs. Newport County goalkeeper King was called up alongside Wayne Hennessey and Adam Davies for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Azerbaijan in Baku on Saturday and Hungary at Cardiff City Stadium... Read More