Honeymoon in Vienna

first_imgFor Nidhi and Rohan Nanda, who have just tied the knot, choosing the perfect honeymoon destination was perhaps the toughest decision. With fingers crossed, Vienna was picked on a friend’s recommendation and a week in the quaint city proved to be the perfect ending to their elaborate wedding.“There were so many suggestions from all corners but we wanted a place that was not only beautiful, but elegant and offered a historical experience. So, Vienna was chosen on a friend’s recommendation and it was the best decision of our lives,” a gleeful Rohan said.The city’s relaxed and laidback attitude was the perfect getaway after many tiring weeks of preparations and celebrations that are associated with Indian weddings, especially in the north, said Nidhi.The Austrian capital — in the heart of Europe — is one of the country’s nine federal states and is home to around 1.8 million people. Boasting of palaces, monuments, cathedrals, parks and vineyards, it’s a city where ancient churches stand beside contemporary glass buildings.Kunsthistorisches Museum, which houses perhaps the world’s largest collection of paintings, is the most prominent museum in the city along with the Belvedere and the Leopold in the MuseumsQuartier.Then, the Ringtrasse, a circular boulevard of over five kilometres that has grand buildings and manicured gardens on either side entices the travellers to take a long walk and experience the rich history of the city.Also known as the ‘City of Music’ Vienna has 50 theatres, including four opera houses. And for those who love to shop, the posh first district in the old city is the most sought after address.Among the popular markets are Naschmarkt, the city’s largest, which offers a mix of Viennese and international specialties. This perfect blend of “history, culture and nature” is what brings tourists in droves to the city, says Sharat Dhall, president of online travel portal Yatra.com.“Vienna’s classic heritage appeal and old-world charm make it the perfect honeymoon destination. Its cultural and geographical sights transport people back to the 18th century and provides the perfect setting for honeymooners,” Dhall said.“From waltzes to cafes, museums to nightclubs, the city is a perfect blend of culture, nature and history — modern and traditional at the same time,” he added.The fact that numerous Indian restaurants have opened in the city in the last few years has also helped in popularising Vienna amongst Indian travellers, said Verena Hable of the Vienna Tourist Board (VTB).“Indians love their food and when choosing a destination for a vacation, food is quite important especially if you are a vegetarian. In the last few years, many eateries have opened up here which serve authentic Indian food,” Hable said.According to one estimate, the number of Indian restaurants in the city has gone up from around 20 to over 50 in the last five years.“Vienna offers everything Indian honeymooners are looking for: authentic Indian food, English-speaking hospitality staff and guides and loads of nightlife, museums and shopping experiences,” Hable said.According to VTB data, from January to July this year, 15,000 tourists from India visited Vienna, a growth of 10.5 per cent from last year.“This is the result of a series of efforts by VTB to focus on the youth and honeymooners segment,” said Hable. Related Itemslast_img read more

Skilled Indian Workers Hold Rallies Across U.S. to End Green Card Backlog

first_imgHundreds of Indian professionals living in the United States held rallies over the weekend in Kentucky, Arkansas, Oregon and Nebraska, seeking reforms in the green card allocation process. Currently, Indians with high-skilled worker visas have to wait several decades for green card because of the 7 per cent country limit.The rallies were held to urge lawmakers to end the country limit, which has been dubbed arbitrary.The campaign, called #BreaktheBacklog, was recently launched by GCReforms, a Seattle-based advocacy group of highly skilled Indian workers who have been waiting for green cards for several years.The rallies were attended by around 200 people in Oregon, 300 in Kentucky and 100 protesters in Arkansas. In Nebraska, Representative Don Bacon met the India Association of Nebraska.“They shared with me many of the shortcomings of our H-1B visa program and the impact on their families and local employers. I look forward to being a strong voice in tackling these problems,” he tweeted.In Arkansas, Centerton Mayor Bill Edwards and citizens spoke in favor of clearing the backlog that can be anything between 25 years to 92 years, the issue of H4 visa children and the H4 employment authorization document (EAD) issue. In Kentucky, 300 Indians gathered along with Congressman Rep Andy Barr and Mayor William May. In Oregon’s Hillsboro, the Indians gathered for the rally thanked Senator Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden for a strong letter to the Department of Homeland Security in favor of clearing the backlog.“These legal immigrants are the victims of an arbitrary per-country cap on green cards,” said Congressman Barr, according to WYMT News. “These are engineers, these are architects, they’re doctors, they’re nurses, they’re IT professionals, and they can contribute enormously to our community and to our economy, When we talk about immigration reform, we can not forget fixing our broken legal immigration system,” he added.H4 visa children are the ones who are dependent on their H-1B visa parent, and lose the H4 visa status after the age of 21 years, forcing them to return to India. The H4 EAD issue, on the other hand, has been a sword hanging on the careers of spouses of H-1B workers who were able to start working in the country during the Barack Obama administration. The matter is under litigation.The Congress is currently working on Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, also known as H.R. 392, which will address the cap on country-based green cards. Related ItemsGreen CardH-1B visaIndian Americanlast_img read more

Supreme Court asks govt to review judges’ service conditions

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Centre, state and registrar general of all high courts on a petition which sought setting up of a separate pay commission for the approximate 18,000 subordinate court judges in the country.The petition filed by All India Judges Association said the separate provision and allocation had been discontinued after the Fifth Pay Commission. The association wanted the respondents to ensure that judicial officers are granted their essential and basic service conditions.”Issue a direction as may be necessary directing the respondents to set up a pay commission and review the service conditions of the judicial officers of subordinate judiciary in India including but not limited to pay scale, retirement age, pension and other emoluments of the sub-ordinate judiciary from time to time”, said the petition filed by advocate Mayuri Raghuvanshi and argued by senior advocate Gourab Banerji.The petitioner is seeking review and improvement of the service conditions of the judicial officers throughout the country. The association said the petition was filed with the primary objective of improving the service conditions of the judges in sub-ordinate judiciary.last_img read more

SPO-HESSON-WILLIAMSON

first_imgWilliamson is an all-round good player, says Mike HessonMumbai, May 10 (PTI) Heaping praise on Kane Williamson and including him in his list of top five current batsmen in the world, New Zealand national team coach Mike Hesson described that countrys captain as having the skills to adapt to any format of the game.The stylish Williamson is leading Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the current Indian Premier League (IPL) season, and has been inspirational with the bat as well as a captain.”Any quality batsman, if they have got the skills, will adapt (to) any form of the game and Kane Williamson is no different,” Hesson said ahead of the high-flying SRH game against the struggling Delhi Daredevils.”He does not go out and look to thrash the ball, but he times the ball, gets in good positions and hits where fielders arent. (He is) an all-round good player,” said the 43-year-old Kiwis coach, a Star Sports Select Dugout expert of the T20 League.Williamson has amassed 410 runs from 10 games, scoring five half-centuries. His highest score has been 84.Asked whether Williamson was the best batsman in the World, Hesson said, “Look, I wouldnt say that.”But he was quick to add that it was good to have a New Zealand batter among the top five batsmen in the world.”There are four-five (players) who are extremely good. (India and Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper) Virat Kohli is one, Joe Root (of England is) exceptionally good. Steve Smith (Australia), Kane Williamson, they are probably the four at the moment around the world, and AB de Villers when he is playing,” he said.advertisement”They are good in different conditions (and) they stand out. Its nice to have a New Zealand batsman as one of those top five,” said Hesson, who had also coached Kenya. PTI NRB SSR GK GK GKlast_img read more

Alex Hales: ‘It takes 10 seconds to get an image, 10 years to undo it’

first_img Support The Guardian “The last year and a half, there have been ups and hell of a lot of downs. All I will be focusing on is cricket. It’s the biggest year in English cricket history. I will be doing everything I can to be the best I can. It’s been so special being in this England team and when you lose your spot you realise it.”Before we conclude, the age-old question is asked as to whether England can indeed win the World Cup. “Yep. I’m going for it and saying yes. I’m the most excited I have ever been. I really think we’re going to do something special,” he says with a smile.Whether he is part of the team who do so remains to be seen. But for all his previous shortcomings in the decision-making department, that a batsman with the talent of Hales is pushing hard in reserve can only augur well for their prospects. Cricket It’s a neat idea but one which may be funkier than the world’s No 1 team need to be. After all, as has been the case since he and Ben Stokes got tangled up in a street fight at 2.30am on 25 September 2017 following a one-dayer against West Indies in Bristol, Hales sits outside the first-choice XI. From having been central to the first half of Morgan’s revolution, he has spent 18 months as an overqualified first reserve, dropping in when injury allows but running drinks in the main, looking on while Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow have forged one of the world’s most explosive opening combinations.This is his first in-depth interview since the whole sorry saga was wrapped up last December when, for his part in it, Hales accepted two charges from the cricket disciplinary commission of bringing the game into disrepute. One was for the fight, the second for lewd images that circulated in the aftermath, with the commission handing down a six-match suspension and fines of £17,500 (four games and £10,000 of which were suspended for 12 months). As you might expect with a sportsperson, the on-field punishment hurt the most. Read more Alex Hales’ last-over heroics keep England’s T20 series with India alive Hales has played in the IPL, the Bangladesh Premier League and for the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash. Photograph: Morne de Klerk/Getty Images Share on Twitter Pinterest England’s Alex Hales leaves the field after his dismissal against West Indies in Grenada in February. Photograph: Ricardo Mazalán/AP Show Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors’ picks. Pinterest Looking on from the outside during the legal proceedings – neither he, Barry nor O’Connell were called as witnesses – Hales says he suffered. While he was questioned under caution, he was never arrested and he recalls his reaction at not being prosecuted. “Of course it was a huge relief,” he says. “The whole situation was really tough to be a part of and to see Ben go through some really difficult times. It was tough [to watch the court case unfold] and I felt for his family, who are such nice people.”There were those, though, who thought Hales should have been on trial. A barrister for Hale, who was acquitted on the direction of the judge, criticised the crown prosecution service for not charging him. With the jury absent, Stephen Mooney had told the judge: “I struggle to understand how the crown, in adopting the stance they have, have come to the conclusion that overt acts of direct violence used by an individual to someone on the floor is not worthy of prosecution.”There was one final involvement, however, when, in front of the jury, Stokes’s lawyer, Gordon Cole QC, suggested in his closing speech that Ali’s fractured eye socket could just have easily been caused by the kicks from Hales and later crediting this element of doubt as a possible reason for the not-guilty verdict that resulted. Hales says: “It was tough to hear but at the end of the day, Ben and his team had to find a way to win the case. I wasn’t in court. That’s how it is.”Did it cause any issues between the pair? “Certainly not on my part. I don’t know his … but no, not for me. Fortunately that chapter is closed for both of us and we’re looking to move on.“It’s just shows, something can escalate from nowhere. It was also an eye-opener to how much we are in the public eye as England cricketers. You have to mature and put yourself in the right situations, not be out at 2.30am in the middle of a series. It’s a lesson learned the incredibly hard way.” It is media day at a sun‑drenched Trent Bridge and after Nottinghamshire’s players pose for various photographs, larking around as they do so during a spring ritual that precedes another county season, Alex Hales sits down in front of the old pavilion for a chat.The England batsman may hail from south Buckinghamshire but this is home; the place where, in 2009 aged 20, he announced himself with a then futuristic 150 not out from 102 balls in a televised Pro40 match against Worcestershire; where he took the West Indies attack for 99 from 68 in just his fourth England outing three years later; where, in recent times, scores of 171 and 147 have powered Eoin Morgan’s trailblazing side to two world-record one-day totals.Come the World Cup there is a case for Hales to be among the first names on the teamsheet to face Pakistan at Trent Bridge in England’s second group game on 3 June. After all, it is a playing surface he claims to know “like the back of his hand” and one on which, in international cricket, his long-levered style averages 90 from seven innings via an eye‑watering strike-rate of 139. Quick guide Follow Guardian sport on social media Share on Pinterest Read more Were those kicks the real Hales? “Not really but it was just a sticky situation seeing a guy with a bottle on the ground. What do you do? Stand there and do nothing? He [Ali] could have glassed Ben and it would have been a hell of a lot worse. You have to make a decision in that time. The guy had a weapon in his hand, he was on the floor and scrapping with a friend.”Ali told the trial he was holding the bottle in self defence. He said he had no recollection of going towards Hales with the bottle but accepted the video footage showed both that and that he struck another man with the bottle. His defence barrister, Anna Midgley, told the court Ali had been drinking from the bottle. “He didn’t arm himself but there came a time when he used it because he was threatened.” There “may have been a misunderstanding” which caused the violence to erupt, she added.And how does Hales explain lying to the police – another aspect of the case that was shown on camera in court? “That is one of my real regrets from that night. It was just a really immature moment. I wish I’d said I saw exactly what happened and I was there – but I panicked. I didn’t want to make the situation worse. I just hoped Ben would be released in the morning and that would be the end of it. Nothing would come of it.“[Stokes] did say to me to disappear. But that is still a regret and watching the footage back I was just cringing, seeing myself lying. I just panicked and said something. I cocked up. The lesson is, tell the truth.”Like Stokes, Hales claims it was a case of stepping in to defend two others – clubbers Kai Barry and Billy O’Connell – from being assaulted, something Hale and Ali both denied in court. “I think every situation that could have resulted wouldn’t have been a good one,” Hales says. “All six of us wish we could go back to that night and all gone our separate ways.” Twitter: follow us at @guardian_sportFacebook: like our football and sport pagesInstagram: our favourite photos, films and storiesYouTube: subscribe to our football and sport channels Share on WhatsApp Facebook Hide England cricket teamcenter_img Matthew Engel Was this helpful? There are only a handful of players who are world‑class at all three formats – I’m not one of them On a personal level the “moving on” process is well under way, even if an element of his punishment must still be served this week when, at his own expense, he undergoes a training course in Birmingham. It relates to the use of social media after Snapchat images of him in a state of undress – ones he says dated back seven years – went viral during the fallout from Bristol.Cricket-wise, as well as trying to take his rare chances with England, Hales has spent the last 12 months as a white-ball specialist. Spells playing Twenty20 in Bangladesh and Pakistan during this winter just gone have caught the eye, not least since he joined Morgan in missing a tour to the former in 2016 for security reasons.“There was so much public interest at the time of that decision,” Hales says. “There had been a terrorist attack in Dhaka and I just didn’t feel comfortable, knowing we’d be the most high profile western people there. It didn’t sit well with me. Player migration is giving cricket a worrying identity crisis “I won’t lie, there have been days when it has gnawed away at me,” Hales says. “The fines and everything were a dent but the biggest thing was losing my spot. The day I found out I wasn’t playing [the final two ODIs against West Indies] I knew Jason would come in and score big runs. He’s too good a player. And Jonny was in the best form of his life. I saw it coming and it unfolded in slow motion.”Hales is not looking for sympathy. The events that took place near the Mbargo nightclub were serious enough for him to know he cannot reasonably grumble about his lot. They have been well documented too, albeit with the three men who were tried on charges of affray – Stokes, Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale – offering conflicting explanations in court before ultimately all were cleared.Nevertheless it would be remiss not to ask Hales about certain aspects of his own involvement, not least having himself avoided a criminal charge despite video footage both of him kicking Ali during the melee, and then telling a police officer he was not present as Stokes was being arrested. Reuse this content Photograph: Chesnot/Getty Images Europe Facebook Nottinghamshire “But two years is a long time. I spoke to guys on that tour, who said it was fine, and there have been two Bangladesh Premier Leagues since. I spoke to [the ECB security adviser] Reg Dickason and players from those tournaments and felt OK. Things can change.”Hales admits it is unlikely he will ever add to his 11 Test caps – “I think there are only a handful of players who can be truly world‑class at all three formats and having played all three, I’m not one of them. But I think I can be in white-ball” – and he now will look to see out his career in the shorter formats.He claims to be relishing the self-sufficiency this career path brings – the money, he claims, is so far slightly less than before – and is grateful to the “world-class” coaching staff at Nottinghamshire who, under Peter Moores, help cater for his specialism.But has he changed? Before speaking to Hales, two members of the England coaching setup were approached for a steer and the feedback was encouraging. He has, they said, redoubled his efforts in training over the past 18 months, worked heavily on some shortcomings in the field and upped his fitness levels.Nevertheless, the week before our chat a story appeared in the Sun newspaper about his private life. While not interested in the details, he is asked how it feels to be described as “cricket bad boy” in the intro. “That’s not something you like to hear. And I don’t think I’m bad,” he replies.“Sometimes I make mediocre decisions – I always have – but I don’t want to make them any more. It takes 10 seconds to get an image and 10 years to undo it. I’m 30 now, not 20, and I’ll be doing whatever I can for the rest of my career to change perceptions. … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Thank you for your feedback. interviews Share on Facebook Topics Share via Email Share on Messenger Twitter Share on LinkedIn Twitter Since you’re here…last_img read more

Wenger demands VAR after handball

first_imgArsenal Wenger demands VAR after West Brom snatch controversial point Matthew Scott 03:29 1/1/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Wenger - cropped Getty Images Arsenal West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal West Bromwich Albion Premier League Arsène Wenger Alan Pardew admitted the Baggies benefited from a controversial handball, which sent the Arsenal boss into a rant about the standard of referees Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says Video Assistant Referees are required in the Premier League after his side were denied victory at West Brom by a controversial late penalty.Alexis Sanchez’s free-kick deflected in via James McClean to put the Gunners on the brink of victory at The Hawthorns as Wenger ticked onto 811 Premier League games managed – a new record.However, Mike Dean awarded the Baggies a penalty late in the game after Kieran Gibbs’ cross hit Calum Chambers’ arm from point-blank range. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Arsenal fumed at Dean after the match with Petr Cech earning a yellow card, and Wenger then launched a scathing attack on the standard of officiating.”What can we do? We can talk and talk but it doesn’t change,” Wenger told Sky Sports. “The Premier League doesn’t face the problem, not with the schedule and not with the referees. Years ago, the referees turned professional but the level doesn’t go up.”In my opinion, yes, it is 100 per cent wrong. It is difficult to accept. It is not the first time, but it is best not to talk about it. We just have to deal with it.”VAR technology will be used for the first time in a competitive match in England when Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion face each other in the FA Cup next month. Wenger had no doubt that VAR would have spared his team, adding: “I think it will make a difference. We want to be the best league in the world so it is time to use it. Other leagues do.”Opposite number Alan Pardew freely admitted that his side had enjoyed a significant rub of the green with the decision.He told Sky Sports: “When you keep talking about doing the right things and application and earning luck, and it doesn’t happen, it’s hard, but we got it today, at last.”The decision’s a tough one on Arsenal. I’ve seen it and, wow, he could’ve not given it. But we deserved the break.”last_img read more

What Bob Stoops’ Sooners Think About Bedlam

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The Sooners talked with the media yesterday about their thoughts on what Bedlam means to them, pretty insightful stuff from Big Game Bob & Co.Head Coach Bob StoopsHow soon after you took this job did you realize the importance of Bedlam in this state?“Bedlam, Nebraska, Texas, about everybody right? When we show up, the stadium’s full and everybody’s ready. So they were right there with everybody else.”When asked about out of state players and if you have to remind them the importance of Bedlam.“No, it’s for the Big 12 Championship right? They’re a top ten team. If they need more than that I need to check the intellect of some of these guys. Naw, that’s simple.”The perception of these comments can range anywhere from tool-ish to gamesmanship. You can’t let your team get too emotionally invested and that’s wise, but this feels like another version of the age-old argument “OSU isn’t our rival, Texas is.” Feels like comments in the same vein as 2013 Sooners refusing to acknowledge to the upset role they were playing.Pass Rusher Ogbo OkoronkwoHow intense is this rivalry?“It’s for who’s the best team in the state… I feel like this is just as big of a rivalry as it is going to Dallas and the Cotton Bowl playing Texas. This is big, it’s for bragging rights.”OU’s leader in sacks (a guy who straddled the Bedlam fence) is a new breed of Sooner player that’s seen the rivalry with OSU grow.Wide Receiver Dede WestbrookAs someone who didn’t grow up here, what does this rivalry mean to you?“It’s going to be lots of trash talk, it’s going to be a lot of hard hitting football, just pretty much anything you can name out there.”Tight End Mark Andrews“Obviously with this type of rivalry game, ya know they’re going to be physical and come out and hit us in the mouth. So we’ve just got to respond to that and take it as an insult and play hard.”Left Tackle Orlando Brown“Just like Texas man, I don’t like em because my teammates don’t like em’. The guys from Oklahoma, they don’t like Oklahoma State normally and that’s just how it goes. And I go to OU so whoever ya’ll hate I hate. (laughing)”The older guys know a storm is coming, you can tell from Westbrook. Bob is trying to play it down, Gundy is saying the defense is more fresh and physical than it’s been since 2011 and he’s found himself some running game. I’m more excited than Tim Riggins at a high school party and Mike Gundy on the opening day of deer season. Let’s Bedlam, baby.[USATSI]last_img read more

How Mike Gundy Gets His Team and Coaches On The Same Page

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Mike Gundy has his own way of doing things. That’s been the case throughout his tenure at Oklahoma State. But that doesn’t mean that any one of those things is set in stone. Far from it, actually.Gundy may not be an innovator but he seeks out what works. He’s not necessarily a trendsetter but he’s ahead of the curve. He may not be radical, but he’s not afraid to change. He does all of these things smartly, with an end goal in mind.So when the 12-year head coach decided to take a practice already in use with his players and apply it to his coaching staff for the first time, he was not above a little self-admonishment wondering why he hadn’t thought of it sooner.Coaching Search published a terrific article recently about Gundy’s recent speech at the AFCA convention last month in which he explained to coaches in attendance about how his coaches now give mandatory biographical speeches to the team. He started doing this with his players a few years ago, too (which didn’t get a ton of publicity).He explained why he makes his coaches do this.“This is the first year [in 2016], in preseason camp Thursdays, I had our staff get up and give a 7- or 8-minute talk about themselves. Who they were, how they got here, what they believe in,” Gundy said. “Here’s what’s really sad: 10 out of 12 guys that spoke, I didn’t know any of the stuff they were talking about. I didn’t really know myself. I didn’t know how they got to that point. I gained valuable information on our staff that I didn’t even know as the head coach.“I’m sitting there thinking, ‘That’s not very smart. You’re supposed be in charge, you’re supposed to know these things, and you don’t even know the background of these guys.’ That was huge for us as a team. You can tell when people are paying attention, when your team is focused. You’ve got some guys looking at the wall or whatever. But they were tuned in to hearing their coaches talk about how they got to that point. That created some continuity with us.”He went on to talk about how many of his decisions are made in light of trying to get everyone on the same page for an entire season. It’s not as easy as it seems. Especially with all the distractions in today’s society.There was a time not long ago when turnover among Gundy’s staff was an ordinary occurrence. In a five-year stretch (from 2009 to 2013), the Cowboys had four offensive coordinators. Even current OC Mike Yurcich’s name was connected to the vacancy at Auburn last month.Gundy, who spent time on staff at Maryland, Baylor and two separate stints at Oklahoma State, encouraged any young assistant coaches listening to make an effort to be loyal to their head coaches.“I wish I was a head coach first and an assistant second. I wasn’t as loyal as I needed to be, because I didn’t know. As a head coach, I want guys that work hard and are loyal and do the best they can. I wish I was more loyal as an assistant. I worked. I did all that. But I didn’t understand the loyalty.”Despite (or maybe in addition to) the mullet, Gundy holds a lot of respect nationally — especially among coaching circles. Look no further than his accomplishments over the past 13 years. He explained how he encourages his assistants to get ahead.“If you want to make it to the top, if you’re loyal to your head coach and he can trust you and you always do more than you’re asked, you’ll go right to the top,” said Gundy at the event.“Most people are too lazy to do that. My own boys at home, I tell them, if you’re supposed to do eight reps on the bench, then you need to do nine. That means you do more than everybody else. You’re asked to do eight, do nine, because you did two more — because most kids are going to do seven. They’re not even going to do eight.”This all may sound a bit self-serving. There’s little doubt those on his staff heard the speech. But this was more than just a plea for less turnover among the ranks in Stillwater. Gundy is smart in ways you don’t really expect.Forcing his players and coaches to be vulnerable in front of one another and then asking for their loyalty in return is another in a long line of them.last_img read more

OSU’s Spring Game Will Feature a QB Competition for the Future

first_imgDuring his National Signing Day press conference, Mike Gundy gave us some insight into OSU’s quarterback competition of the future. Not the QB competition for the immediate future. There is none. But with the program stockpiling talented prospects to take over for Mason Rudolph next year, this year’s spring game should be all the more intriguing.“It will be an interesting spring because Mason (Rudolph), we won’t work him a lot,” said Gundy. “We will work the younger guys. As we have our three or four thud scrimmages in the spring, the majority of them will be the young quarterbacks and we let them play.”When talking about incoming freshman (and “big man”) Jelani Woods, Gundy seems to share our enthusiasm for his intangibles. And why not? At 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds, Woods stands literally head-and-shoulders above the pack.“Yeah, he’s a big man,” said Gundy. “He is on campus now. He had a great year. I think they started out 2-3 and then they ran the table and won a state championship. We are excited about him. He’s in the program; lot of substance to him. Comes from a good mom and daddy.“They understand commitment and the structure and discipline we look for. It will be really interesting how he develops.”If I can read between the lines here, I’d surmise that Woods and his family are on board with his likely upcoming redshirt year, but that won’t keep him from showcasing his talents in the upcoming yearly exhibition game.Given his frame and natural ability, I can’t wait to see what Woods come out looking like in 2018 — after essentially a year and a half in the Rob Glass’ program.But Woods is not the only young QB I’m excited to see. All signs point to Keondre Wudtee being a baller. During fall camp of his redshirt year in 2016, Wudtee was already getting attention for his “quick release and strong arm.” And former OSU wide receiver Austin Hays talked about Wudtee’s feet.“He’s obviously wearing a green jersey, so nobody can touch him,” Hays told the Oklahoman. “But you can just tell he’s very elusive and he’s got big moves.”We would be remiss to skip over the Oil Baron, Taylor Cornelius who will be a redshirt junior next season and could be first in line as Mason Rudolph’s backup. He should get some snaps this spring as well as John Kolar, who will be entering his redshirt sophomore season this fall.Tracin Wallace, brother of highly touted OSU receiver signee Tylan, is also listed as a quarterback. Whether he has completely recovered from last year’s knee injury in time for the spring game, he’ll be a player to watch in the future.“We talked about Tylan and Tracin Wallace, who has played quarterback,” said Gundy. “He’s had the knee injury, but should be up and running in two months. We’ll get him in here and could do some things for us at the quarterback position. Obviously, he’ll probably redshirt with Mason being back. It will be interesting to see how he develops over the next couple of years.”There are a lot of questions to be answered before Mason Rudolph’s successor is named in roughly a year and a half, and he may not even be on OSU’s roster right now. But on April 15, we’ll get our first look at a couple of the frontrunners. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Wenger hoping for Wilshere & Welbeck deals

first_imgTransfers Wenger offers update on Arsenal futures of Wilshere and Welbeck Chris Burton 15:43 22/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Jack Wilshere Arsenal Getty Images Transfers Arsenal Arsène Wenger Premier League The Gunners are yet to tie a rejuvenated midfielder to terms past the end of the season, while their England forward will be out of contract in 2019 Arsene Wenger wants Arsenal to extend Jack Wilshere’s contract “very quickly” and remains hopeful that Danny Welbeck will commit to fresh terms.Extension talks have become something of an issue for the Gunners of late, with long-running sagas involving Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez providing an unwelcome distraction in 2017.The former eventually put pen to paper, but the latter was moved on to Manchester United during the January transfer window. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Exit talk is now building around England international Wilshere, as he continues to head towards free agency, but Wenger hopes a deal, which has been mooted for some time, will soon be signed.The Arsenal boss said of the 26-year-old midfielder: “That decision doesn’t depend only on me.“I want him to sign very quickly.“We are still to make the decision and find the pen somewhere. I’m happy to give him one.”Wilshere has previously stated that he would be willing to extend his stay in north London, as a product of Arsenal’s academy system.He is not the only one posing future problems for the Gunners, though, with several other players having entered the final 18 months of their respective deals.Danny Welbeck, ArsenalEngland forward Welbeck is among those set to be out of contract in 2019, but Wenger is also looking for him to offer a new deal – despite the 27-year-old having suffered an injury-ravaged spell at Emirates Stadium.“I want to keep him because I believe he has gone through a torrid time,” explained the Frenchman.“He has come out well. I see signs in training now that are positive. If he can stay on the pitch and not be injured, I want him to stay here.”Discussions with Welbeck may have to wait, with Arsenal’s focus at present locked on a Europa League last-32 clash with Ostersunds, a Carabao Cup final meeting with Manchester City and an ongoing battle to try and secure a top-four finish in the Premier League.last_img read more

Inside former Chelsea ace Atsu’s battle against poverty

first_imgChristian Atsu Inside former Chelsea ace Atsu’s battle against poverty Nizaar Kinsella Click here to see more stories from this author Chelsea correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 20:50 7/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Christian Atsu at Newcastle Getty Images Newcastle United Lionel Messi Chelsea Premier League The former Chelsea winger has opened up about his family’s battle with poverty before he began his footballing career Christian Atsu might be in the middle of a relegation dogfight with Newcastle United, but the Ghana international feels his side’s Premier League struggles are nothing compared to his family’s battle with poverty.The former Chelsea man’s childhood was beset by money problems and he lost his dad in tragic circumstances, with the family never learning the cause of death due to a lack of medical attention.Growing up in Ada Foah, Atsu honed his skills on the streets before being spotted by scouts from Feyenoord’s African football academy. He said goodbye to his family, but would never see his father Immanuel again, who fell sick and passed away during his first six months at the academy. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp His brother and mother looked after him and his twin sister as other family members scattered across the country to make a living and make up for the loss of their father – who had worked as a farmer and fisherman.Atsu eventually earned himself a move to Europe when Porto came knocking in 2010 and he concedes that he was lucky to find a way out of poverty. The 26-year-old now works as an ambassador for UK based charity Arms Around The Child as he aims to battle poverty. It is a fight he takes incredibly serious as he believes his father could have been saved had the family had the financial resources they have now. “Yes 100 per cent, I believe he would have survived if I was already a professional footballer, or if he had these health problems while I was at Porto,” Atsu told Goal. “I believe that he would have survived 100 % because I could have provided for him. I could have got him into a better hospital and he would have been fine. We used to speak about this whenever I met my family members. For him, this could have been the best moment to have seen me playing.”For me, it is difficult because he sacrificed everything for me and by the time I was good, he left. It is hard but this is the life.”Newcastle United’s players are battling for Premier League survival, but many will gather at a gala dinner at the Gateshead Hilton Hotel on Wednesday night to support Atsu’s Arms Around The Child event. Christian AtsuAtsu gave up education for football as a young boy and he was feeling the pressure during his three-day trial at Porto, which had the potential to ease suffering amongst his family and friends. “It is true that in Ghana I learned about pressure. I have learned to cope with it now, everyday,” Atsu added. “We used to say ‘the dog chasing you will determine the speed at which you run.’ If a slow dog is chasing you, you will run slower, if a fast dog is chasing you, you will run faster.”The more pressure you have, the more you put in your work. I had a lot of pressure on my back and I had no excuse to not run faster, work hard. I left the academy because I spoke with my family and I went back home.”There I had a letter from Porto that they had watched my videos in the academy. I played a game and they said they watched me and wanted me. I was very lucky that when I went home, I had someone to help me. “So when I went there, I saw the letter. Then I had to make a decision, I spoke with my family and I said ‘I have to go to Porto’ because this is a big opportunity for me. From there I left the country for Porto in 2010.Christian Atsu at Porto“I had a trial. It wasn’t even a strict contract and my first trial was for three days. I had trials for three days and it wasn’t easy. I thank God that I had this opportunity. I was lucky to have this opportunity.”A lot of children in Ghana will not get this chance and waste their talent in Africa, that’s why I am also trying to do my best to make sure that they will not waste their talent and make sure they have the opportunity to work towards their future.”I was very happy because I could send money to my family and my friends. I was happy to sign my contract. At first I signed a six-month contract, then a one-year contract and then a three-year contract. I was happy because I had some money but that wasn’t the goal when I arrived.”The goal was to play at the highest level that I could and to work toward that goal. I played in a lot of big stadiums now so I have experience of that. But back then there was more pressure because you don’t know where you are going, your future, your friends, your parents and everyone were calling you. So it was a lot of pressure from outside the field. From your family, from your friends.Christian Atsu“I mean outside of the field, also from Ghana, but now that I have played in big stadiums the pressure isn’t as much as in my early career. I have six brothers, four sisters, one mother, one father. It was good for them to hear the positive news, it put a bit of a smile on their faces.”When I went there I travelled to Porto and I decided to forget everything about my country and tried to work on my future. I concentrated everything on my future. I needed to adapt to different things; different food, different people, different weather. At the start it was hard but I decided to work hard through it.”I always enjoyed playing football, although the money was part of it, the priority is to always be a better footballer and also to play at the highest level. This was in my mind every day, when I am on the pitch and to finish training. This was my dream, It was also one of my dreams to play in the Premier League and I am very happy to have achieved it.”Atsu’s performances at Porto earned him the nickname “the African Messi” and eventually a move to Chelsea. “When I was in the academy, we had the TV channel to watch the Premier League,” He continued “Michael Essien was playing at Chelsea and we were watching him every time. It is true I was watching the Premier League. Even before I moved to the academy, I was finding ways to watch it.”I admired Messi too, when I saw him playing, he was very small. He was very short, quick and had amazing technique so. I used to talk about this guy and say I’d have loved to play with him.”Also Essien is a legend in Ghana, he won ‘Africa’s Best’ three times, he was great for Chelsea and also for himself. He was great for Ghana too. He was one of the players I was looking up to when I was growing up. Now I know him very well, honestly, he was a great player.”I want to win an African Cup of Nations with Ghana and at Newcastle United, I want to work hard and to stay in the Premier League. In my charity life, my dream is to keep doing it for as many years as I can, for it to grow and for many people to know it.”I know there are a lot of charities in Ghana but I want this one to be one of the biggest charities in Ghana and for it to inspire other charity work. I would say that I have been through a lot but my response is to want to love humanity.”To be there for each other, help each other. Helping my brother, sister, friends and anyone who is suffering. This is what I want to do, to show love for humanity.”There are still a few tickets left for the Black Star Gala, with Christian Atsu and his team-mates, at the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead on Wednesday March 14. Visit theblackstargala.eventbrite.co.uklast_img read more

Dru Brown Looked Pretty Good in His OSU Debut, Could Factor Into OSU’s Season

first_imgLosing out in a tightly-contested quarterback battle isn’t any easy pill to swallow. Especially one that runs all the way up to week before the season opener and especially when you are a senior who transferred in a year ago to earn the job.But if Dru Brown’s debut as a Cowboy is any indication, he has remained 100 percent locked in.Taking over for Spencer Sanders early in the third quarter of Oklahoma State’s 56-14 victory, Brown quickly showed that he too has some arm talent — and some wheels.Brown completed his first four pass attempts and Nos. 3 and 4 went for 59 and 69 yards, respectively. Both were touchdowns. For reference, Oklahoma State completed four total passing plays of 50 yards or more all of last season. Sanders and Brown split that total on Saturday night.Yes, it was an FCS opponent (OSU played one of those last year, too) and, yes, you can credit some of that yardage to the speed of Tylan Wallace, C.J. Moore and Braydon Johnson. But Brown picked up right where Sanders left off, putting 21 points on the board while he was taking snaps.Here’s Brown hooking up with Moore on his first TD.Side note: C.J. is gonna be a dude.And check out this throw to Braydon Johnson.Brown also took off for a 7-yard run, showing he’s got at least serviceable feet. He finished the night 7-of-10 for 142 yards and two scores with a passer rating of 255.3. It’s a small sample size, but I liked what I saw from the seasoned passer.And so did his head coach.“When he was out there with guys that had played some, he was pretty effective,” said Mike Gundy. “Gets a little rough for him when there’s new guys out there that haven’t really worked together.”Dru Brown’s play through a quarter and some change at least proved that Oklahoma State is in good shape depth-wise at the most important position on the field.Let’s face it, Spencer Sanders has taken a couple too many hits for my liking through two weeks of play, and it’s somewhat rare for a starting QB to navigate a 12-plus game season unscathed. Excuse me while I got frantically knock on every piece of wooden furniture in my house.The point is that there is a long season ahead of us, and if the Cowboys have to rely on Dru Brown for a series or a quarter or a game, it looks like they are in good hands. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

LIVE: England vs Panama

first_imgWorld Cup England vs Panama: Live blog, text commentary, line-ups, stream & TV channel Goal Last updated 1 year ago 18:14 6/24/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) England celebrate Panama World Cup 2018 Getty World Cup England v Panama Panama England Powerade England will be a confident side ahead of their meeting with Panama and a victory would be enough to secure a spot in the last 16 Southgate now has the option of resting key players for the match against Belgium. The situation is an interesting one as the winner of Group G could have the harder road ahead them than second place. England and Belgium are locked in on equal points and goals scored, meaning a draw could see top place decided by the fair play rule. Food for thought for Southgate ahead of next week.England secure their place in the knockout stage of the World Cup with an emphatic win over Panama this afternoon. The result sends Panama out of the competition and draws the Three Lions level on points with Belgium at the top of Group G. Harry Kane became the third Englishman to score a hat-trick at the World Cup, scoring two penalties and a deflected goal. John Stones notched his first two international goals, heading home twice from set-pieces. Jesse Lingard also found the net, with a sublime effort that epitomised the performance of Gareth Southgate’s men in the first half.FULL-TIME: ENGLAND 6-1 PANAMA Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar 90+4 mins: BLOCK! Rodriguez and Davis link up down the left and the full-back sends a cross into the box. It evades Baloy, but Perez collects and fires at goal. However, Stones is well placed to make the block.90+2 mins: Sterling and Rose combine down the left flank, but the latter’s cross into the box evades the run of Vardy in the middle.90 mins: Henderson’s flick almost finds its way through to Stones, but it just evades the defender, denying him the chance of a hat-trick.89 mins: England have a final chance to whip the ball into the box from a set-piece as Young stands over the ball.88 mins: England’s offside trap fails them for the second time in the space of 10 minutes as Perez breaks in behind. However, England have enough bodies back to quell the opening.86 mins: Avila sends another delivery into the box from the left flank, although on this occasion Walker rises to head clear of danger.84 mins: The game is ending not where it started as both teams seem content with the scoreline. Panama have their goal, which has continued to see their fans cheering inside the stadium.82 mins: WIDE! Sterling goes on the charge and curls an effort towards goal from the edge of the box, but his effort just drifts wide of the post.80 mins: Pickford was furious with his defenders after the goal. Something for England to work on ahead of their contest against Belgium.Felipe Baloy Panama England78 mins: GOALLLLLLLLLLL!!!! BALOY GETS PANAMA ON THE SCORESHEET!!! 6-1!! England fall asleep at the back as Baloy pulls of the back of their defensive lin from Avila’s free-kick. He connects sweetly on the slide, directing his effort beyond the reach of Pickford into the bottom corner.77 mins: Sterling brings down Cooper on the flank and it hands Panama a chance to whip a cross into the box.76 mins: CHANCE! TORRES HAS TO SCORE! Rodriguez curls the ball to the near post and it’s flicked on towards the run of the Panama captain. He connects with a low strike at the back stick, only to place his effort wide of the post.75 mins: Rodriguez speeds down the left flank and whips a cross into the back post. Rose attempts to stab it clear, but concedes a corner in the process.73 mins: WIDE! From the resulting free-kick Maguire wins the initial header before it’s cleared into the path of Henderson. He goes for the strike on the volley, only to direct his strike inches past the post.72 mins: Vardy attempts to latch on to a ball over the top, but Escobar covers across to make the intervention in the right inside channel. Murillo brings down Sterling on the charge and goes into the book. It hands England a free-kick in a threatening position.71 mins: Kane is the third player to score a hat-trick for England at the World Cup, after Geoff Hurst in 1966 and Gary Lineker in 1986.70 mins: Trippier has put in another good shift down the flank and he makes way for Rose, with Young switching to the right flank.69 mins: Final changes by Panama, Arroyo enters the field to replace Barcenas. Gomez makes way for Baloy in the Panama midfield.68 mins: Pickford was not impressed with his defenders after Panama’s opening. He will be desperate to keep a clean sheet.66 mins: CHANCE! Murillo breaks in behind the England defence to latch on to Barcenas’ pass into the right inside channel. Pickford comes out to narrow the angle and make the stop.64 mins: Loftus-Cheek makes another diligent turn in the final third, but his offload to Henderson is wasted as the midfielder scuffs the pass from his team-mate on the edge of the box.63 mins: Kane times his hat-trick to perfection as he makes way for Vardy. Another England change as Delph comes on to ease the burden off Lingard in the middle of the park. Meanwhile for Panama, Godoy had a couple of moments in the first half, but now makes way for Avila.62 mins: GOALLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!! KANE HAS A HAT-TRICK!! ENGLAND 6-0!!!! Kane gets his hat-trick in fortunate circumstances as Loftus-Cheek strike from the edge of the box strikes his heel and wrong foots Penedo to find the net. The referee went to the VAR to check for offside, but the forward was just on to notch his third goal of the game.Harry Kane England Panama World Cup 201861 mins: Stones breaks forward from the back and opts not to slide a pass in for the run of Sterling. England are being more cautious in the second period.59 mins: The Three Lions work the ball around the Panama half, but the final pass evades them on this occasion.57 mins: England build down the right as Kane offloads towards Trippier, but the wing-back is caught offside as he collects on the flank.55 mins: The tempo of the game has dropped significantly in the second half. England can afford to take it easy after their dominance in the opening 45 minutes.53 mins: England are encamped in the Panama half and Loftus-Cheek wins a corner off the legs of Escobar.52 mins: Kane is barged off the ball by Godoy and England win a free-kick in the Panama half.50 mins: Walker covers at the back to stop a run from Godoy, but he concedes a corner in the process with a loose backheel.49 mins: Kane releases Sterling in the final third, but the pass has too much pace for the forward to control as Penedo races out to make the challenge.47 mins: Kane feeds the ball into Sterling in the left inside channel and he guides the ball towards Loftus-Cheek in the middle, but Davis gets there ahead of him to make the challenge46 mins: The second half is underway!The only concern for England is their discipline in the second half. Panama have been confrontational to say the least. A couple of players may have been fortunate to stay on the pitch, while Harry Maguire was drawn into an incident with Roman Torres on the brink of half-time. Gareth Southgate will have to monitor his team to ensure they keep their cool as Panama have nothing to lose at this point.Jesse Lingard EnglandEngland have experienced a dream first half in the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium against Panama, scoring five times. The Three Lions have been brilliant in the final third, although they have been aided by terrible defending by Panama. Harry Kane has scored twice from the spot, while John Stones has notched two headers from set-pieces. Jesse Lingard scored the best of the lot, curling a strike from the edge of the box into the top corner.HALF-TIME: ENGLAND 5-0 PANAMA45+2 mins: Maguire gets caught by the arm of Cooper, although the referee does not spot the incident. Torres then gets involved as the two collide. England do not want to get involved with Panama on their road to destruction here.45+1 mins: GOALLLLLLLL!!! KANE CONVERTS!!! 5-0!! The England captain makes no mistake from 12 yards, hammering his effort into the top corner. It was the same place as his first strike.45 mins: Escobar goes into the book for dissent after the decision was made.43 mins: PENALTY TO ENGLAND! Kane is pulled down from the resulting corner by Godoy and the referee points to the spot. It’s horrific defending by Panama.42 mins: BLOCK! Loftus-Cheek cuts in from the right flank to combine with Sterling to tee up Lingard. He goes for another strike from distance, only to see his effort blocked behind by Escobar40 mins: GOALLLLLLLLLLL!!!! ENGLAND HAVE FOUR!!! 4-0!!! Stones notches his second of the game, converting from close range with his head. It was a well-worked free-kick routine from the Three Lions as Trippier rolled the ball to Henderson. He curled a delivery to the back post for Kane to nod on. Sterling missed the first opportunity as Penedo made a fine close-range save. However, Stones was on the spot to head home.Harry Kane England Panama World Cup 201838 mins: Escobar slides in on Kane in the final third and the referee awards a free-kick to England 35 yards from goal. Trippier stands over the ball36 mins: GOALLLLLLLL!!!! LINGARD SCORES A STUNNER!!! 3-0!!! England have a third goal in the first half as Lingard curls a beauty into the top corner. The build-up was sublime down the left between Young and Sterling as two one-touch passes released the Manchester United midfielder into space. He curled a fine effort beyond the reach of Penedo into the net. England are in complete control.34 mins: Henderson attempts to release Young down the left flank. He keeps the ball in play on the stretch, although despite the wing-back’s best efforts it travels out for a throw-in.32 mins: OVER! England win a free-kick for a foul on Sterling. Maguire breaks free down the left to head Trippier’s cross at goal, only to direct his effort over the bar.30 mins: Sterling makes a good run behind th Panama backline to latch on to Trippier’s throughball, but Penedo just gets there ahead of the forward.29 mins: Perez and Godoy combine in the final third and the latter is able to slide a pass through to Rodriguez. However, the winger sends his cross over the bar.28 mins: Panama build possession from the back around the England half, but are stopped from moving further forward by a press from the white shirts26 mins: Henderson lifts the ball over the top for Sterling’s run into the box. However, the forward moves a fraction too soon and is caught offside.24 mins: Kane is only the third England player to score three goals or more in a World Cup group stages, after Roger Hunt in 1966 and Gary Lineker in 1986.23 mins: Loftus-Cheek trips Rodriguez down the flank and he goes into the book.22 mins: GOALLLLLLL!!!!! KANE POWERS HIS STRIKE INTO THE NET!! 2-0!!!!  England double their advantage as their captain holds his nerve from the spot. Panama did their utmost to try to put him off in the build-up, while there was another scuffle on the edge of the box between both sets of players. However, Kane held his nerve to strike into the top corner.20 mins: PENALTY TO ENGLAND! Lingard goes down in the box under pressure from Escobar and the referee points to the spot. The midfielder latched on to a long ball and was prevented from shooting by the Panama defender.19 mins: Panama put the press on England on the half-way line and try to force a mistake. Walker’s long ball over the top for Trippier sails out of play.England Panama John Stones World Cup 201817 mins: Sterling is late on Torres and play stops for the defender to receive treatment on the pitch. The referee is not helping matters between the teams by stopping the match for every infraction.16 mins: WIDE! Murillo finds space in the final third and he cuts the ball across the edge of the box for Marcenas to strike at goal on his left foot. He connects sweetly with his strike, but it drifts inches wide of the post, with Pickford scrambling.14 mins: Kane dispossesses Torres in the final third, but Panama are able to flood defenders back behind the ball before the England captain can threaten.13 mins: Stones is the first Manchester City player to score for England in a World Cup game since Trevor Francis vs Kuwait in 198212 mins: England struggle to clear their lines as Rodriguez collects on the left flank, but he over hits his delivery into the box, allowing the Three Lions to clear the danger.11 mins: Barcenas makes good progress down the right flank and sends a quality cross to the near post. However, Walker is there with an important block to steer it away from Perez.10 mins: Cooper chops down Lingard in the centre circle and goes into the book.8 mins: GOALLLLLLLLLL!!!!! STONES HEADS ENGLAND AHEAD!!! 1-0!!!! England take the lead from the corner as Stones gets free in the area and plants his header into the bottom corner. There was pulling and pushing in the build-up between Maguire and Gomez. However, Trippier put the delivery on a plate and Stones made the run before powering his header into the net. Stones scores his first international goal.8 mins: ​Trippier surges down the right flank and wins a corner off the legs Davies. The full-back will deliver the cross into the box.7 mins: Rodriguez flings himself to the ground on the left flank and Panama win their second free-kick of the match6 mins: WIDE! Panama break with pace and find room on the left flank as Barcenas tees up Godoy for a strike at goal, but he places his effort wide of the post5 mins: OVER! Marcenas gathers a clearance from Kane from 25 yards and goes for an ambitious strike at goal, hammering his effort over the bar.4 mins: Trippier brings down Rodriguez down the left flank and Panama have a free-kick.2 mins: Loftus-Cheek makes a surge down the right flank and sends a low cross towards Lingard. The midfielder collides with Gomez and goes down clutching his face, but both players are on the deck in the need of treatment. However, Lingard is back on his feet and we’re back underway inside the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.1 min: We’re underway!5 MINS TILL KO: The teams are out at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium and the anthems are underway. Kick-off is just moments away!10 mins till KO: Southgate will be determined for his side to progress to the knockout stage this afternoon, giving him the flexibility to make changes in the final group game against Belgium. England will not want to give Panama a sniff of a chance of pulling off the upset.15 mins till KO: England are unbeaten in their last four World Cup games against CONCACAF nations (W2 D2), drawing the last two against USA in 2010 and Costa Rica in 2014. Their only defeat came in 1950 against USA.England haven’t won consecutive games at the World Cup since their opening two games of the 2006 tournament.20 mins till KO: Panama are unchanged from their defeat at the hands of Belgium. Perez maintains his place leading the line, while Torres and Escobar anchor the middle of the defence, hoping for a complete performance this afternoon.25 mins till KO: There was much debate about England’s team during the week after the press spotted a team-sheet under the arm of assistant coach Steve Holland during an open training session. However, Southgate has made just one change to his side from the opening match of the tournament, which is enforced. Alli has a thigh strain so he misses out and is replaced by Loftus-Cheek in the middle of the park.Sterling retains his place partnering Kane in attack, although the Manchester City man will know that he needs an improved display on his performance against Tunisia to continue to fend off Rashford.30 mins till KO: This will be the first ever meeting between England and Panama. Let’s take another look at how the two teams will line-up this afternoon.ENGLAND (3-1-4-2): Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire; Jordan Henderson; Kieran Trippier, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ashley Young; Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling.England subs: Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Jamie Vardy, Jack Butland, Danny Welbeck, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Fabian Delph, Marcus Rashford, Dele Alli, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Nick Pope.PANAMA (4-1-4-1): Jaime Penedo; Michael Murillo, Roman Torres, Fidel Escobar, Eric Davis; Gabriel Gomez; Edgar Barcenas, Armando Cooper, Anibal Godoy, Jose Luis Rodriguez; Blas Perez.Panama subs: Harold Cummings, Gabriel Torres, Ismael Diaz, Jose Calderon, Adolfo Machado, Valentin Pimentel, Abdiel Arroyo, Luis Ovalle, Luis Tejeda, Ricardo Avila, Alex Rodriguez, Felipe Baloy.35 mins till KO: Panama played a solid opening 45 minutes against Belgium, frustrating Roberto Martinez’s men in their opener. However, once Dries Mertens made the breakthrough it was all one-way traffic. Romelu Lukaku notched brace to deliver the three points, leaving Hernan Dario Gomez’s side in desperate of at least a point this afternoon to keep their World Cup hopes alive.40 mins till KO: Harry Kane guided England to the perfect start in their World Cup opener against Tunisia. The Three Lions skipper scored the decisive late goal to secure the three points for his side, heading home from close range in stoppage time. Gareth Southgate’s men had dominated the match, but were heading towards a draw after Kane’s opener had been cancelled out by Ferjani Sassi’s penalty. However, England kept on plugging away to snatch it at the death.45 mins till KO: Good afternoon and welcome to Goal’s live blog of the Group G clash between England and Panama at the 2018 Russia World Cup.Confirmed Team News Confirmed England XI: Pickford; Stones, Maguire, Walker; Trippier, Lingard, Henderson, Loftus-Cheek, Young; Sterling, Kane.England subs: Welbeck, Delph,, Dier, Cahill, Jones, Rose, Vardy. Pope, Alexander-Arnold, Alli, Butland, RashfordConfirmed Panama XI: Penedo; Murillo, Escobar, R Torres, Davis; Gomez, Godoy, Cooper, J Rodriguez, Barcenas; Perez.Panama subs: Calderon, Pimentel, Ovalle, Rodriguez, Machado, Diaz, Arroyo, Avila, Baloy, Tejada, Cummings, TorresTV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream FOX Sports 1/ Telemundo fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on BBC or streamed live online using the BBC iPlayer. UK TV channel Online stream BBC BBC iPlayerlast_img read more

The €100m man mountain Chelsea want to sign

first_imgWorld Cup Who is Kalidou Koulibaly? The €100m Senegal star Sarri wants to sign for Chelsea Kris Voakes Last updated 1 year ago 15:00 6/24/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Kalidou Koulibaly Senegal 2018 Getty World Cup Transfers Japan v Senegal Senegal Napoli Chelsea Serie A Premier League African All Stars The Napoli defender is high on Maurizio Sarri’s wanted list but his tremendous abilities at the back make him an asset his club do not want to lose Since Neymar’s €222 million transfer to Paris Saint-Germain last summer, the nine-figure barrier first broken by Gareth Bale’s move to Real Madrid in 2013 has been shattered again and again. The Brazilian’s move inflated the market so much that €100m deals seem somewhat passe these days.One of the few milestones left to be breached is that of the €100m defender, but that could soon be a thing of the past as well if Chelsea are to get their way.The Blues’ incoming boss Maurizio Sarri knows Kalidou Koulibaly better than most having managed him at Napoli for the past three seasons, and the Senegalese has been such a runaway success for the Partenopei that Sarri wants to make him the statement signing of his first summer in charge. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar On Sunday Koulibaly will get another chance to showcase what Chelsea see in him when he lines up for Senegal against Japan in their second World Cup group H fixture in Ekaterinburg. And should he help his nation to three points they will almost certainly find themselves reaching the knockout stage of the competition in a repeat of their maiden feat in 2002.Koulibaly may well go on to become the stand-out star of this Senegal side, even taking into consideration the quality of Liverpool’s Sadio Mane in the attacking half of the field. Such are his qualities, the 27-year-old is one of the outliers in the decades-long belief that a good attacker will always outshine a good defender.Standing at 6’5” tall with the build to match he has been handed the moniker ‘K2’ in reference to the mountain in the Himalayas, but his game is not simply about his physicality and ability to dominate. His qualities on the ball have become an increasingly impressive part of his armoury, with his short bursts of speed beyond pressing opponents also helping to drive Napoli into attacking phases with ease.His anticipation of danger is impressive too, while he has also become an ever more forceful presence in the opposing box from set pieces. His five goals in Serie A last term helped to push Napoli to the verge of only a third league title in their history, with his towering late header from Jose Callejon’s corner against Juventus in Turin in April briefly giving the Campania people reason to dream of a first crown since the days of Diego Maradona.Koulibaly was also voted into the ‘Top 11’ at the annual Oscar del Calcio gala last November, ranking him among the best team of the year in the Italian game. His excellence would also arguably deserve mention in any current world XI, and while he has yet to play under the day-to-day spotlight that life at the game’s very biggest clubs involves he has already shown enough to suggest he has what it takes to succeed at the top of the sport.Kalidou Koulibaly NapoliChelsea have had a bid turned down for Koulibaly previously, with Antonio Conte having led the charge for his signature in 2016. However, Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis explained that he was not for sale: “Chelsea came in and offered €50m for Koulibaly, but he’s going away for the Africa Cup of Nations,” he told reporters following the end of the summer market that year.And a transfer to Chelsea won’t automatically follow whatever Koulibaly’s achievements with Senegal over the next few weeks, as Napoli’s concerted challenge for the Serie A title has seen more than just the centre-back become the subject of market interest.With Jorginho on the verge of a move to Manchester City and Lorenzo Insigne being among a host of other players catching the eye of suitors across the continent, the loss of Koulibaly might well be just too big a blow to contemplate for De Laurentiis and his new manager Carlo Ancelotti.Add in the fact that fellow defender Raul Albiol has a release clause of just €6m which is likely to be triggered this summer and the retention of the Senegalese, who has no release clause of his own, becomes an even higher priority for the Neapolitans. “Koulibaly is unapproachable,” reiterated De Laurentiis recently, and it feels like more than just a bargaining play by the movie mogul.Sarri De Laurentiis NapoliIf one manager can play his cards right to drag Koulibaly away from Naples, though, it may well be Sarri. The defender’s review in the autumn of his then-boss’ qualities says it all about the esteem he holds Sarri in.“He rediscovered me, he gave me confidence,” Koulibaly told Il Messaggero. “He really is a genius, he sees things others don’t see. He makes you understand how football is and isn’t unpredictable. He’s a scholar. Any question you ask him, he always has an answer, and it’s always right. He helps you to think as a team and not as an individual.“When he arrived he told me: ‘Do as I say and you’ll become an important player’. I’m trying, but I know I can still improve. In short, with Sarri football is maths.”Does a move to Chelsea add up? It certainly would for Sarri and the Blues, with €100m potentially turning into a bargain over time for a player of Koulibaly’s ever-increasing qualities. But Napoli will take quite some persuading to part with one of the game’s most sought-after talents.last_img read more

Bore Clears General Cargo Fleet

first_imgBore Ltd plans to exit the general cargo CoA (contract of affreightment) business by the end of 2014, due to several years of overcapacity in the market and unsustainably poor profitability of the company’s small CoA fleet, which proved to be uncompetitive against larger players in the tough general cargo CoA market.In an effort to shift their entire focus to the Ro-Ro segment, Bore is selling its fleet of six CoA vessels. M/V Fingard and M/V Swegard are in a sales process with expected delivery by the end of October 2014.Bore’s compass vessels M/V Nordgard, M/V Sydgard, M/V Westgard, M/V Ostgard are in a process to be sold to Royal Wagenborg with expected delivery by the end of December 2014.Nordkalk has agreed on a frame contract with Wagenborg covering the majority of Nordkalk’s sea-freights from 2015 to 2017.Egbert Vuursteen, Wagenborg CEO, said: “Royal Wagenborg has been in the shipping business since 1898. The Baltic region has been our core market ever since and will be in the decades to come. In response to the upcoming regulations for sulphur emissions in the Baltic region, Wagenborg has invested substantially in a new-building programme of ice-classed, fuel-efficient, multi-purpose vessels. We are very pleased with our partnership with Nordkalk. This cargo-base will enable us to grow and extend our flexibility and competitiveness in the Baltic. We are sure that both family-owned companies will come to an excellent long-term cooperation.”last_img read more

Avoya Travels New Marketing Technology Increases Independent Agency Sales Up to 54

first_imgAvoya Offers Industry Leading, Fully-integrated, Web-based, Personalized Marketing Program Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. – January 26, 2017 – Avoya Travel®, one of the world’s most innovative marketing and travel technology companies, has recently introduced its new groundbreaking Agency Marketing Platform (AMP). The AMP program significantly amplifies the marketing reach of Independent Agencies in the Avoya Travel Network and has already delivered sales increases of up to 54 percent for participating Network members. Avoya’s AMP is a unique, web-based technology platform that no other host agency or franchise organization offers. It is optional to use and complements the incredibly successful and award-winning Avoya Live Leads™ program. The technology serves as a powerful, personalized marketing solution that nurtures and builds meaningful customer relationships. Currently released in phases to select trial groups, AMP has already helped participating Independent Agencies leverage their customer databases with automated, targeted marketing campaigns that have led to more bookings and greater success for Independent Agencies. “No other travel company can offer travel professionals Live Leads and AMP along with the combined power of the Avoya Travel and American Express brands,” said Brad Anderson, President of Avoya Travel. “Based on early successes, we believe AMP is one more key benefit for all Avoya Travel Network members, particularly those with an already established book of business.” AMP provides Avoya Network members a strong competitive edge because the multi-platform campaigns, designs, and messaging capitalize on exclusive deals and the partnerships Avoya has with leading cruise, tour, and resort companies.Its features include email marketing with high-impact content and eye-catching templates; social media campaigns; an on-demand print studio providing direct mail resources; and more. All marketing and materials will be co-branded and personalized for each Independent Agency and its customers. Brando Quinn’s Independent Agency, Brando’s Fun N’ Sun Travel, participated in the program, “I love Avoya Travel’s new AMP program. It is easy to use and offers great marketing ideas for agency owners like me who want to market to our customers in addition to claiming and booking Avoya Lives Leads.” Indigo Journeys, LLC owner Rhonda Robinson also uses the AMP email and social media campaigns and has had great early success. She shares, “I am working on three trips right now – one to Grand Cayman, another to Cuba and one to Africa – which are all as a result of AMP emails to my database.” As Avoya rolls out AMP to the entire Avoya Network, it is continuing to integrate learnings to further innovate the technology, campaigns, and overall AMP program in order to help participating Independent Agencies book even more cruises and vacations. With Avoya’s AMP and Live Leads programs, award-winning support resources, one-on-one assistance and hands-on professional education, along with American Express Travel benefits and exclusive offers, Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network are selling up to 12 times more compared to their peers at other leading networks. To learn more about Avoya, AMP, and programs for both experienced travel professionals and new-to-travel entrepreneurs, visit www.JoinAvoya.com.  About Avoya Travel:\Avoya Travel is a family-owned company with a longstanding reputation for being one of the world’s most innovative marketing and travel technology companies. As an American Express Travel Representative for more than 30 years, and their largest seller of cruises and tours, Avoya is deeply committed to Integrity and Professionalism™, service, and value in every aspect of planning cruises and vacations. Through an elite network of independently owned and operated travel agencies, Avoya provides exclusive discounts, amenities, and first-class customer service to travelers worldwide. Cruise lines recognize this. Avoya has received numerous accolades, including being repeatedly named Travel Partner of the Year by Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Cruises, American Express, Oceania Cruises, and more. Travel agency owners, travel professionals, and others with no travel industry experience interested in owning and operating their own travel business should contact Avoya Travel at 800-521-2597 or visit www.JoinAvoya.com. Travelers interested in booking their next vacation with Avoya Travel, should call 800-753-1463 or visit www.AvoyaTravel.com.last_img read more

Royal Caribbean Announces 2018 European Odysseys Featuring New Ports of Call

first_imgSymphony of the Seas to Make Her World Debut Sailing the Mediterranean  MIAMI, March 22, 2017 – Royal Caribbean International invites travelers to come seek Europe like never before with its 2018 European deployment, headlined by the fleet’s newest ship Symphony of the Seas  ̶  the world’s largest and most adventure-filled cruise ship.  The global cruise line also will introduce a brand new port-of-call for the 2018 summer season: Holyhead on the Isle of Anglesey, Wales, where the combination of peaks, lakes and waterfalls will capture guests’ adventurous spirit. Destinations returning to European itineraries in 2018 after a brief hiatus include: Flam, Molde, and Skjolden in Norway and Isafjordur, Iceland.  Across the continent, adventure awaits guests onboard eight of the world’s most innovative ships, with Spanish landmarks, Italian landscapes, French icons, Greek legends and Nordic Castles, comprising an unbelievable collection of more than 110 European odysseys.  All itineraries are available to book as of March 23, 2017; Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members are invited to book one day early by calling their travel agent or (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. Making her debut in Barcelona, Spain in April 2018, Symphony of the Seas, the fourth sister ship in the Oasis-class, will spend her inaugural summer season sailing the striking blue waters of the Western Mediterranean. Starting April 21, she will offer seven-night itineraries from Barcelona to Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence, France; Florence/Pisa, Rome and Naples/Capri, Italy, where travelers can discover the breathtaking views from atop Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia Cathedral, and revel in the artwork of the old masters housed within the museums of Florence. For those wishing to start and end their trip in Italy, round-trip sailings from Rome are also available. New in 2018, Vision of the Seas will join Symphony for the season offering 12-night sailings from Barcelona with ports-of-call in Rome, Italy; Nice, France; Santorini and Athens, Greece. In Northern Europe, Brilliance of the Seas will sail new 12-night itineraries from Amsterdam visiting countries throughout the Baltics, Norway and the British Isles, including Holyhead, Wales.  Barcelona Offers Mediterranean Adventures Oasis-class returns to Barcelona with Symphony of the Seas, which will headline Europe’s summer season exploring the Western Mediterranean on seven-night sailings, round-trip from Barcelona, Spain or Rome, Italy.Vision of the Seas will embark on new 12-night Greek Isles itineraries from Barcelona, plus 12-night Mediterranean adventures to France and Italy, including stops in Rome and Florence/Pisa, the Amalfi Coast and an overnight in Venice. British and Scandinavian CruisesBrilliance of the Seas will call Northern Europe home for the first time, sailing 12-night itineraries from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, exploring the Baltics and British Isles, featuring new port-of-call Holyhead, Wales.British favorite Independence of the Seas returns to Southampton, offering three- to 14-night voyages to the Mediterranean and a 14-night adventure to the Canary Islands all from Southampton. Navigator of the Seas will join Independence, sailing five- to 14- night itineraries.Serenade of the Seas will offer seven-night sailings to the Norwegian Fjords, plus the ultimate Scandinavia and Russian adventure with departures from Copenhagen, Denmark and Stockholm, Sweden. Italian Adventures from Venice and RomeFollowing a $30 million makeover in 2016, Jewel of the Seas will sail seven- and nine-night sailings though the Greek Isles and Western Mediterranean.Rhapsody of the Seas will return to Venice, Italy with seven-night excursions to the Greek Isles, and Greece & Croatia.  Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 48-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea. The cruise line features an expansive and unmatched array of features and amenities only found on Royal Caribbean including, jaw-dropping, Broadway-style entertainment and industry-acclaimed programming that appeals to families and adventurous vacationers alike. Onboard, guests are catered to with the cruise line’s world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service by every staff and crew member. Royal Caribbean has been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 14 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards. The cruise line sails 24 of the world’s most innovative cruise ships to the most popular destinations in Bermuda and the Caribbean, Europe, Canada and New England, Alaska, South America, Asia, and Australia and New Zealand. Media can stay up-to-date by following @RoyalCaribPR on Twitter, and visiting RoyalCaribbeanPressCenter.com. For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers should call their travel agent; visit RoyalCaribbean.com; or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.last_img read more

Crystal Wins Three 2019 Condé Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards

first_imgMIAMI, October 7, 2019 – Crystal made history today in the 2019 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards by taking top honors across every category that it was eligible. Crystal Cruises won Best Medium-Ship Cruise Line, Crystal Yacht Cruises won Best Small-Ship Cruise Line and Crystal River Cruises won Best River Cruise Line in the magazine’s annual awards.  The Reader’s Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry. This year, Condé Nast Traveler received a record-breaking number of responses, nearly 630,000, from readers who rated their travel experiences around the world. This marks a record 26th year that Crystal has received top recognition in these celebrated awards.“We are honored and humbled by this recognition and thrilled that our mission of delivering the world’s best vacation experiences is being fulfilled,” said Crystal’s president and CEO, Tom Wolber. “Accolades like these, which are voted on by travelers themselves, are a testament that we have truly connected with our guests in the most meaningful ways. “This is the central tenet of everything we do at Crystal, as we strive to create memorable luxury travel experiences that speak to the individual wishes of each of our guests,” Wolber added. “Though each Crystal Experience has its own distinct character and highlights, what remains steadfast is our commitment to this credo and to providing our guests with an unwavering standard of excellence.” Crystal’s award-winning portfolio comprises a bevy of global travel experiences for those seeking all-inclusive luxury and warm, genuine service tailored to their personal preferences. The company’s oceangoing ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, remain the most awarded luxury ships at sea, both having undergone extensive redesigns recently that enhanced their already elegant spaces considerably. The addition of new Seabreeze Penthouses and Penthouse Suites mean more butler-serviced accommodations, while elegant, globally inspired dining experiences and high-tech amenities make guests’ experience authentic and effortless. The redesigns also brought new entertainment to the ships, including the new production Crystal on Broadway: The Show through Crystal’s partnership with Broadway producer Kevin McCollum, and a new Stardust Supper Club aboard Crystal Serenity. Crystal River Cruises will boast the youngest fleet on Europe’s rivers in 2020, with four new ships sailing the Danube, Rhine, Main and Moselle rivers. The 106-guest ships are enclaves of elegance for itineraries that celebrate the romance, creativity and rich heritage of the destinations. All-suite, all-balcony ships offering butler service for every suite showcase Michelin-inspired cuisine, fine wines, stylish spaces and open decks, while hundreds of inclusive, curated experiences ashore cater to travelers’ individual tastes. Crystal Yacht Cruises’ Crystal Esprit is a distinctly exclusive destination unto itself. The 62-guest yacht offers the exceptional caliber of cuisine, service and elegant suites for which Crystal is known, in an intimate atmosphere that mirrors that of a private yacht. On itineraries through the Seychelles, Adriatic and Arabian Peninsula, Crystal Esprit explores marquee destinations, as well as lesser visited locales that larger vessels cannot access. The yacht’s private marina is equipped for all manner of water adventures, complete with kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling and scuba gear and even a private submersible for deep-water exploration. Crystal’s acclaimed portfolio has grown to include the launch of Crystal Expedition Cruises and its new ship, Crystal Endeavor debuting in August of 2020. The German-built, Polar Class (PC6) expedition ship will accommodate just 200 guests in traditional Crystal fashion – all-suite accommodations, an array of world-class dining options including Nobu Matsuhisa’s Umi Uma & Sushi Bar, spacious and stylish public areas, full-service salon, spa and fitness center – with additional state-of-the-art technology and equipment for exploring polar regions and remote subtropics. Throughout its brand expansion that began in 2015, Crystal’s expressed commitment to an unwavering standard of luxurious service and excellence has been the core of the company’s philosophy. This dedication continues to resonate with discerning luxury travelers across the globe, consistently earning Crystal top accolades. The 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards are published exclusively on Condé Nast Traveler’s website at www.cntraveler.com/rca and celebrated in the November issue on newsstands now. About Crystal Only the world-renowned Crystal Experience offers an unwavering, unparalleled standard of excellence and luxury across four distinct cruising options: Crystal Cruises, the World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line; Crystal River Cruises, the World’s Most Luxurious River Cruise Line; Crystal Yacht Cruises, offering boutique luxury and bold adventure in the world’s most elite harbors; and Crystal Expedition Cruises, taking Crystal’s acclaimed elegance to the farthest reaches of the world. Crystal has been recognized with top honors in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards for a record 26 years including, in 2019, for Best Medium-Ship Cruise Line for Crystal Cruises, Best Small-Ship Cruise Line for Crystal Yacht Cruises and Best River Cruise Line for Crystal River Cruises. Crystal was also voted “World’s Best” by the readers of Travel + Leisure for 20 years; and won “Cruise Line of the Year” and “Most Luxurious Guest Experience” by Virtuoso for 2018 & 2019. Crystal is proud to be a platinum partner of the advisors of ASTA.  For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel advisor, call 888.799.2437, or visitwww.crystalcruises.com. Join the hundreds of thousands who subscribe to the Crystal Insider blog, follow Crystal Cruises’ Facebook page; @crystalcruises on Twitter and Instagram; @crystalrivercruises on Instagram; and engage in the conversation with #crystalcruises, #crystalrivercruises and #WhereLuxuryisPersonal.last_img read more