Beautiful surface at Calabar

first_imgGlen Laing, football coach at St Jago High School, has described the pitch at Calabar High as “a beautiful surface”.Laing, who directed St Jago to a 1-0 victory over the host team in Group G of the ISSA-FLOW Manning Cup last Friday, says he’d play at Calabar every day.His Calabar counterpart, Ligyasu Simms, believes the plush surface will help his team in the seasons to come.”It is nice when the schoolboys can train on the proper surface,” pronounced the St Jago coach after the game. “It is also exciting for us to take them out and train them.”St Jago’s Monk Street playing field has been out of service for several months because of a work programme to rehabilitate it. In those circumstances, it was a joy for St Jago to visit Calabar’s Red Hills Road campus.”It’s just a beautiful surface. They’re taking care of it and I really appreciate coming down here.”Simms feels the same way.”Millions of dollars were spent on this surface, and it is a good surface for good football, and as you can see, the Calabar team executed some good football today, but unfortunately it just didn’t go in our favour,” he commented.Without giving up on the current schoolboy season, Simms thinks the improved surface will help Calabar’s football in the future.”This is the start of the programme and it can only get better as we go along,” he predicted.last_img read more

Credit where credit is due

first_imgRamirez is on a mission to get recognition for Mexican-American veterans, like his relatives who fought for their country during World War II. The post held a special taping Wednesday to preserve nearly a dozen San Gabriel Valley Mexican-American World War II veterans’ accounts of their experiences. Ramirez’s quest comes on the heels of a debate surrounding a Public Broadcasting Service documentary by Ken Burns, which critics say overlooked the contributions Latinos made during World War II. “I went to see clips of it in Beverly Hills a few weeks ago. … The only Hispanics shown in Burns’ video are in Sacramento at a packing house,” the Vietnam War veteran said. But Ramirez’s grievances did not start there. He has been writing letters and pushing for more recognition for Mexican-American veterans for more than a decade. In 1999, Ramirez wrote director Steven Spielberg arguing the blockbuster hit “Saving Private Ryan” was lacking mention of Mexican-American soldiers. And more recently, Ramirez sent a letter about the Burns documentary to PBS President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Kerger. After little was done to appease him, Ramirez contacted independent filmmaker Joseph Angier, who was already working on a California-focused World War II project for PBS to accompany Burns’ series. Together, they coordinated Wednesday’s taping for a one-hour documentary, titled “California At War.” It is scheduled to air in August. “I was already on the horn to find Latino war veterans. … The idea of Latinos having some heart in the state during World War II is a no-brainer,” Angier said. “It wouldn’t have occurred to us not to include Latinos.” Angier said he was taken aback by the lack of Latinos in Burns’ piece. Burns, who was in Paris for a film festival, could not be reached for comment. But a spokesman for his seven-part series, titled “The War,” said the film was never meant to be a comprehensive history of World War II. “It looks at the stories of individuals in four towns sort of geographically spread throughout the United States,” said Joe DePlasco. Officials announced Thursday that Burns’ documentary will include additional content incorporating the Latino contribution to the war effort. Additionally, the film never meant to include or exclude any particular ethnic groups, DePlasco said. The four cities covered in the film are Waterbury, Conn., Mobile, Ala., Luverne, Minn., and Sacramento. But Gilbert Cadena, a professor of Chicano and Latino studies at Cal Poly Pomona, said he knows of plenty Mexican-American veterans in Sacramento. “In this time, in the year 2007, for Ken Burns and national journalists to completely ignore Latinos is just symptomatic of this narrow understanding in the United States,” he said. It is possible that the Mexican-American experience during the war is often overlooked because when people think of multiculturalism in World War II, they think of the official segregation blacks faced in the military and Japanese-Americans faced in internment camps, said Martin Morgan, director of research at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. “I think Mexican Americans get a little pushed to the side,” he said. But the public should expect that filmmakers like Burns would be more ethnically sensitive when creating pieces such as “The War,” Morgan said. “It surprised me that he didn’t, just on his own by being sensitive and thoughtful, that he didn’t say, `Let’s look at the history of Hispanic-Americans,”‘ Morgan said. For some veterans, the exclusion is not significant. Angelo Guerrero’s family is originally from Mexico, but the former World War II Navy motorman from Alhambra considers himself an American. Born in Los Angeles, he said he does not bother with ethnic designations. “When I joined the Navy, you were either white, black, yellow or red. I’m white. I was born here. I’m an American. I fought as an American and I’d do it again.” But for other veterans, the omission is much more personal. “I do feel kind of left out,” said Estrada, who now lives in West Covina. “It hurts me. It’s like we didn’t exist in World War II.” Tony Aguilera, now 83, does not talk about the 15 months he was held in a German prison camp when he was 17. “He can’t even watch war stories, or war movies,” his daughter Linda Strobehn said. “It makes him cry.” Still, the Irwindale man felt strongly enough about recounting his other experiences that he went to the taping last week. “If we don’t do this now, then who is going to do it?” Ramirez said. tania.chatila@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2703 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! IRWINDALE – When Rudolph Estrada recounts his World War II days, he looks back on the “Mexican kid” who managed to disable a German tank, or “Tiger,” with a bazooka. Estrada, 81, who was born in Chicago and served as a corporal in the 83rd Army Infantry, remembers telling his commander the infantryman ” deserves a medal.” The commander said, “Why? That’s what soldiers get paid to do.” The story is reminiscent of the attitude toward Latinos then and now, according to Ray Ramirez, third vice commander of AMVETS Post 113 in Irwindale. “People forget what Mexican Americans have done for this country … The point is to be accepted,” he said. “We still have to convince people.” last_img

Real Madrid draw Bayern in Champions League semis

first_img0Shares0000Cristiano Ronaldo’s late penalty saw off a Juventus comeback and put Real Madrid into the last four of the Champions League © AFP/File / OSCAR DEL POZONYON, Switzerland, Apr 13 – Defending champions Real Madrid will face Bayern Munich in the semi-finals of the Champions League while Liverpool play AS Roma in a repeat of the 1984 final.Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real will go to Bayern’s Allianz Arena for the first leg while Liverpool will host Roma at Anfield in their first match, after Friday’s draw. The Liverpool-Roma tie pits Mohamed Salah, who has scored 39 goals in all competitions already this season, against his former club. “Looking forward to seeing you again,” Roma tweeted about the Egyptian striker.Real, who have won the competition 12 times, reached the semi-finals by fighting off a remarkable Juventus comeback before Ronaldo scored a late penalty to give them a 4-3 win on aggregate.Roma produced one of the most remarkable comebacks in Champions League history to knock out Lionel Messi’s Barcelona with a 3-0 victory in the Italian capital that gave them an unexpected win on away goals over the two legs.Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah will face his former club AS Roma in the Champions League semi-finals © AFP/File / Anthony DevlinBundesliga champions Bayern, who named Niko Kovac as their next coach minutes before the draw, eased past Sevilla in their quarter-final.Liverpool beat runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City 5-1 on aggregate to set up their meeting with Roma. The English side won the 1984 final, played in Rome, on penalties.The first legs will take place on April 24-25 and the second will be on May 1-2.The 2018 final will be played in Kiev.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Crunch time for survival chasing KPL sides

first_imgVihiga, Chemelil and Nzoia are all on 38 points while Nakumatt and Posta are on 37 with the mailmen currently occupying the play-off slot, differentiated from Nakumatt on goal difference.The biggest battle will be at the Ruaraka Complex where Nzoia takes on Nakumatt and if Posta win, whoever loses between the two will drop to the zone. A draw will see Nakumatt drop down while Vihiga will be safe.-Cup finalVihiga United head coach Mike Mururi gives instructions during a past kenyan premier League match. Photo/COURTESYVihiga head coach Mike Mururi has described their clash against Nakumatt as a ‘Cup final’ and has told his team to play the game of their lives to remain in the top tier.“This is all about their lives right now. We face a very tough Nakumatt side with tactical and technical players and we need to give our best for that game. We cannot afford to relax from the first to last minute. Looking at the team in training this week, I am confident we are in the right frame to win,” Mururi said.Vihiga have not lost in their last four games, winning two including against champions Gor Mahia and drawing the other two. Their last meeting with Nakumatt ended in a barren draw at the Mumias Complex.They come up against a Nakumatt side that has not won over the last five games losing three and drawing two, with sources intimating that the poor performance has been down to financial issues with the taps of the new owner said to have run dry.But, the side will be looking to avoid the chop and a win at home, on a ground that has more often than not favored them will be a huge reprieve.-Posta in hot soupPosta Rangers meanwhile look more in hot soup as a loss against Homeboyz will confirm them as the team to take the play-off. Head coach Sammy Omollo has admitted that his side is in trouble, but has called on the players to step up, just for this one time.Posta Rangers head coach Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA“We have to fight with our all now because the danger of relegation is real. We just have to win; no two ways about it,” Omollo said after his side’s 2-0 loss against Sony Sugar last weekend.Posta are on a run of four losses on the trot and have to win at all costs. On paper, they will be confident as they have only lost once to Homeboyz over their last five meetings, winning two and drawing the other two.The last meeting between them ended 2-0 in favor of the mailmen in Nairobi.Meanwhile, a resurgent Chemelil will look to complete the survival job playing against Kariobangi Sharks in Nairobi, taking on a side that has not tasted f=defeat since August 19.Across all competitions, Sharks have won six games and drawn two and will come into the tie high in confidence especially as they seek a top five finish.Another small motivation pushing the Sharks side will come in through striker Eric Kapaito who is looking to seal the golden boot with at least a goal as he is currently joint top with Jacques Tuyisenge and Elvis Rupia all on 15.KPL weekend fixturesAFC Leopards vs Nzoia Sugar FC – 3PM – Machakos,  Bandari vs Thika United – 3PM – Mombasa, Kakamega Homeboyz vs Posta Rangers – 3PM – Mumias, Kariobangi Sharks vs Chemelil Sugar FC – 3PM – Camp Toyoyo, Mathare United vs Ulinzi Stars – 3PM – Kasarani, Nakumatt FC vs Vihiga United – 3PM – Ruaraka, Sony Sugar FC vs Wazito FC – 3PM – Awendo, Tusker FC vs Gor Mahia – 3PM – Thika Zoo Kericho vs Sofapaka – 3PM – Kericho0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Thirsty for the title: Posta Rangers head coach Sammy Omollo has warned that his team is a strong title contender.NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 5 – Vihiga United, Chemelil Sugar, Nzoia Sugar, Nakumatt and Posta Rangers find themselves in the deep end of the Kenyan Premier League survival fight when the 2018 season culminates on Sunday.Thika United and Wazito FC have already been officially relegated from the top tier and there will be one more team who will sit on the judgement seat, but in the play-off with the third placed team from the National Super League.last_img read more

City Council warned of economic shoals

first_imgFaced with growing financial concerns, Los Angeles city officials were warned Friday that they may need to freeze all new spending and end the politically popular practice of granting permit-fee waivers for groups’ special events. With a $7billion annual budget threatened by declining revenue and legal questions over existing taxes, Los Angeles’ top budget adviser said the city needs to make sure it has money on hand before undertaking any new initiatives. “I liken it to when you plan to make an addition to your home, but the bonus you were counting on didn’t come through,” City Administrative Officer Karen Sisson said. “So you put off the project until you have the money.” Sisson said the city is still grappling with a structural deficit that could mean a $215 million shortfall next year. It also faces the potential loss of an existing telephone-users tax that brings in about $270million a year. Sisson said the city faces the squeeze as revenue has dropped in a number of city tax categories. Councilman Bernard Parks, who chairs the council’s Budget and Finance Committee, also warned that the city’s reserve fund is below the 5percent level it is required to maintain and the contingency fund – scheduled to be at $88million – is less than $15million. “We can no longer do our budget on an annual basis,” Parks said. “We have to look at it every month to make sure spending stays in control.” rick.orlov@dailynews.com (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“I know in a budget our size that $270million doesn’t sound like a lot of money,” Sisson told City Council members. “But when you look at the proportion of our money devoted to public service – that’s two-thirds of the budget. A $270million cut will be noticeable in other service areas and that is the choices we will be looking at.” The council is considering a proposal from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to ask voters on the Feb. 5 ballot to approve a 9percent telephone-users tax to keep revenue flowing to the city in case a judge rejects the city’s existing phone tax. Sisson said she will develop a list of recommendations that will include a freeze on all spending in the unappropriated budget for future programs and doing away with fee and permit waivers that could bring in $6million to $10million. Fee waivers have long been the target of critics of City Hall. Waivers generally are granted for the costs the city incurs providing traffic control around events such as community festivals, street fairs and block parties. Programs that are now in the unappropriated budget include the City Attorney’s Office’s gang-prosecutor program, expense accounts, fuel purchases, homeless shelters, various anti-gang programs, new police and fire stations and workers’ compensation attorneys. last_img read more

LOCALS TO RESIST PLANNING RETENTION FOR CARRIGART HOLIDAY VILLAGE

first_imgCuan an Ri in CarrigartA planning application for the retention of a basement at the beachfront development at the Cuan na Ri holiday complex at Carrigart is to be strenuously opposed by the local residents.The Tirconail Tribune reports that Michael and Patrick Preston of T&G Developments have made the application in the past week to seek the council’s approval to allow the basement to remain on site along with its completion.The Council’s Planning Dept. has sought to have the basement and store area at the Cuan na Ri development demolished to comply with the original schedules. On November 25th the Council issued a number of enforcement notices to the Prestons on foot of the development not being complaint with the original grant of planning.A major level of objection is now underway and the issue has been a matter of much controversy ever since the local community found their right of access to the beach blocked off by locked gates last September.The news comes as Marian Harkin MEP prepares to visit Aghadachor on Saturday week to hear the concerns of the community and to explore EU perspectives from an environmental perspective.Meanwhile, a Divisional Ecologist, at the National Parks & Wildlife Service in the Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, has told the Aghadachor Action Group that encroachment and infilling of the Special Area of Conservation did occur during the construction of the beach activity centre. The spokesman said they had brought the matter to the attention of Donegal County Council and the developer, and this issue was subsequently rectified.“Issues still remain on the beach at Aghadachor. We are of the opinion that some works have resulted in damage to the Special Area of Conservation and have been considered as unauthorised development by Donegal County Council.“It is our position that any environmental damage is fully rectified. We are working with Donegal County Council, the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and the developer to achieve this,’ added the Divisional Ecologist.In a new development last November the Council issued an enforcement order against the developers on a number of grounds.The Council said that a basement area added to the main building without planning permission and must be demolished. The enforcement notice required: “the said developments to cease.” and the measures listed to be addressed within four weeks from the date of issue on November 25th.The enforcement order was sent to Michael A and Patrick G Preston. The Council had identified six areas of ‘unauthorised construction and installation’ and subsequently moved to have the development made compliant with the planning permission, which was originally granted.This additional element of the basement has been added extending for 393 square metres (4230 sq. feet) and the Council says it now incorporates effectively a 3 storey appearance, whereas a 2 storey structure was permitted in the grant of planning.The enforcement order was based on grounds that the terms of planning permission granted in 2012 not having been fulfilled. T&G Developments was told the Beach activity centre had not been constructed in accordance with the plans, and particulars submitted under the planning application.Insofar as the impact of the demolition might impact on the area, the Council has already requested that all rubble and associated materials are removed in consultation with Donegal County Council.The other main component in the enforcement order is the construction of a mechanical pipe on the shoreline to address issues of erosion.And they have asked that the construction of the Geo-Tube, an anti erosion mechanism within the foreshore area be removed since it does not have planning permission.This particular mechanism has caused much controversy locally with community leaders claiming that nobody has a right to claim territory below the high water mark.The Tube extends for a length of 280 metres and the Council is also seeking its removal and all its element parts.LOCALS TO RESIST PLANNING RETENTION FOR CARRIGART HOLIDAY VILLAGE was last modified: January 23rd, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:CarrigartCUAN AN RIlast_img read more

Kenny Miller leaves role as Livingston player-manager after just two months

first_img ‘IT’S ON’ 1 Miller has left Livingston after less that two months at the helm fear NO MOR Top stories in Scottish football Kenny Miller has left his role as Livingston player-manager after refusing to give up his playing career, the Scottish Premiership club have confirmed.Miller, the former Rangers and Celtic forward, had been in charge for just under two months, taking control of seven games which brought three wins and two draws. scrap Rangers won’t be forced to sell star striker in January, Ibrox chief claims I told Rangers to beat Spurs to Luka Modric signing, reveals Ally McCoist A club statement read: “Livingston Football Club has been in discussions over the weekend with Kenny Miller and his representatives.“The club felt that the player-manager role wasn’t working and had requested that Kenny reverted to the full time manager’s role. Kenny however feels that he isn’t ready to give up his football career at this time.“As a result the club and Kenny have amicably agreed to part company. LANGUAGE BARRIER kent bound Gerrard launches furious touchline outburst as horror tackle on Barisic sparks chaos center_img NOT HAPPY McCoist tells funny Rangers story about Gazza and new Napoli boss Gattuso KICK-OFF ALMOST Vinnie Jones: What I would have done to Scott Brown after Old Firm wind-up antics ‘I think it’s careless’ – Gerrard takes aim at Scotland for Jack injury Liverpool starlet set to join Rangers and replace flop summer signing “Livingston Football Club would like to thank Kenny for his honesty and openness, and wish him well for the future.”Miller, 38, was appointed Livingston player-manager earlier this year, taking charge of the Premiership new boys after David Hopkin left the Tony Macaroni Arena at the end of his contract in May. dom’s the man Rangers finally get their man as Liverpool agree to £7m sale Every one of Celtic’s fixtures for the new season in full last_img read more

Abrahamson Scores 30 Points In Men’s Basketball’s 87-70 Win Over Abilene Christian

first_imgStory Links at Wichita State 12/31/2015 – 1:00 PM Photo Gallery Box Score (HMTL) Box Score (PDF) DES MOINES, Iowa – Drake’s Graham Woodward (Edina, Minn.) and Kale Abrahamson (West Des Moines, Iowa) combined to score 53 points to lead the Drake University men’s basketball team to an 87-70 victory over Abilene Christian Tuesday evening at the Knapp Center. With the win, head coach Ray Giacoletti earned his 200th career win.Abrahamson scored 30 points, the second highest tally of his career, while shooting 5-of-8 from the three-point line with four assists. Woodward went 4-of-6 from the arc to record a career-high 23 points. Sophomore Ore Arogundade (Chicago, Ill.) finished with a career high seven rebounds, while Abrahamson had eight and Jacob Enevold (Lunderskov, Denmark) contributed six as Drake (5-7) held a 12-rebound advantage over ACU (4-8).ACU was led by freshman standout Jaylen Franklin’s career-high 24 points while Jaren Lewis added 15 for the Wildcats. “I’m pleased with our effort and mentality tonight,” said Drake head coach Ray Giacoletti. “I’ve seen a lot of different things happen in games before Christmas break and we’ve had the right mentality in practice starting yesterday and shoot around today. That’s what I’m most pleased about. We were doing some things that will correlate to helping us at a later date.” An opening three-pointer by Arogundade gave the Bulldogs an early lead, which was maintained for 13 minutes total minutes during the first half. The Bulldogs ended the half shooting 62.5 percent from the three-point range and 66.7 percent from the field. Heading into halftime, the Bulldogs went on a 9-0 run fueled by four-straight defensive stops to take a 43-32 lead into the locker room. Abrahamson scored 20 of his points in the second half and four of his three-pointers to help Drake build a 19-point, 65-46, lead midway through the second half. Abilene Christian later responded with a 7-0 run to trim the lead to 10 points, 74-64, with 4:19 left. However, Abrahamson drained a pair of three-pointers in the final three minutes of the game to thwart any comeback hopes for the Wildcats.The Bulldogs will have a small holiday break before returning to the court to face to Wichita State on Thursday, Jan. 31, to begin the MVC portion of their season. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Koch Arena.Print Friendly Versioncenter_img Preview Full Schedule Roster Live Stats ESPN 1350 ESPNU / ESPN3 Listen Live Watch Live Next Game:last_img read more

Why Letterkenny Credit Union is a first stop for Third Level Education loans

first_imgGoing to college this September? Here, the team at the Letterkenny Credit Union explain the options they have for affordable student loans: With third-level education costs continuing to spiral in Ireland, the financial pressure of putting a child through college has taken its toll on household budgets. A 2017 Irish League of Credit Unions Survey revealed that money issues were the biggest concern for one-third of parents of college-going children. Eight in ten parents surveyed said they struggle to cover the cost of third-level, while 75% of parents said increases in college registration fees had adversely impacted household budgets. Well over half, 56%, said they particularly stressed over rental costs. Letterkenny Credit Union has always been on hand to assist parents in the Letterkenny area with meeting these costs. They offer a student loan at a very affordable 7.2% APR**. The loan is typically approved within 48hours and Letterkenny Credit Union is always happy to work with their members to ensure repayments are structured in a way to suit every individual situation best. There are no hidden payments or transaction fees, and the loan is less expensive than using a credit card or moneylender. Paul Hume, Chairperson from Letterkenny Credit Union said: “We are keenly aware of the huge financial burden that third level education places on students and their families in the Letterkenny area and we would encourage parents and students alike to contact us. “We know from the national credit union survey that parents are saving for an average of eight years to put their children through college. 68% of students were working during the college term to help make ends meet. We understand that because of the significant costs, many may have no option but to borrow. We would really encourage them to talk to us about our education loan in the first instance. “All members are welcome to apply for the loan, including brand new members and those members we may not have seen in a long time.” *ILCU Cost of Third Level Survey 2016** Cost of FinanceFor a €10,000, 5 year variable interest rate loan with 60 monthly repayments of €197.79, an interest Rate of 6.95%, a representative APR of 7.2%, the total amount payable by the member is €11,867.24 Information correct as at 12/6/2018Why Letterkenny Credit Union is a first stop for Third Level Education loans was last modified: June 21st, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:FinanceLetterkenny Credit Unionstudent loanslast_img read more

Benni brilliant for Blackburn

first_img17 May 2007It took a number of attempts before South African striker Benni McCarthy got his dream move to the English Premier League, but when Blackburn Rovers finally managed to pry him away from Porto, he repaid the club handsomely in kind.McCarthy finished the 2006/07 season as the second highest scorer in the league by netting 17 times in a championship that is said to be extremely difficult to adjust to.Thanks in no small part to McCarthy, Blackburn finished tenth in the Premiership to secure a place in next season’s Intertoto Cup. Just four more points would have put Rovers in the running for a position in the Uefa Cup.RecognitionThe Bafana Bafana star’s contribution to the club’s success was recognised when he picked up two awards at Blackburn Rovers’ awards ceremony. He was named the Players’ Player of the Year – a huge accolade given that it reflects his teammates’ opinion of him – and won the Goal of the Season award.The goal came in the FA Cup match against Arsenal – the only goal of the game – that secured Rovers a place in the quarterfinals of the competition. Ultimately they bowed out in the semi-finals against Chelsea after extra time.Massive bargainHaving signed the South African striker for £2.5-million, it is now clear that Blackburn scored a massive bargain.McCarthy and Tottenham’s Dimitar Berbatov made huge impacts in their first seasons in the Premier League as both topped the 20-goal mark in all competitions – 24 in total for McCarthy – although Berbatov seemed to garner most of the headlines.The South African, in fact, netted six more times in the Premiership than the Bulgarian. In a league that produced three of the four Uefa Champions League finalists – a good argument that it is the best league in the world – that is a mighty impressive performance.League goalsHis tally of 17 league goals was second only to Didier Drogba’s 19 and tied with Player of the Season Cristiano Ronaldo.Rovers’ manager Mark Hughes is in no doubt that McCarthy has had a better season than Berbatov. He has even gone so far as to proclaim his man as the best striker Blackburn has had since former England captain Alan Shearer.And looking at the bargain he got when signing the Bafana Bafana ace, Hughes pointed out that Berbatov is valued at about £30-million. “So you do the maths on how much Benni is worth,” he told the Daily Mail, adding that the striker is not for sale.Greater expectationsHughes fully expects to have McCarthy back at Ewood Park next season and has predicted even bigger and better things for the forward, thanks to the experience of having a season in the Premiership under his belt.Recent reports have, however, surfaced suggesting that McCarthy would be open to moving to a big-money club playing Champions League football, like Chelsea, which is managed by his former manager at Porto, Jose Mourinho.Blackburn boss Hughes, though, has been quick to play down that talk, saying the story came from the Portuguese press, where an interview with McCarthy was reported out of context. He says he is not worried and confident McCarthy will be back in Rovers’ colours next season.Chelsea interestThere is also a story doing the rounds that both Hughes and McCarthy might be bound for Chelsea.With Mourinho’s multi-millionaires having landed only the League Cup and set to do battle with Manchester United for the FA Cup, this season has been deemed a relative failure for the Blues.Rumour has it that Chelsea is interested in Hughes as a successor to Mourinho and McCarthy as a striking partner for Drogba after the poor season turned in by their £30-million signing, Andriy Shevchenko.In fact, recent media reports suggest the Blues offered £8-million for the striker, a figure Hughes believes is far below his market value.McCarthy and HughesWhen McCarthy joined Rovers he was asked in an interview with Fifa.com whether he knew much about his new manager.“Know about him?” McCarthy replied. “He used to be my hero! He was a player who I always wanted to be like. I have so much respect for him – and I love learning from him.“It’s a little bit strange actually, because I have gone from being a big fan to standing next to him on the training pitch. I can’t believe it. It’s great to be able to rub shoulders with your heroes, because I was actually a Manchester United supporter as a boy.”Now Hughes, who was known for his brawny performances for the Red Devils, is being lauded for his brain after his signing of McCarthy.World Cup 2010The big question for many South African soccer fans, especially with the Rainbow Nation hosting the World Cup in 2010, is whether or not McCarthy will end his self-imposed international exile.In his interview with Fifa.com, McCarthy gave his take on the situation: “People know that I have had problems in the past, due to the club versus country situation. You always want to play for your country – it’s a massive honour, but your club means a great deal to you.“Quite often, South Africa’s games have clashed with European club fixtures, which has put me in a very difficult position,” McCarthy went on. “For example, the African Nations Cup takes place in January and February – at a crucial point in time for the leagues.“I missed the games for South Africa because I wanted to establish myself at Blackburn.“In the future, if they still think I’m the best striker, then I’d be honoured to go back.“It would also be great to play in the World Cup in my country.”Keeping an eye on SAMcCarthy says the prospect of playing the World Cup on home soil is an exciting one. He reckons he is constantly monitoring what South Africa is doing in preparation for the event, both on and off the field.South Africa, he says, wants to make a great impression, especially as it will be the first African country to host the event.“I am sure it will offer them something different to what they’ve seen at the other World Cups,” McCarthy commented. “It’ll be a tremendous party!” Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more