Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

June 3, 2006

Smith backs missing Celts

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 3:07 pm

The News Review:

* Serbia to take spot in Euro 2008
* Wembley opening date still uncertain
* BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Giggs warms to Wales youngster…
* Smith backs missing Celts
* ireland.com / Today / Sport / Soccer
* Irish soccer | Derry claim Cork scalp | eircom League Premier Division
* Irish soccer | Republic of Ireland news | McCaffrey upbeat despite…
* Football Europe – News & Features – News Specific

Serbia to take spot in Euro 2008
BBC News – May 23, 2006
Montenegro’s pending independence had raised questions over the draw which had Serbia and Montenegro competing as a single country in Group A. Montenegro will compete as a separate nation in the future, but not for the Euro 2008 tournament. Serbia replace Serbia and Montenegro in Group A, with their first qualifier against Azerbaijan on 2 September. Uefa wants Fifa to ratify the Montenegrin Football Association before it can be treated as a separate entity. The team competed at the summer’s World Cup in Germany as Serbia and Montenegro – the first and last time the nation played under that name in a World Cup.

Wembley opening date still uncertain
Gulf Daily News – Jun 2, 2006
“Having missed one deadline, we want to make sure when we announce something next time round we know 100 per cent it’s going to happen,” said a spokesman for Wembley National Stadium Limited (WNSL). “We’re not ruling any events out or in, but what we have said is there are no events here in 2006. “We’re not in a position yet, and we won’t be until we’ve got the keys from (constructor) Multiplex, to make any definitive statements about when the stadium’s going to open. ”
Australian constructor Multiplex had originally planned to have the 90,000-seat stadium ready for May’s showpiece Cup final but was forced to delay the opening after a series of embarrassing setbacks. Problems
The match was moved to Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium and the Football Association has already rescheduled England’s home Euro 2008 qualifiers in September for alternative venues. The FA said it would wait until the stadium had been handed over to its subsidiary WSNL before making an announcement about next year’s Cup final… “We’re not in a position yet, and we won’t be until we’ve got the keys from (constructor) Multiplex, to make any definitive statements about when the stadium’s going to open. ”
Australian constructor Multiplex had originally planned to have the 90,000-seat stadium ready for May’s showpiece Cup final but was forced to delay the opening after a series of embarrassing setbacks. Problems
The match was moved to Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium and the Football Association has already rescheduled England’s home Euro 2008 qualifiers in September for alternative venues. The FA said it would wait until the stadium had been handed over to its subsidiary WSNL before making an announcement about next year’s Cup final. In an update yesterday, Multiplex said problems that had delayed the opening had been addressed. It reiterated that it expected “substantial completion” in July, and for the stadium to be ready in practical terms by the end of September. “The date for the opening of the stadium and the hosting of the first event will ultimately be a matter for our client,” the firm said in a statement.

BBC SPORT | Football | Internationals | Giggs warms to Wales youngster…
BBC News – May 23, 2006
“The more experience you get playing at places like Bilbao, where the crowd are volatile and on your back, the better. ”

David Cotterill, Joe Ledley, Lewin Nyatanga and Andrew Crofts – with 11 caps between them and all under 21 – produced displays that warmed the heart of coach John Toshack as well as captain Giggs. Giggs will be leading the rookies into Euro 2008 qualifying action in September and he has confidence in his young charges. “It is important that the younger players experience matches in hostile environments, because that is what it is going to be like in away European qualifiers next season,” Giggs added. “La Liga players know what they are doing and are good technically but it does not matter who you are playing, it can only help them in the future. “You can never learn enough, and when the lads are not used to playing in away internationals, it is important to experience the problems and pressures now. “I have seen this sort of thing in Champions League games for years… “It is important that the younger players experience matches in hostile environments, because that is what it is going to be like in away European qualifiers next season,” Giggs added. “La Liga players know what they are doing and are good technically but it does not matter who you are playing, it can only help them in the future. “You can never learn enough, and when the lads are not used to playing in away internationals, it is important to experience the problems and pressures now. “I have seen this sort of thing in Champions League games for years. You have to be confident and to pass the ball well and retain possession. ”

Giggs now leads the squad to Graz in Austria for Saturday’s friendly against Trinidad and Tobago, England’s World Cup group rivals.

Smith backs missing Celts
Sunday Times – The Sunday Times – May 21, 2006
There is a free international date on the calendar before then, on Wednesday, August 16, but it is squeezed between European qualifiers for clubs and Smith looks likely to use the time for a training get- together. “When a team like Hearts get the chance to reach the Champions League group stages it’s not fair to take their players away between the qualifiers,” he conceded. The manager will not be idle in the meantime. He and assistants Jim Sinclair, Tommy Wilson and Tommy McIntyre will watch Euro 2008 opponents Italy, France and Ukraine in their World Cup group fixtures. His demanding schedule, kicking off with Italy against Ghana in Hanover on June 11, will take in nine games in 12 days. Smith’s disappointment that he will only be a spectator in Germany is as acute as any Tartan Army foot soldier and he said: “It would have been much better to have been involved as a competing nation, but it is a chance to study future opponents. ” Looking to the future has often been the only option for Scotland managers, after four successive qualification failures.

ireland.com / Today / Sport / Soccer
Irish Times – Jun 2, 2006
The 30-year-old has amassed 50 caps for his country, scoring 14 goals, but has decided stepping down from the international scene will prolong his club career. “It is a sad day for me because I have loved playing for my country and representing the Welsh people for a number of years,” Hartson said today. Hartson scored on his debut in a friendly against Scotland in 1995 and steps down as Wales coach John Toshack begins preparations for qualifying for Euro 2008. “I always feel enormous pride whenever I put on a Wales shirt and will always cherish the memories of my time with the national team,” said Hartson. “I would like to thank all the managers, coaches, staff and players who have helped me during my time in the Wales team, but above all I would like to thank the Welsh people for all their support and encouragement. “It would have been fantastic to reward them with a place at a major tournament but sadly it just wasn’t to be. “However, I would love to think that in the near future the side will go on to achieve some significant success… “Finally, I would like to wish John Toshack and the Wales squad the very best of luck in qualifying for the 2008 European Championships. Hartson’s agent Jonathan Barnett, meanwhile, confirmed the striker wants to stay at Celtic for the rest of his career. Hartson’s contract expires next year and Portsmouth made persistent efforts to sign him during the January transfer window but Barnett confirmed that the player is not interested in leaving Parkhead. “He’s certainly got a few years left and he wants to give them all to Celtic,” he said. “John has always said he’s 100 per cent committed to Celtic and he loves it there. random()*10000000000000000;
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Irish soccer | Derry claim Cork scalp | eircom League Premier Division
eleven-a-side.com – May 21, 2006
A real mix-up saw Derry take the lead just before the break, with John O?Flynn, the Cork defender, trying to clear his lines but succeeding only in striking teammate Danny Murphy and the ball cannoned past Michael Devine to the net. Tempers flared at the break, and referee Declan Hanney saw fit to show a red card to Derry assistant manager Paul Hegarty for a half-time incident. But the home side were not to be bowed, and they extended their lead through Ciaran Martyn ten minutes after the interval. Patrick McCourt?s wizardry on the wing created the opening and midfielder Martyn made no mistake to fire his fourth goal of the season. Cork hit back in search of a goal to boost their chances of taking anything back to Leeside, but when Murphy?s long-range drive hit the woodwork and bounced away to safety, they could have been forgiven for thinking it wasn?t going to be their night. The Candystripes held out for the win, which sees them leapfrog the Leesiders and move into second place, just one behind leaders Drogheda United. Derry City: Forde, McCallion, Hargan, Hutton, Martyn, Brennan, Oman (Deery 74), Molloy (Higgins 86), Farren (Cash 89), O’Flynn, McCourt.

Irish soccer | Republic of Ireland news | McCaffrey upbeat despite…
eleven-a-side.com – May 21, 2006
Ireland went down 3-2 to the mini-tournament host nation in Nitra on Friday morning and face an uphill task to reach top spot and claim the single qualification place for the July finals in Poland. Victory against Turkey in Sunday morning?s second game is an imperative, and McCaffrey is hopeful his side can take the maximum six points from their final two outings and get back in the running for qualification. He said: ?We won the opening match of our recent Under-17 qualifiers 4-0 against Romania and we didn’t go through so just because we have lost this game does not mean it is over. ?We have to get a win against Turkey on Sunday and we will give it our best shot. It was a disappointing day but we will lift ourselves for the final two games. ?

Today’s Ireland international headlines:.

Football Europe – News & Features – News Specific
uefa.comUEFA.com – May 21, 2006
Uncapped at senior level, the centre-back was formerly a mainstay for England Under-21s and will join Sven-Göran Eriksson’s squad when they meet up in Watford on Monday. Former Scotland striker Paul Dickov has been released by Blackburn Rovers FC after he rejected an offer of a new contract at Ewood Park. The 33-year-old scored seven goals for Mark Hughes’ side last season but according to club chairman John Williams: “Paul has been released after he decided not to accept our offer of a new contract. It was a football decision. ”
Norwegian striker Rune Lange has ended a successful five-year stint at Belgian side Club Brugge KV, after joining Vålerenga IF. The 28-year-old, who was limited to just two substitute apperances by a succession of injuries last season, has committed to the Oslo outfit until the end of the 2009 campaign. “I also considered an offer from my old side Tromsø [IL], but I felt Vålerenga had more to offer,” Lange said… The 28-year-old defender sustained the injury in the final Scottish Premier League game of next season against Dundee United FC and although he has had the operation sooner than expected, new manager Maurice Malpas believes he will not be back in time for the start of the season. Romania coach Victor Piturca has handed international recalls to Costin Soava and Marius Niculae after naming an injury-hit squad for the forthcoming tour of the United States. Romania will face Uruguay, Northern Ireland and Columbia in the space of five days in the tournament that begins on Tuesday in Los Angeles, and Piturca is hoping to fine-tune his team ahead of this autumn’s UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifiers. With Cristian Chivu, Razvan Rat, Florentin Petre, Dorinel Munteanu and Ciprian Marica all injured, Piturca has ended Soava’s two-year spell in the wilderness while Niculae is in line to earn his 27th cap almost 12 months after making his 26th appearance against Armenia. FC Dinamo Bucuresti defender Cristian Pulhac has also received a first call-up.

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