Delhi Dynamos unveil head coach, eyes ISL title

first_imgNew Delhi, Jul 17 (PTI) Delhi Dynamos Football Club today unveiled Spaniard Miguel Angel Portugal as their head coach for the upcoming Indian Super League season with high ambitions of winning the trophy this time. The 61-year-old Miguel, an ex-Real Madrid midfielder, took over the reigns of the Capitals football team from Italian Legend Gianluca Zambrotta under whom Delhi Dynamos managed to make it to the semi-finals last season. Miguel, who was a part of the La Liga winning Real Madrid side of 1979-80, signed a one-year contract with Delhi Dynamos but club officials said his contract can be extended if the results are satisfactory. “Being a part of Delhi Dynamos FC is a great opportunity to be a part of the growing football revolution that is taking shape in the country. I want to win this championship (ISL),” Miguel said at a media conference here. “My brand of football will be possession football, possession as long as possible but it will be smart and intelligent possession,” he said through an interpreter. Miguels roping in as head coach was facilitated by Doha-based Aspire Academy, with which Delhi Dynamos last month signed a groundbreaking multi-year technical partnership. The Doha-based Aspire Academy, one of the world-renowned facilities, will share its football knowhow and management expertise (including coaching, training, scouting and sports science) with the Delhi-based club in their pursuit for success on the pitch. Miguel embarked on his coaching career in 1996 with Spanish third division side Arandina. In a relatively short period of time, his coaching abilities were widely noticed and the very next year he was appointed to manage the Real Madrid C team before subsequently assuming responsibility for the Real Madrid B team. Under him, both the Real Madrid B and C teams managed top three finishes in their respective divisions. He later served as a technical director of the Real Madrid senior side. Prior to joining Delhi Dynamos Football Club, Miguel was coach of the Algerian premier league club CS Constantinois. Miguel said when he was in Algeria, the ISL was always a point of discussion. He also said that he had seen Delhi Dynamos games and other ISL matches on video. “It was not a difficult decision for me to sign up to play my part in shaping the clubs future success,” said Miguel. Founded in 2014, Delhi Dynamos team was wholly owned and operated by Delhi-based DEN Networks for three seasons till last year. The clubs majority ownership is now with United States-based company GMS Inc, while DEN Networks hold a minority stake. The club failed to reach the semi-finals in the inaugural season of the ISL in 2014. In 2015 and 2016, they qualified for the semi-finals but failed to make it to the summit clash. “Miguels success during his career with Real Madrid as both player and coach is clear proof of his quality and his knowledge of the game. This is a new season for Delhi Dynamos with a new team and it was extremely critical for us to have someone like Miguel at the helm,” said Rohan Sharma, Director Delhi Dynamos. “We will be a club which will be focusing on youth development so that we can have our own home-grown players from our academy to play in the first eleven after a few years,” he added. Delhi Dynamos CEO Ashish Shah said the club will review all options and examine a range of opportunities during the transfer window to build on the team from last season. “In the next few days, we are finalising our plan about the squad and pre-season training programme,” Ashish said. The team will for sure have a training stint at the state-of-the-art Aspire Academy in the pre-season. Besides age group teams, Delhi Dynamos will have a womens team in future. It also has plans to establish a full-fledged world class football academy in the Capital. PTI PDS SSC SSClast_img read more

Serena Williams won’t break Margaret Court’s record – and that’s OK

first_imgUS sports Share on Twitter Read more That’s not a slight to Court so much as context essential to grasping the scope of Williams’ body of work in a sport that’s never been more globalized and competitive, an evolution that’s only accelerated since Williams turned professional way back in 1995. Yet it’s never been clearer the final steps to yardstick supremacy may be a bridge too far. “I’m, like, so close, so close, so close,” Williams lamented after Saturday’s defeat, “yet so far away.”Four summers ago when Williams won Wimbledon for a sixth time to become the oldest player to win a grand slam singles title in the Open era, she improved to a preposterous 21-4 in major finals, redoubling her reputation as the greatest closer in sports. Since then, she’s 2-6 at the final hurdle. Of course it’s a testament to her greatness that she’s even playing that far into majors at an age when most players have decamped to name-brand academies or the broadcasting booth, but there’s no question the loss of her finishing kick, for which she has no answers, is what’s troubled Williams the most.The women’s field today is as deep as ever and the young lionesses of the tour, who for years cowered in Williams’s presence before the first ball went up, are no longer intimidated by the sport’s grand dame. Last year it was Osaka. This year it was the fearless Andreescu, now the first player born in the 2000s to win a major, who’s gone more than six months since losing a completed match. It’s not going to get any easier from here.It cannot be said enough we’re lucky to be living in Williams’ time. The story of a black female Jehovah’s Witness from Compton, who came from nothing and honed her craft on cracked public courts and persevered in the face of racism, sexism, illness and family tragedy to rewrite the history of a sport predominantly owned, played and watched by rich white people, is the ultimate American folk tale: a champion of the marginalized shining on the world stage. Like Tiger Woods, she’s brought people into the orbit of a sport who never would have bothered to watch a tennis match. And she’s blazed a path for a new generation of African American stars, like Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys, Taylor Townsend and now Coco Gauff, who are no longer cast as outsiders by default.Surely it’s possible Williams grinds out one more major title to tie Court’s mark or even the two she needs to surpass it. We know she’s more than capable of beating any player on the tour on a given day. She will have more than a puncher’s chance at the notoriously unpredictable Australian Open in January, where she’s already been installed as the betting favorite, or the friendly grass courts of Wimbledon next summer where her thunderbolt serve translates so well. Still, time runs short.Nature may finally be catching up to Serena, but her true impact transcends trophies and leaderboards. Finishing on either side of 24, now more than ever, is immaterial. Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Topics … 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. Tennis Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger US Open Tennis 2019center_img Support The Guardian US Open tennis Share via Email Since you’re here… Share on Pinterest Serena Williams comment Bianca Andreescu sees a remarkable vision come true at US Open Reuse this content Anyone who’s followed the women’s tennis tour closely over the last year wasn’t too surprised when Serena Williams came up short in the US Open final against Canadian ingenue Bianca Andreescu in her latest bid to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 major singles titles. The only question entering Saturday’s match, same as last year’s championship showdown against Naomi Osaka, was whether a wildly talented youngster in her first grand slam final could hold her nerve against a champion twice her age. And, same as last year, it wasn’t long before it was obvious Andreescu could.Williams, who has won grand slams in her teens (one), 20s (12) and 30s (10, a record), but has been stuck on 23 titles – one behind Court – since the 2017 Australian Open, has reached the final in four of the seven majors that she’s entered since coming back from the birth of her daughter, failing to win a set in any of them. She turns 38 at the end of the month and is no longer so far ahead of the pack that another title feels inevitable. This is how sports work.Serena is not going to break this record. And that’s OK.Williams is the greatest women’s tennis player ever, a fact acknowledged deep down by even her most vehement critics. The record, or, specifically, wanting it to be beyond any plausible argument, is merely completism. Yes, major championships are the sort of established metric of greatness that sports fans dine on by mooring otherwise impossible cross-generational comparisons, but it’s fair to consider that more than half of Court’s 24 titles came before the Open era when the sport’s four bedrock events allowed professionals to compete with amateurs. Eleven came at the Australian Open during a time when many of the world’s best declined to enter due to the distance and comparatively minute prize fund on offer.last_img read more