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Eberechi Eze: The young playmaker with the X Factor at QPR

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Eberechi Eze

At Loftus Road, there is a new No 10 in town. Eberechi Eze has a long way to go until he is mentioned in the same breath as Rodney Marsh or Stan Bowles, but there is no doubting the Queens Park Rangers playmaker’s ability to astound. A buccaneering performer, there are shades of the audacity of Adel Taarabt and the brain of Akos Buzsaky, but Eze is carving out a reputation in his own right as one of the most exciting young talents in the country.
But Eze has not had it easy. Released by Millwall in 2016 the 20-year-old struggled as a youngster, deemed too small by Arsenal before unsuccessful spells with Fulham and Reading. After convincing Chris Ramsey, the QPR technical director, Eze has not looked back since arriving at the club two years ago. He has started all 17 league games under Steve McClaren this season and has been instrumental in their recent turnaround, with QPR now two points off the play-off pack having only picked up one win from their first six Championship matches. The trio of loan signings, Tomer Hemed, Nahki Wells and Geoff Cameron have been equally influential.

Eberechi Eze in action for QPR. He has started all 17 league games under Steve McClaren this season.

Last month Eze, who was born in Greenwich but remains eligible to represent Nigeria, earned international recognition with a call-up to England Under-20s squad and could feature against Germany on Monday. It has been an extraordinary ride for a player who only made his full league debut for QPR in March, though his first real taste of first-team football came during a six-month stint on loan at Wycombe Wanderers last year.

Eberechi Eze in action for QPR

Premier League scouts have taken a keen interest in Eze, but it was a hat-trick in a development match at Harlington, QPR’s training ground, against Hull City in August 2017 that paved the way for a move to Wycombe. Unable to attend the game, Gareth Ainsworth asked his midfielder, Marcus Bean, to report back on Eze after the manager was tipped off about him by Jack Williams, the defender who signed on loan from QPR earlier that summer. “He stood out a mile,” Bean says. “Some of the things he was doing on the football pitch I have not seen for a very long time. It reminded me of when I played with Lee Trundle. You used to just be in awe of the ability they had, some of the tricks they used to do. Ebs makes the game look easy, he goes past players at will and he scores goals as well. I went back to the manager and said: ‘Listen, we need to get him in. He’s got that X Factor.’”
Aided by the experience of forwards Craig Mackail-Smith, Nathan Tyson and Adebayo Akinfenwa – who boast almost 2,000 career games between them – it did not take long for Eze to find his feet in League Two. “His first goal in professional football [against Cambridge] was an absolute goal of the season,” says Ainsworth, the former QPR midfielder. “It was a half-volley with the outside of his right foot, bent into the top corner. And then 10 minutes later, he bends another one into the same top corner with his left foot. You know when you have got something special. But I think Ebs’s biggest strength is his awareness, he sees the picture around him before he receives the ball.

“After every Saturday game, we sat down on the Tuesday, in the afternoons, and we went through every time he touched the ball from the previous game,” Ainsworth adds. “I clipped all of his touches in the game with Wyscout. I remember in one specific clip with Ebs, I think he was goal side of his midfielder, there was a counterattack against us and at the other end of the pitch, that same midfielder ended up getting goal side of him, through towards our goal. I flagged it up to him and I said: ‘This can’t be, you have all this talent, you have to do the other side of the game as well’.
“You can say this to players until you are blue in the face, but Ebs really had that desire to improve. The difference between the better players is in the mind – they are all good tactically and physically.”
Marc Bircham, the former QPR assistant and youth team manager, compared the ease with which Eze beats his man with a teenage Raheem Sterling, while the biggest compliment the club paid him was handing him the No 10 shirt in the summer. “That shirt has had some decent names through the years but I don’t think Eberechi Eze will be doing that shirt any disrespect,” Ainsworth says. “He’s shown he’s fully ready to wear that shirt and in my opinion he will go on to bigger and better things. I’ll be more surprised if I don’t see him in the Premier League one day, than if I do. If he can keep his hunger and desire to want to learn, and his humility, I’m sure he can reach the top.”

 

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Salah wins BBC African Footballer of the Year award

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Mohamed Salah has won the 2018 BBC African Footballer of the Year award.

The Liverpool and Egypt forward, who was the top choice from a five-man shortlist in an online vote of supporters, retains the prize he also won a year ago.
Salah finished ahead of Reds teammate Sadio Mane in the poll, as well as Medhi Benatia (Morocco), Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal) and Thomas Partey (Ghana).
The No.11 enjoyed one of the greatest debut seasons in Liverpool history, scoring 44 goals to help the club reach the Champions League final, and then represented his country at the World Cup.
And his form has continued into the current campaign; his winner against Napoli in Tuesday’s Champions League tie increased his tally for the season to 13 strikes.

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19th NSF: Rivers, Ondo win gold medals in 100m

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Usheoritse Itsekiri of Rivers and Bukola Boluwatife of Ondo State emerged winners of the men’s and women’s 100m races respectively at the ongoing 19th National Sports Festival (NSF) on Wednesday.
Itsekiri coasted home in a time of 10.27 seconds to win the male event’s gold medal, while Boluwatife crossed the finish line in 11.45 secs in the women’s race.
Egwero Oghene of Delta and Enoch Adegoke of Rivers finished in 10.32 secs in the men’s race, but the former won second place by arriving hundredths of a second earlier.
In the women’s category, Peace Uko of Cross River came second to take silver, while Joy Udoh of Delta returned in 11.53 secs to settle for the bronze.
Speaking with reporters after the race, Itsekiri said it was the sprint if his life, as he never expected to win gold.
“This was based on the fact that my personal best time was one of the poorest among the finalists,’’ he said.
On her part, Boluwatife said she was expecting nothing less than a victory because she had trained hard for the NSF.
Several athletics events were cancelled at the 19th NSF, with organisers citing inadequate funds.
Events such as 200m and relay races were not featured at the games, but action continues in 400m, shot put, javelin and other track and field events on Thursday.

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Team Anambra quest for medals haul continues on Day 6 of the 19th NSF

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There are 35 events billed for today across different sport centres as Day 6 of a very entertaining and highly competitive 19th edition of the National Sports Festival continues. *#TeamAnambra* with a total of 5 medals *(2 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze)* won so far are set to feature in 10 events this Tuesday at the ongoing festival. The events and venues are:
*BOXING* – GYM HALL, AGUIYI IRONSI CANTONMENT
*CHESS* – CHELSEA HOTEL, CBD, ABUJA
*DEAF TABLE TENNIS* – INDOOR HALL, PACKAGE B
*JUDO* – VELODROME, PACKAGE A
*KICKBOXING* – GYM HALL, AGUIYI IRONSI CANTONMENT
*KUNGFU* – GYM HALL, MAMBILLA BARRACKS
*SCRABBLE* – VIP LOUNGE, PACKAGE A
*TABLE TENNIS* – INDOOR HALL, PACKAGE B
*TAEKWONDO* – VELODROME, PACKAGE A
*VOLLEYBALL (INDOOR)* – OUTDOOR COURT PACKAGE B
#NSF2018Update
#TeamAnambraForGlory
#TeamAnambraStrong

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Salah sends Liverpool atop, Chelsea tame Man City

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Mohamed Salah’s hat-trick fired Liverpool to the top of the Premier League on Saturday with an impressive 4-0 win at Bournemouth, while Manchester City stumbled at Stamford Bridge.
The defending champions had their unbeaten run in the English Premier League broken by Chelsea, with an emphatic 2-0 defeat.
At Old Trafford, Manchester United finally hit some free-scoring form with a 4-1 win over Fulham.

At the Emirates Arsenal laboured to extend their unbeaten run to 21 games, but left it late to beat Huddersfield 1-0 thanks to Lucas Torreira’s overhead kick seven minutes from time.
Chelsea inflicted the defeat on Manchester City with goals from N’Golo Kante and David Luiz.
Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling had early efforts denied by Kepa Arrizabalaga, before Chelsea took the lead on the stroke of half-time.
Eden Hazard’s cutback from a counter-attack found Kante, who fired into the roof of the net.
City trailed for only the second time this season and Ederson had to palm away Willian’s second-half free-kick to avoid the deficit being doubled.
David Luiz sealed the points, heading in Hazard’s 78th-minute corner as Arrizabalaga ensured a clean sheet with a fine late save from Gabriel Jesus.
But Liverpool took full advantage of kicking off first on the south coast to start a big week in the best possible fashion by moving a point ahead of their title rivals.
Salah had been rested from the start for Wednesday’s 3-1 win at Burnley that kept Jurgen Klopp’s men on City’s coat-tails, and the Egyptian looked to have benefited from a break as he looked more like the player who netted 44 goals in an incredible debut season at Anfield.
The visitors were slightly fortunate to take the lead on 25 minutes when Asmir Begovic fumbled Roberto Firmino’s long-range shot. Salah’s follow-up effort was allowed to stand despite him appearing to be marginally offside.
Salah made the game safe by showing determination to stay on his feet despite being fouled before finding the bottom corner early in the second-half.
Steve Cook’s own goal then made it 3-0 before Salah sealed his hat-trick by remaining remarkably cool to dribble past Begovic twice before prodding home.
“What Mo did around his two goals in the second half was just exceptional,” said Klopp. “I don’t know at the moment a lot of players who would have scored these two goals.”
United took advantage of Bournemouth’s defeat and Everton not being in action till Monday to rise up to sixth by ending a four-game winless run in the league with a comfortable victory over bottom club Fulham.
Jose Mourinho again rang the changes, but continued to leave Paul Pogba on the bench.
And it was three of those introduced to the side from Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal that scored in the first-half with Ashley Young, Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku on target.
“We were strong, aggressive and intense,” said a happy Mourinho. “At times it was beautiful football. The first-half was perfect.”
Aboubakar Kamara’s penalty pulled a goal back for Fulham, but any hope of a fightback from the visitors was ended by a red card for Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Marcus Rashford added a fourth for the hosts.
Arsenal are still yet to lead a Premier League game at half-time this season, but again came good late on when Torreira acrobatically met Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cross to lift the Gunners above north London rivals Tottenham into third.
Ralph Hasenhüttl’s start to life as Southampton manager got off to a terrible start as Callum Paterson scored the winner in a 1-0 victory to move Cardiff up to 14th and three points clear of the bottom three.
Burnley also moved out of the drop zone courtesy of a first win in nine games as James Tarkowski scored the only goal to beat Brighton 1-0.
West Ham recorded a third straight win to move into the top half by coming from behind to beat Crystal Palace 3-2 thanks to second-half goals from Robert Snodgrass, Javier Hernandez and Felipe Anderson.

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Anambra Contingent Arrive Abuja For 19th National Sports Festival, Participate In Opening Ceremony

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Team Anambra is already in Abuja and participated in the match past at the Abuja National Stadium as part of the ritual for the commencement of the 19th National Sports Festival.

The Anambra contingent consisting of 105 athletes and 30 officials is being led by Chief Tony Oli, the Chairman of Anambra State Sports Development Commission.

The spirit in the camp is high and both the athletes and officials are promising Ndi Anambra a great outing at the festival.


CONTENT PROVIDED BY IK NWOKEDI

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Anambra Launches State Football Season

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By EMMANUEL OKONKWO –

The Anambra state government has yesterday the 4th of December 2018 launched the state Football Season.
The football season which kicks off yesterday will be rounded off on the 27th of May 2019.

The competition whose opening ceremony is ongoing at the St. Mary High School, Ifite dunu in Dunukofia council area will feature Primary schools, secondary schools, tertiary institutions, security agencies, traders groups, among others.

 

The football competition is aimed at producing a formidable football team that would represent the state both locally and internationally, and as well supporting and showcasing young talents in the state to the world.
The Anambra state Governor, Chief Willie Obiano was represented at the occasion by the Deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke.

 

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Scrabble: Nigeria’s Moses Peter emerges African champion

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Moses Peter, the captain of Nigeria’s senior scrabble team, on Sunday emerged the 2018 African scrabble champion at the 13th African Scrabble Championship in Kiriyangi, Kenya.

The team’s coach, Anthony Ikolo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja that Peter emerged champion with two more games to play at the championship.

According to him, Nigeria once again dominated the African scrabble scene after retaining both the individual and country trophies for the 12th consecutive time.

“Peter proved beyond reasonable doubt why he is the world’s second best player after winning the African scrabble best player award at game 30 of the just-concluded African Scrabble Championship.

“Kudos to all eleven players in the team for flying the flag of our beloved country Nigeria,” he said.

NAN reports that players from seven countries took part in the championship, namely Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Tanzania and Zambia.

After Round 32 of the competition, seven Nigerians were in the top 10 with other four Nigerians among the top 40 players.

They were placed first, second, third, fifth, eighth, ninth and tenth, while they also placed 15th, 25th, 26th and 38th.

This means all 11 Nigerian players at the championship placed among the top 40 at the competition.

Below are the positioning of Nigeria’s players at the championship:

1. Peter, Moses
2. Jighere, Wellington
3. Karo, Eta
4. Oyende, Allan
5. Ikekeregor, Dennis
6. Edwin-Mugisha
7. Njoroge, Stanley
8. Etim, Nsikan
9. Gbaraba, Raymond
10. Oduwole, Olatunde
11. Mbugua, Nicholas

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It’s 5 days to go! The 2nd edition of Anambra State Walf4Life. Don’t miss it!!

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Countdown to the 2nd Edition of the 2018 Anambra State Walk For Life Campaign

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Save the date! On Saturday,DECEMBER 1,  the 2018 2nd Edition of WALK FOR LIFE CAMPAIGN  officially begins! Are we ready?

Anambra State Sports Development Commission beckons on all Anambra Stakeholders, Political Appointees, Market Leaders, Captains of Industries, Organized Private Sector & good-spirited individuals in Anambra State to come out on DECEMBER 1, 2018 and join the WALK FOR LIFE CAMPAIGN.

God bless you as you join!.

Tony Oli

DG – ASSDC

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Anambra State : Another football season kicks off on November 30, 2018.

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It’s all inclusive ranging from Under13 (kids), Under 17, Higher Institution category, Traders Category and Communities Category.


There are several cups to be won.
Truly sports sector has taken a new look under HE Willie Obiano ably anchored by Mr Tony Oli (DG).



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