Monk relaxed over long-term future

first_img The 35-year-old former captain was handed the reins – for the “foreseeable future” – in February after chairman Huw Jenkins sacked Michael Laudrup, but says thus far he has not had talks about his future. After Swansea’s comfortable 3-0 win at home to Norwich on Saturday, Monk said it would be “great” to take his beloved Swans forward, but stressed he was not the kind to pester his chairman for a new deal. Press Association A first-half brace from Jonathan de Guzman and a clinical finish after the break from winger Wayne Routledge saw off the Canaries and lifted the Swans to 13th place, seven points clear of the relegation zone. Monk added: “I want to win every single game. I’ve told the boys in there, I don’t want to lose another game this season. “I don’t care what the points tally is. I’m not even focusing on that. We’re definitely not safe – I know that – but we need to get more wins. “That’s crucial and it’s important that we improve, keep pushing each other, keep that environment at the training ground and in the match days. “Everything’s built towards every single match that we’re playing and they (the players) realise how serious a position we’re in and that we need to do it to the end of the season in all the remaining matches.” Swansea interim manager Garry Monk has expressed his determination to earn the role on a permanent basis – but will not “chase” the board in pursuit of a long-term contract. “I have a very good relationship with all of them (the board) and I have a very good relationship with Huw, the chairman,” he said. “He knows what I do, he knows what I work like. I’m not going to go chasing anything, because I always feel if you’ve earned it, then you’ll get it. “If that’s to be, then great. If it’s not to be, then it means I haven’t earned it, so that’s the way I feel – that’s my principles. “I’ve always been like that as a player. I’ll be like that as a man as well – that’s how I live my life. “In terms of chasing the chairman and asking ‘are you going to sign me now? Have I got the job?’ No. I don’t do that. “I believe that if they think I’m good enough and I’ve earned the right, then it will be there for everyone to see.” Monk joined the Welsh outfit as a player in 2004 when they were in League Two, went on to make 226 appearances and become a fans’ favourite. Now in charge of his former team-mates, he is determined to end the season on a high, after a poor run of results was ended with Saturday’s emphatic win at the Liberty Satdium. last_img read more

Wide out depth leaves some on bench

first_imgIn football, as in life, things often do not go according to plan. Just ask Kyle Jefferson.After finishing third on the team in receiving yards as a freshman behind tight ends Travis Beckum and Garrett Graham, the Wisconsin junior wide receiver has seen his playing time and number of receptions steadily decrease from 2007 to 2009.Jefferson’s smaller role within the Badgers’ offense has not been due to a lack effort though, according to UW wide receivers coach DelVaughn Alexander.“We just have another starter,” Alexander said. “Kyle’s performance hasn’t been bad, it’s just that somebody else has been better.”That somebody has actually been two players, sophomore Nick Toon and junior Isaac Anderson, who have shown much improvement since last year and moved into starting roles ahead of Jefferson.Jefferson’s newfound backup role is not unlike that of senior quarterback Dustin Sherer, who has similarly gone from a starting role in the second half of 2008 to third string this year. It is a result neither expected going into fall camp, and a far cry from the success each has enjoyed in the past at Wisconsin.“It’s tough to play one year and watch the next,” Toon said of Jefferson’s situation. “I actually think it’s harder to do that than to watch and then play, because you get kind of a taste of what it’s like to play as opposed to just kind of wondering what it’s like to play.”At the same time, however, Jefferson remains proud of the performances of his fellow receivers and their accomplishments. He continues to work hard to improve himself and help others at his position improve through any competition or knowledge he can provide them.And he has still seen the field in four of the Badgers’ five games in 2009. Unfortunately for Jefferson, however, his role on the team has been limited this year during games, as he has caught just one ball for four yards.“That’s just kind of the way things have played out this year,” Toon said. “Obviously Kyle came in and contributed right away and had a lot of success, but things happen for a reason. He’s a great receiver, but that’s just kind of the way the cookie crumbled this year for him.”Taking on a backup role is not the first time Jefferson has faced adversity in his time at Wisconsin. Just a month into his career with the Badgers the 6-foot-4 Cleveland native quickly learned how tough it can be to play wide receiver in the Big Ten.After catching a pass over the middle from quarterback Tyler Donovan, Jefferson took a devastating blow to the head from Nehemiah Warrick, knocking him off his feet. Of course, Jefferson tries to down play the hit.“No, it didn’t really affect me,” he said. “I just got up and ran off the field. You know, I had a little concussion or whatever, but I was able to play the next week so I was fine.”Toon, on the other hand, was a bit more shocked by the hit Warrick laid on Jefferson“Honestly, like, not being funny at all, when he first got hit I thought he might’ve broken his neck,” Toon said. “I thought he might be done playing football forever. It’s the hardest hit I’ve ever seen in person; I’ll never forget that.”For Jefferson, the hit is something he recognizes he will forever be connected with, especially with the video clips of it having gotten more than 1 million views on YouTube.“I’ll be on YouTube probably forever, but it’s no big deal,” Jefferson said. “It’s kind of scary when you first see it, but now it’s kind of funny and you just have to laugh about it.”Among those viewers is Toon, who says he has seen it “quite a few times.” He is also one of those players who jokes about the hit with Jefferson.The hit in 2007 was not the last of Jefferson’s obstacles, however. He suffered a concussion in last season’s game versus Minnesota after taking a blow to the head in the second quarter.Jefferson was knocked unconscious, but retained motion in his extremities. He was taken from the field in an ambulance, and Jefferson was transported to the hospital before being released the following day.“It took me a little bit longer last year to shake it off,” Jefferson said. “But once I did, I was able to go again and it really wasn’t that big of a deal.”Since that game, Jefferson has caught just two passes for 14 yards in seven games for Wisconsin. At the same time, Toon and Anderson have improved, moving ahead of Jefferson on the depth chart.In addition to joking about that devastating hit, Jefferson, Toon and Anderson work together every day as receivers, feeding off the competition each provides for the others. That response — a willingness to do whatever the team needs — to Jefferson’s diminished role with the passing game is one reason he continues to be an essential part of the Wisconsin offense.“His attitude’s been great and his commitment to everything we’re asking him to do has been great,” Alexander said. “He’s been a better player actually than he has been in the past, but it’s just been a matter of somebody else playing better.”And while he has accepted his role on this year’s team, Jefferson is not satisfied with simply playing out his remaining time in Madison in a backup receiver role.With seven regular season games remaining in his junior year and another full season as a senior, Jefferson hopes to continue working toward regaining the prominent role he had as a freshman.“I’m always, always working to get better and get more playing time,” Jefferson said. “I never get down, I keep my head up and I keep moving forward. My day is coming and you never know when it will be, things happen that you don’t expect in this game.”last_img read more

NSL grand finals scores nil all at halftime

first_imgDespite many attempts from Dwellers to score, the Hekari FC goalkeeper  has kept a  tight lid at the goal mouth with numerous saves to keep the Dwellers out at the Sir John Guise Stadium.Dwellers veteran Raymond Gunemba and striker Nigel Dabinyaba combined to shift balls upfront which pushed the tide up but failed to score as Hekari held the side off with a strong backline.However, Hekari FC winger Tommy Semmy who played an outstanding game last weekend with a hattrick of goals could not break the deadlock to keep the scores tied at halftime at 0-0.last_img read more