IG London Nocturne organisers are delighted to announce that Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling will compete in the Elite Women’s Criterium on Saturday 8th June.
British Team Pursuit gold medalists Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell and Dani King will all race in the strongest-ever elite women’s field at Smithfield Market in London in less than six weeks’ time.
Wiggle Honda began life as a professional team this season with backing from Wiggle.co.uk, Honda Motor Europe and The Bradley Wiggins Foundation.
Owned and managed by 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medalist Rochelle Gilmore, Wiggle Honda have achieved a string of impressive results already this season, with three-time world champion Giorgia Bronzini spearheading their campaign.
But British fans who attend the Nocturne will be hugely excited at the chance to see a trio of British medal winners compete on the streets of London, rather than the Olympic Velodrome, after their victory at the London 2012 Olympics.
Trott said: “I’m really excited about this race, there are always so many fans lining the streets, and we’ll want to put on a great performance. The IG London Nocturne will be important for us leading into the National Championships – it will be our last real test against a competitive field.”
Team manager Gilmore added: “The IG London Nocturne will be the first time Wiggle Honda officially race as a team in the UK, in front of a massive British audience. This is a really big and important event for our team. We’re extremely excited about racing in front of a home crowd against a strong line-up of professional women.”
FACE Partnership MD James Pope, the event organiser, said: “We are committed to promoting women’s cycling, and I am delighted that the Nocturne will feature the strongest women’s professional team.”
It comes as no surprise to football supporters that they are towards the bottom of the authorities’ thinking when it comes to organising matches. More important is whether the TV companies are getting the highest possible viewing figures, than if the fans can get home afterwards.
Virgin Trains is advising football supporters wishing to travel by train to the FA Cup Final on Saturday 11 May that there are NO suitable services returning to the North West that take into account the uncertainty of when the match will actually end.
The last train from London Euston to Wigan North Western on a Saturday leaves at 20:31, while the last departure to Manchester Piccadilly is at 21:00. The cup presentation ceremony and celebrations, together with the possibility of extra time and a penalty shoot out, all mean that by the time supporters reach London Euston following a journey from Wembley last trains will have departed.
The unpredictability of exactly when the match will end coupled with the earlier close down on Saturdays of the West Coast Main Line for essential maintenance and inspection mean that the planning of any additional services to the North West is extremely difficult given the high numbers of supporters that would attempt to travel that evening. Virgin Trains would much rather everyone understands the position well in advance so that they can make their plans accordingly.
On the morning of the Final, an additional train will run from Wigan North Western to London Euston, while from Manchester the advertised 20 minute frequency to London Euston will be in operation. How kind and thoughtful of them.
The chosen kick-off time is 5:15pm because the television companies believe they can get higher viewing figures at that time. The traditional 3pm kick-off is out of the window, and of course, the Cup Final is no longer the showpiece at the end of the season, as on the same day there will be a full Premier League programme.
With a lack of trains for the return journey, many City fans may take coach or cars instead. Which will probably lead to huge congestion on the roads from the North West to London and back. Marvellous. Well done to the powers that be. Good luck to those supporters making the trip.
Blue Square Bet North club Oxford City has announced that one of the most successful and influential people around the world, Thomas Anthony Guerriero, has become a director and has accepted the position of club President. A new international holding company Oxford City Football Club LLC has been formed and will jointly own the club together with the established Oxford City Charitable Company, which remains unchanged.
The appointment has been formally approved by the English Football Association and Mr. Guerriero will work closely with the Oxford City Charitable Company on every level to improve all aspects of the club.
Guerriero said, “This is a brilliant day for Oxford City, its supporters, and is a dream come true for me personally. I plan to build upon the great successes over the last 131 years of Oxford City Football Club by assisting in the expansion of both the Oxford City brand and the Oxford City Academy globally. We are confident this will put Oxford City in a tremendous position to maximize the club’s potential on every level.”
Oxford City Managing Director, Colin Taylor joined in Mr. Guerriero’s excitement with the announcement. “We are delighted to have formed a successful relationship with Thomas Anthony Guerriero that will strengthen Oxford City and raise the club’s profile. Mr. Guerriero’s knowledge and experience both professionally on the pitch and in business will provide a wealth of new opportunities and enable the club to continue the progress we have made in recent years. This a new era in the history of Oxford City Football Club and puts the foundation in place for a sustained and exciting future.”
In 2011, Guerriero was nominated, accepted, and confirmed as one of the youngest inductions ever into Marquis’s Who’s Who in America. Also in 2011, he became one of the youngest owners of a professional sports team. He became an owner of a professional basketball team, the Springfield Armor in the NBA D league (The Brooklyn Nets Affiliate).
We have a signed Aston Villa for sale as part of the charity event we are staging on May 3rd.
It is a top quality jersey worn by Jonathan Hogg. It is in excellent condition and would make a fantastic gift for an Aston Villa fan or Watford where Jonathan now plies his trade.
Would look superb in a frame. All the money from this auction will go to Claire House children’s hospice in Wirral who do fantastic work providing respite, end of life or bereavement care to young people and their families.
Please bid generously. Thank you.
Cammell Laird took all three points from the trip to play-off rivals Trafford as they battled to a 1-0 victory at Shawe View. A second half header by Mike Grogan was enough to get the win for Lairds who ended the game with nine men after Steve Ferrigan and Craig Cairns were sent off.
Lairds should have taken an early lead when a corner fell to skipper Chay Dysart who was gifted time and space but his effort from 12 yards drifted wide of the post.
Midway through the first period, Joe Holt jinked his way from his own half into the opposition penalty area but saw his low shot well saved before Trafford came close when a long-range effort rebounded back out off the crossbar.
Trafford piled on the pressure after the break and had a great opportunity to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty early into the second half. Goalkeeper Kevin Atherton made amends for conceding the spot kick with a fantastic save low down to his right to deny Paul Ashton.
The hosts continued to press for a goal but it was Lairds who found the net on 76 minutes. A corner from the left was met by substitute Mike Grogan who sent a powerful header into the bottom corner of the net.
There were two sendings off in the final ten minutes with Ferrigan seeing red for a second yellow card after pulling back the striker as he ran through on goal before Cairns was given his marching orders for dissent. But they held on for another important victory.
As published in the Tranmere Rovers matchday programme (29 March 2013)
Have you ever heard of a football club sacking a manager but then asking him to come back to manage for one more game in a couple of weeks time? Step forward League Two outfit Southend United who this week parted company with manager Paul Sturrock.
After a run of picking up just two points from their last five matches, Shrimpers chairman Ron Martin decided that it was time for a change of manager. But not on Sunday April 7th.
That date marks Southend’s appearance in the final of the Johnstone’s Paints Trophy final at Wembley Stadium as they face Crewe Alexandra. Having led the team to this stage of the competition, the club believe he has earned the privilege to lead the team out and manage them at the national stadium.
It’s a rather bizarre arrangement and one I’m not sure has happened before. But having done all the hard work to guide them through to Wembley, you would have to say that he deserves the chance to be involved in the final. It’s a very strange circumstance though. Perhaps the club have already forked out on Sturrock’s cup final suit?
The Football League Awards took place last weekend, celebrating the efforts of Football League clubs and their staff on and off the pitch.
The coveted Player of the Year Awards were voted for by managers from every club in their divisions. In the Championship, the award went to Matej Vydra of Watford, in League One it was awarded to Bournemouth’s Matt Ritchie (who played for Swindon Town for the first half of the season) and Tom Pope of Port Vale took home the League Two gong.
Highly-rated Blackpool winger Thomas Ince, who has been linked with a big-money move to a host of Premier League clubs, won the young Player of the Year Award.
Fan of the year was given to Exeter City supporter Neil Le Milliere.
Talking of fans, and fan power was in full force again last weekend as yet again the country was hit by bad weather with rain, snow and freezing temperatures causing numerous matches to be called off.
But some fans refused to stay in the warm and have a football-free weekend and instead got their snow shovels and wheelbarrows to help ground-staff at Football League clubs up and down the country clear the white stuff from the pitch, including here at Prenton Park, to ensure that matches went ahead.
Well done folks. We salute you!
As published in the Tranmere Rovers matchday programme (24 March 2013)
Championship club Blackburn Rovers are fast becoming known for changing managers as often as most people change their underwear.
This week, Michael Appleton (a manager who, actually, is changing clubs as quickly as Rovers change managers) was relieved of his duties at Ewood Park, leaving the Lancashire club looking for their fourth manager of the season, fifth if you count Gary Bowyer who was caretaker manager in between appointments.
Steve Kean and Henning Berg had previously had the poisoned chalice of being in charge of the team before the trigger-happy Venkys decided it was time for change. Having sacked Berg just a couple of months into his reign, they appointed Appleton who was “just the right candidate”.
67 days later and Appleton has gone from being “just the right candidate” to joining the dole queue. You have to question the Venkys recruitment policy and think who in their right mind is going to want to join the circus which is going on there at the present time. I wonder if Krusty the clown is available?
Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Carl Ikeme had a Saturday to forget last week. Conceding a goal which will undoubtedly appear on all those bloopers DVDs at Christmas was bad enough, but he compounded his misery by punching a tactics board and breaking his hand!
In the first half of their game against Bristol City, the shot-stopper failed to deal with a back-pass and the ball trickled through his legs and into the back of the net.
Back in the dressing room, he received a bit of criticism from Wolves boss Dean Saunders and sought to take his frustrations out on the tactics board.
Not realising that there was a metal bar behind the board and forgetting that hands are quite an important part of the anatomy for a goalkeeper, he punched the board and will now likely miss the remainder of the season with a broken hand.
Accrington Stanley? Who are they? Well, they’re the only League Two side with a strikeforce made up of former England internationals!
After James Beattie joined earlier in the season, Stanley have recently snapped up another ex-England man in the shape of former Everton and Arsenal striker Francis Jeffers.
Both players may be in the twilight of their playing careers, but nevertheless it is still quite a coup for the unfashionable Lancashire side to have attracted two such players to the club.
They still have a bit to offer too. Beattie has six goals to his name from 18 appearances, including a thunderous 40 yard volley, while Jeffers got himself off the mark in midweek with a brace in Stanley’s 4-0 win over AFC Wimbledon.