Owen: Shaw ready for big club

first_img Reports have suggested United are trying to sign 18-year-old Southampton defender Shaw, who has been included in England boss Roy Hodgson’s squad for this summer’s World Cup. The left-back already has over 50 Barclays Premier League starts and a senior international cap to his name. Press Association And when asked about the prospect of Shaw joining United, Owen, who made such a memorable impact at the 1998 World Cup as an 18-year-old, told Press Association Sport: “I think it’s always good to keep progressing up the ladder and to play at the highest standard. “And once you have had the experience that Luke Shaw has had in the Premier League, I think you are certainly ready for that challenge now. “Having had the first-team experience he has, and now going to a World Cup, I’d say he is more than ready to join a really big club – if Southampton let him go.” Should the move to United go through this summer, Shaw will be joining at an interesting time for the club. The Red Devils are set to undergo considerable change as they look to bounce back from a disappointing 2013/14 season following the retirement of boss Sir Alex Ferguson, with a permanent replacement – Louis van Gaal, it seems – for Ferguson’s successor David Moyes coming in and the squad being overhauled. Owen feels the Shaw transfer would be a good one for all parties concerned. “United have obviously had a poor campaign by their standards and we talk about rebuilding, but it has only been one season – there is still an awful lot of quality there,” the 34-year-old said. “They are a huge club with a huge stadium, and I presume they are going to get a huge manager as well. Former England and Manchester United striker Michael Owen is confident Luke Shaw is ready for the challenge of being a Red Devils player. “I wouldn’t have thought they will be coming seventh again next season, put it that way – I think they will be right back in the mix. “But they are going to have to buy quality players like Luke Shaw, and particularly in defence, because they have lost Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, and there is talk about Patrice Evra as well. “They are going to be hard to replace, but someone like Luke Shaw would go a long way towards that. “So the only losers would be Southampton – but then again, I’m pretty sure there will be a huge fee involved!” Shaw is part of a 23-man England World Cup squad that has plenty more youth in it, with the likes of Ross Barkley and Raheem Sterling also included. While approving of Hodgson’s selection and pleased it features several younger players, Owen has also been keen to stress he believes those chosen have been on merit, regardless of their age. And he is feeling positive about what the group can achieve at the tournament in Brazil. He said: “I think a lot of the players we will be pinning our hopes on are youngsters – and that is maybe just a coincidence. “They have all come off a great season for their clubs, are full of confidence, and I’m hoping one or two of them will star in this tournament. “I think England are going to surprise a few – I think we could do well.” The future of the national team has been very much on the agenda recently after Football Association chairman Greg Dyke unveiled a set of proposals aimed at boosting the number of English players at the top of club football. Owen was speaking at St George’s Park, where he was promoting the FA’s ‘Reds v Blues’ initiative, designed to encourage people of all ages and abilities to play the game. And the former Liverpool and Newacastle forward feels the key issue in terms of the England debate is ensuring there is decent coaching at grass-roots level. “In the initial stages it is just about enjoyment for youngsters – just getting out and about is key,” Owen said. “Then, later on, into your teens, it really is important to get good coaching, better coaching, and have a pathway through to a first team.” The Reds v Blues weekend of football celebrations starts on June 6 and will see people representing a red or blue team, playing the game in whatever form they wish, ranging from kickabouts in gardens to organised five-a-side and 11-a-side matches. Scores from all the games that take place will be combined to create an overall final score at the end. last_img read more

Skaneateles hockey neared perfection in 2019-20 season

first_imgEditor’s Note: After the cancellation of the rest of the high school winter sports state tournaments, we’ll be periodically looking back at the top local teams and athletes from the 2019-20 season. This edition features the Skaneateles boys ice hockey team.It nearly proved a perfect season for a program long used to greatness, but denied an opportunity to scale even greater heights.The Skaneateles ice hockey team earned its fourth state championship in March 2019 at Buffalo’s Harborcenter, adding to the three state titles it had won in 1983, 1989 and 2015. Then there was back-to-back games on Dec. 3 and 5 against Division I powers Syracuse and West Genesee. Skaneateles shut both of them out, including a 2-0 decision over the Cougars, who were the 2019 state Division I champions.By the time the first state rankings were released on Dec. 17, the Lakers were 5-0, and were placed atop the state poll, where it never left for the next three months.It was on that same Dec. 17 that a long-time rivalry provided Skaneateles with its lone blemish of the winter. Auburn, despite getting out-shot 35-6, managed to tie the Lakers 1-1.Three days later, Skaneateles recorded an impressive 3-1 win at Victor, the eventual Section V and regional Division I champions, and then the team took a two-week break.When it resumed Jan. 3 and 4 at the Duke Schneider Memorial Tournament, the Lakers proved as dominant as ever, running over Pelham 8-2 and Baldwinsville 8-1 to take that event.Three straight shutouts followed, over Clinton (2-0), Whitesboro (5-0) and Oswego (6-0). Following that, two games late in January illustrated just how good the Lakers were.Fayetteville-Manlius led Skaneateles in the third period, but the Lakers took over late to pull it out 5-3. Even more telling was Skaneateles going to Casey Park and, against the same Auburn side that tied them in December, roaring to a 10-0 victory.In order to make it through the regular season undefeated, Skaneateles still needed to hold off Clinton 3-2 and, in the Feb. 19 regular-season finale, required overtime to claim another 3-2 decision over Whitesboro.The Section III playoffs did not have as much drama. After blanking Cortland-Homer 4-0, the Lakers went to the Syracuse War Memorial and, in the March 2 sectional final, netted three first-period goals on Whitesboro and never got caught in a 5-1 decision.Once Skaneateles defeated Starpoint 6-1 in the March 7 regional final at Buffalo State College, it was ready to go after the state title before the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic stopped those plans.Four of the top six scorers in the sectional Division II ranks wore blue and gold. Garrett Krieger (21 goals, 23 assists) finished just ahead of his linemates, Charlie Russell (15 goals, 27 assists) and Charlie Major (14 goals, 27 assists).Cole Heintz also scored 21 goals this season to match Krieger, while Casper stopped 92 percent of the shots he faced.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story When that ended, anticipation for the 2019-20 campaign quickly started, for good reason. Most of the Lakers’ key players were returning, from front-line scorers to the goaltender, Adam Casper, who had held up so well during most of the 2019 post-season.And it didn’t take long for Skaneateles to assert itself as the strongest team in Central New York.Opening with a four-game homestand at Allyn Arena, the Lakers topped CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt and then Cortland-Homer in a rematch of the 2019 sectional final, those wins by a combined 12-2 margin.center_img Tags: ice hockeyskaneateleslast_img read more