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Learning Responsibility

first_imgAs a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension county coordinator, I am surrounded by some of the most amazing and fantastic young people, some of whom I’m related to and some I just have the pleasure of working with.Let me explain. I am passionate about youth livestock projects. I think youth livestock projects, like showing hogs, cattle, goats, lambs or even horses, are one of the most valuable and rewarding experiences out there for youth today.How many other activities teach the level of responsibility that’s required of someone showing an animal at a livestock show? Growing up in my family, the animals got fed before the humans got fed every day. It wasn’t a chore. It was a lifestyle and a choice I made, with the support of my family, to be responsible for the animals that I showed.Later, some of the animals were bred for us to show, while others were harvested and provided our family with a great source of protein and food. I learned so much, and I am very glad that my nephews followed in the family’s footsteps and now show Red Angus cattle and market goats in Texas.I often whip out my phone to share pictures from their latest shows or their new animals. Without realizing it, some of you even watch my nephews online when they’re at major shows like the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which was held three weeks ago. I try to attend as many of the major shows as I can. Aunt Laura is a great kid wrangler, laundry deliverer, food gatherer and any other kind of “gofer” she needs to be.The 2016 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was an event with many moving parts for the Griffeth nephews. Both 15-year-old Tyler and 11-year-old Zachary had a market goat and a breeding heifer to show, and Tyler participated in the calf scramble one night.Zachary showed his goat first thing Thursday morning, but didn’t make the cut to the top 30 out of his class of 82 head. Tyler had a heavier goat that ended up in the first class to show on Friday morning instead of Thursday afternoon like we expected. His first activity ended up being the calf scramble at the rodeo that Thursday night. If you’re not familiar with a calf scramble, it is mass chaos with calves. Thirty teenagers stand on one side of the rodeo arena floor, which in this case is NRG Stadium where the Houston Texans play football. Fifteen 200- to 300-pound calves are released into the arena. The kids chase the calves and attempt to catch them, halter them and drag them back into the box in the middle of the arena.The teenagers that succeed get a $1,750 voucher to purchase a calf that they will bring back to show in Houston in 2017, but half of them will only receive a “thank you for participating” and the knowledge gained from trying something new. There was so much commotion that I completely lost sight of Tyler. Eventually, he came out of the corner without a calf, looking completely winded. I was out of breath just watching those kids run around that arena floor.After a few minutes, all of the calves were caught and the winners were announced. Unfortunately, Tyler didn’t catch one. He should have come to our seats shortly after the event to watch the concert that was starting, but he didn’t. More time went by, but he still wasn’t there. We started to get a little concerned. Finally, he appeared with his mother and a sling on his right arm — he dislocated his right shoulder.That’s right, Tyler was injured when another kid accidentally knocked him off a calf. Luckily, he was examined by the sports medicine doctors that were working the rodeo. They put his shoulder back into place, without pain medication other than ibuprofen, and took an X-ray to confirm.Personally, I would have been curled up in a ball waiting for my morphine drip. This 15-year-old young man dislocated his shoulder, had it popped back into place, came to the concert and even ate supper. And all I could think after finding out that he was OK was that he had a goat to show in 11 hours.He was up before I was the next morning at 5 a.m. and we went to the barn and tried out the shoulder. He felt that he could show, so at 8:15 a.m. he walked his goat into the ring and showed his goat as well as I’ve seen him show goats. Unfortunately, he didn’t make the cut, but how many adults would have done something similar less than 12 hours after an injury? To top it off, he showed his heifer Saturday afternoon, less than 48 hours after dislocating his shoulder. This time he earned second place in a very tough class. He even placed third in intermediate showmanship. I am just in awe of his perseverance and tenacity in seeing his projects to the end. We even toured the Johnson Space Center the next day.Here at home in Georgia, I am equally as proud of the Webster County, Georgia, 4-H youth who participated in Cloverleaf District Project Achievement. Seven fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders researched and wrote presentations on topics they were interested in. Our local 4-H staff worked with them for several weeks to organize their presentations and prepare posters and other visual aids for their demonstrations. We even had a presentation preview party the Friday before the event for all the youth to present their demonstrations in front of their parents, other 4-H’ers and even a county commissioner.They had a great time in Perry, Georgia, giving their presentations for the judges, interacting with 4-H’ers from other counties and participating in some fun activities. All seven 4-H’ers placed in the top three. While I enjoy placing in the top three as much as anybody, I was more proud of watching these youth grow over the past month and year. They’ve grown in maturity. They’ve grown in poise in front of groups. They’ve grown in terms of presentation skills. They’ve grown as human beings. The camaraderie was strong among the seven 4-H’ers, the two older 4-H’ers who served as teen leaders and the parents, grandparents and volunteers. They all seemed to care as much about how others placed as how they placed themselves.You know you’re getting old when you say, “These young kids are going to ruin everything” or “These kids don’t know squat.” And maybe they don’t sometimes. But maybe we old folks don’t either. I look at youth like my nephews or the 4-H’ers I work with and think this country is in pretty good hands.For more information about youth livestock projects, contact your local UGA Extension 4-H agent or go to www.Georgia4H.org/livestock.last_img read more

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TVA planning for lots more solar generation, no new coal in next 20 years

first_imgTVA planning for lots more solar generation, no new coal in next 20 years FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):The Tennessee Valley Authority’s future generation portfolio likely will include no new coal plants and a lot more solar, as the federal government-owned power supplier looks to build a more flexible generation system.TVA on Feb. 15 released a draft integrated resource plan, or IRP, that features different generation portfolios it can use to supply power the Tennessee Valley region will need over the next 20 years. The draft plan envisions a growing role for solar, with as much as 8,800 MW of nameplate solar capacity added by 2038. Over that time, TVA could see as much as 3,000 MW of coal capacity retired and the addition of thousands of megawatts of natural gas and storage resources.The draft plan puts particular importance on flexibility to account for an evolving energy marketplace. “The IRP is focused on flexibility because TVA needs a diverse power-generation system that is well-positioned to meet future demand; has the capacity to incorporate renewable energy sources and [distributed energy resources] along with more traditional resources; and has the capability to respond in a variety of circumstances well into the future,” the draft plan said.The draft plan has 30 different resource portfolios that vary depending on scenarios that account for things such as modest economic growth or rapid expansion of distributed energy resources, and strategies TVA could follow in the future, such as promoting renewables or resiliency.Each of the scenarios shows a need for new capacity, partly to replace resources to be retired or supply contracts that expire. Along with “substantial” solar expansion, the draft plan includes the addition of varying levels of gas, storage and demand response, depending on a strategic focus to ensure reliability and provide flexibility. The draft plan also sees no addition of baseload resources, aside from one case where small modular nuclear reactors are promoted for resiliency.The draft plan includes no new wind or hydro resources and no new coal plants. In most portfolios, additional coal unit retirements range from about 800 MW to 3,000 MW, depending on the scenario and strategy combination.More ($): TVA sees ‘substantial’ solar expansion over 20 yearslast_img read more

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Credit unions – the original social justice

first_img 131SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Scott Butterfield Financial inclusion has become an important means of promoting social justice in the world.The movement emphasizes continually improving and increasing the availability of products and services that enable overlooked and underserved, lower-income consumers obtain affordable, convenient, and relevant financial services.The term “social justice” is the buzzword of the moment in some circles, but in the credit union space, social justice and financial inclusion are more than just terms. They encompass where we started, and they represent what thousands of us continue to pursue each day, working together to find ways to reach and help advance the overlooked and underserved among us.Financial inclusion best practice todayLast month, I was an honored guest of Lower Valley Credit Union (LVCU) in Sunnyside, Wash. at the recognition of their national Juntos Avanzamos designation. LVCU and their fellow Juntos Avanzamos program partners and certified credit unions are great examples of financial inclusion and social justice in action.Juntos Avanzamos, Together We Advance, is a designation for credit unions committed to serving and empowering Hispanic consumers. Juntos Avanzamos was developed by the Cornerstone Credit Union League. Working together, the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, the Cornerstone League, Coopera, and a growing number of other credit union leagues have expanded the program to a national footprint.The Juntos Avanzamos designation is earned through a commitment to providing affordable financial access and development services to increase financial capability in the Hispanic community. This commitment is expansive, and includes things such as adequate bilingual staff, management, and board; cultural buy-in and a commitment to financial inclusion; active relationships within the Hispanic community; relevant products and services, such as credit-builder loans, ITIN loans, second-chance checking, and financial education and counseling; and developing a formal Hispanic outreach strategy.Today, there are more than 40 credit unions nationally that have received this designation. LVCU is the most recent, and the first credit union in the Pacific Northwest to be so honored.LVCU’s story of financial inclusion and impactLVCU has created and leveraged its assets and capacity to organize with others to benefit its entire community. It’s an amazing story, and I take every opportunity to share it, because it exemplifies the original purpose of credit unions, and demonstrates that credit unions and leaders can do well by doing good.LVCU has a long history of serving the lower-income, Hispanic community in southeastern Washington State. In 2010, the credit union’s focus on serving this market intensified as the board selected Suzy Fonseca as the new President/CEO. Suzy grew up in the area, and is a first-generation Mexican American.Suzy’s passion for LVCU and the communities it serves is best described as relentless. In 2011, Suzy rallied her team and board as they worked collectively to clarify their vision to “plant seeds of opportunity for a better tomorrow.” This simple vision statement clearly articulates the reason so many of the people in her community migrated to the United States. It’s intentional that LVCU’s culture, products, and services are the seeds of financial inclusion that lead to a better quality of life.Here are three examples of how LVCU’s products and development services impact its members and community:Reliable Rides to WorkTransportation, job access, and income go hand-in-hand. In order for families to gain employment, arrive at work on time, and be available for extra shifts (which translate into greater income), they need reliable transportation that provides access to suitable jobs. Unfortunately, many of the families in low-income neighborhoods are at a disadvantage because of non-existent public transportation, and mainstream financial institutions that refuse to fund loans to low-income, unbanked, underbanked, and migrant consumers.At LVCU, affordable used-auto loans are offered to low-income and credit-challenged consumers. At 13.2 percent, the average subprime interest rates at LVCU are 127 percent lower than the average 30-percent rate charged by the “Buy Here, Pay Here” lots. LVCU will make $500 used-auto loans, which is something most of the traditional lenders will not do in these low-income communities.ITIN LendingThe ITIN is an official number issued by the Internal Revenue Service that allows working nonresidents to declare their taxes. Unlike most financial institutions, LVCU will use the ITIN document (when a Social Security Number is not available) for opening new accounts and for making loans. Many of LVCU’s members come to them with just an ITIN and no formal credit rating. LVCU staff provide one-on-one counseling, explaining to members how to use their ITIN to open an account and apply for their first loan to establish credit. LVCU’s first-time program gives people their first shot at credit, and as the credit union’s low average delinquency and charge-off ratio demonstrates, these first time borrowers pay back their loans. LVCU’s remarkably strong membership growth demonstrates the high volume of referrals generated from serving this loyal demographic.Since 2012, LVCU has originated 2,432 ITIN loans for hardworking, lower-income consumers. The quality of life impact on these consumers is measurable and significant. LVCU measures the progress these members make in building and maintaining their credit. Credit Migration reports reflect that 67 percent of these members have increased their credit score by at least one tier. Improved credit creates opportunities for better jobs, better pay, and lower premiums and interest rates. It also prepares these consumers for future homeownership.Path to U.S. CitizenshipA 2012 study by the Migration Policy Institute found that naturalized citizens earn more than their non-citizen counterparts, are less likely to be unemployed, and are better represented in highly skilled jobs. Naturalized immigrants have higher levels of education, better language skills and more work experience within the country than non-citizens. Despite the potential economic and other benefits of citizenship, far fewer immigrants naturalize than are eligible to do so. An estimated 8 million lawful permanent residents are eligible to apply, but haven’t done so because of the cost associated with the process.Working with its partners, LVCU launched a statewide citizenship loan program in 2014 that is relevant and affordable for foreign-born, Hispanic consumers living in the Lower Valley. Besides LVCU, the program consists of three key partners: OneAmerica, Washington New Americans, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Working together, this partnership is focused on reaching the immigrant community, providing the education needed to navigate the complicated citizenship process, reviewing potential legal issues, and completing all of the documents necessary to submit to U.S. Department of Homeland Security.Since the program’s inception in 2014, more than 300 consumers have completed the pathway to citizenship and are now being sworn in as U.S. citizens. Approximately 150 people were sworn in on July 4 at the local town park.Why it mattersToday, tens of millions of consumers are overlooked and underserved. Credit unions were charted to serve the overlooked and underserved. It’s what we do.Unfortunately, a fair number of us are having an identity crisis, and needs to reconnect with our roots to find greater meaning and relevance in a financial market that is hyper-focused on people perceived worthy enough to be included.Perhaps there has never been a better time for credit unions, especially those that are stagnant and having a difficult time growing, to focus on financial inclusion and social justice. For many credit unions, choosing to focus on underserved markets provides for their bottom lines as well. LVCU is a great example of a credit union that has demonstrated financial strength through a philosophy of inclusion.Consider LVCU’s five-year annual average growth ratios:Loan growth: 21.93%Membership growth: 17.86%Asset growth: 15.67%Net Worth growth: 11.24%The good news is that everyone wins (credit unions, communities, members) when credit unions focus on financial inclusion. Look around you. If you have an underserved market in one of the communities you serve – even if its small and emerging – you may want to investigate opportunities to reach out and include those groups. It just might prove to be the shot in the arm your credit union and community needs for a better quality of life!Juntos Avanzamos Indeed!!! Scott is the Principal of Your Credit Union Partner, PLLC.Your Credit Union Partner (YCUP) is a trusted advisor to the leaders of more than 100 credit unions located throughout … Web: www.yourcupartner.org Detailslast_img read more

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New changes to lending solutions for the underserved markets

first_img 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Help has arrived.  The Helping Expand Lending Practices in Rural Communities (HELP Act), which broadened the category of rural small creditors that may be eligible for certain provisions under the Truth in Lending Act takes effect next week. So what does this mean for credit unions?The news shared by the Credit Union Times announces the CFPB rule reflecting Congress’ recent changes, which now provides broader eligibility for lenders serving rural and underserved areas to originate balloon payment qualified and high-cost mortgages.Prior to the implementation of the HELP Act, a small creditor was only eligible for these provisions if it operated predominantly in rural or underserved areas. The bureau’s prior rules had interpreted “predominantly” to mean the small creditor made more than half of its covered mortgage loans on properties located in rural or underserved areas during the prior calendar year. Under the HELP Act, however, Congress amended the statute to give a small creditor eligibility for these provisions if it operates in a rural or underserved area, even if that is not its predominant operational area. continue reading »last_img read more

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Federal officials offer new pandemic guidance for businesses

first_imgAug 19, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Federal officials today released new guidance to help businesses prepare for an expected resurgence of novel H1N1 activity during the upcoming influenza season, a document that clarifies how long sick workers should stay home and suggests ways to keep employees safe and business disruptions at a minimum.The recommendations were released at a news conference at US Department of Commerce headquarters in Washington, DC, and streamed live on the government’s flu Web site, where the guidance document is posted, along with a communication tool kit for businesses and employers. The guidance runs about 10 pages.Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said the business community can help limit the impact of the flu pandemic on society, but they need to strike the right tone with employees. “In America, we love to praise the puritan work ethic, but we praise common sense and responsibility for the health of coworkers and the productivity of companies,” he said.Locke said the new guidance suggests that companies adopt flexible, nonpunitive sick-leave policies that support one of the most important measures for preventing the spread of the virus: staying home when sick. The recommendations advise against requiring a doctor’s note for returning to work, because such requests are likely to further stress an overburdened healthcare system.Locke also emphasized the document’s advice for businesses to plan now for spikes in absences as well as possible school closures. “A little planning now ensures that the economy withstands whatever the H1N1 virus throws at us this fall,” he said.Kathleen Sebelius, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary, said until a novel flu vaccine is available, employers can help mitigate the impact of the flu this fall by encouraging target groups to receive their seasonal flu vaccines. She said she hopes businesses will do some outreach ahead of time to encourage employees, especially those in high-risk groups such as pregnant women or young workers, to receive the novel H1N1 vaccine when it is available.She encouraged businesses to keep in touch with their local health departments, because flu conditions can change rapidly.One of the key components of the guidance is a recommendation on when employees who have had flu-like symptoms can return to work: 24 hours after fever ceases without assistance from fever-reducing medication. That new recommendation reflects revised guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), released on Aug 6, on how long those who are sick with novel flu should stay home. Earlier recommendations urged people to stay home for 7 days after illness onset or for 24 hours after symptoms resolve, whichever was longer.Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), said federal officials expect novel H1N1 activity to pick up again as school resumes and that now is the time for businesses to review and tweak their pandemic plans. “You’re dealing with a tough economy and may not have had time to think through what a bad flu season really is,” she said.Dual preparedness levelsShe said she has been traveling the country this summer meeting with critical infrastructure businesses to discuss pandemic preparedness issues. Earlier this week she spoke with oil and gas industry representative on the Gulf Coast. “The country needs to be prepared, but it also needs to be resilient,” she said.The guidance document urges employers to plan for two scenarios: a continuation of the level of novel H1N1 activity that was seen in the United States during spring and summer or a more severe outbreak. In the more moderate scenario, the recommendations say employees who have flulike symptoms at work should be separated from other workers and advised to go home. If sick employees can’t be separated from cowokers before they go home, they should be given a surgical mask if they can tolerate wearing it.If the pandemic becomes severe, the recommendations urge businesses to consider actively screening employees who report to work and devising alternative work environments for employees who are at high risk for flu complications. For example, pregnant women or those with underlying medical conditions could be allowed to telecommute or be reassigned to duties involving minimal contact with other employees, clients, or customers. A severe pandemic might also warrant social distancing measures in the workplace or cancellation of nonessential business travel, the document says.Guidance draws praiseTim Woerther, cochair of PandemicPrep.org, a preparedness consortium based in St Louis that includes business, government, education, and organizational groups, told CIDRAP News that the federal guidance contains much of what businesses with continuity plans already know, but he said the document is useful because it spells out what steps are important for companies that perhaps aren’t as prepared.”It’s good that the guidance contains the sorts of things that we should be doing daily, and it’s good to see federal officials endorsing these things for private industries,” Woerther said.He said the guidance is likely to be well received because it is flexible and doesn’t include mandates for businesses.See also:Aug 19 HHS press releaseAug 19 CDC and HHS business pandemic planning guidanceAug 6 CIDRAP News story “CDC shortens stay at home for those with flu symptoms”last_img read more

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Ugly ducklings await magical transformation

first_imgAnd the kitchen at 39 Sexton St, Petrie Terrace. Picture: realestate.com.auIt is a classic colonial cottage which is within walking distance of the Caxton St shops and Given Tce.The home is described as liveable in its current condition, with a separate lounge, dining area and kitchen.There are ceiling fans and it is on a 240sq m block of land with a yard to the side of the house which provides off street parking for up to four cars.It is listed through Brad Munor of Position Property Services.At 5-7 Clarence St, South Brisbane, an eight-bedroom home, eight-bathroom home is listed for immediate sale.It is described as a development opportunity as it is on a 850sq m block of land which is zoned as low-medium density residential.The property is currently leased as seven self-contained flats with a holding income of $98,000 per year.It is listed through Dr Paul Howe and Ranal Charan of Oxbridge Real Estate. 5-7 Clarence Street, South Brisbane. Picture: realestate.com.auNOT everyone is able to find their perfect property right from the start.But if you don’t mind putting in a little bit of elbow grease and have lots of imagination, these are the perfect properties for buyers to transform into homes that will become something really special.They aren’t far from the city and they all have good bones, they’re just crying out for a bit of a makeover.At 46 Hansen St, Moorooka, the two-bedroom house is due for auction on September 1. It is being sold as part of a deceased estate and is described as a “quaint cottage” in the heart of the suburb. And the bathroom will need some work.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours agoIt is within walking distances of shops, schools, parks and buses. Subject to council approval, the site could potentially be redeveloped. Neal Young of Raine & Horne Moorooka is the agent for the home on a 607sq m block.Even closer to the city is a three-bedroom home at 39 Sexton St, Petrie Terrace, which could also do with a refurbishment.The home is scheduled for auction at 10.30am today. 39 Sexton St, Petrie Terrace. Picture: realestate.com.aucenter_img An internal shot of 39 Sexton St, Petrie Terrace. Picture: realestate.com.au It has original features at 46 Hansen St, Moorooka. Picture: realestate.com.aulast_img read more

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Hunt furious over referee decisions

first_imgReading forward Noel Hunt has blasted the match officials after his side fell to a 2-1 home defeat against fellow strugglers Aston Villa on Saturday. Press Association Villa fell behind after Nathan Baker put through his own goal, but strikes from Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor secured a vital three points for Paul Lambert’s side and leaves Reading 19th in the Barclays Premier League table, with only goal difference keeping them off the bottom. Hunt was left aggrieved by both decisions that went against him, with referee Jonathan Moss and his assistants coming under fire from the former Dundee United frontman. “There is no excuse, he (goalkeeper Brad Guzan) just punched me in the back of the head and got the ball and you wouldn’t get away with it in rugby,” Hunt said. “I was trying to see where the ball was coming from and my chest is off, but my feet behind. The linesman’s position was shocking and he was two or three yards behind it.” The task of securing top-flight survival does not get any easier for Brian McDermott’s side, who face trips to league-leaders Manchester United and Champions League-chasing Arsenal in their next two fixtures. center_img The defeat means the Royals have lost their last four league fixtures, but Hunt reckons the team’s performance was undermined by poor decisions from the officials. The Republic of Ireland international, 30, felt he should have been awarded a penalty in the first half and also bemoaned an offside decision that ruled out his effort following the interval. “I’ve seen the offside and I’ve seen the penalty on me in the first half and it’s a disgrace,” he told the Reading Post. “It’s a joke that he has not given it, I don’t know what he is looking at, but these decisions are embarrassing. It makes the game a different game.” last_img read more

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Lambert: Sinclair has still got it

first_imgAston Villa boss Paul Lambert insists Scott Sinclair can still cut it at the top despite his Manchester City career stalling. He has started just three times since a £6.2million move from Swansea in 2012 and had an unsuccessful loan spell at West Brom last term. Lambert believes, though, the ex-Chelsea trainee has got the quality to revive his career in the Barclays Premier League. “I know the lad from his Swansea days. I know exactly what he can do, he was top, top class in that side.” he said. “It’s been a hard move for him going to Man City, but the year he had at Swansea in the Premier League he was outstanding. “So he has got it in him, he can be a real good player. “The Man City move has probably been a bit different to what he imagined. “He got his move to City and things have happened there but in his time at Swansea he was in excellent form.” But Lambert would not be drawn on whether Villa, who go to Leicester on Saturday, had made an offer for the 25-year-old. “It is what it is at the minute. It is unfair of me to comment on someone that is not here,” he said. Lambert does not have a set transfer budget at Villa, instead working on a case-by-case basis with chairman Randy Lerner and chief executive Tom Fox. He is hunting creative players to give Villa a cutting edge and score more goals after just 11 in 20 league games but insisted they will not spend big. “Everyone knows the situation and where the club is, it’s not changed from last year,” said Lambert, who confirmed skipper Ron Vlaar is out for up to six weeks with a knee injury. “If something can be done which isn’t going to put the club in a position of madness and not going to financially hurt the place then the chairman will be good on that front.” Press Association But the manager remained tight-lipped over a bid for the former Swansea star. Sinclair has been linked to Villa Park with his Etihad stay seemingly over after only four appearances this season. last_img read more

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McCoy’s Golden goal

first_img “He seems to like Galway, but when he’s right I think he can handle anything. “You wouldn’t have thought he’d have come this far, but his runs in the novices races last year were all nice. “This year we missed out the early part of it for a couple of small reasons and he was probably a little bit short for his first run at Christmas. He came on from then. “Last year (in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham) he just didn’t get the message quick enough. He dwelt a bit at the start and jumped very deliberately, which left him with a bit to do. “When he got travelling right he seemed to finish well.” While McCoy is happy to ride Carlingford Lough, he has a healthy respect for Holywell, whom he knows particularly well as an inmate of Jonjo O’Neill’s yard and he was aboard the eight-year-old when he won his prep race at Kelso. He said: “I think Holywell has a very good chance if the ground dries out a bit. “He really improves this time of year and the most important thing is to have good Cheltenham form. “That is a big plus for any horse and he has won there the last two years. “He won well at Kelso and it was the first time he felt like the horse he is. “He’s had little niggling injuries, but the horse is physically better this time. “If I was not riding Carlingford Lough I would rather ride Holywell than any other horse.” O’Neill believes the ground, as well as the application of blinkers, are the key to Holywell. He said: “He needs really good ground, mainly because of his jumping as he’s not that big. “When the ground is a bit soft, it is a bit hard for him. “When you put the blinkers on him, he seems a different horse, especially on good ground. “He won at Kelso and did what he had to do. It was nice to see him win like that. “The ground was a bit softer than we wanted, but AP was happy with him and he’s come out of the race really well.” McCoy will again be sporting the famous green and gold silks as he bids adieu to the Gold Cup arena. Trainer John Kiely is hoping Carlingford Lough can provide the perfect send-off. He said: “It was a wonderful day (at Leopardstown). Whether he’s as good as the English horses, we’ll have to wait and see. “I’m happy with him, he came out of the race well and he has his work done. “I ride him all the time at home. You couldn’t have a nicer horse to ride, that’s why I ride him. “Anybody in the game would like to be in this position, Fortunately, I am, having horses for JP. You need good horses to take you there. “The first day he won at Roscommon he did it easily and (although) it took him a while to get the message, he kept on improving all through his career. “He was always easy to keep right. He just had one or two little niggly problems along the way. We just had to have patience with him. Press Association Tony McCoy’s Irish Hennessy victory aboard Carlingford Lough sparked emotional scenes at Leopardstown last month, but there will barely be a dry eye in the house if the duo can repeat the trick in the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup. The win came just 24 hours after McCoy had announced his plan to quit the saddle at the end of the current campaign and Carlingford Lough now has the honour of providing the 19-times champion jockey with his final mount in the Festival feature. McCoy scored a first blue-riband success aboard Mr Mulligan in 1997 before adding to his tally with Synchronised in 2012, a win he holds dear to his heart as it was a first Gold Cup for his boss JP McManus. last_img read more

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Pulis puts knowledge to good use

first_imgTony Pulis admitted his West Brom side had used his inside knowledge of former club Crystal Palace to find a way of beating the Eagles at Selhurst Park on Saturday. An early James Morrison header put the Baggies in a strong position and they defended well as Palace looked to hit back, wrapping up a vital 2-0 win courtesy of a Craig Gardner strike that sees Pulis’ men move eight points clear of the relegation zone. It ended a four-game winning streak for his former side as the Welshman enjoyed victory on his first return to south London since his departure on the eve of the current campaign. With Alan Pardew’s Palace squad little-changed since then, the current Eagles boss said leading up to the game that Pulis’ inside information would give the Welshman a “huge advantage” – and the West Brom manager revealed his side had worked on things in training that could give them the edge. “We worked on a couple of things in respect to what I thought Palace would do – we worked during the week on that,” he said. “We scored from a corner that we have worked on, which was really pleasing. I thought we should have had a penalty in the first half and then Gardner’s strike to make it two-nil was crucial really in lots of respects. “I thought we were resilient and defended well and in the end I thought we deserved the points.” Pulis was not mentioned by Palace chairman Steve Parish in his programme notes with tensions in their relationship believed to be at the heart of his exit – but the Palace supporters gave the 57-year-old, who won the manager of the year award last season for guiding them to 11th, and it was something Pulis appreciated. “Obviously it is lovely coming back to a former club,” he said. “It is funny coming here, we played Stoke here last year and I had a great reception from the Stoke fans and to come here and get that today from the Palace supporters was first class. “You never know (what kind of reaction you will get) – the fans did well for me last year and I hope I repaid them a little bit in respect to what we did in the dressing room and on the pitch. Press Association “It is a good club. It has got unbelievable potential and I mean that. The supporters are wonderful and they have a good manager. They can push on – if Alan is given the money and the opportunity to push this club forward this club could be a good, good club.” The win may have moved West Brom eight points clear of the relegation zone but Pulis still wants to collect at least another four points before the end of the season. “I have just spoken to them (the players), we lost to Leicester and QPR at home, and we needed a 90 minute performance and they were resolute and determined,” he added. “Their concentration levels were good on the basis that we still need the points to stay in the league. I said to them afterwards, give me 40 points – I think it has been a good season for us that is what we should be aiming for.” Pardew tasted defeat for just the fourth time in the league since taking charge at Palace and conceded his players had been caught out by Pulis’ awareness of their short-comings. “That was a weakness in our set up that Tony exploited,” he said. “It’s a feather in the cap for them that set-play. It was well-worked. Their guy took (Jason) Puncheon to the edge of the box where he is not comfortable marking there. “It’s something we’ll have to look at going forward. It’s a good day for West Brom. We won’t go away from what we do, we try to pass it, try to find a way through, try to solve problems, get crosses into box. In another game we get a goal and it’s a different game. “I couldn’t fault my team, we tried everything we could but couldn’t unlock them or find a way through. It’s difficult to win five Premier League games in a row and today we came up short.” last_img read more