“I know my ability, and my ability is scoring goals. I hope to continue doing so, after moving on from schoolboy football,” said the striker. In spite of his success on the field, Kerr has not lost sight of the ultimate challenge. He said his aim is to gain a scholarship to a university or college in the United States and use that to enhance his football career. “That is my dream. I am trying to sort out a scholarship and to keep playing football, primarily in the US, and kick-start a career from there with one of the MLS teams,” reasoned Kerr. “And if that does not work out, I am looking at becoming a lawyer.” I believe I will be equally good at that,” the STETHS striker said. MISSED OPPORTUNITY “It was a bad-enough injury that required surgery. I really wanted to play in the Olivier Shield final because I wanted to get as close as possible to the 40-goal mark, which I had set (as my target) for the season,” said Kerr. “It was not to be, and I was disappointed, but I am strong, and the team did well, although we did not win,” he added. The 18-year-old striker said his efforts in attack for STETHS have been the highlight of his relatively young football life so far. But his love for the game actually began a lot earlier. Kerr is a past student of the Sir Clifford Campbell Primary School in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, and the Mt Grace All-Age School. His journey continued, and he left Mt Grace for Godfrey Stewart High, where played a year in the daCosta Cup, before he was spotted and invited to join the ranks at STETHS by the keen-eyed Wendell Downswell, STETHS’ technical director, in 2014. “It is at STETHS that I truly began to blossom as a striker,” Kerr stated. “With the help of my coaches and teammates, I have become a more lethal striker. I score from anywhere around the box. I am proud of myself. SCORING GOALS Western Bureau: With his taste for success ignited and after scoring a competition-high 33 goals for the 2015 daCosta and Ben Francis Cup champions, St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS), Michael Kerr is eyeing a scholarship and, ultimately, a professional contract in the US Major League Soccer or in Europe. Kerr, who is popularly known as ‘Diddy’, told The Gleaner he has learned to appreciate hard work, and has matured both as a footballer and as a person since donning the gold and blue of Santa Cruz-based STETHS. Kerr, who left defenders in his wake, scoring almost at will to fire his team into three finals, missed the final of the Olivier Shield two weeks ago against Jamaica College due to an ankle injury that required surgery. He is now on the mend, but noted that the ill-timed injury he picked up in the daCosta Cup final against Dinthill Technical could not have happened at a most inappropriate time. The striker was chasing 40 goals for the season.
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP):Ben Stokes unleashed one of cricket’s most destructive innings for his 258 as England racked up 629-6 declared in a morale-crushing day for South Africa in the second Test yesterday.Stokes powered to the second-fastest double century in Tests in an astonishing display of dominance over the struggling but still top-ranked Proteas, propelling England from 317-5 overnight to its huge first-innings total in less than 40 overs of power hitting on the second day at Newlands.”I’m probably not going to play like this ever again in my life,” the 24-year-old Stokes said.Stokes and Jonny Bairstow, who was 150 not out, had a record partnership of 399, with Stokes claiming the fastest 250 in Test cricket, before he was run out. Their partnership was the best for the sixth wicket in Tests and England’s second best for any wicket.South Africa, staring at a big defeat and a 2-0 series deficit, was fighting at 141-2 at stumps, still 488 behind. England had removed both openers – Stiaan van Zyl to a run out and Dean Elgar for 44 – to give Stokes a wicket to go with his brilliant contribution with the bat. Captain Hashim Amla was 64 not out and AB de Villiers 25 not out, desperately trying to hold England at bay.Earlier, when England declared two balls after Stokes’ dismissal, the tourists had scored 312 runs in a session and a half at a scintillating rate of nearly seven per over. On a day of landmarks under Table Mountain, the bigger picture was that England amassed its second-highest total in more than 120 years of Test cricket in South Africa, only behind its 654-5 in the timeless Test in Durban in 1939.That was almost entirely down to the stunning Stokes-Bairstow partnership, a boundary-filled stand that left South Africa utterly dejected and way behind in the series, having already lost the first Test by 241 runs.”It was just a very intense session and a half by Ben Stokes, which was quite amazing to watch from where I was standing,” South Africa’s Elgar said. “I was standing at the boundary a lot, fetching the ball.”Stokes’ catalog of big blows brought a series of stats. He bludgeoned 30 fours and 11 sixes, the most sixes for England in a Test innings. The 130 he scored in the firstsession was the most by any player before lunch in a Test. The double hundred came off 163 balls, only behind Nathan Astle’s double ton off 153 deliveries for New Zealand against England in 2001-02.Having made just his third Test century, he went to 200 with a pull through midwicket for four, and leaped in the air with his fist pumping. His 250 off 196 balls was quicker than anyone else. The style of his innings was clear: 186 runs came from crunching blows to the boundary – or over it.On any other day, Bairstow’s 150 off 191 balls with 18 fours and two sixes would have drawn the attention.England scored 196 in 25 overs before lunch and 116 in 13.5 overs in the afternoon, before Alastair Cook put the South Africans out of their misery with the declaration.The end result was that England, already 1-0 ahead in the series, was in complete command at one of South Africa’s favourite grounds, and where England hasn’t won since 1957.But the ground’s reputation as a bastion for South Africa came crumbling down with Stokes’ assault. He finally fell to a bizarre dismissal when he hit a swirling catch to short mid-on, where AB de Villiers dropped the chance but managed to run out Stokes at the non-striker’s end with a direct hit.
The improving quality of the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) is set to continue in that vein with five enticing matches on today and one tomorrow.Former champions Tivoli Gardens, who had a change of coach recently, will test their chances of survival when they host the promoted UWI FC at the Edward Seaga Complex. Tenth place Tivoli Gardens, with a match in hand against Rivoli, are reeling, having lost their past three matches and four of their last five, with the fifth being a draw.The UWI FC team, on the other hand, have looked more stable, recording only one loss in the last five games, with the other results being two wins and two draws. Based on their record, UWI FC should be fancied to get the better of Tivoli Gardens, but with their league pedigree and the possible effects of the change, the home team could come out on top. two lossesNinth-placed Reno have an identical record to Tivoli Gardens for the last five games, losing four and drawing one. This has seen them slide steadily down the table. Eighth-placed Boys’ Town have won two in their last five, but interestingly, have two losses and one draw in their last three games, suggesting that they have not been boosted by the opening of the transfer window.Anything but a win for either team could see them lose even more confidence and get drawn deeper into the battle for survival, which is becoming more real for teams in the bottom half of the table.Third-placed Montego Bay United were looking pretty until they ran into defending champions Arnett Gardens away from home on Sunday last. That encounter gave them their only loss in their last five games. That result was followed by a 0-0 draw with the bottom-of-the-table but improving Waterhouse. Today, they have the opportunity to turn that around when they host 11th-placed Rivoli United at Wespow Park.Home support should lift Montego Bay United, but the fighting spirit of Rivoli cannot be ruled out despite their lowly position. The Spanish Town-based team has been nothing but consistent in their last five games, registering all draws. In their last game, they took the lead against Arnett Gardens and held on for a 1-1 scoreline even though they had a player.The battle of the east between Harbour View and the rejuvenated Cavalier should be interesting.”I am really looking forward to the game. Cavalier are in good form and, based on the performance that I saw from my team in the week, I am hopeful that we will get a good performance from my team,” Harbour View coach Ludlow Bernard said ahead of this evening’s clash.very optimistic”Jorginho James and Kevaughn Frater are available for the game and, with the squad bolstered by their presence, we are very optimistic about our chances against a good Cavalier team,” he added, expecting the duo to add quality to the work of John-Ross Edwards, Nicholas Beckett, Montrose Phinn and Rosario Harriott.David Laylor, a member of the Cavalier coaching staff, is similarly optimistic about his team’s chances.”We are expecting it to be a hard one. Harbour View have championship quality. They play good football and we expect it to be a good game, but we have been scoring freely of late and this scoring form definitely gives an edge. It is a plus,” said Laylor.Laylor’s optimism could be based on the fact that only leaders Portmore United have a better win record than his team over the last four games. Portmore have won their last four while Cavalier won their last three, with the other being a draw.”The guys are confident coming off a few wins and scoring, which we were not doing a lot of before, but Cleon Price, Jason Watson and Sulae McCalla have come in and done well,” Laylor further explained.Today’s games:n 6:30 p.m: Harbour View vs Cavalier – Harbour View Stadiumn 3 p.m: Humble Lion vs Waterhouse – Effortville Community Centren 3 p.m: Montego Bay United vs Rivoli United – Wespow Parkn 3 p.m: Reno vs Boys’ Town – Frome Complexn 3 p.m: Tivoli Gardens vs UWI FC – Edward Seaga ComplexTomorrow’s game:n 8:40 p.m: Arnett Gardens vs Portmore United – Anthony Spaulding ComplexPoints standing P W D L GF GA GD PtsPortmore 21 13 4 4 26 15 11 43Arnett 21 12 3 6 32 18 14 39MoBay U 21 10 8 3 32 13 19 38H’Lion 21 8 8 5 18 15 3 32H.View 21 6 9 6 20 21 -1 27Cavalier SC 21 7 6 8 17 18 -1 27UWI FC 21 7 6 8 23 29 -6 27Boys’ Town 21 7 5 9 22 29 -7 26Reno 21 5 8 8 19 29 -10 23Tivoli 20 5 4 11 23 29 -6 19Rivoli 20 4 7 9 20 26 -6 19W’house 21 3 8 10 18 28 -10 17
When I was a boy, one of the things I used to hear but never listened to, was this: “The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”In my childhood days, batsmen like Frank Worrell, Everton Weekes, and Clyde Walcott were my cricket heroes. To me, they were talented batsmen, pure and simple.Even later on, when my heroes became batsmen like Rohan Kanhai and Garry Sobers, it never dawned on me that they all had to work for hours to hone their skills.It was not until I became a man, when I witnessed the likes not only of Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd, and Brian Lara, but also that of Alvin Kallicharran, Larry Gomes, and Augustine Logie, that I understood the importance of hard work, training and practice to the fulfilment of one’s talent and the satisfaction of reaching the top.All those enthralling skills – the flowing runs, the elegant offside and on-side drives, the rapier-like cuts, the savage but thrilling hooks and pulls – that attracted thousands upon thousands of people to cricket grounds around the world, and the stamina to bat as if forever, like Shivnarine Chanderpaul, were the result of plenty sweat and aching, but well-drilled muscles, muscles that in the end reacted instinctively to anything and everything thrown at them on the cricket field.Training and practice, I realised then, make perfect.NOTHING LIKE TRAININGI also realised then, the more I read, the more I travelled, and the more I talked to some of the great players, that there was nothing like practice, and nothing like training.I learnt that in the general scheme of things, talent, what is usually called talent, is of less importance.What you put in is what you get out.Sport, success in sport, is one of the most published things about mankind. One of the least published things, however, is what makes a man a success.Look at any sport, look at the great practitioners, look at champions like Muhammad Ali, Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, and Usain Bolt, look at their habits, and they all have one thing in common practice and training, every day, and for hours, many hours each day.Sometimes, however, I wonder if this is the same for the present set of West Indies players, and for those from Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago and others who aspire to play for the West Indies.In fact, I stopped wondering years ago. I know now, based on what I have seen and based on what I have found out after asking questions, that most of them do not train or practise half as much as they should.The players with the basic ‘talent’ to play for the West Indies do not train and practise as hard and as often as they should, and the reason is either that that they cannot be bothered with the work, or they feel that they are good enough already and do not need to work.To them, training and practice mean going to the nets for a few minutes per day, stroking a few deliveries around, smashing a few deliveries out of the ground, and walking away after a few minutes. And most times, this is done in the presence of the coach, and it is done based on the demands of the team.The bowlers usually jog up to the wicket and wheel their arms over a few times, the fast bowlers included. No one ever trains to really get fit, or to really keep fit, and no one ever practises to improve his attacking play or his defensive play, his accuracy and control, and his fielding and his catching.Most times, even whenever they fail, even whenever the team fails, and whenever they lose in three days, it is the same reaction. Sometimes, most times whenever they lose early, it is no practice or training on the days scheduled as match days, according to some players.The West Indies ‘big guns’ usually do whatever they want to do, and whenever they want do it.A West Indies player lives off one or two or three successes for a long time. He plays as if a little success will last him forever.NO RIGHT TO SUCCEEDA West Indies player, or a territorial player, must know, and must be told, that no one has any God-given right to succeed; that although no one can succeed all the time, he must never succumb to complacency; that like the reporter, he is as good as last copy; and that every time he goes out to bat, or to bowl, or to field, he must challenge himself to be the best.The game, the fans, and his team expect nothing less. That’s his job, and that’s his road to success, to greatness.The West Indies fans must support the players despite the players’ poor performance, and the West Indies Board must do its best to support the players.One of the problems with the development of the players, however, is the coaching, or the lack of proper coaching, available.The West Indies have a lot of ‘coaches’ but most of them are not real coaches. They are, to call a spade a spade, nothing but organisers, admittedly, good organisers.They simply set the time to train and to practise, see that the props are in place, organise who to do what and when, position themselves at the bowler’s end, and direct traffic from there, sometimes telling the bowlers to keep the ball up or the batsmen to play in the ‘V’, and sometimes not to cut against the spin.There is no attempt to do anything else, to talk to the bowlers and to the batsmen, to correct mistakes, their technical mistakes, to show them what they may be doing wrong, and to try and prepare them for the next outing.No wonder West Indian players perform badly, making the same mistakes match after match, year after year.It seems as if the exercise of finding a coach is only to find something for the former players to do, and not to find the former players who are really interested in coaching or who can do a good job as coaches.Practice and training make perfect. Thank God for players like Easton McMorris, Sam Morgan, Desmond Lewis, and James Adams, and for one like Chanderpaul. They used to train and practise day after day, and till the cows come home.Maybe the West Indies and territorial players will change their attitude and their habits now that they are professionals, and now that the young West Indians in Bangladesh showed them how to play the game, how to win, and how, it is said, they should prepare themselves.Hopefully, they will behave like professionals, and that they will now train and practise, train and practise to reach the top.
Winning the Class Two girls discus was never on the cards for Wolmer’s Girls’ Aiko Jones, who surprised a strong field to take the gold medal at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletic Championships at the National Stadium yesterday with a throw of 43.37 metres. However, the 16-year-old thrower, who had to divide her time between multiple sports and classes while preparing for the championships, says winning the gold is a great motivation and she intends to take her throwing career more serious from now on. “I did not expect to come first. I just wanted to PR at least and make the top five, but I guess hard work pays off. At Corporate Area Champs, I came first in the shot put and second in the discus, but outside of the Corporate Area, there were people throwing better than me, so I just wanted to beat my personal best. But I PRed and PRed again, and being calm helped me maintain my composure and execute,” she told The Gleaner. Other sports Her surprise victory has given her the impetus to place more attention on developing her field event career. “Tracks is not my only sport. In the pre-season, I was playing netball, but after the first term coming into second term my focus was track and volleyball, but as it got closer to Champs I started getting serious with the work, putting in the extra time, working, training late and came into Champs strong. “I really surprised myself, but it feels really good. It has boosted my confidence because you see you are capable of being great. Next year is Class One, and I will be much more serious than before, and I will be going for it again,” said Jones.
SATURDAY, APRIL 9ASTON VILLA 1 AFC BOURNEMOUTH 2Aston Villa are as good as down after a defeat by Bournemouth, their eighth in a row in the Barclays Premier League, left them 15 points from safety with five games remaining. Steve Cook’s close-range finish set the Cherries up before Joshua King took advantage of defensive mix-up. Jordan Ayew replied late on.GOALS:- VILLA: AYEW 85. BOURNEMOUTH: COOK 45; KING 74.CRYSTAL PALACE 1NORWICH CITY 0Norwich City remain in a relegation battle after losing to fellow strugglers Crystal Palace. Jason Puncheon scored his first goal of the season to hand Palace their first league win of 2016 – and six successive home defeats – while Norwich felt they deserved a penalty when Matt Jarvis was barged over.GOAL:-PUNCHEON 68.MANCHESTER CITY 2WEST BROM 1Samir Nasri returned from injury to score the winner for Manchester City against West Brom. City came from behind after Stephane Sessegnon beat Joe Hart early on. Sessegnon then brought down Aleksandar Kolarov in the area to allow Sergio Aguero to equalise from the spot. Nasri tapped into an empty net with 25 minutes remaining.GOALS:-CITY:AGUERO PEN 19; NASRI 66. WBA: SESSEGNON 6.SOUTHAMPTON 3NEWCASTLE UNITED 1Newcastle stumbled closer to relegation from the Barclays Premier League after being outplayed by Southampton. The Magpies fell behind after just four minutes when Shane Long scored. Graziano Pelle claimed home the second and then Victor Wanyama made it 3-0 after Pelle’s shot was blocked. Andros Townsend claimed a late consolation goal.GOALS:-SOUTHAMPTON: LONG 4; PELLE 38; WANYAMA 55.NEWCASTLE: TOWNSEND 64.SWANSEA CITY 1 CHELSEA 0Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink suffered his first defeat in 15 Barclays Premier League games as Swansea moved closer to safety. At the end of a week when it was announced that Italy manager Antonio Conte is to take over at Chelsea in the summer, the Swans seized on a poor Chelsea display to dominate the first half and lead through Gylfi Sigurdsson’s volley.GOAL:-SWANSEA: SIGURDSSON 25.WATFORD 1 EVERTON 1Two goals in first-half added time saw Watford and Everton share the points at Vicarage Road. Both teams are in the FA Cup semi-finals and it is to be hoped that if they meet in the final they can produce a better spectacle. James McCarthy gave Everton the lead, but within a minute Jose Holebas headed home at the far post from a corner.GOALS:-WATFORD: HOLEBAS 45. EVERTON: McCARTHY: 45.WEST HAM UNITED 3 ARSENAL 3Arsenal’s slim hopes of winning the Barclays Premier League were effectively ended by Andy Carroll’s first-ever West Ham hat-trick. Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez gave the Gunners the lead, but two late first-half headers brought the Hammers back into the game. Carroll got his third, again a header, soon after the restart but Arsenal skipper Laurent Koscielny made it 3-3.GOALS:-WEST HAM: CARROLL 44, 45, 52. ARSENAL: OZIL 18; SANCHEZ 35; KOSCIELNY 70.SUNDAY, APRIL 10LIVERPOOL 4STOKE CITY 1Divock Origi came off the bench to score twice as Liverpool moved up to eighth in the Barclays Premier League. Alberto Moreno put the home side ahead before Bojan headed Stoke’s equaliser. But Daniel Sturridge converted Sheyi Ojo’s cross to regain the lead before Origi headed in and later saw an attempted cross drift in after the break.GOALS:-LIVERPOOL: MORENO 8; STURRIDGE 32; ORIGI 50, 65. STOKE: BOJAN 22.SUNDERLAND 0LEICESTER CITY 2Jamie Vardy scored twice as leaders Leicester won at Sunderland to move within three victories of their first Barclays Premier League title. Vardy converted the first after an hour, before outpacing the opposition defence and tucking home a second deep into added time. The hosts’ best chance fell to substitute Jack Rodwell, who shot over from just eight yards out.GOALS:-LEICESTER: VARDY 66, 90.TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3 MANCHESTER UNITED 0Tottenham kept alive their hopes of winning the Barclays Premier League, thanks to three goals in seven late second-half minutes, from Deli Alli, Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela. With Leicester winning earlier in the day, Spurs reduced the deficit from 10 points to seven. After an even first half, Alli broke the deadlock and two more keep Spurs in the hunt.GOALS:-TOTTENHAM: ALLI 70; ALDERWEIRELD 74; LAMELA 76.