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Wayne Rooney: Can ‘quarterback’ help Derby to promotion? | Football News

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Derby were 17th in the Championship table when Wayne Rooney made his debut at the turn of the year. Now they are seventh – just a point off the play-off places.

A stunning free kick against Preston on Wednesday – Rooney’s fifth league goal for the Rams and sixth in all competitions – secured a fifth successive victory for Phillip Cocu’s side to continue a promotion charge that looked implausible in January.

Derby, who face fierce rivals Nottingham Forest in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Saturday, are flying – and the former England international is proving their inspiration in a new, deeper-lying role.

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Wayne Rooney has had a huge impact at Derby, watch his five goals for the Rams since his move to the club in January

Wayne Rooney has had a huge impact at Derby, watch his five goals for the Rams since his move to the club in January

Derby vs N Forest

July 4, 2020, 12:00pm

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Derby’s average points and goals per game have doubled since Rooney, Manchester United and England’s record goalscorer, arrived on an 18-month player-coach contract at Pride Park after finishing a second MLS season at DC United.

He is sparking attacks from deep, setting the pace of games, but raising the levels of those around him, too.

The stats paint a clear picture of Wayne Rooney's impact at Derby

The stats paint a clear picture of Wayne Rooney’s impact at Derby

Midfielder Louie Sibley has explained how Rooney has encouraged him to “play without fear.”

“I’ve been taking the advice he’s been giving me,” the youngster said recently. “He’s been great with all the young lads.”

“He just brings a calmness to the team,” says striker Martyn Waghorn. “You can give him the ball in any situation whether teams are dropping off him or if he is surrounded by two or three players, and you know he is going to make the right decision.”

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Louie Sibley shows off his match ball message from Wayne Rooney, following a hat-trick in Derby’s 3-2 win at Millwall

Louie Sibley shows off his match ball message from Wayne Rooney, following a hat-trick in Derby’s 3-2 win at Millwall

“It’s what Phillip Cocu has done too but Rooney’s impact has been absolutely enormous,” Sky Sports’ Andy Hinchcliffe told the Sky Sports EFL Podcast.

“We saw what Rooney himself can do with that free kick against Preston, but it’s also what he has brought to the young players around him as well, the influence he is having as a person on those around him, too.

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“Derby in the past have spent big money and wages bringing players in, but they have invested a lot in their academy, and Max Bird and Louie Sibley have been outstanding. The structure of the team has been a lot better, the young players are excelling and if Rooney wants to go into management, that is what he has to do, inspire people around him, both young and old.”

Martyn Waghorn has praised Rooney's 'calm' influence

Martyn Waghorn has praised Rooney’s ‘calm’ influence

“I would liken his impact to Bruno Fernandes at Manchester United,” said Sky Sports‘ commentator Gary Weaver, joining Hinchcliffe on the EFL Podcast.

“I did a game at Old Trafford before lockdown and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Fernandes has lifted the quality of the players around him. Rooney has done the same. Players want to show him what they can do and he’s lifted the level of every player at Pride Park.”

‘He dictates the flow, the tempo – he’s a leader’

Derby first-team coach Liam Rosenior lifted the lid on Rooney’s impact on the pitch and training ground when he spoke to The Football Show in June.

“He’s an outstanding player. You don’t realise how good he is until you work with him every day.

“He’s not a striker anymore, he’s a deep-lying midfield player – almost like a quarterback. He dictates the tempo, the flow of the game. We want to play from the back and dominate possession and he’s become a key part of that.

“What’s been great for me to witness is his effect on the other players around him. His standards in training and what he expects from others, it’s been a joy working with him.

“He came back from Washington and had a month’s break but he wanted to come straight in and get to know the lads. What shocked the players – it didn’t shock me – was his determination and drive to win. You need to be around it; it makes you a leader and winner.

“He’s not a big talker – he does it on the pitch; he’ll have little one-on-one conversations – but he lets his football do the talking. We needed more leaders and characters, especially for the younger players. You need to have that competition, that winning ethic every day in training and Wayne brings that in abundance. It’s lifted everyone in the squad.”

Analysis: How his role works

Sky Sports’ Adam Smith:

Wayne Rooney has helped inspire Derby to the fringes of the play-offs

Wayne Rooney has helped inspire Derby to the fringes of the play-offs

Debates raged about whether Rooney was a forward or midfielder during his final years at Manchester United after he was handed a deeper role under Louis van Gaal – but Sir Alex Ferguson had spotted that quality and used him to cover midfield injuries as far back as 2011.

On taking the helm at Old Trafford, Jose Mourinho said: “[Rooney] is maybe not a No 9 anymore but, for me, he will never be a No 6. He will never be 50 yards from goal. Yes, he has a great pass but I have a great pass under no pressure.”

At the ripe age of 34, Rooney is now doing exactly what Mourinho vowed against: dictating games 50 yards from goal, while also joining the attack to reveal flashes of his former role.

“Earlier in the season I was watching Derby and I couldn’t see what identity they had and what Phillip Cocu was trying to do,” Andy Hinchcliffe said. “But now it’s 4-2-3-1 with Rooney in the team and lots of energy. You can see what the plan is.”

As the graphic below shows, Rooney’s position has ebbed backwards since his swansong stint at Everton in 2017/18, when he had already moved into a deeper position.

The majority of his passes are now made centrally or down the left channel inside his own half and the direction of those passes are almost exclusively upfield. Even at Everton two years ago, almost half of his passes were directed backwards or sideways.

The graphic below reveals the audacity of Rooney’s long passes in the Championship with Derby, attempted from inside his own half and ending in the attacking third. Only four of these were played across the turf. His ability to launch high, raking passes with pinpoint accuracy over defensive lines is being utilised fully in these twilight years.

Graphic courtesy of Statsbomb

Despite this, five league goals (including two penalties) from only nine shots on target and 18 chances created (including two assists) from just 14 league starts is impressive for a player who spends the majority of games on the halfway line or deeper.

Will Derby gatecrash the play-offs?

Win against old foes Forest and Derby will climb sixth – for a few hours at least.

Their odds for promotion have shortened to 22/1 with Sky Bet – and while a forthcoming fixture schedule including West Brom, Brentford, Cardiff and Leeds looks brutal, the Rams’ fate is certainly in their own hands and only Brentford beat them in the reverse fixtures.

“If Derby continue in this form, you won’t be surprised if they finish in the play-offs, and that will be some story,” Sky Sports’ Andy Hinchcliffe told the EFL Podcast.

“They’ve got five of the current top six left to play, which is tough, but with the form they are in the sides they’ve got to play will be more worried about Derby than Derby are about those teams.

“They are a team you simply don’t want to play at the moment.”

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Edmonton Oilers’ virtual 50/50 draw shatters record for largest sports raffle – Edmonton

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The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation’s 50/50 raffle surpassed $3.2 million on Monday night, setting a new record for sports raffle fundraisers.

The Oilers beat out the $2-million record set by the Toronto Raptors fans in the 2019 NBA Finals.

When it comes to the NHL, the Vancouver Canucks previously held the record, with a $1.4-million sale benefiting Canucks for Kids.

In Edmonton, the winner of Sunday’s pot — who has not yet been announced — will take home more than $1.6 million.

For EOCF’s executive director, Natalie Minckler, the interest in the new online 50/50 during the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of impressive.

“It’s overwhelming. I’m almost speechless,” she said. “We’re thrilled, we’re surprised, we’re shocked, we’re humbled.”

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Season-ticket holder Brad Bartko is superstitious about buying 50/50 tickets. For him, that purchase is synonymous with watching hockey.

“We’ve been going to games for 20-plus years and it’s always been a tradition — grab a 50/50 on the way to the seats,” he said.

Bartko said his family and friends even have a system, with each of them buying from a 50/50 vendor in a different part of the arena to try and increase their odds of success.

With fans at home during the pandemic, the process has become virtual.

“I think online’s made it easier, I think online’s made it better. It’s all of Alberta, so anybody can purchase a ticket,” Bartko said.

And that interest sure has been piqued. During the 2019-2020 season, the combined jackpot from 38 home games was $5.8 million.

Now, in just two Stanley Cup qualifiers, fans have spent more than $4 million on 50/50 tickets.

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers obliterate organization’s 50/50 draw record with over $3M in sales Monday night

The transition online hasn’t been a smooth ride, however. Many fans took to social media to voice concerns about the site crashing, and being unable to buy tickets.

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The process improved from Game 1 to Game 2, however, Ryan Kendall spent almost the entire game refreshing his phone before he finally managed to get in on the odds. He said the process was painful.

“If I’m getting froze out, how many other people are getting froze out?” he asked. “[Planning on] spending $50, $100, $200. How much more could that pot have been had there not been so many glitches?”

The issue is simply demand, according to the CEO of Ascend Fundraising Solutions, the company behind the online sales.

Daniel Lewis said at peak points Monday evening, including the hour before puck-drop, fans were purchasing $150,000 worth of tickets every 10 minutes.

“As we start to see that these volumes are something that we’ve never experienced before, we’ve been adding more server capacity as aggressively as we can,” he explained.

He noted part of the issue is a rule in Alberta that states the servers must be hosted locally.

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READ MORE: West Kelowna man wins $700K in Canucks’ 50-50 raffle

“I expect in the next 12 months, the Edmonton Oilers Foundation is going to crack $5 million,” Lewis said.

He’s hopeful the process will improve with each game, allowing for additional ticket sales.

As for those wanting to get in on the action, Minckler has a word of advice.

“Don’t wait,” she said. “If you are interested in buying a 50/50 ticket, our sales open at 9 a.m.”




© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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NTSB: Plane bounced 3 times on runway | News, Sports, Jobs

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This single engine Cessna suffered landing gear damage when it bounced two or three times while landing at Kahului Airport on Feb. 13. Photo courtesy of the National Transportation Safety Board

The Maui News

A single-engine Cessna flared too much in gusting crosswind conditions, bounced two or three times and ended up off the Kahului Airport runway nose down in a crash on Feb. 13, according to the pilot’s account in a National Transportation Safety Board factual report released recently.

The NTSB factual report came out in March; the probable cause report is expected around Sept. 1.

The plane sustained “substantial damage” to the engine mount and fuselage, the NTSB report said. The pilot, Norman Kaufman, of Lahaina and 63 years old at the time of the crash, was not injured. Two passengers aboard, a man and woman from California, were not injured as well.

The pilot reported no pre-accident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the plane that would have affected normal operation, the report said.

The plane, built in 1968, was owned by NV Aviation LLC of Wailuku with Kaufman indicating that he was the registered owner.

The plane took off from Kahului Airport at 12:10 p.m. and flew to Molokai. After about an hour, the plane returned to Maui and was cleared to land on the main runway at Kahului Airport. Conditions were clear with winds blowing from the east northeast at 17 mph with gusts up to 35 mph.

“Unremarkable approach, touch down . . . smoothly . . . and perhaps flared too much as nose lifted instead of dropping,” the pilot wrote in the NTSB report. “Then got two-three hard bounces, which damaged nose gear. We were able to maneuver aircraft off runway to infield grass area.”

The pilot said he and his two passengers walked out the plane through the doors. The crash occurred at 1:15 p.m.


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Youth golfers qualify for Marquette County Junior Golf Association finals | News, Sports, Jobs

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From left, Lincoln Sager, Owen Riipi, Brock Taylor and Tyler Annala competed at the Marquette County Junior Golf Association qualifying tournament held at the Marquette Golf Club on Thursday. (Photo courtesy Karla McCutcheon)

The nearly three dozen youngsters play in the MCJGA nine-hole league.

Their finals will be held Wednesday at Gentz’s Homestead Golf Course in Chocolay Township following a qualifying round for that was held at the Marquette Golf Club on Thursday. The MCJGA’s companion five-hole league is also scheduled to play its finals at the same place and day.

In each of 17 boys and girls nine-hole flights, the top two finishers will square off in match play, according to MCJGA vice president and nine-hole league secretary Karla McCutcheon. The third-place finisher will be an alternate if one of the qualifiers is unable to play.

Among the low scorers of the day were Jameson Sandstrom, who won the Boys 250 first flight with 36; Lincoln Sager, winner of the Boys Whites first flight with 37; and Adam Heikkila, who topped the Boys Reds first flight with 38.

A quartet of young boys carry their bags up a fairway during a past Marquette County Junior Golf Association event. (Photo courtesy MCJGA)

For the girls, the low score posted was 46 by Rachel Niskanen, who won the Girls Reds first flight, and Jenna Hassell, who won the Girls 200 first flight.

The tightest race had to be in the Girls 200 second flight, where the top three competitors — Savanna Ross, Lauren Houle and Sophie Skytta — each shot 55.

Here are the top three in each flight, listed in finishing order:

Boys Whites — 1st flight: Lincoln Sager 37, Tyler Annala 39, Owen Riipi 39; 2nd flight: Beau Belkowski 41, Boden Moore 42, Caleb Beerman 45; 3rd flight: Pavel McCutcheon 50, Brian Belkowski 52, Jackson Gladwell 53

Boys Reds — 1st flight: Adam Heikkila 38, Kaleb Chipelewski 41, Tanner Annala 43; 2nd flight: Jackson Rector 43, Charlie Kronschnabel 47, Connor Stade 48; 3rd flight: Corbin Erva 49, Kai Manis 56, Trent Lorens 59; 4th flight: Bodi Bennett 64

Girls Reds — 1st flight: Rachel Niskanen 46, Morgan Rhoades 49, Lexi L’Huillier 60

Boys 250 — 1st flight: Jameson Sandstrom 36, Eli Nutini 41, Seve Swanson 42; 2nd flight: Nolan McCutcheon 42, Jordan Gunette 43, Ian Sheltrow 45; 3rd flight: Clifford Fossitt 48, Jordan Erva 54, Ethan Jensen 54; 4th flight: Billy Krebs 45, Max Frustaglio 51, Jack Tiziani 51; 5th flight: Easton Bal 54, Cooper Andresen 55, Landon Brown 55; 6th flight: Max Haehnel 58, Evan Mattila 59, Pearce Ross 59

Girls 200 — 1st flight: Jenna Hassell 46, Olivia Stade 49, Roegen Hruska 50; 2nd flight: Savanna Ross 55, Lauren Houle 55, Sophie Skytta 55; 3rd flight: Kennidy Glasheen 62, Nora Skytta 64, Victoria Turausky 65

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.

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