first_img1 Arsenal’s Gedion Zelalem (right) Likened to Cesc Fabregas, Xavi and Andres Iniesta? That’s very high praise, so with Gedion Zelalem set to play a role in Arsenal’s pre-season, talkSPORT’s Talent Spotter takes a closer look at the young star whose name is on the lips of many fans…Name: Gedion ZelalemDate of birth: 26 January, 1997Birthplace: Berlin, GermanyPosition: Central midfielderClub: ArsenalThe nitty gritty1) Zelalem came on trial with Arsenal in 2011. He was spotted by ex-Gunner Danny Karbassiyoon playing football for schoolboy side Olney Soccer Club in the USA, where he was living at the time. After a two-week test period, Arsenal invited him to join their academy.2) The midfielder was one of the lucky Arsenal youngsters to train with the Brazilian Olympic Football team during their pre-London 2012 preparations at London Colney. That summer proved particularly fruitful for him as he impressed on his U18 debut in pre-season against Chelsea. He has also trained with the Arsenal first team on several occasions.3) His playing style has seen him likened to Arsenal academy graduate Cesc Fabregas, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain claiming that while development is still needed, there are qualities in his game that Fabregas possesses. His passing was singled out as a strength, while a former coach says there is a bit of Xavi and Iniesta in his game, too (see ‘what’s being said’ below).4) After impressing on Arsenal’s pre-season tour of Asia in 2013 he eventually made his debut for the club in their 4-0 victory over Coventry in the FA Cup fourth round in January 2014. By taking to the field against Coventry, Zelalem became the first player born after Arsene Wenger took charge of the club to take to appear for the Gunners.5) It was reported Zelalem’s father was going to apply for US citizenship, which would then automatically be acquired by the youngster. As such, some Americans created a petition to fast-track the application so he can play for Jurgen Klinsmann’s side as soon as possible. It has 1,159 signatures.What’s being said?They say:“He is a very young, promising talent. He has been educated here. He has the talent to be a great player.”– Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger“He dribbles like Iniesta and he passes like Xavi. I’ve thought like that for the past few years but I’ve been wary about saying it. I don’t worry now.”–  Matt Pilkington, his boss at Olney Rangers in the USVideo evidenceHave you seen of Zelalem play? Let us know what you think in the comments below…last_img read more

first_imgBeautiful seascapes greet the hiker on the Harkerville trail. The rugged Garden Route coastline.(Images: Emily van Rijswijck) MEDIA CONTACTS • SANParks Regional Office  Harkerville Forestry Station  +27 44 532 7770 or +27 82 803 0701 RELATED ARTICLES • Garden Route’s new national park • Hiking the dragon’s back • Unforgettable SA hiking trails • Walking for Eden, and elephants • Slackpacking in the CederbergEmily van RijswijckSouth Africans sometimes forget that they live within easy reach of the most beautiful and accessible wilderness areas in the world – some, literally on their doorstep.One such treasure is the Harkerville Trail on the southern Cape coast, a hike which can pack the punch of a longer trail in just one weekend.But it’s not just the ocean and the giant yellowwoods. There is so much more to treat the senses – the smell of the forest floor and the sea spray; sudden outbursts from red-billed wood hoopoes; and rows of edible-looking cup-shaped fungi marking the paths.Spoilt for choiceInhabitants of the greater Cape area are generally spoilt for choice when it comes to hiking in the aptly named Garden Route, with the Outeniqua, Tsitsikamma and a host of other popular trails concentrated just in this area.The Harkerville, however, remains a favourite for hikers who appreciate its diverse offerings, all squeezed into just two days.This trail is rated “moderate to difficult” by those in the know. Port Elizabeth resident André Moolman has done the Harkerville 10 times and says it is the perfect benchmark trail to see if you are ready for more strenuous hikes, like the Fish River Canyon and the better known Otter, South Africa’s oldest hiking trail.In size, the Fish River Canyon takes second place only to the mighty Grand Canyon in the US and forms the natural border between South Africa and Namibia.“The Harkerville trail is a good measure for me to see if I am fit enough,” says Moolman, adding that it offers probably the most beautiful scenery a hiker will encounter in South Africa.The Harkerville HutA challenging 27 kilometres in length, the trail starts and ends at the Harkerville Hut at the Harkerville Forestry station located between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna.This is also the end point for the seven-day Outeniqua Trail, and energetic hikers may combine the two into a nine-day trek.Day one is a 15km hike which starts off with a long stretch in the forest before you are suddenly greeted by a break in the foliage to a beautiful view of the sea far below you.While nothing should be taken away from the forest and the mountain fynbos sections of the hike, it is the part trailing along the edge of the sea which brings the real thrill.The use of “edge” in this instance is deliberate as you will find yourself with the sea spray flicking your feet and the waves charging in with purpose if the tide happens to be high during your crossing. Though the ledges across the rock face are not excessively high, hikers with fear of heights may feel nervous.But, once safely over the rocks, the calm refreshing pools of seawater will delight you, while little fish and other creatures swim with you, sometimes taking a precautionary nibble at your feet. It’s worthwhile remembering to squeeze a pair of diving goggles and some flippers into your backpack.Californian RedwoodsIn this little piece of indigenous paradise, the remnants of an experimental plantation of Californian redwoods, planted in 1925, are still to be found.These remaining trees are all to be cut down but for one giant specimen of about 33 metres in height and more than a metre in diameter, which will mark time and location. The redwood is native to the west coast of America where it can grow up to 300 metres in height.Harkerville is also a place where the smallest creatures have right of way, from the large black shongololos (Ndebele word for millipede, widely used in South African lingo) to the very common forest spider, a creature seemingly intent on building his web exactly at face height.But as nature lovers tend to be mindful of these things, hikers manoeuvre carefully around these delicate webs, while a “mind the shongololo” from a fellow hiker is not uncommon.Sinclair HutThe second night is spent at the comfortable Sinclair Hut, situated on higher ground. While the hut does not have beautiful views of the ocean, some points of this rocky coastline are close by and it’s worth a 700m stroll to watch the sun setting over the Indian Ocean.During the whale season which starts to peak in October, it is not impossible to get excellent sightings of these magnificent creatures from various vantage points along the trail. The Southern Right whale is a common sight in these parts from around July to December as pods travel north from the Antarctic region to mate and breed.In fact, the small coastal town of Hermanus, further south along the coast, is considered to be the best land-based whale watching area in the world and has its own whale festival and full-time whale crier.The second part of the trail winds for 12km with some challenging parts over rocky ledges and pebbled beaches, before hikers tackle the stiff climb up to the car park and picnic spot located on top of the hill.With muscular strain setting in, the last stretch through the forest is easy enough to walk even barefoot, with a soft forest carpet of leaves and twigs easing the way. Sunburnt and exhausted, you will know that you have finished a serious hike in just two days when finally you reach the Harkerville Hut once more.But, every step would be worth it.last_img read more

first_imgLOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Kemba Walker scored 33 points and Parker enjoyed a triumphant return to San Antonio as the Charlotte Hornets beat the Spurs 108-93 on Monday night, snapping their seven-game home winning streak.“Draining mentally, emotionally, it was just an awesome night,” Parker said. “Just want to thank the fans. The way they reacted tonight was just unbelievable. Love, and I appreciate everything. It was just a great memory and a great night for me that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsParker had eight points, four assists, three rebounds and no turnovers in his first game back in San Antonio after signing with the Hornets during the offseason.Jeremy Lamb added 19 points and Marvin Williams had 11 for Charlotte, which ended a three-game skid. The Hornets also stopped an 11-game slide in San Antonio. LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Just as he first did as a 19-year-old rookie with the Spurs, the slippery point guard juked past defenders and drove the paint probing for layups or open teammates. His driving layup put the Hornets up 82-79 with 8:15 remaining.“That was vintage Tony,” Borrego said. “We’ve seen that before many times in this building.”Parker exited shortly after that and did not return until fans demanded it by chanting his name again with 17.6 seconds left. Borrego, a former Spurs assistant, granted their wish and put Parker in amid loud cheers that continued until he came out.“I thought they supported Tony, like I expected,” San Antonio point guard Derrick White said. “He did great things for the organization. It’s well deserved. Definitely good to see him. Wish him the best.”Parker had a long embrace with Popovich following the game as fans cheered.The Spurs’ ideology has stuck with Parker, who jokingly got angry with his teammates after the win.“They wanted it bad,” Parker said. “Before the game they were like, ‘We’re going to do this for you Tony, you deserve it.’ They played so hard that after the game I’m like, ‘Why don’t we play like that every road game? Come on guys.’”The jubilation in the stands came despite a rough night for the hometown team.The Spurs opened the game on an 11-3 run but the Hornets followed with a 25-7 spurt to take their first double-digit lead at 28-18.San Antonio struggled offensively, with two of its top five scorers, Rudy Gay and Marco Belinelli, both out with injuries. MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Fil-am guard Joshua Munzon top pick in 2019 PBA D-League draft White finished with 18 points, and DeMar DeRozan and Davis Bertans each had 14 for the Spurs.TIP-INSHornets: The team’s previous win in San Antonio came on Nov. 15, 2006. … Parker and Michael Jordan are the only players to compete against the team they won four championships with. Jordan faced Chicago while with Washington and Charlotte, a franchise he now owns. … Borrego received a warm ovation during pregame introductions. He served on Popovich’s staff from 2003-10 and again from 2015-18 before joining the Hornets.Spurs: Gay missed his fifth straight game with a sprained left wrist and 10th overall due to injury or rest. … Belinelli missed his second game of the season after hyperextending his knee during a 122-112 loss at Oklahoma City on Saturday. He previously sat out with a stiff neck on Dec. 2.WELCOME HOME, TOOParker wasn’t the only one who enjoyed a triumphant return. Borrego defeated his friend and mentor, Popovich.“It was special in many ways,” Borrego said. “Just to see (Popovich) first of all. Just to hear his voice, give him a hug, that was most important. This is a basketball game. We do our best, we compete, but there’s a lot of love here. Just great to see him. He’s been a great encouragement for me. I know he’s happy for us.”UP NEXTHornets: Host the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night.Spurs: At the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night. LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs with 28 points and 10 rebounds, but they could not muster enough energy as Parker made his emotional return.“Just to see him embraced and loved tonight, and he helped us as well,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. “A pillar of this community, a pillar of the San Antonio Spurs organization forever. I think it’s a pretty good ending to a fun night.”The Spurs honored Parker before the game with a two-minute video of his career highlights in San Antonio, including being drafted with the 28th pick in 2001 and his four NBA championships with the team. After the video, the Spurs’ retired jerseys appeared on the video monitors and an empty spot in the rafters was shown to signify Parker’s future place among them. The crowd roared in appreciation, chanting “Tony! Tony! Tony!”“I expected nothing less,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who considers Parker like a son. “Tony is a wonderful human being. He was a great player for us and he deserved all the love that he received, that’s for sure.”The cheers continued when Parker entered the game for the first time with 4:50 remaining in the first quarter.ADVERTISEMENT Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games openingcenter_img View comments LATEST STORIES Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Charlotte Hornets guard, and former San Antonio Spurs player, Tony Parker, left, talks with Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge before an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)SAN ANTONIO— The fans in San Antonio didn’t care too much about a rare home loss. They only wanted to shower Tony Parker with love and appreciation.Parker gave them plenty to cheer about, just as he did for 17 seasons with the Spurs.ADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionlast_img read more