In this week’s edition; Gerrard leaves Liverpool, Nadal smashes another record and an unexpected pick in the NFL Draft… (If you missed out on last week’s edition, click here now.)
Next week sees the end of the football season for most teams but there is still all to play for.
Wolves have secured their status as the EFL Championship winners after a 0-0 draw with Sheffield Wednesday, but down the other end of the table, the last two relegation places are anyone’s. Reading, Birmingham, Barnsley, Burton and Bolton will have to battle it out to avoid the drop.
Burton Albion have won their last 3 games on the bounce making the great escape look ever more possible for the minnows again this year, whereas out of form Bolton haven’t won since 17th March when they defeated Aston Villa 1-0 at home. (Maybe if they practiced their shooting, they wouldn’t have a problem…)
We will do a full roundup of all the ups and downs next week so make sure to read next week’s installment.
There was some surprise news coming out of Merseyside this weekend as Anfield legend Steven Gerrard announced that he was all but leaving his post as Liverpool u18s coach for the bright lights of Glasgow.
Rangers are in advanced talks with Gerrard to become their first team manager, much to the shock of many. It’s a high-risk strategy for the club who started again from the bottom tier in 2012. With no title win in years and Celtic rampantly winning 7 titles in a row, there is a huge expectation weighing on the shoulders of the newbie manager.
It could work in favour for the ex-LA Galaxy midfielder who is no stranger to pressure. He of course guided Liverpool to a famous Champions League win after being 3-0 down at half-time to AC Milan back in 2005.
Another week, another record and trophy for the World Number One, Rafael Nadal.
The Spanish wizard ticked off another record this weekend as he won his 400th clay-court match to reach the final of the Barcelona Open.
Nadal took on Goffin in the semi-final and quickly dispatched the Belgian in straight sets; 6-4 6-0. Blink and you’d miss it! His dominance continued into the final against Tsitsipas. 6-2, 6-1 was the result and the poor Greek was left mesmerised. The home crowd witnessed a third straight win for Nadal who has now won a record 11 in total. Being the god of tennis that he is, no one else has come close to this feat, with the next highest total of singles titles won by a single player being 3. (If you want a grand slam standard court of your own, look no further than our DT Championship Tennis Net)
Saturday saw one of the biggest leaps forward for sport and more specifically, disability sport.
22-year-old Shaquem Griffin was born as twin brother to Shaquill Griffin of the Seattle Seahawks and grew up playing college football together at the University of Central Florida. Unfortunately, Shaquem was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome which affected his left hand, resulting in the fingers failing to fully develop. Aged 4, his mother arranged to have this hand amputated due to the severe pain the young man was experiencing.
However, this did not deter Griffin and he continued to participate in sports such as track, football and baseball.
After receiving football scholarships from UCF, he has impressed. Shaq was named as the 2018 Peach Bowl Defensive MVP and was also the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2016.
Evidently, this hadn’t gone un-noticed and as of Saturday evening, Shaquem Griffin officially became a Seattle Seahawks player.
Whilst not actually receiving an invite, he attended the NFL Scouting Combine in March and not only made the headlines for performing 20 reps in the bench press, but he also set a record for the fastest 40-yard dash by a linebacker since official statistics began with a 4.38s time. (Get sharp before the season starts with our Speed & Agility Ladder and Training Hurdles)
The 141st pick became the first ever player with one hand to be drafted into any NFL team.
This hasn’t just been a publicity stunt for the NFL that will die off overnight, but a giant leap forward for the sport in general. The landmark event will go on to inspire the younger generations who have faced, or may yet face similar personal battles. That end goal can still be the same no matter what obstacles life throws at you.
We’ll be sure to track this young prospect’s season which starts on September 9th against the Denver Broncos.
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