Real Betis First Team: Who Are the Key Players to Watch?

Real Betis have made some big changes this season after ending their last campaign with a string of poor results. The old manager Quique Setein has moved on to pastures new, and new manager Rubi has taken the reins. Rubi left Espanyol and European football in order to help Betis rebuild themselves, and they have made some shrewd moves in the transfer market to help him get the job done.

Many players have left the club, either sold or on loan, most notably the stalwart goalkeeper Pau Lopez, who moved to AS Roma in a big money deal worth €23.5 million. This deal, along with the transfer of Junior Firpo to Spanish super club Barcelona for €18 million, has given the club a big pot to play with in this summer’s transfer market.

They have already made three important signings to help Rubi reach the top, and here we are going to look at what they can bring to Betis this season and how they can make a difference.

Nabil Fekir – The New, Big Money Signing

The biggest Betis signing by far is Nabil Fekir from Lyon.

This player has been coveted by some of Europe’s biggest clubs in the past, but finds himself at Real Betis with a point to prove this season after a transfer to one of the big European clubs didn’t materialise for him.

The attacking midfielder will want to make an impact right away at Betis, and will play a big role in the club’s reach for European qualification. Betis also made another big signing, a three-year sponsorship deal with easyMarkets, an online Forex trader. This means the easyMarkets logo will be featured on the kit for the next three seasons. This deal has helped give Betis some extra clout in the market this season, and can surely help advise the team on how to make some savvy trades.

Dani Martin – The Young Keeper with Big Gloves to Fill

Dani Martin is a young goalkeeper that has been signed for €5 million from Sporting Gijon.

Dani has some big gloves and boots to fill after the departure of fan favourite goalkeeper Pau Lopez. The young keeper is well-known for his level head and a maturity on the pitch that should help keep his feet on the ground as he steps between the sticks at Betis.

This young player is definitely one to watch – many in Spanish football feel this was the right move at the right time for the player and should see him set up to a higher level of play for Real Betis.

Alex Moreno – A Young Left-Back with European Dreams

A good left-back can be a hard thing to find, but Real Betis have managed to find a top player here.

The scouts of Spanish football have known about Moreno for a long time, and the scouts at Betis have surely been watching him for a long time. This signing is seen as something of a coup in the local press, as many big clubs were circling the defender but didn’t make the right bid. Many in Spanish football think that Betis can offer him a regular first team place, whereas he may have been stuck on the bench at a bigger European club.

These three players are sure to make the season one to remember for Real Betis.

ITALY: the international fitness world from 30th May to 2nd June 2019 at RiminiWellness

Companies, delegations and visitors arriving from 80 countries for the huge fitness, wellness and sports event.

Events scheduled include the Personal Trainer Day and Business to Business Congress

organized by EuropeActive, the European non-profit fitness association

Rimini 23 May 2019 – In Rimini (Italy), from 30th May to 2nd June, over 400 companies are awaited in an indoor and outdoor area of 170,000 square metres, for the great European trade fair of fitness, wellness, sport, bodybuilding and healthy nutrition. This fourteenth edition will be the most international of RiminiWellness’s long history, thanks to this year’s collaboration with ITA – Italian Trade Agency and the launch of a program of incoming trade members from Spain,the Gulf Area and Northern Europe.  Important business participation will also arrive from Bulgaria, Ireland, Poland, Tunisia, Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Czech Republic, Portugal, Turkey and Israel. Organized by Italian Exhibition Group(IEG), RiminiWellness will host 80 countries (exhibitors, delegations and visitors).

The program includes approximately 200 conferences, meetings and appointments for the pro section, 1,500 hours of lessons and workouts and the entire Rimini Riviera on the move along over 20 kilometres of coast with a myriad of events, competitions and parties.

Through the years, RiminiWellness, the event for the public, trade members and professionals, has become the key leading appointment, eagerly awaited as the event hosting the debut and presentation to the market of all the sector’s new products. The city of Rimini will become the crossroads of business, culture and various disciplines. Trade members, buyers, presenters and journalists will arrive from various parts of the world, to make this event once again the international stage for business meetings between enterprises.

And precisely under the banner of internationality, on 30th and 31st May, EuropeActive, the European non-profit fitness association headquartered in Brussels, will organize “Business to Business Congress” the event for fitness entrepreneurs which includes among its speakers Olga Burkova, Director World Class Russia, and “Personal Trainer Day”, a day entirely dedicated to the sector’s professionals, on which lecturers include Francesco Bertiato, Head of the Wellness Institute,Laura Hoggins on behalf of WIFA (Women in Fitness Association), the global non-profit association that unites women in the fitness industry, Alexis Batrakoulis, winner if the 2018 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year Award and Igor Castiglia,presenter and speaker at the most important fitness conventions.

Tommy Langford defeats Baptiste Castegnaro in step up to super-middleweight

Hard-fought win for ‘Baggies Bomber’ in super-middleweight debut.

In his first fight at super-middleweight, former British and Commonwealth middleweight champion Tommy Langford (21-3) was made to work hard for his points win against Frenchman Baptiste Castegnaro (8-16) on March 9 at the Walsall Town Hall on a BCB Promotions event.

Langford didn’t have it all his own way against the tough 28-year-old from southwest France with the six-round super-middleweight contest scored at 58-56 to the 29-year-old from Birmingham.

Langford started off on the front foot and took the fight to the Frenchman, who has previously shared the ring with Olympic bronze medalist Joshua Buatsi.

The West Brom FC fan, born and raised in North Devon, was dominant behind his double jab and landed a neat left to the body midway through the first round. Castegnaro did manage to have some success in the opener and when he landed cleanly, it visibly incentivised him to follow up, forcing the home fighter backwards. The French fighter did manage to ruffle Langford’s feathers a little bit, who took a tiny tumble at the end of the opener, but was ruled as a slip.

Langford started the second stanza behind a stiff jab, backing Castegnaro up. They were soon tangled up in the centre of the ring until Castegnaro forced Tommy back to the ropes without managing to land anything at all as Langford ducked and weaved and soon answered with a one-two to the head. It was a clean, controlled round for Langford on the scorecards, as he began to lose his nerves and find his rhythm.

Langford landed a peach of a left hook as the pair traded in the centre of the ring in the third, but Castegnaro managed to score back with one of his own seconds later. This round was contested in close quarters for the first time in the fight as Castegnaro held his feet a bit longer and there was success for both parties during the three minutes of action.

Despite Langford producing the more dominant and aggressive display, Castegnaro enjoyed spells of success and produced a late flurry seconds before the end of the fourth segment.

The fifth round was far more controlled, as Tommy stalked his opponent, who occupied all four corners of the ring for the duration of the round as he attempted to move away from danger. Langford unloaded when he trapped Castegnaro in his home corner and a left hook to the body followed by another to the head sent the Frenchman backpedaling across the ring.

Castegnaro came out swinging in the final round and the pair finished with a firefight in the middle of the ring.

The official scored it four rounds for Langford and two for the visitor.

Langford commented post-fight, “Back to winning ways! I was a little jittery to begin with, I have to admit, but I soon warmed up. To be completely honest, I was actually very nervous and a bit tentative early on, which resulted in a hesitant first few rounds.

It was to be expected after the lay off and moving up a weight division, but I warmed into it and started to box well and by the end I was really dominating and hurting my opponent, especially with the left hook.

It was good to get the experience at 168lbs against a fully-fledged super-middleweight who has fought two of the best light-heavyweights in the country in Olympian Joshua Buatsi and English champion Liam Conroy.

He was a strong, durable opponent, so the experience will be invaluable as I push on to bigger fights. Many others would have had a more conventional or less dangerous opponent for their first step up to a new weight, and, if I’m going to be completely honest, I probably would have liked to have had an easier opponent, but now the job’s done and I’ve come through well, I’m very happy.

It means the questions that I’ve had have been answered and I’m happy to push on now and look for bigger opportunities at 168lbs.”

The ‘Baggies Bomber’, named so by his huge following of West Bromwich Albion FC fans, has already declared his intentions to become a two-weight British or Commonwealth champion. Zach Parker from nearby Swadlincote is the current British super-middleweight titlist and world title challenger Rocky Fielding last held the Commonwealth strap.

I’m fully aware that most domestic champions won’t want to give me a shot at their titles, so I’m prepared to work my way into the mandatory position.”

He concluded, “Big thank you to all the fantastic support, it always means a lot. Thanks to BCB Promotions for giving me the platform to fight. We move on to the next one!”

The BCB Promotions ‘Pride of the Midlands’ event also featured Midlands Area middleweight champion Tyler Denny (10-1-2) who earned a shutout points win over six-rounds and has plans to fight for bigger titles in 2019.

Ricky Hatton-trained welterweight Conah Walker (4-0) remained unbeaten as he scored his second KO and unbeaten lightweight Connor Lee Jones moved up to 3-0 with a points win.

Wolves welterweight Kirstie Bavington (2-0-1) scored her first stoppage win in a very one-sided fight.

To follow Tommy Langford on Twitter, click here @Tommy_Langford1

Tommy Langford would like to thank his sponsors HÖRFA; The Thatched Inn; UK Display Stands; JS Wright & Co Ltd; Strategy Plus; CNP Professional; Atlas Pain Relief; Ringside UK and Agent Tim Rickson

Rapsody Yachts is pleased to announce the new Rapsody Tender Cabin at Boot Düsseldorf Januari 2019

The Rapsody Tender Cabin is a variant of the current Rapsody Tender, but equipped with a cabin and a double berth of more than 2 meter.

The Tender Cabin is a derivative of the Rapsody Tender. Fitted with a practical cabin with spacious double bed, it offers a comfortable place to stay on the dayboat. The large 1 by 1 metre hatch provides easy access to the cabin. When closed, the teak deck with herringbone structure serves as sunbed. The engine cover conceals a Volvo Penta diesel engine of 220 hp. The engine power ranges from 150 up to 300 hp.

The Tender Cabin is a centre console boat with classic lines, emphasised by a tumblehome stern and flared bow. The integrated refrigerators underline her practical comfort, as does a fitted toilet located in the cockpit.

The GRP construction of the V-hull makes for a very smooth sailing experience. Combined with a strong Volvo Penta diesel engine a top speed of 34 knots is achieved.

The Rapsody Tender is equally at home on both lakes and sea. Weight and width allow you to transport her to your favourite location.

The Rapsody Tender Cabin will make its world premiere at Dusseldorf Boatshow in hall 17 at stand C56.


Cees Butter:

“This boat is versatile; it is a day-boat, but you always have the possibility to stay over for the night”.

“Last but not least there are two fridges on board to help you keep your head cool”.

Diederik van Golen:

“The Rapsody is defined by sheer stylishness and speed with its sleek hull and low profile cabin”.

“The interior of the Rapsody Tender is practical throughout. The helm is fitted with a spacious toilet. Both bow and stern have room for sun-beds and of course the large double berth inside”.

“Within 2 minutes you can be out on the water to enjoy the boat. The same applies when you get back, because you don’t have to struggle with a tent”.

Designer Maarten Voogd: 

“The hull was developed to be swift, as well as safe and to generate no spray. Combined with a strong Volvo Penta diesel engine this makes for a maximum speed of 34 knots”.


About Rapsody Yachts

Rapsody Yachts is a high end yacht manufacturer based in Muiderzand, the Netherlands.
Rapsody Yachts finds its origins in the yacht restoration, where exclusive and classic shipyard boats from the Netherlands and Scandinavia were renovated. In 1999, as a response to a growing demand for state-of-art motor yachts in the top segments, Rapsody Yachts started building new classically contoured, high-speed motor yachts. Nowadays more than 350 Rapsody’s are sailing along the coastlines of Western-Europe and the Mediterranean.

For more information visit:

Specification Rapsody Tender Cabin
Length: 9.05 m
Width: 2.65 m
Draft: 0.75 m
Air draft: 1.60 m
Weight: 2.850 kg
Construction: GRP Sandwich
Standard engine: 150 hp Volvo Penta D3
Optional engines: 220 hp Volvo Penta D3
Optional engines: 300 hp Volvo Penta D4
Maximum speed: 34 knots
Fuel tank: 2 x 185 liter
Design category: CE C
Max. load: 750 kg
Max. people: 8
Design: Simonis Voogd

For more info call Diederik van Golen: +31 6 13 55 66 07

Withings Expands Health and Fitness Wearables Line with Introduction of Pulse HR

Withings announces Pulse HR, a water-resistant fitness tracker offering HR measurement, connected GPS tracking, smartphone notifications
with an outstanding battery life of 20 days.

Issy-les-Moulineaux, France – November 14, 2018 – Just two months after the official return of Withings, the French digital health company today announced Pulse HR, a new addition to their range of health and fitness trackers that features heart rate monitoring, multisport features and connected GPS capabilities. Committed to offering premium designed connected devices, Pulse HR brings a classic fitness tracker design option to Withings‘ range, while still offering the key features people enjoy in the Steel and Steel HR watch range, such as a category-leading 20-day battery life.  Pulse HR begins presales today and will ship in time for Christmas on December 5, 2018 priced £119.95.

Classic Design with Modern Features
Reviving the classic design of Withings Pulse, the first tracker that Withings ever launched in 2013, Pulse HR expands Withings‘ activity tracker range to allow people to select the wearable design that best suits their daily lives. Pulse HR boasts a modern design, featuring a reinforced black polycarbonate surface within a 316L stainless steel casing.  The device comes with a black soft silicone wristband that can be exchanged for different wristband colour options to complement each user’s personal style.

By simply raising their wrists or pressing the button on the tracker, users can see and scroll through a wealth of information on the OLED display including time and date, heart rate, calories burned, progress towards daily activity goals, real-time workout information and smartphone notifications.

“At Withings, we are dedicated to providing people with premium health and fitness tracking options that they can select from that best suit their personal lifestyles. With Pulse HR, we wanted to give people a new form factor from our Steel and Steel HR range that still offers the same wearability, quality design and best in class battery life,” said Eric Carreel, President of Withings. “The band is the perfect fit for anyone who wants a device that offers important tracking features like heart rate monitoring at an affordable rate.”

Pulse HR is equipped with a PPG (photoplethysmography) heart rate sensor that not only measures the pulse in 10-min intervals throughout day and night, it also offers continuous heart rate measurements during workout sessions. The continuous heart rate measurement feature provides users with a breakdown of their workout session heart rate zones so they can easily track their levels from workout to workout and reach their fitness goals.

In-depth Fitness Analysis 
Like all Steel HR watches, Pulse HR offers dedicated multisport tracking for over 30 different activities from yoga, volleyball and rowing to boxing, skiing and ice hockey. Users select the chosen activity using the tracker display, and can customise which activities are available on the display through the Health Mate app. During workout sessions, Pulse HR continuously tracks and displays heart rate and the duration of the workout directly on the screen. After the session, users can understand the intensity of their workout with heart rate zones and calories spent based on the specific activity selected. Pulse HR also offers automatic activity recognition for over 10 activities including walking, running and swimming. Pulse HR is water resistant up to 50 meters (5 ATM).

Pulse HR also features Connected GPS to offer detailed workout information around outdoor activities. Once paired with a smartphone, users can track their pace, distance, elevation and map their workouts during activities like walking, running, hiking or cycling. Pace, distance and time are displayed on the screen and can be tracked live on the user’s phone. After a session, the user’s workout route can be viewed in the Health Mate app.

From Day to Night
Pulse HR offers a superior battery life of up to 20 days, making it the perfect companion for day to night tracking.  When worn at night, Pulse HR tracks sleep patterns and offers analysis. It detects length and quality of sleep, while providing an overall Sleep Score in the Health Mate app that is based on data such as sleep duration, depth regularity and interruptions.

Pulse HR has capabilities such as Smart Wake-up that will wake users with vibration alarms at the most optimal times during their sleep cycle. The app even offers a Sleep Smarter Program, consisting of eight weeks of recommendations to improve sleep patterns.

Stay connected
Pulse HR keeps users connected through smart notifications that display directly on the tracker screen and can be personalized in the Health Mate app. The tracker will alert users with a soft vibration when they receive calls, texts, emails, event reminders as well as notifications from hundreds of apps ranging from news alerts, travel services and social networking and messaging apps.

Pulse HR is available for pre-order now on and on for £119.95 and will be fully available on December 5. Starting January 2019, additional wristband colour options will be available.

Pulse HR connects with the free Health Mate app, available both on Android and iOS, where users can view all of their data, get insights, schedule activity reminders, set goals and manage their successes. Health Mate also connects with more than 100 third-party apps such as Apple Health, Google Fit, or MyFitnessPal.

About Withings
Withings leads the connected-health revolution by inventing beautiful, smart products and services that help people become happier and healthier. Founded by visionary innovators Cédric Hutchings and Eric Carreel in 2008, Withings is committed to creating enjoyable, empowering experiences that easily fit into our daily lives. Withings has built a range of award-winning products across the health spectrum including activity trackers (Steel, Steel HR, Steel HR Sport, Pulse HR), connected scales (Body Cardio, Body+, Body), Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor (BPM), and an advanced sleep system (Sleep). Every piece of collected data comes to life in the free Health Mate app where users can find coaching, motivation and insights to shape key aspects of their health.

Read more about Withings on For high-resolution images and additional press information, visit

World Cup Scores Big for Online Gambling

This summer’s adrenaline-filled World Cup in Russia led to a surge in online betting — much of it via smartphones and tablet computers — and gambling operators enjoyed an explosion of interest among the British public, as they netted more than double what they did during the last global football extravaganza.

According to gambling industry figures seen by The Times newspaper, gambling firms raked in as much as £2.5 billion during the four-week festival of football, which occurs every four years and, this year, saw top teams crash out of the prestigious tournament early on to leave France to claim the title in a thrilling final on July 15 against minnows Croatia.

Last time around, when the World Cup was held in Brazil and Germany took home the trophy, Brits splashed out around £1 billion on the game. This summer’s contest, however, sent Britain into an “unprecedented betting frenzy”, The Times said, driven by early success for the England team that later petered out. There was also a huge surge in the number of women placing bets on World Cup teams, with around £500 million being wagered a week by men and women.

Fairer Play

Punters were also goaded into betting, and betting big, on this year’s World Cup by TV adverts run by betting firms. These operators, as well as those that run online casinos, will be subjected to stricter rules from the end of October, when the Gambling Commission’s new regulations come into force.

What it means is that any adverts produced by gambling firms must not be misleading — by glamorising gambling, for instance — or target young people. It’s aimed at ensuring the UK’s growing gambling sector is a fair and enjoyable place for the public to play and, hopefully, win at bets or by playing games. Many people do various forms of research before they decide to use the services of a particular gambling or casino site, including reading live casino reviews, which give them the kind of honest and reliable information they’re after.

The new rules also mean gambling firms must pay out, and in full, when someone wins — they will not be able to place restrictions on withdrawals. There will have to be better complaints procedures in place and all complaints will have to be properly dealt with within a period of eight weeks. It will also mean an end to gambling firms sending out spam emails and text messages to try and snare people to play.

Gambling on the Future

It’s not just the World Cup that is driving up online gambling’s fortunes either. Globally, there’s massive interest in placing bets online or using an online casino to play the various games available, including perennial favourites poker, blackjack and, of course, slot machines.

According to one new forecast, the global online gambling and betting sector will be worth a whopping $128.2 billion by 2026 and most of it is happening right here in Europe — where the sector is currently worth in the region of $23 billion. You’d think the United States would be big on gambling, given that it’s home to the globally renowned gambling mecca of Las Vegas, but online, it’s a different story: strict state rules governing online betting place the country as a whole behind the second-placed Asia-Pacific region in both bets placed and online games played.

That may all change in the US in the next few years, as more states relax their online gambling rules, the report predicts. But, in the meantime, it’s probably a safe bet to say that, by the time the next World Cup rolls around — Qatar in 2022, which, for the first time, is not being held in the summer, but between November and December to avoid the crippling mid-year heat of the parched Middle Eastern nation (when temperatures regularly creep above 40C) — the levels of online gambling and betting will be truly stratospheric.

Round six of the 201 FIA WTCR presented by Oscaro

Bratislava, 15 July, 2018 – The Slovakia Ring near Bratislava was the venue for the triple-header that was round six of the 201 FIA WTCR presented by Oscaro. For Tom Coronel, hugely popular over there, it was a weekend in which he scored valuable championship points with the Honda Civic Type R TCR run by Belgian team Boutsen Ginion Racing. After qualifying, three drivers received a penalty from the stewards. As a result, the Dutchman started sixth in the field of 26 cars. With a good start, he managed to hold on to this position, but had to admit defeat to Alfa Romeo driver Giovanardi one lap later. A safety car intervention didn’t lead to any changes and thus, Coronel finished a creditable seventh to wrap up eight points for the championship.

Race 2 also took place on Saturday and Tom Coronel started from 13th place on the grid. After the formation lap, however, the left front shock absorber turned out to be broken and left Coronel sidelined for the race. The mechanics pushed the car off the grid for repair, but the race didn’t bring any result.
The Dutchman started from the back of the field for race 3 and had a good view of what was happening in front of him during the opening lap. Several drivers collided and ended up alongside the track with various degrees of damage. Coronel opted for the right line and stayed out of all the troubles to move up into seventh place. After some laps behind the safety car, he had to let one more driver past and finished eighth. This result allowed him to add some more points to his tally, amounting to a grand total of 28. With four race meetings remaining, these results add to the confidence for the events that are scheduled after the summer break.

Afterwards, Tom Coronel commented: “Certainly the best weekend of the year so far in terms of results. Everything fitted really well. Having an additional engineer enabled us to pay some more attention to detail. Qualifying started really well. We then had a minor issue with the steering rack that could be solved quickly and on we went. The changes worked out well and were effective. Now, we have found the upward trend and that shows in the results.

In the first race, I was the second Honda driver in the classification and scored some good points. In the second race, something went wrong at the left front on the way to the starting grid. A little ring had come off the shock absorber, which couldn’t be repaired straight away. Too bad, but such things happen in a mechanical sport. Fortunately, my guys were able to solve this quickly and we could start race three without any problems. Some mistakes by myself were the reason I was only 17th on the grid, but with a good start, I managed to keep up with the frontrunners.

In turn three, it went massively wrong in front of me. A lot of damage on many cars. I was on the right side of the track and joined the group of the frontrunners in seventh place. After some laps behind the safety car, racing resumed. Later, Petr Fulin closed up at high speed and missed his braking point. Fortunately, I saw it in time and moved over. I did lose one position, but fortunately, I didn’t get any damage on the car and I was the best-placed Honda driver in eighth. All in all a good weekend with some points and also the perspective that the car is handling well. Let’s hope that we can keep this up to make it a nice second half of the season.”

Result Race 1 FIA World Touring Car Cup 2018 Slovakia :
1. Pepe Oriola (Spa) Cupra TCR 11 laps in 26:24.640;
2. Jean-Karl Vernay (Fra) Audi RS3 LMS +1.734;
3. Gabriele Tarquini (Ita) Hyundai i 30N +2.374;
4. Aurelien Comte (Fra) Peugeot 308 TCR +5.525;
5. Fabrizio Giovanardi (Ita) Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR +5.773;
6. Yann Ehrlacher (Fra) Honda Civic TCR +7.357 and
7. Tom Coronel (Ned) Honda Civic TCR +7.725 .

1.Gabriele Tarquini 9 laps in 19:54.840;
2. Norbert Nagy (Hin) Cupra TCR +2.150;
3. Yvan Muller (Fra) Hyundai i30 N TCR +3.354;
4. Pepe Oriola +4.750;
5. Benjamin Lessennes (Bel) Honda Civic TCR +5.323 and
15. Tom Coronel retired.

1. Norbert Michelisz (Hun) Hyundai i20 N TCR 13 laps in 32:25.458;
2. Aurelien Comte +2.005;
3. Frederic Vervisch (Bel) Audi RS3 LMS +8.273;
4. Thed Bjork (Swe) Hyundai i30 N TCR +8-312;
5. Petr Fulin (Cze) Cupra TCR +8.796 and
8. Tom Coronel (Ned) Honda Civic TCR op 9,729.

29-30 September Ningbo International Speedpark China
6-7 October Wuhan China
27-28 October Suzuka International Racing Course Japan
17-18 November Circuito da Guia Macau

Male grassroots teams given retention boost by new £1m FA funding scheme

A brand new funding scheme is set to aid the retention of adult male teams within grassroots football clubs. The £1 million fund has been created to boost football’s traditional format following a recent decrease in the number of adult male FA-affiliated grassroots league teams.

Retain the Game, which is funded by The FA and delivered by the Football Foundation, is offering existing grassroots football clubs grants of £750 to continue offering valued playing opportunities in organised football. These grants will support clubs’ adult male teams in three age categories:

  • Under-17 to Under-21
  • Open Age
  • Veterans

The grants are designed to cover core costs that are incurred by grassroots clubs, including matchday and training facility hire, First Aid training and new Nike kit and equipment through a bespoke voucher.

Grassroots clubs that meet the following criteria will be eligible to apply:

  • Adult clubs with two or more adult male teams that hold the FA’s Adult Charter Standard award, Charter Standard Development or Chart Standard Community Club award
  • Adult clubs with two or more adult male teams who commit to become Adult Chart Standard within the 2018/19 season

Should the fund be oversubscribed, clubs that meet the following criteria will be prioritised:

  • Clubs in existence for ten or more seasons
  • Clubs in existence for between five and nine seasons
  • Clubs with three or more adult male teams
  • Clubs who operate in leagues employing The FA’s ‘Full Time’ system

The application window for Retain the Game is now open and closes on Wednesday 30 May. Clubs seeking more information on the programme should either contact their local County FA or visit

Aidy Boothroyd, England Under-21s Manager, said: “I am delighted that Retain the Game has been launched. Adult male grassroots football is a fundamental part of the game and financial support provided through this scheme will have a fantastic impact in ensuring high levels of continued participation across the country. I would encourage all eligible teams to apply by visiting the Football Foundation website.”

Retain the Game is inclusive of players from different ethnic backgrounds, faiths and sexual orientations.

This push to reverse the decline in adult male league football follows the recent Grow the Game funding window for 2018, which made £1.5 million available for grassroots clubs looking to create new women and girls or disability football teams. This offer was met by an overwhelming response and it is predicted that this year’s investment will create around 1,000 new female and disability teams in the grassroots game.

As well as Retain the Game, the Football Foundation delivers the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund on behalf of the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England. Since 2000, the Foundation has supported over 17,000 grassroots projects worth more than £1.4bn.

Sports Image Search: Google Eliminates ‘View Image’ Button

If you carry out Google Image searches on a regular basis, you may have noticed a rather significant change that’s crept into the equation over the past few weeks. When searching for images, like for example sports images, of any kind, the ‘View Image’ button is now notable by its absence.

Announcing the modification by way of a Twitter post not long ago, Google had the following to say:

“Today we’re launching some changes on Google Images to help connect users and useful websites. This will include removing the View Image button. The Visit button remains, so users can see images in the context of the webpages they’re on.”

“The Search by Image button is also being removed. Reverse image search *still works* through the way most people use it, from the search bar of Google Images.”

If this doesn’t mean a great deal to you, it probably won’t affect you, either. The long and short of it is that with the removal of the ‘View Image’ button, it will no longer be possible to click on sports images in a Google Image search and have them pop up in a separate window in their full-size form. Instead, you’ll need to click through to the website from which the image was sourced.

The question being – why has Google gone ahead and removed a button used by millions of people worldwide, every single day?

A Question of Copyright

In a nutshell, it all comes down to copyright protection and the potential for infringement. Getty Images in particular has been known to speak out quite vocally over recent years, with regard to how easy Google makes it for people to steal other people’s photography and imagery.

Simply by clicking the ‘View Image’ button, web users were able to copy or download pretty much any image they came across, irrespective of whether they had the owner’s authorisation to do so.

The intention of Google seems to be two-fold in nature. For one thing, removing the button will make it at least slightly less straightforward for people to illegally download, distribute and use images that don’t belong to them. In addition, those looking to access said images will have no choice but to click through to the website of the rightful owner. Something that in turn could make a big difference to the incoming traffic volumes of the website in question.

Unsurprisingly, praise and criticism have been equally strong on both sides of the fence. While many have saluted Google for taking such affirmative action, others have gone no less than ballistic.

Arguments In Favour of Removal

As far as advocates of the move are concerned, the whole thing is something of a no-brainer. If you want to access the photography and imagery of any given business or website, you should at least have to pay the website a visit. Google can show you the way, but it’s only fair that you actually head over to the website itself.

Not only this, but anything that makes it possible to steal the intellectual property of other people cannot realistically be considered a good thing. After all, if you’re going to invest heavily in the production of outstanding sports images, you don’t want them being stolen and used without your permission. So as far as many publishers are concerned, the move is not only welcome, it’s also long overdue.

Arguments Against Removal

As for those on a more critical the side of the fence, hundreds have already taken to social media to vent their frustrations at Google. Some of whom claim to be fundamentally reliant on the ‘View Image’ button and claim to have only ever used it to access and procure royalty-free images that anyone can use. To them, their lives have simply been made more complicated for no good reason.

Particularly given the fact that there is still a quick and easy way to get around the removal of the button. When you right click it, you can select “open image in new tab” or “view image” (or whatever your browser’s equivalent option is) and there it is. So while it may be noble and proactive of Google to make efforts to prevent copyright infringement, they haven’t exactly taken things to extremes or addressed the problem in its entirety.

Still, it pretty much goes without saying that Google isn’t in the habit of backtracking on these kinds of updates and amendments. Irrespective of personal opinions, therefore, it seems the ‘View Image’ button really is gone for good.

The Grand National – Part of British Culture!

My personal memories of horse racing go back to the 1980s, where we would visit my elderly grandfather in the West Heath area of Birmingham.

Jim was originally from Dublin Ireland and was an avid horse racing fan. He literally lived his life for his main hobby which was nipping down to the bookies to place his bets on the neds each week – if you got in the way of the TV while the racing was on, you’d better watch out!

The highlight of his horse racing year, was The Grand National. The Grand National is known by many as a National Hunt horse race. The event is held each year at the infamous Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England. These days instead of having to waste time standing in the betting shop, there are online betting sites where people can place their bets online, much easier.

The very first event took place back in 1839, and the present day race is a handicap steeplechase which covers 4 miles 514 yards (6.907 km). There are 30 fences for the horses to leap and it takes place over two laps.

Not many people realise, that The Grand National is the the most valuable jump race in Europe. The prize fund was a staggering £1 million in 2017. As demonstrated by Jim’s passion, this race is an important part of British culture. It draws an audience from many backgrounds and ages, with the emphasis on the betting, it’s a chance for everyone to place a bet and win or lose.

Some people, including animal rights groups resent the Grand National because the course has much larger fences than those on other conventional National Hunt tracks. Many of these, particularly Becher’s Brook, The Chair and the Canal Turn, have become famous in their own right and, combined with the distance of the event, create what has been called “the ultimate test of horse and rider”.

Without being broadcast on TV the event would not be anywhere near as important or engrained in British culture. The Grand National has been broadcast live on free-to-air terrestrial television in the UK from 1960. From 1960 to 2012 it was broadcast by the BBC, then from 2013 and 2016 it was broadcast by Channel 4 and finally in 2017 UK broadcasting rights transferred to ITV

A mind boggling 500 to 600 million people watch the Grand National in over 140 countries worldwide each year and it has also been broadcast on the radio since 1927. Again the BBC held exclusive rights over broadcast on radio until 2013, and Talksport now holds radio commentary rights as well.

In 2017, The Grand National was won by One For Arthur, ridden by jockey Derek Fox for trainer Lucinda Russell. This year’s event will take place on 12 April 2018 and finish on 14 April 2018. The race and accompanying festival are currently sponsored by Randox Health.

If my grandad Jim was still alive today, he’d no doubt be shouting at the TV like a mad man as the horses jumped the fences. However, he too used to admit the fences were too high with many notable casualties. This does not deter people watching or placing their bets.

Article by Simon Lucas for Blog About Sport UK.