Erie Otters right wing Alex DeBrincat celebrates with teammates including Dylan Strome, at left, after scoring against the Mississauga Steelheads during the third period of their OHL hockey game at Erie Insurance Arena on Jan. 31, 2016. (ANDY COLWELL / ERIE TIMES-NEWS VIA AP)Every kid playing sports dreams of being in the spotlight someday. They dream of being Crosby or Lemieux, Rothlisberger or Bradshaw, Clemente or McCutchen. Hockey kids start the dream early (with supporting hockey moms), usually in mini and mites (ages 5-8), squirt, pee wee and bantam leagues (9-14), and on to juniors (16–20), or college.Hockey is infectious…a flowing constant of bodies, energy and shifting momentum. Gliding, stopping, running, hopping, spinning and cruising on ice with a weird looking stick, while manipulating a frozen disk in your peripheral vision…is a bit awe-inspiring.Here in Pittsburgh, we’ve been blessed with the best…Mario Lemieux, Ron Francis, Jaromir Jagr (still playing in the NHL at 45), Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Pierre LaRouche, Jean Pronovost, to name some. That is to say…we are a tad spoiled.However, two hours north in Erie, you’ll find a brand of hockey where the best seat in the house cost the same as the worst one at PPG Arena. At 1/3 the size, Erie Insurance Arena packs plenty punch and power. Welcome to junior hockey and the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League. For junior players, this is a developmental league, a segue to college or the pros.As the name suggests, this league of 20 teams is made primarily (three from the U.S.) from cities in the Canadian province of Ontario, just across Lake Erie. They have names like Oshawa, Kitchener, Mississauga, Saginaw and Guelph…and with nicknames like the Steelheads, Petes, 67’s and Frontenacs. (Yes, the Frontenacs…a name derived from Fort Frontenac, of Louis de Baude de Frontenac, governor of New France–now Kingston Ontario–if you must know).Some great players have played juniors rather than go the collegiate route. While Mario Lemieux played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (a sister league to the OHL), Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr played in the Ontario Hockey League, as did Penguins Andy Bathgate, Syl Apps, Ron Francis, Paul Coffey, Phil Bourque (a Frontenac) and Bob Errey. So have other major players like Steve Yzerman (DET), Scott Stevens (NJ), Eric Lindros (PHI)…and current players such as Patrick Kane (CHI), Steven Stamkos (TB), John Tavares (NYI), and of course former Erie Otter, number one draft pick, Connor McDavid (EDM).McDavid resides in Edmonton, Alberta as the youngest captain (19 years old) in NHL history, running neck and neck for a scoring title with the best player in the land, Sidney Crosby. That must say something about his skills but also about his development in juniors. While he was “up ‘ere” in Erie, he set all kinds of rookie records (as a 15 year-old) for the Erie franchise and for the league. His three years as an Otter was a conduit to developing those skills. And players like Dylan Strome, Taylor and Darren Raddysh, and Alex DeBrincat are right behind him.Right wing Alex DeBrincat is setting records too. Recently, he tied the OHL record with a 19-game goal streak, scored 100 points for the third year in a row, scored 50 goals for the same period, and recorded over 300 career points for the league, And on a recent night, he became the American all-time OHL goal scoring leader. He will be a rookie sensation somewhere in the Chicago Blackhawk’s system next year. He just won the OHL scoring title with 127 points (and a +60 plus/minus). Right wing Taylor Raddysh has 108 points (and a +66). As Penguin color commentator Bob Errey might say…sounds like a two-headed monster.Goalie Troy Timpano, who at one point in the season was 17-1 in goal, has finished the season at 36-8 with a 2.37 goals against average and a .915 save percentage. He figures to loom large in the playoffs, with a solid tender behind him in Joseph Murdaca at 12-4.The Otters have gone deep into the playoff for the last three years, but have not clinched the OHL Robertson Cup. One wonders that if you can’t win it with McDavid on your roster, can you do it at all? This may be the year. “We weren’t a very good team last year,” confesses head coach Kris Knoblauch. ”You won 52 games last year” I gasped. “We didn’t have the players we have this year,” he noted.Knoblauch has this team playing consistently great hockey. The Otts have just won the entire league with 103 points, 32 games above .500. The playoffs start Thursday in Erie (Sarnia in the 1st round) so it’s time to get your ass “up ‘ere.” That’s what Erites call Pittsburghers…”up ‘eres”…you know from… “hey yinz guys goin’ up ‘ere to Presque Ahll?”Knoblauch is a coach and coaches teach. In fact, Knoblauch was a substitute teacher in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, where he was content to live with his family in what he terms “paradise.” But a falling out with the junior team, Kootenay Ice of Cranbrook, British Columbia, that he was coaching, changed things. That’s Erie’s good fortune, since they had not won a playoff series in nine years before coach Kris showed up five seasons ago. Last year, they had their third consecutive 50+ win season…an OHL record… and then did it a fourth time in the season’s last game on Saturday.As I write this article over several games late in the season, the Otts have won them all, with scores of 9-1, 8-4, 9-4 …and this one, a 10-1 win, where center Dylan Strome became the Otters all time points leader with 309, as the Otts scored 8 goals in the second period…setting a franchise record on route to a 60-shot game outburst, tying their own record. Four of the five top plus/minus players in the league this year are Otters.Like I said, they set records “up ‘ere” in Erie, Penn. This is some brand of hockey.The Otters actually started out in Niagara Falls, Ontario, as the Niagara Falls Thunder. They moved to downtown Erie in 1996. The game experience here is the same as in the NHL…lots of loud music, a goofy mascot (in this case, an upright Lake Erie otter who looks more like Goofy or Pluto), kiss cams, t-shirt toss, chuck the puck, human bowling, dance contests, free food…all intended to keep the family entertained. It’s all about entertainment, is it not?Coach Knoblauch replaced Robbie Ftorek in 2012. Ftorek, who has his name on the Stanley Cup twice and was head coach of the New Jersey Devils and the Boston Bruins in his past life, was being replaced by a 33-year-old coach with just two years of experience in junior hockey. Knoblauch didn’t seem intimidated. After that first losing season, with a team he inherited from Ftorek, Knoblauch made some drastic changes, trading away talent for grit and character. That helped support younger players who wanted to lead but had no support. Goal production went from next to last in the league to first in one season.Side Note: Mario Lemieux said the same thing (adding grit and character) when he hired GM Jim Rutherford, on a 3-year window to get a Penguin’s championship done. Rutherford did it in two.“The players worked hard, bought in and played a system,” Knoblauch tells me in his thick western Canadian accent. ”They wanted to win and it showed. We went from 19 wins to 52…an OHL record.”Yeah, setting records you might say, is “That Thing You Do” in Erie, Penn.As for now, Knoblauch loves coaching in Erie. He can’t see working for a better organization but admits, given the opportunity to go to the next level, he would like to have the chance. AHL teams with coaching issues should take note. He may also see himself as an NHL assistant coach in the near future. But he asks himself this…”is it good for my family? Is it an organization that plays hockey how I want it to be played?”Apparently, Erie is a place where they play hockey his way, which varies depending on the players he has to utilize. With this group, they play a brand of hockey where they take chances–and consequently turn over the puck–relying on defense to bail them out. It helps to have Troy Timpano in net.GM Dave Brown and Knoblauch want players who “play hard with offensive capabilities but are responsible defensively,” says Knoblauch, “players who are responsible on and off the ice. Team culture is important for team success.”I talked to DeBrincat, Strome, Raddysh and Timpano, whom when queried, all said “maturity” was their greatest development in juniors. ”I didn’t ‘get it’ till late,” says coach Knoblauch, which kind of derailed his own pro career. He didn’t get work hard consistently, eat right, work out, and such. Ultimately it sent his hockey career in another direction…towards Erie. ”You don’t know what you don’t know.”“Your face and your name are out there,” says Penguin color man and once a Penguin first round pick, Bob Errey, who played two years in the OHL in Peterborough for the Petes, on a line with hall-of-famer, Steve Yzerman. Errey then went on to play on a line with hall-of-famer Mario Lemieux, on their way to winning Stanley Cups in ’91 and ’92.“You’re not a normal person going to school,” continues Errey. ”You’re kids, you develop as a person, being able to mature as quickly as you can. You’re developing your mind. There is a lot of pressure around you.”If there is pressure on these young Otters, you would never know it. There is this easy comradery around them. I think they’re a confident bunch. And why not? They did have a dip in wins in the last 10 games, so they had to win the last two to get 50 for Knoblauch, which they did. Yes, it’s that thing you do in Erie, Penn.Yinz really Otta’ go “up ‘ere” and see some Otter’s play-off hockey.Lee Kann is a media producer and a writer. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sister Jean Delores Schmidt recounts her roles as player and coach at several girls’ schools before becoming chaplain, part-time scout and unofficial spokesperson for the men’s basketball program at the small Jesuit university on Chicago’s North Side.Asked what drew her to basketball, Sister Jean replied “Teamwork.”Her interview leads off a recap by hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg of the year’s most-heartwarming tales, including gracious winners, brave losers, a homecoming queen with a kick and “Teddy-Bear Tossing” — one of the best traditions in sports. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins’ Sam Lafferty, left, cleans up teddy bears thrown on the ice with help from Lehigh Valley Phantoms players Mark Friedman, center, and T.J. Brennan, right, after the annual Tobyhanna Army Depot Teddy Bear Toss during an AHL hockey game at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018. The teddy bears thrown on the ice after the Penguins’ first goal of the game are donated to children in need as part of Tobyhanna’s “Operation Santa Claus” program. (Christopher Dolan /The Citizens’ Voice via AP) A 99-year-old nun at the center of the feel-good sports story of 2018 relives the drama of the Loyola Ramblers improbable run to the Final Four on the latest episode of PodcastOne Sports Now .
Webb blasted her fifth home run of the season in the fourth inning. Second baseman Dani Allen produced the Bearkats’ only other hit with a single in the first inning. Jordan Franks was the losing pitcher. Meme Quinn and Tayler Atkinson saw action in the circle in relief. Southeastern will be back at home this weekend, hosting Incarnate Word for a three-game Southland Conference series. Due to expected rain, the series schedule has been altered. The two teams will meet on Saturday in a 3 p.m. doubleheader and concludes with a 12 p.m. game on Sunday. Pitcher Katie Marks struck out four of the 17 SHSU batters she faced to pick up the victory in the circle. Texas A&M upped its season mark to 20-5. Sam Houston falls to 7-15. McNeese State 2, UTSA 1No. 19/21 Texas A&M 9, Sam Houston State 1 (5)Cleveland State 7, Southeastern Louisiana 2Cleveland State 7, Southeastern Louisiana 2 (8) Texas State 8, Lamar 0 (5)UIW at Louisiana-Monroe, Cancelled (Weather)Nicholls at Southern, Postponed (Weather)No. 7/7 Louisiana-Lafayette at Northwestern State, Cancelled (Weather) Lilly earned her second start of the season and threw the first 3 2/3 innings, giving up two hits, one run and walked five. After a McNeese pitching change, UTSA tied the game with a run in the bottom of the inning. A two-out single to centerfield scored pinch runner Lauren White. Lamar’s Stephanie Meeuwsen extended her school-record hitting streak to 14 games, one of just two hits the Lady Cardinals (10-10) managed against Texas State starter Randi Rupp. Sable Hankins had Lamar’s other hit. In the opener, freshman third baseman Sydney Booker and senior first baseman Teresa Lemos each had RBI for SLU (7-15). Cleveland State (12-5) picked up the victory behind a 10-hit attack. Jamie Allred evened her record to 3-3 on the year with the win after replacing starter Bianca Lilly in the fourth. Allred pitched 2 1/3 innings of no-hit ball, allowing two hits, one walk and struck out two. Right fielder Tori Vidales led A&M at the plate going 3-for-3. Her RBI single in the bottom of the fifth ended the contest. Lamar center fielder Jenna Holland had two defensive gems on the evening. Holland reached over the wall to rob Kendall Wiley of a home run in the fourth inning and then threw out Wiley trying to advance from first to third on a single in the fifth inning. The win lifts the Cowgirls’ record to 17-6 on the year. McNeese will return to conference action this weekend with a three game series at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The series will begin with a single game at 3 p.m. Friday and will conclude with a doubleheader Saturday beginning at noon. Cleveland State 7, Southeastern Louisiana 2Cleveland State 7, Southeastern Louisiana 2 (8)HAMMOND, La. – The Southeastern Louisiana softball team opened a six-game home stand by dropping a pair of 7-2 decisions to Cleveland State in a non-conference doubleheader Wednesday evening at North Oak Park. – Return to Top – – Return to Top – Sam Houston returns to Southland Conference action Friday at 3 p.m. when the Bearkats play host to Nicholls in a 3 p.m. single game at the Softball Complex. The Colonels bring a 14-7 overall record and 2-1 league mark into the contest. The pair completes the series Saturday with a 3 p.m. doubleheader. – Return to Top – The Aggies opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning with a bases loaded walk to go up 1-0. Texas A&M added another run in the third and exploded for six runs in the fourth frame. Piancastelli broke a scoreless game in the fourth with a solo home run for a 1-0 McNeese lead. The long ball is Piancastelli’s seventh of the season. She has hit at least one home run in each of the last four games. Kelli Baker and Ariel Ortiz each had two hits and two RBIs for Texas State. McNeese State 2, UTSA 1SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS– A RBI single by Erika Piancastelli in the sixth inning proved to be the game winning hit in McNeese’s 2-1 non-conference softball road win at UTSA Wednesday. In the nightcap, senior Tori Stamper (0-2) took a 2-1 lead into the top of the seventh inning, but Cleveland State tied the game in the seventh and scored five runs in the eighth to earn the victory. SLU was led at the plate by junior outfielder Katie Lacour (3-for-4) and Lemos (2-for-4), while senior shortstop Megan Moore had an RBI. McNeese picked up three hits and Piancastelli led the Cowgirls with a 3 for 3 plate appearance with one home run, two RBI and scored one run. Piancastelli’s RBI single through the left side in the sixth gave McNeese a 2-1 lead. Taylor Goree scored what proved to be the game-winning run after a leadoff walk. Texas State 8, Lamar 0 (5)SAN MARCOS, Texas – The Lamar Lady Cardinals saw their five-game winning streak come to an end with an 8-0 loss to host Texas State in a non-conference softball game Wednesday. No. 19/21 Texas A&M 9, Sam Houston State 1 (5)COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Third baseman Peyton Webb produced the Sam Houston’s lone run Wednesday in a 9-1 run-rule loss to the nation’s No. 19 ranked softball program Texas A&M. Lamar starter Lauren Dannelley (4-5) took the loss, allowing five hits and four runs, two earned, over four innings. Texas State (15-10), which extended its winning streak to six games, scored four runs in the fourth inning off of Lamar reliever Amie Cisneros to close out the game via the run rule. Hailey Drew and pinch hitter Bryanna Castro picked up the other two Cowgirl hits. Drew singled in the sixth and Castro singled in the seventh. McNeese’s second reliever, Emily Vincent got Megan Low to foul out to third for the first out. Vincent got Vivian Tijerina and Randee Crawford to go down looking for the final two outs of the game and picked up her first save of the season. The Lady Cardinals return to action when they host Abilene Christian in a three-game Southland Conference series this weekend at the Lamar Softball Complex. Please note that the game times have changed. The teams will play a doubleheader at 2 p.m. Saturday and a single game at noon Sunday. The teams will not play on Friday. – Return to Top –
By Simon EvansA 55th minute Thomas Mueller goal gave Germany a 1-0 win over the United States on Thursday but the result allowed both teams to progress to the second round of the World Cup.Germany top Group G and will face the runner-up in Group H while the United States finish second and will face Group H’s winner. Portugal who beat Ghana 2-1 are eliminated with the Africans.The Germans dominated the game with Juergen Klinsmann’s team, with their backs against the wall, creating very few chances.The breakthrough came when Tim Howard parried out a Per Mertesacker header but Mueller collected the loose ball on the edge of the area and superbly side-footed into the bottom corner.Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winner for Portugal, his first goal of the tournament. Starting the day on a point each, both teams knew they needed a victory to have any chance of progress and Portugal started strongly as Ronaldo hit the bar and sent a close-range header straight at goalkeeper Fatawu Dauda before Ghana’s John Boye sliced a cross into his own net after 31 minutes.Asamoah Gyan headed the equaliser from a lovely Kwadwo Asamoah cross 12 minutes into the second half and Abdul Majeed Waris missed the chance to put Ghana ahead when he headed wide from point-blank range five minutes later.Ronaldo finally found the net in the 80th minute but Portugal, thrashed 4-0 by Germany in their opening game, needed a far bigger win to overhaul the Americans’ goal difference.
Dear EditorThe term conflict of interest (COI) is widely used, yet many people are unaware of its meaning and significance. The Journal of Business Ethics defines conflict of interest as “a situation in which a person has a private or personal interest sufficient to appear to influence the objective exercise of his or her official duties as, say, a public official, an employee, or a professional.” This private or personal interest is often motivated by money, but can also arise from other factors such as love and ambition.It is important to take note of the word ‘situation’ from the definition, as a COI can be mistakenly bundled with corruption. For example, a lawyer in need of money is working with a client.A representative of the party that the client is in dispute with approaches the lawyer.The representative proposes to provide the lawyer with a large sum of money if the lawyer agrees to botch his client’s case. In this situation, the bribe offer creates a conflict of interest between official duty to the client and personal duty to self.The action taken when faced with a COI determines if the lawyer is corrupt. A COI alone is not an improper act, but rather a natural phenomenon. It is how the COI is dealt with that may be improper.In addition, an unaddressed conflict of interest can raise suspicion about whether the service provider is being impartial, which can place trust, loyalty, and integrity into question.In the aforementioned example, the lawyer chooses not to disclose the bribe offer with his client. The client later finds out that the lawyer was offered a bribe. As a result, the client can no longer trust the lawyer, even if the lawyer may have rejected the bribe.To further illustrate the nature of a COI, we will look at another example. A basketball referee has an upcoming game between two high school teams.He notices that a member of one of the teams is his beloved niece. A conflict of interest is formed even though an improper act has not yet been committed.His official duty is to make fair calls during the game. However, he also has a personal duty to the happiness of his niece. If he referees the game, he may make unwarranted calls to benefit his niece’s team.On the other hand, in an overzealous attempt to display fairness, he may make unwarranted calls to hurt his niece’s team.Either way, his decisions are at risk of being subjective. Therefore, if the referee’s connection with his niece is well-known and he chooses to ignore the conflict of interest, trust may be lost and his job may be executed poorly.By looking at these examples, we know that a COI itself is not unethical, but if dealt with incorrectly, a COI can lead to suspicion of objectivity and even an improper act.When faced with a conflict of interest, one should identify it, disclose it, and remove oneself from the situation. Otherwise, the official duty and trust upheld by the service provider may be jeopardized.Sincerely,Nicel Mohamed-Hinds
Dear Editor,On April 26, 2019, following repeated requests from the staff, the GFC Restructuring Committee finally met with staff and introduced the members of the Committee. Various articles have reported on the chaos that erupted following the meeting. However, as was suspected and the reason for withholding the information on the Committee makeup to the general public was that it was clearly an unbalanced Committee. The staff has noted this and during the engagement, questions were consistently asked as to why there was no HR or management specialist on the committee.For general information, the members introduced or announced to staff comprise of at least four political figures from the Government APNU/AFC membership and three other members. To be specific, the convener is an adviser to Minister Trotman and an employee of the Ministry and an AFC executive member. There is also another adviser (female) working out of the Ministry who is also an AFC member, a third AFC member from the lower East Coast of Demerara comes as a Private Sector representative who has vested interest in forestry (this can be a conflict of interest) and is also a senior member of the AFC. All three of these persons were on the AFC list of candidates for the 2015 elections and possibility the 2018 Local Government Elections. Another member introduced is a senior political adviser of the Ministry of the Presidency and a member of the APNU. So here you have four out of seven who are political appointees. The fifth member, a former Director of Conservation International is perhaps the only specialist in environment and management. The sixth member is a GFC lawyer and in private practice and the seventh, and perhaps most junior, is a middle division management staff of GFC.This imbalance did not escape the attention of staff and questions emerged as to the glaring absence of any HR and other specialist trained in these types of activities as part of the panel. No satisfactory answer was provided. The Minister, soon after in a sign of desperation, tried to justify the members of this Committee. However, this is a modern era and these missteps by the Minister will not go unnoticed.Sincerely,Staff (name withheld)
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AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsIt’s the latest in an on-again, off-again battle between the city and the property owner, going back more than 17 years. The property is owned by Domenica Co- lucci of Irvine, whose telephone number is unlisted. Other at- tempts to reach Colucci for comment were unsuccessful. Ariizumi said city officials have tried to get Colucci, or her adult children, to make repairs or level the site. If the city declares the property a public nuisance, Ariizumi said the house and garage will be demolished. The owner will have 30 days; if she fails to do so, the city will undertake the job, charge the owner for the work and file a lien on the property, Ariizumi added. TEMPLE CITY – Some drivers do a double-take, others flinch when they look at the northwest corner of Daines Drive and El Monte Avenue. The large lot is overgrown with weeds, the tiny yellow house that sits on it has broken and boarded-up windows. A metal shed, filled with garbage, has missing doors. The Fire Department has declared it a fire hazard. The deteriorated conditions and other factors led the City Council this week to vote to hold a public hearing on Dec. 4, when council members will decide whether to declare the property at 10659 Daines Drive a public nuisance. Bryan Ariizumi, a city public safety officer, said the home’s dilapidated garage, which has a cracked foundation and appears on the verge of collapse, prompted the council’s action. Ariizumi said a city file documenting its dealings with the property and its owner dates back to the early 1990s. The property owner and nearby residents will be notified about the Dec. 4 hearing, he said. email@example.com (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4475 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Petrov was mobbed by adoring Villa fans after a pre-season friendly this summerAsked if he’s fallen out of love with Aston Villa or now feels unwelcome at the club, he replied: “No. I just didn’t want to be given anything by the club, I wanted to fight for it. I wanted to deserve to be back again.“I’ve worked really hard. I came down from 139kilos to 90kilos to go back and complete the pre-season. It was a new chapter for me and I wanted to prove to everyone that I could do it.“That’s what it was all about for me because you don’t lose that football ability, it’s all about getting the fitness and the stamina back.“But I was told very early [that I wouldn’t get a contract]. I was free, and I could have done a longer pre-season than everybody else, but they didn’t give me the chance.“They didn’t need to make that decision so early. Don’t get me wrong, I was being honest with myself, I knew I wouldn’t have played every single game in the Championship, but I think I can contribute and help the team in a different way.“I think I deserved a little bit more time. If I had a bit more time I would have made it. I would have gotten fitter, stronger. I was close. I didn’t miss a training session and that was the important bit for me.“I sat down with Roberto Di Matteo and thanked him for the opportunity to be part of it again. He wants to build his own team and I can understand that.“I am disappointed and it really hurt me, but life goes on.”Listen to a clip of Jim White’s interview with Stiliyan Petrov above! Sign him up! Petrov mobbed! #avfc pic.twitter.com/MRtGeTAyCl— Mat Kendrick (@MatKendrick) July 16, 2016 Stiliyan Petrov has told talkSPORT he was ‘hurt’ after being denied a contract at former club Aston Villa, having fought his way back to fitness following his cancer battle.The former Villans and Bulgaria captain was forced to suspend his playing career in 2012 after being diagnosed with acute leukaemia, but three years later revealed he was eyeing a return to the game after beating the disease.He was invited to pre-season training with Villa this summer and even joined the Championship club’s trip to Austria on the eve of the new campaign with the hope of proving his fitness.But manager Roberto Di Matteo decided against giving him a deal, instead offering him a role within the club’s youth academy, which Petrov turned down.Desperate to return to the game, the midfeidler insisted he isn’t bitter towards Villa and will now look to move on in his career.“I don’t hold any grudges, I don’t have any bad feelings towards them but I won’t lie, I was very disappointed I wasn’t offered anything,” Petrov said in an EXCLUSIVE interview with talkSPORT host Jim White.“Why I wasn’t offered, I don’t know. It wasn’t explained to me. They just told me I wouldn’t be a part of [the team].“They offered me a job in the youth system, but I didn’t want that. I wanted to finish as a footballer.“Why? Because my career was taken away from me by a disease, and I want to finish as a footballer again. I even didn’t want to get paid, I just wanted to finish as a footballer, to be able to retire on my terms.“I completed a full pre-season. It was a lot of running and a lot of double sessions. It was a hell of a lot of running, but I completed every single one. It was good.“Now, I’m trying to maintain my fitness.”