Ferdinand seals QPR move

first_img “I spoke to Harry and (owner Tony) Mr Fernandes at length,” he told qpr.co.uk. “I think they both looked me in the eye and knew that I still have something to offer – that I had a genuine desire to come here and play football.” Following punditry work with BBC Sport at the World Cup, Ferdinand’s anticipated move to Loftus Road was completed on Thursday evening after he passed a medical. Ferdinand, whose younger brother Anton and cousin Les also had spells at QPR, had been linked with a move to west London some weeks ago before a hold-up believed to be caused by a wrangling over wages. But now that has been ironed out Ferdinand is looking forward to playing for a team he used to watch growing up. “There are great memories for me here – for my family,” he said. “Anton had nothing but good things to say about QPR and I watched Les here as a boy, with the likes of Ray Wilkins, Clive Wilson, David Bardsley and Alan McDonald. “I had a lot of offers from all over the world – some in places with a better climate than here. But the draw for me was to play in the Premier League and back here where it all started. The 35-year-old left Old Trafford at the end of his contract this summer following a trophy-laden 12 years with the Red Devils and will now remain in the Barclays Premier League as he looks to help keep the Hoops in the top flight. Ferdinand will also be reunited with Harry Redknapp at Loftus Road after the current QPR boss handed him his professional debut for West Ham as a 17-year-old in 1996, and the veteran defender is eager to prove he still has something to offer. Former Manchester United and England captain Rio Ferdinand has signed for QPR on a one-year deal. Press Association “It’s not about money – I had loads of more lucrative offers available to me. I still feel I’ve got something to offer and I’m excited about helping this club cement its place in the Premier League.” After establishing himself as a firm favourite at Upton Park, Ferdinand moved to Leeds in 2000 for a then-British transfer record of £18million. He was an integral part of David O’Leary’s young side that reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2001 and was installed as captain at Elland Road the following season. During his time in West Yorkshire, Ferdinand became an England regular and attracted the attention of Manchester United following an impressive showing at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea. Another big fee, reported to be almost £30million, saw Ferdinand move across the Pennines where he would go on to make over 450 appearances and win six Premier League titles, the Champions League, two League Cups and the FIFA Club World Cup. Ferdinand spent eight months on the sidelines in 2004 for missing a drugs test, sitting out the 3-0 FA Cup final success over Millwall and the entire Euro 2004 tournament. Having been named England captain in early 2010, Ferdinand missed out on leading Fabio Capello’s side in the 2010 World Cup due to a knee injury sustained in the build-up to the tournament. He announced his international retirement in May 2013 and went on to play one more season at United, making 23 appearances in a disappointing campaign for the Red Devils. Interim manager Ryan Giggs selected Ferdinand for the final-day draw at Southampton, with the defender announcing soon afterwards that he would be looking for a new club. Linking up with Redknapp always appeared to be a strong possibility and the R’s boss is delighted to be able to work with Ferdinand again. “Rio’s a fantastic player and a great professional, I’m delighted we’ve been able to bring him here,” he said. “I signed Rio as a 14-year-old. He was class on the field and off the field then, and he’s continued in that manner throughout his career. During his time at Manchester United, he was the best defender in Europe, if not the world. “To bring him to QPR, when he’s still got so much to offer in terms of his quality, class, experience and know-how, is a remarkable coup for the club.” last_img read more

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Skodis makes unprecedented move from Syracuse’s middle-distance team to varsity

first_imgRebecca Skodis started too quickly, got tired and mentally checked out.At an indoor race at Cornell her freshman year, the rough beginning derailed the walk-on’s race — one of the worst in her collegiate career.Skodis was left thinking about what could’ve been. She had turned down multiple Division III offers to run. There, the schools had said she’d be their best runner.Instead, she was as a walk-on to Syracuse’s middle-distance indoor track and field team, essentially a practice squad. Skodis couldn’t help but wonder if she had made a mistake.“I thought, ‘Am I really good enough for this team?’” she said. “I questioned if I did deserve to be here because so many girls were out-performing me.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut Skodis, now a redshirt sophomore, has worked her way up from the middle-distance squad to the varsity level — a promotion head coach Chris Fox had never made before.She ran in last Friday’s Atlantic Coast Conference championship for the Orange, finishing third for the team and 49th overall. Skodis will race in the NCAA Northeast Regional — a pivotal race to qualify for the NCAA meet — on Nov. 14 in the Bronx, New York.This season, on a 23-woman roster, she is one of only four to run in all of the Syracuse women’s cross-country team’s races.“We did not expect her to do this,” Fox said.It’s a far cry from doubting herself at Cornell.After that race, Skodis returned to Cornell less than one month later for the Kane Invitational during the winter of her freshman year. She shaved 20 seconds off her time to finish in 10:48.6 seconds, a personal best, stoking SU assistant coach Adam Smith’s hopes.The ability to forget a bad performance and crush the next race came as no surprise to Mike O’Malley, Skodis’ track coach at Wachusett (Massachusetts) High School.“You could always count on her mental toughness,” he said. “She was always even-keeled in her approach.”She advanced from the middle-distance group to a separate group Smith led, which met at a separate time.Fox and Smith let her race at this season’s Penn State and Boston meets. Her seventh-place finishes for her team in both meets raised eyebrows.In the decade of Fox’s SU coaching tenure, there has never been another runner who’s been pulled up, but that didn’t stop the head coach.“To have the confidence to keep going, it’s inspirational,” said Margo Malone, SU’s top runner.Socially, Skodis got to know her varsity teammates through food-related activities, she said with a laugh. Coffee shops, like Recess on Westcott Street or Strong Hearts have been regular spots.On days when the Orange works out, a group of about 10 girls meet at 7:30 a.m. at Barry Park, at the corner of Brock Street and Meadowbrook, to do a 25–30 minute run to keep their mileage up.From there, Skodis goes to class, eats a light lunch and goes to the team’s regularly scheduled practice. Skodis does everything asked of her there, but not a lot more.“It’s about listening to what your body’s saying,” Skodis said.She’ll use the rollers if she’s feeling tight, or utilize the ice bath after practice. Sleeping, eating right and not over-exerting herself are what she’s best at. Skodis’ high school cross-country coach, Lawrence Jaquith, did SU a favor by not running her too hard.But two years ago, at the indoor Cornell meet, few could’ve guessed that Skodis would still been running in college now.Fox has watched her get fitter and improve, particularly in September. She’s moved from the back of the pack to the middle, he said, and now past the middle.“Some people are afraid of racing, but she’s not,” Fox said. “And she’s beating a lot of girls that weren’t walk-ons.” Comments Published on November 5, 2014 at 12:05 am Contact Sam: [email protected] | @Sam4TR Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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