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Ballard joins Swindon Town on loan

Young players Ben Cottrell, James Hillson and Joel Lopez have been rewarded with their first professional contracts for the club.

Our under-18s were crowned champions of the U-18 Premier League South last term, with Cottrell and Lopez playing integral roles, while Hillson signed on loan during the season. 

Ben Cottrell is a young attacking midfielder and an Arsenal Academy graduate, who scored five and assisted three in 21 league appearances last season.

Ben also made his debut in the Premier League 2 last April, with the 17-year-old starring in a 5-0 win over Derby County. Ben, who is also an England youth international at under-18 level, joined our Hale End Academy as an eight year-old.

James Hillson is an 18-year-old goalkeeper who joined the club on an initial loan deal from Reading in February 2019. During this time, James featured regularly in matchday squads, including being an unused substitute in the Premier League U18 National League Final against Derby County. Although not making an appearance for the club last term, James impressed with his professional attitude and reliable performances in training. 

Joel Lopez joined us as a scholar in July 2018 from Barcelona. The 17-year-old left-back is a product of Barcelona's La Masia academy. He impressed for the under-18s last term making ten appearances during the title-winning campaign. Joel also featured in the FA Youth Cup last season. 

Everyone at the club would like to congratulate Ben, James and Joel on their first professional contracts with the club and we look forward to their continued progress with us.

All deals are subject to the completion of regulatory processes.

Copyright 2019 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.

Arsene Wenger
This news item was provided by the Arsenal FC News Feed website - the original link is: http://feeds.arsenal.com/~r/arsenal-news/~3/8EidX8LAD78/ballard-joins-swindon-town-loan

Ballard joins Swindon Town on loan

Young players Ben Cottrell, James Hillson and Joel Lopez have been rewarded with their first professional contracts for the club.

Our under-18s were crowned champions of the U-18 Premier League South last term, with Cottrell and Lopez playing integral roles, while Hillson signed on loan during the season. 

Ben Cottrell is a young attacking midfielder and an Arsenal Academy graduate, who scored five and assisted three in 21 league appearances last season.

Ben also made his debut in the Premier League 2 last April, with the 17-year-old starring in a 5-0 win over Derby County. Ben, who is also an England youth international at under-18 level, joined our Hale End Academy as an eight year-old.

James Hillson is an 18-year-old goalkeeper who joined the club on an initial loan deal from Reading in February 2019. During this time, James featured regularly in matchday squads, including being an unused substitute in the Premier League U18 National League Final against Derby County. Although not making an appearance for the club last term, James impressed with his professional attitude and reliable performances in training. 

Joel Lopez joined us as a scholar in July 2018 from Barcelona. The 17-year-old left-back is a product of Barcelona's La Masia academy. He impressed for the under-18s last term making ten appearances during the title-winning campaign. Joel also featured in the FA Youth Cup last season. 

Everyone at the club would like to congratulate Ben, James and Joel on their first professional contracts with the club and we look forward to their continued progress with us.

All deals are subject to the completion of regulatory processes.

Copyright 2019 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.

Arsene Wenger
This news item was provided by the Arsenal FC News Feed website - the original link is: http://feeds.arsenal.com/~r/arsenal-news/~3/8EidX8LAD78/ballard-joins-swindon-town-loan

England v USA: Phil Neville says ‘hearts and souls left on the pitch’

Highlights: England 1-2 USA

England's players left "their hearts and souls on the pitch" in their Women's World Cup semi-final defeat by the USA, said boss Phil Neville.

The Lionesses lost 2-1 in Lyon, with Ellen White having a goal ruled out by the VAR for offside and captain Steph Houghton having a late penalty saved.

"I've told them no tears tonight," said Neville. "I'm proud. They have touched the hearts of the nation.

"I couldn't ask for more. We had the time of our lives."

England must now shrug off the heartbreak of a third consecutive semi-final defeat in a major tournament to face either Sweden or the Netherlands in Saturday's third-place play-off.

"We'll have to allow 24 to 48 hours for this to sink in and for them to get over this disappointment," added Neville, who said beforehand anything other than reaching the final would be a "failure".

"Nothing I can say will make them feel better. Elite sport and being on top of the world means that on Saturday in Nice we have to produce a performance.

"It will tell me a lot about my players. I've moved on from this already and now I'm looking forward to Saturday's game."

The USA, who are the world's top-ranked team and defending champions, led within 10 minutes from Christen Press' header. Ellen White equalised for England with her sixth goal of the tournament, a tally matched by Alex Morgan when she put the USA back in front.

The real drama came after the break as White had a goal disallowed and was awarded a penalty after she was tripped by Becky Sauerbrunn, with both decisions made by the VAR.

Houghton's spot-kick was saved by Alyssa Naeher, and Millie Bright was sent off late on for a second booking as the game drifted away from England.

USA's Alyssa Naeher saves Steph Houghton's penalty

"It's about winning," said Neville. "I can't say to my players: 'Unlucky.' That's white noise to them, because they wanted to win. That tells me that we're closer than we've ever been. We came here to win and we didn't do that.

"Football can be cruel. We have had a fantastic ride. When we got the penalty I turned to my bench and said 'we are going to win it' but it wasn't to be.

"We knew it was going to be an open game and I felt they were starting to run out of steam in the second half.

"We only had a 10-minute period in the first half where we played with the belief that we talked about. We stood off them too much. We will learn massively from this."

Neville accepted the offside decision against White was correct but said Bright should not have been shown her first yellow card and he thought "the referee wasn't really in control of the game".

'I was planning the next two years this afternoon'

My players gave everything - Neville

Neville says he is already looking to the future as England look to win a major tournament for the first time. His contract runs until the end of Euro 2021, which is being held in England - with the final at Wembley.

Prior to that, the former Manchester United player will also take charge of the Great Britain team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics - they qualified as a result of England's run to the World Cup semi-finals.

"The minute the game finished my first thought was 'how do we win on Saturday?' and my second thought was 'how do we win Olympic gold?'" he said.

"I was looking at them and that was my motivation. And then I looked at them and thought, 'how do we win the Euros in 2021?' I won't wallow or go back to my room and feel sorry for myself.

"It's now making us be better and getting the next two or three percent that will make us become the best team in the world. The aim is to become the best like America. We've still got a way to go. I won't stop until I get there.

"I've started already. I was actually in my room this afternoon planning the next two years. It's the way I work. It's fast."

I've let the team down - Houghton

Steph Houghton's post-match reaction following England World Cup exit

Neville said "no blame should be attached to" captain Houghton, who has had a fantastic tournament but missed the penalty which ultimately cost them extra time.

"That was cruel," said Neville. "She was outstanding in the game and she read everything.

"She has probably had the best season of her career. She had the courage to take the penalty and then keep playing football after. She is an amazing person and a world-class footballer."

Nikita Parris had missed England's previous two penalties in the tournament.

Manchester City defender Houghton said: "I got told today that I was on the penalties and I was confident because I had been scoring all week but I didn't connect with it properly and the goalkeeper guessed the right way.

"I've let the team down but we've got to try to get a bronze medal now. I hold myself to high standards. I'm gutted and heartbroken. It's not just about me but in those actions it is. We were so close but I'm proud of everyone because we gave it everything.

"I thought we were the better side in terms of how we played football, but ultimately, lapses in concentration cost us."

England goalscorer White added: "The person stepping up takes a lot of courage and we'll never put anything on Steph - she's our leader."

Goalkeeper Carly Telford said: "I have to give my heart to Steph. It was probably the biggest moment of her career and unfortunately she missed it. But stepping up was inspirational to me."

'I'm going to cry'

Tearful White 'devastated' after Women's World Cup exit

White's goal put her top of the Golden Boot chart with six, but Morgan pulled level - and the American leads because of her three assists to White's zero.

The game could have been different had White's second-half strike - which was initially allowed - stood. The VAR offside decision was correct, albeit marginal.

The 30-year-old, who has joined Manchester City from Birmingham this summer, was in tears as she spoke to BBC Sport after the game.

"I'm going to cry," she said. "I'm devastated not to get to the final.

"All I feel is pride for my team-mates. I'm proud to be English. USA had an amazing match and we just couldn't match them. I wish them all the best in the final.

"We gave everything. In the first half we were sloppy. We got ourselves back into the game with the goal and it's bitterly disappointing.

"We've got an unbelievable squad and we had so much belief that we'd get to that final but we just couldn't do that on the day."

'I hope a lot of girls and boys pick up England shirt'

Telford, who was playing because of an injury to Karen Bardsley, said: "It was devastating, heartbreaking. It's not how we thought the journey would end.

"I knew yesterday afternoon I would be playing. I had 24 hours to prepare but I felt like I had been preparing for the whole of my life. I would have preferred to be on the winning side.

"It was end-to-end but you want to be on the winning side no matter what. I hope there are a lot of young girls and boys picking up an England shirt.

"That's an important message for us."


This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/48847534

Warnock: No signings imminent

Last Updated: 02/07/19 11:24pm

0:24 Neil Warnock is open to signing a striker but has told supporters not to expect anyone to arrive at Cardiff until after the club’s pre-season tour to the USA and Canada.

Neil Warnock is open to signing a striker but has told supporters not to expect anyone to arrive at Cardiff until after the club’s pre-season tour to the USA and Canada.

Neil Warnock hopes to sign a striker but has warned Cardiff fans there will not be any new players arriving at the club until he trims his squad.

Cardiff have acted early following last season's relegation from the Premier League, signing goalkeeper Joe Day, centre-back Curtis Nelson and defensive midfielder Wil Vaulks ahead of their return to the Championship.

And speaking at the launch of a book authored by long-serving Cardiff club doctor Len Nokes, Warnock said any new signings are likely to depend on departures from the Cardiff City Stadium.

"We have got the three in but I can't see us doing an awful lot until we look at if anyone is leaving," Warnock told Sky Sports News.

"In the next two weeks I don't think we will be doing anything.

"When we come back from [our pre-season tour to] America I think we will know by then if there are one or two lads leaving, then we will know better about what we require.

"I've not really got a number in my mind or definite positions because I think a lot depends on if people come in for my players."

1:38 Neil Warnock says he wants to repay Cardiff supporters for their incredible support during a difficult campaign after confirming he will continue as manager next season.

Neil Warnock says he wants to repay Cardiff supporters for their incredible support during a difficult campaign after confirming he will continue as manager next season.

Pressed on whether Cardiff needed a striker, Warnock said: "I think if the right one came along and we could do it then I am sure we would get one.

"It's whether we could get anybody better than what we have at this level that's all that concerns me.

"We're looking around at all the markets - foreign markets as well as English - and if we can get somebody possibly at a good age rather than an experienced player - to give us something a little bit different then I think we would go for them."

Warnock was joined at Cardiff's stadium superstore for the launch of the book - titled 'Only Time Will Tell: A Father's Journey' - by a number of Bluebirds players including Sol Bamba and Sean Morrison.

The book is a recollection of the time that club-doctor Nokes' daughter, Claire, spent in hospital following a cardiac arrest in late 2016.

The arrest was subsequently confirmed as having been brought on by a condition called myocarditis. It resulted in Claire suffering a hypoxic brain injury leaving her in a vegetative state for the last eight months of her life.

Claire passed away in October 2017 and proceeds from the sale of the book will be split between the British Heart Foundation and brain injury rehabilitation charity the Prop Appeal.


This news item was provided by the SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11755543/cardiff-boss-neil-warnock-says-players-coming-in-will-depend-on-departures

Cocu to replace Lampard at Derby

Last Updated: 03/07/19 8:02am

Dutch legend Phillip Cocu is set to be appointed as Derby County's new manager, succeeding Frank Lampard.

Dutch legend Phillip Cocu is set to be appointed as Derby County's new manager, succeeding Frank Lampard.

Phillip Cocu will be confirmed as the new Derby manager by Thursday, Sky Sports News understands.

Cocu's agent is in the UK and is understood to have agreed a deal with Derby owner Mel Morris.

Current boss Frank Lampard looks set to be the next Chelsea boss and it is understood the Stamford Bridge club will announce the appointment by Thursday.

It is believed Cocu has verbally agreed to take the Derby job, with only a few legal details to be agreed.

Morris has convinced the Dutchman he will have the time and the funds available to build a squad capable of gaining promotion to the Premier League.

Cocu, like Lampard, enjoyed a glittering playing career, winning league titles with PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona as well as making 101 appearances for the Netherlands.

1:49 Paul Gilmour live outside Stamford Bridge with the latest on Frank Lampard's return to Chelsea.

Paul Gilmour live outside Stamford Bridge with the latest on Frank Lampard's return to Chelsea.

The 48-year-old then won the Dutch league title three times in four seasons as PSV boss and joins the Rams after leaving Fenerbahce in October following a short, unsuccessful stint at the Turkish club.

Derby's search focused on finding a coach capable of developing young talent. Cocu's record at PSV convinced them of that, quickly making him their number one target.

During his time managing his home town club in Eindhoven he spent around £49m on player recruitment, while generating more than £134m in player sales.

De Telegraaf newspaper in Holland says Cocu will bring a member of his PSV coaching team with him - and will also have an English coach as part of his first-team backroom staff.

Cocu will travel with Derby's first team when they leave for pre-season training in Florida on Thursday.

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This news item was provided by the
SkySports | News website - the original link is: https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11688/11755364/phillip-cocu-to-replace-frank-lampard-as-derby-boss