Which players are you anxious to see this EPL season?

By Sports Desk August 08, 2019
Harry Maguire Harry Maguire

The English Premier League begins on Friday and the Zone team has weighed in on who they are looking forward to seeing. Who do you want to see?

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    Jamaican international Shamar Nicholson paints a frustrated image from his home in the Belgian city of Charleroi.

    Nicholson, a former Boys’ Town footballer, transferred from the Red Stripe Premier League and now plies his trade in Belgium’s Jupiter League.

    Charleroi, for whom he plays, are currently third in the league but its suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic has left him in a difficult place.

    “[…] it’s a difficult situation as it’s not vacation time and I’m not used to not playing football now in season time, it feels so weird,” said Nicholson in an interview with Jamaican newspaper, The Gleaner.

    The 23-year-old is keeping in shape while the league is suspended courtesy of a personal trainer and a programme the club has written for his daily exercise at home, but that is not enough.

    “I’m in Charleroi and when you go out, you don’t see people outside, you hear no noise, nothing, it’s so weird. It has affected the whole country and, as we speak, it’s affecting the whole world and now it’s football season and there is no football, it’s just staying home and you get so tired of staying home, even though training is hard,” said Nicholson.

    Nicholson had scored nine goals for Charleroi before the forced break, with just one player having scored more for his side.

    There was just one game remaining in the regular season by the time COVID-19 fears put an end to football in Belgium, with Charleroi in third place, one point of a Champions League spot.

    Nicholson wants the league to play that one remaining regular season game, even if there are no playoffs to come after.

    “It would mean so much to me if the team should qualify automatically for the Champions League, it would mean a lot,” he said.

    The man who has scored seven goals in 18 appearances for Jamaica believes that the re-start of all the leagues around the world will be tough because teams usually develop momentum along the way as the players become more match ready as the season progresses.

    Because of the break, he says, there was no way of telling which teams would start quickly.   

  • Reggae Boy Shaw signs two-year deal with Atletico Ottawa Reggae Boy Shaw signs two-year deal with Atletico Ottawa

    Reggae Boy Tevin Shaw has become the third player from Jamaica to sign up for the newly formed Canadian Premier League.

    Shaw will turn out for Atletico Ottawa after signing a two-year deal last Thursday.

    The deal ended Shaw’s relationship with Jamaican Red Stripe Premier League outfit, Portmore United.

    Before Shaw, Alex Marshall and Nicholas Nelson, were also announced as entrants to the league.

    Shaw is hoping that his efforts with Ottawa will mean he finds his way into bigger markets down the line.

    “Trying to one the standout players in my role and also be a leader; add few goals, few assists and continue to work my socks off to get a few more national call-ups and take it from there. (Also) to make the transition to a better set-up into the wider world because I aspire to play at the highest level,” said Shaw.

    The Canadian Premier League has been suspended until April 11.

  • Coronavirus: PFA demands Central Coast Mariners reinstate players after stand-down notices Coronavirus: PFA demands Central Coast Mariners reinstate players after stand-down notices

    The Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has demanded Central Coast Mariners immediately reinstate players after they were issued with stand-down notices amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    Last week, the PFA threatened to initiate legal proceedings against Perth Glory owner Tony Sage following his decision to stand down players, with the A-League season on hiatus due to COVID-19.

    The Mariners also issued stand-down notices as the league's postponement impacts clubs financially, prompting the PFA to serve Central Coast owner Mike Charlesworth with a letter of demand.

    "These actions undermine attempts for our game to overcome common challenges, fight for common interests and re-establish our sport," PFA chief executive John Didulica said in a statement on Tuesday.

    "While other codes have fostered unity and demonstrated leadership amid crisis, we are at risk of regressing to the lowest common denominator.

    "FFA has indicated an intention to intervene as this matter escalates. 

    "This morning, we have written to FFA to ask they follow the lead of other sporting codes in this country and lead a collective and uniform solution to our common challenge."

    Football Federation Australia (FFA) has already stood down approximately 70 per cent of its staff in a bid to save money amid the coronavirus crisis.

    Coronavirus has claimed more than 37,500 lives globally, with over 781,800 confirmed cases.

    In Australia, there have been at least 18 deaths and more than 4,350 cases.

     

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