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Meet the new Hunter

first_imgHe may not have Ottio’s height or the running game of Eliab  but his performance  in the first three rounds has won the hearts of fans.Hailing from the Sinesine District of the Simbu province,  22 year old Justin Olam is no stranger to rugby league.He was a consistent performer for the Lae based Snax Tigers in the Digicel Cup starting from year 2014 untill last year.His performance did not go unnoticed when he was rewarded a Kumul jumper to play in the 2015 Prime Minister’s XIII in which he scored a try.Olam’s performance also caught the attention of  Hunters selectors.He was drafted in the Hunters train on squad and eventually made the final 25 men squad.In the trial matches Olam was very impressive with his strong defense and the tackle busts he made which caused trouble for the opposition .That forced the Hunters Coach to promote him to a spot on the bench then to the starting team to play on the wing while regular winger Adex Wera was suspended by the QRL judiciary for a high tackle the previous weekend.Last weekend against Tweed Head Seagulls,he did not disappoint  again ,he kept busy on the defensive and also in attack made couple of line breaks.But Olam says he still has alot to learn.Rugby League runs in his family.His uncle was a former PNG Kumul and Mendi Muruks Winger, Michael Mark.Olam excels in Education also. He will be graduating with a degree in Applied Physics with Electronics and Instrumentation this year.It is a goal for all Rugby League players in PNG to make it to the Hunters side and Olam said “it is a privilege to be an Hunter and now his goal is to play NRL one fine day”.last_img read more

Budimir, at the casting of ‘9’

first_imgThe casting of possible signings of Barcelona to sign Ousman Dembélé is extended. The names of Angel, Lucas Pérez or Roger Martí have been added in the last hours of Ante Budimir, as AS has learned. The Croatian striker of Mallorca breaks into Barcelona’s radar and is another option that sounds in the offices of the Barca club in order to replace the injured Frenchman. Budimir is a ram of 28 years and 190 centimeters that this season has eight goals with Mallorca. The Croatian is an area forward who would fulfill the profile of being a different tip than what Barcelona has right now. Budimir arrived in Mallorca on loan from the Italian Crotone last January 2019. In June, the vermilion club acquired it in property for two million and in the first part of the championship it has exploded. Its termination clause is around 40 million.last_img read more

Schroder, Ilyasova help Hawks get consecutive wins

first_imgLights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Bradley Beal had 20 points for Washington (19-16), which was trying for its first three-game win streak since mid-November. Markieff Morris had 18 points and eight rebounds, and John Wall finished with 10 points and 11 assists.Already saddled with home losses last month to Phoenix and Dallas, the Wizards were beaten twice this month at Brooklyn, the latest a 35-point setback last week. Losing to Atlanta dropped Washington to 9-10 against teams under. 500.“I think as a team we think that certain teams we play are going to lay down against us, but they come out and compete every night,” Wall said. “This is their job. This is what they’re going to do.”The Wizards fell behind for the first time when Belinelli hit three free throws at the 4:54 mark of the third. The lead changed hands a couple of times before John Collins’ tip-in at the period buzzer put the Hawks up for good at 78-76.“A tip like that can do a lot,” Collins said. “I wasn’t expecting everybody to get as excited as they did, but I guess in the moment I was just playing. I’m happy I could be of assistance.”ADVERTISEMENT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Brian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defense Washington coach Scott Brooks went with a three-guard lineup midway through the fourth with Wall, Beal and Jodie Meeks joined by Otto Porter Jr. at forward and Morris at center. It didn’t work.Down by nine, the Wizards pulled within four on Beal’s 14-footer and Morris’ dunk with 6:17 remaining, but they lost focus as Schroder hit a layup and immediately stole Wall’s inbound pass to set up Ilyasova’s two free throws. Ilyasova followed with a 3, Schroder hit two free throws and Miles Plumlee had a tip-in to make it 101-90.The Hawks’ biggest lead was 18 in the fourth.“It doesn’t matter if we’re playing away or home,” Meeks said. “We have to win games like this.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Meralco ‘never the same’ after Almazan injury in PBA Finals Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Atlanta Hawks’ Dennis Schroder, left, of Germany, dribbles against Washington Wizards’ Markieff Morris in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Atlanta, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)ATLANTA, Georgia—Dennis Schroder was excited about the consecutive wins for the Atlanta Hawks.He was more pleased that his team beat an opponent that has more talent, at least on paper.ADVERTISEMENT Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Scottie Thompson also worthy of Finals MVP, thinks Cone MOST READ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson “Everybody was just locked in for 48 minutes,” Schroder said. “That’s the key, and we played together.”Schroder scored 21 points, Ersan Ilyasova added 20 and the Hawks won consecutive games for the first time this season with a 113-99 victory Wednesday night over the mercurial Washington Wizards.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkThe Wizards were coming off their best win of the season, a high-energy 111-103 victory at Boston on Monday, but they have been unable to shake a reputation for playing down to the competition.Marco Belinelli scored 19 points in 20 minutes for Atlanta, the NBA’s worst team at 9-25. LATEST STORIES Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson Evans’ 32 points lead Grizzlies past Lakers View commentslast_img read more

Romeo on dribbling violations: Ref officiated from another planet before

first_img‘Stop romanticizing Pinoy resilience’ He finished with 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting from the field, two rebounds, three assists, one steal, a block but had five turnovers.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award PBA IMAGESTerrence Romeo has one of the best handles in the PBA today and it was uncharacteristic of him to commit three straight dribbling violations late in the fourth quarter of TNT’s win over GlobalPort Sunday night.Romeo, the ball-handling wizard, was called for a carry twice before being whistled for a travelling violation over a span of 26 seconds beginning at the 3:02 mark of the fourth quarter that left the KaTropa guard in disbelief.ADVERTISEMENT P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ MOST READ Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water recedingcenter_img Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast Former college teammates De Jesus, Pascua face off in UAAP Finals Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident View comments Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ “Siguro may nakikita yung referee na talagang nakikita niya siguro yung sa galing ibang planeta eh,” said Romeo following TNT’s 128-114 against his former team.“Hindi ko alam kung ano, so siguro next time, mag-aadjust ako, kasi ewan ko kung saang planeta siya nag-referee before, eh wala akong magagawa. Pero ‘di bale, adjust na lang ako, sana makapasyal ako sa planeta nila next time.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown(I don’t know what the referee was looking at but perhaps the referee was watching someone from another planet. But I guess I would just have to make adjustments next time because I don’t know what planet the referee officiated before so I can’t do anything about it. I’ll just make adjustments and hopefully, I’ll be able to visit their planet next time.)The 26-year-old Romeo made his much-anticipated debut for the KaTropa after playing his first five seasons as a member of the Batang Pier. He appeared in only his third game this season after being sidelined by a knee injury.last_img read more

Senate to Reject ‘Overqualified’ West Point Acting Commissioner

first_imgBeing overqualified is one of the reasons some senators may disqualify Acting Commissioner for West Point J. Samson Nyan.  Nyan is said to be too experienced in budgeting to serve the Township of West Point.The Senate leadership Committee on Internal Affairs at the Wednesday confirmation hearing didn’t mince their words to label the Acting Commissioner of West Point as “overqualified.”The Acting Commissioner is a candidate for Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Liberia with emphasis on Finance and Banking with over seven (7) years of experience in banking and budgeting.Bomi County Senator Atty. Morris Saytumah found it unbelievable that a candidate in MBA-Finance and Banking who is usefully employed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a Budget Officer would want to become a commissioner. “This nominee is overqualified, Mr. Chairman,” Sen. Saytumah said.Normally, in the rural areas, Commissioners have at least a high school certificate, while majority are unable to read and write, but are traditionally and culturally inclined to the norms and values of the land, Daily Observer has learned.In the remote parts of Montserrado, most commissioners are marketers, while in the city, commissioners are elderly or senior citizens regardless of educational background, according to research. At most there are only a few commissioners who are graduates.“Why would you leave the Foreign Ministry as Budget Officer where you are making a good salary to serve as West Point Commissioner to get about LD10,000?” Sen. Saytumah wondered.Rivercess County Senator Francis D. Paye, Senator Henry Yallah of Bong County and Maryland County Senator Gbleh-bo Brown separately said that the appointment of Mr. Nyan to serve as Acting Commissioner of West Point in the highest populated slum community and at the same time serve as Budget Officer at the Foreign Ministry is a conflict of interest with both jobs demanding his full time.However, acting commissioner Nyan stated that his work at West Point is on a Pro Bono basis because he is passionate to give back to the people of West Point who helped him to obtain his education. “If I am confirmed I want to tackle the vices in West Point, which include teenage pregnancy, prostitution and drugs, among others and I would humbly resign from the Foreign Ministry if I am confirmed,” Mr. Nyan said.However, during the question-and-answer period, the Senators realized that as a part of his Pro Bono service, the Acting Commissioner has the sole authority to give squatter’s rights to any person or institution, which he has been exercising since October 2014.Mr. Nyan further stated that his work at the Foreign Ministry is like a consultancy.  According to Mr. Nyan’s resume, he directs and coordinates activities for formulation, monitoring and presentation of budgets for controlling funds to implement program objectives of the Ministry. He also superintends the preparation of allotment requests and correlates appropriations for specific programs and consults with unit heads to ensure adjustments are made in accordance with program changes in order to facilitate long-term planning.“We have seen you CV and have questioned you under oath and as some of the members of the Internal Committee have said, you are overqualified, but as a committee we would proffer our recommendations to Plenary for subsequent action,” Senator Thomas Grupee, Chairman of Internal Affairs, said.Meanwhile, Miatta Flowers outgoing West Point Commissioner has been appointed Acting Commissioner of Virginia Township.Madam Flowers said when she is confirmed the construction of a town hall would be her top priority.Hopefully, tomorrow, the Internal Affairs Committee will write Plenary about its confirmation hearing and decisions would be reached on the two commissioners.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

GRC celebrates 25th anniversary

first_imgThe Guyana Relief Council (GRC) on Sunday observed its 25th anniversary under the theme “Years of Caring and Sharing,” where volunteers, sponsors and specially invited guests came together to reflect on the project and its accomplishments.GRC Chair Yvonne Hinds (right), Former British High Commissioner Stephen Hiscock, Former President Samuel Hinds, and Rev Philadelphia among the guests at the event on SundayA luncheon was held at the Pegasus Hotel, Kingston, Georgetown, and was attended by members of the private sector, diplomatic corp and stakeholders.GRC Chairman Yvonne Hinds in her opening remarks related that the organisation operates on funding from donors and businesses.She added that despite the acknowledgement and favourable reviews of the vast work that has been carried out yearly, funding is limited and donations are increasingly sporadic; however, the organisation is eternally grateful for the funding received.The Chairman noted that the GRC has grown into a respected non-governmental organisation over the years, after being faced with many challenges. She went on to say that the work that has been done for the Guyanese population is significant.“Those involved in charitable work are well aware of how difficult it is to raise funds in a small society and reaching for help from the same sources. The past year has been very difficult financially; however, no one who sought our services is turned away,” Hinds expressed.Reflecting on the past, Hinds said that the GRC’s service to the nation over the past 25 years has seen many of early dreams becoming a reality. “We now have an emergency shelter with an apartment for such administration. The facility was renamed the Yvonne Hinds Hope and indeed is an oasis I envisioned, which could house one hundred persons when necessary. During the great floods in 2005-2006, the residence accommodated age range from a one-month-old baby to a 92-year-old man, who stayed for a period of six weeks”.She outlined that the organisation is fulfilling its vision of providing non-discriminatory help to Guyanese when they are most in need. She further added that the GRC has handled 35 fire cases and 14 welfare cases and has helped 227 persons.Former British High Commissioner Stephen Hiscock stressed that even with help from international and local communities, funding is hard to accumulate since there is always a need for more help and assistance for those who have been affected by disasters, especially fire.He encouraged young members of society to volunteer to make a meaningful contribution to the country.A number of persons were recognised for their tremendous contributions and sacrifices to the GRC’s cause, ranging from the Chairman, Oscar Phillips; Courtney Benn, Doris Lewis, Donna Ramsammy-James, Lloyd Stanley Gopaul, and CHE Jian Ping.The Guyana Relief Council is a non-profit voluntary organisation, which was established since 1994 to render support and bring relief those affected by disaster.last_img read more

2 cops slapped with 38 counts of fraud

first_imgDriver’s licence exams Two members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) were on Friday slapped with a total of 38 counts of fraud when they appeared at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.Police Corporal Shanice Fraser, 31, and Police Corporal Ryan Grey, 25, were not required to plead to the charges when they were read to them by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.The court heard that on August 12, 2017 while in Georgetown, with intent to defraud the public, the two worked together to commit an offence by forging a total of 38 examination papers for persons who allegedly paid to acquire a driver’s licence.According to the prosecution’s case, Grey is responsible for 20 of the examination papers while Fraser, the Traffic Chief’s Confidential Secretary, was suspected of forging 18 of the papers.Police Prosecutor Gordon Mansfield made no objection to bail being granted, but requested that conditions be applied. The two were ordered to report to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters every Friday to the officer in charge until the conclusion of the matter.Fraser was granted bail in the sum of $150,000 while Grey was released on $160,000 bail.The matter will continue on August 17, 2018.On April 18 last, major irregularities surfaced in regard to the driver’s licence’s theoretical examination. Some 174 persons were registered to write the examination, but only 106 persons presented themselves to write it; yet, 207 scripts were submitted at the conclusion of the examination, with 155 completed.The GPF had said that since members of the Cops and Faith Community Network became involved in the invigilation of the learner driver’s theoretical examination, there have been reports of a significant reduction in the opportunities for corruption, complaints, and allegations; thus, this voluntary involvement will continue.Meanwhile, the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) recently discovered that some unscrupulous members of its staff were working in collusion with outsiders and members of the public to issue forged drivers’ licenxes, certificates of compliance, and registrations.While announcing that details surrounding this development would not yet be divulged, the GRA had announced that an investigation has been launched.The GRA has also revealed that those individuals who were part of the illegal operations have been sent on leave.Several other Police ranks were questioned in relation to the matter.last_img read more

Zapata hints at minimal June transfer activity

first_img0Shares0000AFC Leopards head coach Radolfo Zapata passes instructions to his players at half time during their Hull City Challenge match against Gor Mahia at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on May 1, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, May 9- AFC Leopards head coach Rodolfo Zapata wants to have a consistent squad playing together for the entire season and has hinted he will not be actively involved in the June transfer window.AFC has been one of the teams notorious for massive squad changes, but the Argentine believes they have a competent squad good enough to challenge for honors and told Capital Sport he will only bring in a new player if someone leaves. “I have been with the squad for two weeks now and I think the players are competent enough. We have a squad of young talented players and I trust in their quality. We will not do many changes. The only time we can make a change is when someone leaves,” Zapata who joined the team last month noted.“If we do a consistent job with these young players I know we will be somewhere up in history at the end of the season,” further noted the coach.The coach has also hinted he will not go in for an assistant coach anytime soon saying he is pleased with his backroom staff despite the exit of Dennis Kitambi who he says has done an exemplary job at the club.AFC Leopards coach Dennis Kitambi receives the March SJAK/Fidelity Insurance coach of the month award. PHOTO/Courtesy“I think I like my staff the way they are right now and my job is going to be progressive. I don’t want to make many changes in the team and confuse the players. Coach Dennis did a good job here so I have to keep what he has done while trying to improve the team but in a progressive way,” the tactician further explained.AFC currently sits fifth in the Kenyan Premier League standings having accrued 21 points off 14 games, but the team has had a rough patch failing to win any of their last six games.Zapata though is optimistic that they will bounce into winning ways soon, noting that being his first full week handling the team, he will seek to address tactical areas he feels need improvement.In his first match in charge against Chemelil Sugar last weekend, Zapata picked up a point in a 0-0 draw, the second consecutive such result after Gor Mahia’s tie in the Hull City challenge earlier in the week.AFC Leopards striker Marvin Omondi leads team-mates in celebration during a past Kenyan Premier League match. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya“The positive thing is that we haven’t conceded a goal which was a problem before. This was among the first things I wanted to improve. In the last two games we created a lot of opportunities but we didn’t finish. That is the next thing I will work on. I know with the quality of players we have the goal will come soon,” the Argentine further noted.He has explained he would want the team to play a ‘beautiful’ brand of football, urging the Ingwe faithful to be patient as he patents the Argentine way of playing to aid the club into their first league title in two decades.“Everybody wants to win and that is my mentality as well so we will do our best. But I believe that to win, you have to play good football,” the coach further said.Ingwe will tackle struggling Nakumatt in their next fixture on Saturday at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Neymar suffers fractured metatarsal, serious doubt to face Real

first_imgPSG trail in the tie after a 3-1 first-leg defeat in Spain, with their hopes of a maiden Champions League title taking a further body blow with the confirmation of Neymar’s injury, although they didn’t specify how long the 26-year-old would be out of action.“Additional examinations performed today (ultrasound and CT) confirmed an external sprain of the right ankle, but also an associated fissure of the fifth metatarsal,” PSG said in a short statement.The chances of Neymar returning to fitness in time to face the reigning European champions now appear extremely slim.He is all but certain to miss Wednesday’s French Cup quarter-final against Marseille and the weekend’s Ligue 1 visit to Troyes, with the Real clash just three days later.Metatarsal injuries usually take weeks, if not months to recover from.Just last year, Neymar’s international team-mate Gabriel Jesus was out of action for two months after breaking a metatarsal with Manchester City, and has struggled with further injuries since.Former England stars David Beckham and Wayne Rooney spent six weeks on the sidelines with metatarsal injuries in the past, with both still arguably being rushed back too soon for the 2002 and 2006 World Cups respectively.Brazil fans will also be keeping a close eye on Neymar’s fitness, especially after he missed their 2014 World Cup thrashing by Germany with injury.PSG, who lead the French top flight by a massive 14 points, also said that Brazilian centre-back Marquinhos had picked up a leg muscle problem.– Stretchered off in anguish –Neymar was stretchered off in anguish towards the end of PSG’s 3-0 victory over their great rivals in the capital, having innocuously rolled his right ankle and flopped to the ground in pain.With the game already as good as over, the stadium held its breath as he was treated and then carried away, with PSG forced to finish the match with 10 men having made all of their substitutions.Neymar himself posted a picture on Instagram of his right leg with the ankle and foot heavily bandaged, before later appearing to delete the post. “08:10. Finished for today,” said the caption.French newspaper Le Parisien had earlier reported that tests on Monday morning had ruled out a “fracture of a serious sprain”.But the club later confirmed their fans’ worst fears, with the return game against Real just eight days away.Despite the injury potentially benefiting Madrid, the Spanish side’s coach Zinedine Zidane claimed he hoped Neymar would recover in time to play.“I’m not happy with the Neymar injury and I hope he can be back for the game. I will never want a rival player to be out injured,” Zidane said at a press conference in the Spanish capital earlier on Monday.While Neymar was leaving the Parc des Princes on crutches on Sunday, PSG coach Unai Emery insisted he was “optimistic”.“We will be optimistic. If I had to say today (whether or not he will face Real) I would rather say yes,” said the Spaniard.But now his team’s hopes of keeping their European dream alive are hanging by a thread, despite the continued presence up front of Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe.PSG have never reached the Champions League final, and lost at the last-16 stage last season after a humiliating 6-1 second-leg thrashing by a Neymar-inspired Barcelona, having won the first game 4-0.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000World-record signing Neymar had to be stretchered off against Marseille © AFP/File / GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELTPARIS, France, Feb 27 – Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar suffered a sprained ankle and a fractured metatarsal when he was stretchered off in Sunday’s win over Marseille, the Ligue 1 leaders announced on Monday.The Brazilian, who signed for PSG in a world-record move from Barcelona last year, is now a serious injury doubt for the Champions League last-16 second leg against Real Madrid at the Parc des Princes on March 6.last_img read more

Five WCup questions Germany must answer

first_img0Shares0000Germany’s midfielder Mesut Ozil reacts during a training session in Vatutinki, near Moscow, on June 13, 2018, ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament.VATUTINKI, Russia, June 15 – Holders Germany start their World Cup campaign on Sunday against Mexico in Moscow having won just one of their six friendlies since qualifying for Russia 2018 with a perfect 10 wins.AFP looks at five questions the German team must answer if they are to become the first team for 56 years to successfully defend the World Cup: Can Ozil, Gundogan shake off scandal?Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan, who are German-born to Turkish parents, sparked controversy on the eve of the World Cup by posing for photographs with Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.Gundogan presented Erdogan with a signed shirt “to my president”.The Premier League midfielders were slammed in Germany for being “manipulated” by Erdogan as he canvasses support before snap elections on June 24, a suggestion the Turkish FA found “scandalous”.Gundogan denies the meeting was politically motivated, but Ozil has refused to comment.The pair were booed in Germany’s final two warm-up games in the last fortnight and Gundogan reportedly wept after being jeered after coming on as a substitute in the 2-1 warmup win over Saudi Arabia in Leverkusen last Friday.Ozil, who is likely to start against Mexico, has been told by the boss of the German FA that if he insists on staying silent, he must let his play do the talking.Is Manuel Neuer fit enough?Germany’s captain and first-choice goalkeeper has played just two games since returning from eight months sidelined by a foot fracture.The world-class stopper was a key component in their 2014 triumph, letting in just four goals in their seven games in Brazil.He leaked two goals when Germany’s second-string defence crumbled in their 2-1 defeat to Austria a fortnight ago on his return, but kept a clean sheet in his 45 minutes in the victory over the Saudis.“It’s fascinating to see his fitness and body language so strong after being out for eight months,” said Germany striker Mario Gomez.Can the senior players lead?Germany’s captain in 2014, Philipp Lahm, midfield maestro Bastian Schweinsteiger, defender Per Mertesacker and all-time record World Cup goal-scorer Miroslav Klose have all retired in the last four years.That means senior figures Mats Hummels, Thomas Mueller, Jerome Boateng, Toni Kroos and Sami Kehedira need to step up and impose their experience if things do not go Germany’s way, particularly in the opening match.Kroos criticised the team when they lost 1-0 to Brazil in Berlin last March, but can the Real Madrid star encourage and lead when the pressure is on?Can Werner provide the goals?Timo Werner left Russia last year with the golden boot when an inexperienced Germany squad won the 2017 Confederations Cup and scored three goals on his breakthrough, but this is a big step up for the 22-year-old.Klose retired after Brazil 2014 with the all-time record of 16 goals at World Cup finals and Werner is seen as his heir.With deadly goal predators Mueller and Marco Reus prowling the space behind him, Werner has the team-mates to help him impress, but this is his big test.“I’m hoping for a good World Cup for him and he’s very important for our game, because of his speed, strength and the way he runs,” said head coach Joachim Loew.Can Hummels, Boateng shore up the defence?Bayern’s World Cup winning centre-backs have rarely played together for Germany this season and Loew needs his burly first-choice pairing at their best.Loew often fielded a second-string defence in the six friendlies building up to Russia and central defenders Hummels and Boateng must be rock solid at the back with Neuer as the last line of defence.Hummels has looked sharp in training this week, but Boateng is yet to show his best after a groin injury and their Bayern team-mate Niklas Suele could force his way into contention.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more