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Jimmy G will lead 49ers to playoffs, NBC’s Peter King says

first_imgLast year, voices across NFL media picked the 49ers as a “sleeper” to make the playoffs with the talented Jimmy Garoppolo set for his first full season under offensive genius Kyle Shanahan.Garoppolo struggled early and tore his ACL in Week 3, running the Niners’ far off the playoff path as they trudged to a 4-12 season.This offseason has seen fewer analysts clamoring to climb on the 49ers’ bandwagon, but one prominent pundit just hopped on.NBC’s Peter King, formerly of Sports Illustrated, h …last_img

Toyota SA ‘a global producer’

first_img5 March 2008Toyota South Africa will export over 140 000 vehicles from its Prospecton plant near Durban to over 40 global destinations this year, following a multi-billion rand upgrade that has turned the company from a local supplier to an international export base, as well as Africa’s biggest vehicle manufacturer.In a statement issued this week, Toyota SA says it started the upgrade programme together with its Japanese parent, the Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), in 2002 to increase the local plant’s production volume from 100 000 units per year. TMC owns 75% of Toyota SA.“This historic occasion aligns Toyota South Africa closely with a number of other Toyota global production facilities, each with annual manufacturing capacity of 200 000 to 250 000 vehicles,” Toyota SA CEO Johan van Zyl said at a function this week to mark the start of Corolla sedan exports from the Prospecton plant.He said that Toyota SA expected to export 147 000 Hilux and Corolla vehicles to more than 40 global destinations in 2008, accounting for close on 60% of South Africa’s estimated total vehicle exports, of over 250 000 units, for the year.The project is expected to create up to 4 000 new job opportunities, while close to half of the total investment has been spent on local suppliers with established black economic empowerment credentials.According to the company, the local value added across the Hilux and Corolla models is more than 60%, and together with components exports are expected to push the value of Toyota SA’s exports for the year to nearly R20-billion – close to 1% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).“This high local content used makes both of these models compliant with the requirements of the European Free Trade Agreement with South Africa and thus eligible for importation into Europe free of duty,” Van Zyl said. “Toyota is the first South African vehicle manufacturer to achieve this.”Investment, skills developmentFollowing the five-year, R2.4-billion plant modernisation programme, Prospecton now features the latest in automotive manufacturing technologies. South Africa is just the third country to make use of a patented stamping technology, while the paint plant features technology that is being used outside of Japan for the first time.According to Van Zyl, the transition of his company to a global export base started with the export of around 10 000 Corolla sedans to Australia per year, followed by a decision by Toyota Motor Corporation to turn SA into a global manufacturing hub for the new Hilux, for sale in Europe and the rest of Africa.“The third phase came with the announcement by TMC that the new Corolla sedan would join the Hilux as a volume export model from South Africa to European and African destinations. Both models are produced in right- and left-hand drive variants,” he said.“This required a total transformation in the way we do business and in the way we build vehicles. Fundamental to this process was a multi-billion rand investment in new facilities and technologies that overshadowed anything that the local industry had seen before.”Van Zyl said the company’s transition into a global player had been accompanied by an investment of R300-millioin over the five years in training its workforce, which included sending 174 employees to Japan for training in the “Toyota Way”.In addition, he said, the programme had encouraged 12 new international suppliers to invest in South Africa. Eight of the companies are from Japan and four from Europe, with nine having invested in their own right and three others being joint ventures with local companies.“Toyota South Africa is now firmly established as the largest vehicle manufacturer on the African continent and as the largest vehicle exporter in South Africa,” Van Zyl said.SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Gary Kirsten the new Proteas coach

first_img7 June 2011Gary Kirsten, the former star Proteas batsman who coached India to an ICC World Cup crown and the number one ranking in test cricket, has been appointed head coach of South Africa’s national cricket team.“We are delighted to welcome Gary back as part of the CSA family,” Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO Gerald Majola said in a statement on Monday. “We have been through an exhaustive but rewarding process to find the best possible candidate for the job, and we are totally confident that we have done just that.“Gary’s credentials and cricketing experiences speak for themselves, and the board of CSA is confident that he will lead the Proteas to new heights in all formats of the game,” Majola said.Kirsten said he felt greatly honoured to be selected for this important position.“Having filled the same position with the Indian national team for the past three years, I believe this is a natural progression as far as my coaching career is concerned.”“My coaching philosophy will not be any different than it was for the Indian team,” Kirsten added. “I always endeavour to influence players in a positive way and give them options so that they can grow both as cricketers and as people.”Kirsten, 43, had a distinguished career as a player both for Western Province and the Proteas. He was the first South African to reach the milestones of 100 test caps, 7 000 Test runs and 20 test centuries and, although these marks have subsequently been passed by Jacques Kallis, he set the original benchmark for others to follow.He was also the first South African since the country’s re-emergence after apartheid to score a century in both innings of a test match, and he stood in for an injured Hansie Cronje as captain of the Proteas against Pakistan in 1998.Domingo, Donald to assistKirsten wasted no time in naming his coaching team: former Warriors coach Russell Domingo will be his assistant coach, and former South African great Allan Donald his bowling coach.“Domingo has done outstanding work with the Chevrolet Warriors, particularly in the limited overs format,” Majola said. “He led the Warriors to both the limited overs crowns in the 2009-10 season, and has qualified the Warriors for the Champions’ League for two seasons in a row. This included reaching the final in last year’s edition.“He has also achieved considerable success with the South Africa A side, and this is a natural progression in his coaching career to move up to the highest level.”Domingo and Kirsten have worked together before, when Kirsten was a batting consultant to the Warriors’ franchise.“Donald’s record speaks for itself,” Majola said. “He has been involved with both the England and New Zealand national sides as well as in county cricket with Warwickshire. Above all, his record in international cricket as a player makes him ideally equipped to work with what is still a young Proteas’ bowling attack.”De Villiers, Amla lead Proteas’ ODI squadAlso on Monday, Cricket SA named AB de Villiers as captain of the Proteas’ ODI and T20 squads. His deputy in both formats will be Hashim Amla. Graeme Smith remains test captain, with De Villiers his deputy.“De Villiers and Amla have been part of the new tier of leadership that has been built up in the Proteas’ squad for some time now under the guidance of Graeme Smith,” Majola said.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Gordon Igesund named Bafana coach

first_img“If there’s anyone who knows how to turn teams around in a very short time, it is Gordon,” he told IOL’s Matshelane Mamabolo. ‘The bigger picture’“The bigger picture is the 2013 Afcon tournament and qualifying us for Brazil 2014 World Cup,” Nematandani said. “All I can say to you all is that I’m going to do my very best to make us all proud.” “At the end of the day, it was a unanimous decision and we think the final verdict was in the best interest of the nation.” “I feel very honoured and privileged to be in charge of an asset like the national football team,” Igesund said at the press conference at Safa House. Unrivalled PSL coaching recordIgesund owns a Premier Soccer League (PSL) coaching record that is unrivalled, having led four clubs to titles: Manning Rangers in the PSL’s inaugural season in 1996/97, Orlando Pirates in 2000/01, Santos in 2001/02 and Sundowns in 2006/07. Most recently he led unfancied Moroka Swallows to a runner-up finish in the past PSL season. ‘He’ll have them delivering’“Gordon knows how players think and is able to find out what makes them tick. He knows how to treat them as individuals and get them playing at their best. He’ll do that with Bafana and have them delivering.” Igesund’s assistants have not yet been named and speculation is that Komphela will stay with Bafana in that role. The contract comes with a mandate to achieve two things: to make at least the semi-finals of the 2013 African Cup of Nations, which South Africa will be hosting, and to qualify for the 2014 Fifa World Cup. It won’t be easy, given Bafana’s poor record in big competitions in recent years. The search for a coach began with five men in the running. The others, apart from Igesund Komphela, and were SuperSport United’s Gavin Hunt, Neil Tovey of Thanda Royal Zulu and former Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba, who now coach the national under-23 team. “He is amazing at raising players’ morale and confidence, and right now, we all can see that Bafana’s confidence is at an all-time low. He’s the ideal man to get them motivated. He also called on Bafana Bafana supporters to give Igesund time to make his mark and not judge him on forthcoming away friendlies against Brazil in September and against Poland in October. What that record shows is that Igesund is able to get results out of players at underdog teams, such as Rangers and Santos, and out of players at big name clubs, such as Pirates and Sundowns. That augurs well for his tenure because, many agree, it is man management that will be needed to achieve better results, and that is one of the new Bafana coach’s strengths. 2 July 2012 Gordon Igesund was named the new coach of South Africa’s national football team, Bafana Bafana, in Johannesburg on Saturday. He has been handed a two-year contract. Commenting on the choice of Igesund over interim Bafana coach and former coach Pitso Mosimane’s assistant Steve Komphela, Safa President Kirsten Nematandani said: “It was not an easy decision as both coaches are well-equipped to take Bafana Bafana forward. The right man for the jobFormer Bafana Bafana player Clinton Larsen, who coaches Bloemfontein Celtic, won PSL titles under Igesund with Rangers and Pirates. He believes, despite the tough job Igesund has been given of uplifting a team that has severely underperformed, that his former boss is the right man for the job. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Côte d’Ivoire vs Ghana: Football, economics and a rising Africa

first_imgCôte d’Ivoire’s unexpected and historic win over Ghana in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final correlates, in a non-linear way, with the two countries’ rising and falling economic fortunes in the “Africa rising” narrative of the past 15 years. The district of Plateau in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire’s economic capital and the most populous French-speaking city in West Africa. (Image: United Nations) Emanuele SantiCôte d’Ivoire’s win over Ghana in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final was an unexpected and historic victory. The Elephants were certainly not the favourites, but they surprised observers with a repeat of their 1992 victory against Ghana, a match also won on penalties.As an economist and a football fan, I cannot resist drawing an admittedly non-linear correlation between football and economic growth, and revisiting a compelling comparison between the different economic trajectories the two countries have taken in the last decade, and their performance in the most popular sport in the world. The relationship between football performance and economic performance has never been confirmed, although Goldman Sachs found an interesting link between World Cup victories and equity markets. According to their study, a winning nation outperforms the global market by 3.5% in the first month after its victory, although this enthusiasm fades in the months to follow.Watch highlights of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final – Côte d’Ivoire vs Ghana:Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana are arguably two important protagonists in the “Africa rising” narrative, leading poles of growth and prosperity on the continent. Ghana, in 1957 the first sub-Saharan African country to claim independence from a colonial power, has built some of the continent’s best democratic institutions, and gradually picked up its economic performance. Across the border, from 1960 an independent Côte d’Ivoire rapidly emerged as a regional economic leader in West Africa, thanks to a dynamic and diversified economy.But in the past decade the tide seemed to have turned towards Ghana, which has emerged as a key point of entry for foreign direct investment in Africa. Its dramatically improved business environment and new oil sector has helped boost the economy, making it less dependent on gold and cocoa exports.Watch the penalty shootout in the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations final – Côte d’Ivoire vs Ghana:A tale of two countriesI was posted in Ghana in 2005 and became an enthusiastic supporter of both its economic miracle and its national football team, The Black Stars. In the past decade the team has consistently kept a top-four position in successive African football tournaments. It reached the 2010 World Cup quarter-final after a remarkable extra-time victory against the United States. This same period has also marked the first discoveries of oil, and the euphoria was just beginning.Across the border, Côte d’Ivoire found itself in the middle of its lost decade of conflict, which prompted the African Development Bank to move its headquarters to a temporary home in Tunisia. Many businesses also relocated their headquarters, to neighbouring countries such as Ghana and Senegal, which replaced Côte d’Ivoire as new regional hubs. Up to an extraordinary performance in 2006, the Elephants did not even pass the group stage for three consecutive Africa Cup tournaments.A decade later, Côte d’Ivoire is in full recovery. It has been one of the fastest-growing economies in the world for two consecutive years. Building on a highly diversified economy and strong national planning, Côte d’Ivoire is at full throttle, banking on the historical return of African Development Bank to its headquarters and on the recent inauguration of the landmark Henri Konan Bédié bridge in Abidjan. As an African Development Bank employee now based in Côte d’Ivoire and covering the West African region, it’s great to see yet another symbol of “l’emergence ivoirienne”, and feel pride in the bank’s key role as financier of this operation.Watch: The Henri Konan Bédié bridge: Across the border, Ghana is facing challenges linked to a combination of high spending, rising debt and currency depreciation. The “oil dividend” has not yet fully materialised, and the country has frequent power outages. While Ghana has great potential, its growth rate in 2014 is expected to be nearly half that of Côte d’Ivoire.Just as Ghana faced what many thought to be the toughest qualifying group in the Africa Cup, it has had to face many external challenges in its quest for economic development. But just as it lost the Africa Cup final in the cruelty of penalties, its own economic path has seen a few shots go wide, and a few saved by the goalkeeper.Looking ahead, it is not clear whether this victory will give a further boost to Côte d’Ivoire, as the Goldman Sachs study suggests, or to Ghana, which can still claim that the match against its neighbour was one of its best performances.Besides the economic impact, football competitions are social events that reinforce a sense of national identity in many countries. A trophy or even a victory against a football heavyweight makes even the most merciless critic of his own country feel proud. Coming together over a football victory can help Côte d’Ivoire to consolidate its economic growth and peace trajectory.About the authorEmanuele Santi is regional chief economist for the African Development Bank’s West African Department after nearly 15 years of professional experience in development, mostly gained at the World Bank and the African Development Bank. He has worked on over 25 countries in Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. He holds a PhD in Development Policy from Trieste University/ Paris Sorbonne, a Master in Economic Studies from the College of Europe and an Executive Program Degree on Public Financial Management from Harvard Kennedy School of Government.This article first appeared on the African Development Bank Group blog.last_img read more

Ishant says Dhoni told him to bowl bouncers

first_imgshant peppered the England bowlers with short-pitched deliveries and it did the trick for India.Pacer Ishant Sharma credited India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for instructing him to bowl bouncers which helped the team win the second Test at Lord’s on Monday to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.After drawing the first Test at Trent Bridge, India won the second match by 95 runs.Read: India register historic Test win at Lord’sRight-arm pacer Ishant rattled the England batsmen by bowling bouncers regularly which helped him earn career-best figures of 7/74 and the Man of the Match award.”Cricket is a great leveller, the way MS bhai handled the team, the way he keeps on motivating the guys. I think all these wickets are not for me, it is only for the captain, he told me you are tall enough, you have to try the bouncer,” said the lanky Ishant in the post-match presentation.The Delhi-born seamer credited his teammates for their performances which aided India in winning their second Test ever at Lord’s since 1986.”The way batsmen played in the first innings, Ajinkya (Rahane) played really well in the first innings, that gave us the momentum. Also the way (Murali) Vijay played, Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja) and Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) also,” added the 25-year-old.last_img read more

20 days agoBrighton boss Potter delighted with Alzate deal

first_imgBrighton boss Potter delighted with Alzate dealby Paul Vegas20 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBrighton boss Graham Potter is delighted with Steven Alzate’s new deal.Alzate signed a new four-year deal with the Seagulls yesterday.Potter said, “He’s been with us from the start and has done very well since he came into the group.“He’s not looked out of place at all; sometimes youngsters can come into the group and have a session or two where you might notice a difference in levels, but that hasn’t happened with Steven.“The others can see his quality every day he’s with us, that naturally grows his confidence. It’s never straightforward, but he performed well against Newcastle and I think he can continue to develop and improve.“Against Chelsea he showed his adaptability in terms of starting in one role and then ending the game in midfield, so I’ve been really pleased with him. We have to make sure he’s playing to his strengths as often as we can – he can take the ball in tight situations and is good physically too, as well as being dynamic in his movement.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

18 days agoLiverpool defender Van Dijk: Thank-you Wolves – but I’ll say no more!

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool defender Van Dijk: Thank-you Wolves – but I’ll say no more!by Paul Vegas18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has paid tribute to Wolves after their shock win at Manchester City.Van Dijk was surprised that City were unable to score against Wolves on Sunday.The defending Premier League champions lost 2-0 at home to Nuno Santo’s side while Liverpool won 2-1 against Leicester City to extend the gap at the top of the table to eight points.Reds centre-back Van Dijk said he thought it would be a “difficult game” for City but not as tough as it eventually proved.“I didn’t expect that, of course,” he told Sky Sports.“Everyone expected a difficult game for City, but City at home but it doesn’t happen much that they don’t even score one goal at home.“A great performance from Wolves, you have to give credit to them but you know the situation, you can’t really say much about it.“They will try to bounce back from it and until then we’ve just got to focus on our international football of course.” last_img read more

13 days agoLiverpool hero Heskey: Klopp shouldn’t rest Salah and Mane

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool hero Heskey: Klopp shouldn’t rest Salah and Maneby Paul Vegas13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool hero Emile Heskey says Jurgen Klopp shouldn’t rest star pair Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane. Heskey is adamant that Klopp should not be worried too much about the health of Salah and Mane, insisting that the duo will want to play as many games as they can.“Salah and Mane won’t want a rest and Liverpool shouldn’t give them one,” Heskey told bwin.“They’ve played a lot of football over the past few seasons, but as a player, you want to be playing as much as possible. When you look at the pair of them, they just love being out on the pitch and playing football – they’re a manager’s dream.“In the modern game, players are complete athletes. Although they’ve played a lot of games it won’t be the physical side that catches up with them, it will be the mental side.”It can sometimes be draining playing so many games without a break, so they may want to take a break for those reasons. However, they’ll both physically be as fit and ready to go as any other player.” last_img read more