Crystal Palace chairman says Project Restart may fail

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first_img(BBC) – CRYSTAL Palace chairman, Steve Parish, says that unless Premier League clubs can find a way to stage matches soon, it may be a “very, very extended period” before the top flight returns.Speaking on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, Parish said that initial plans for league matches to be staged again from June may prove unfeasible.“We would be derelict in our duty if we didn’t find a way to try and bring the game back,” he said.“It may prove beyond us.”At least three clubs – Watford, Brighton and Aston Villa – are opposed to the plan to stage matches at neutral venues under ‘Project Restart’, while club doctors have raised concerns over aspects of the proposals.Parish will be part of a meeting of Premier League club officials on Monday where discussions will continue over how they could get their teams back on the pitch.In Germany, where the top two divisions are set to restart on 16 May, second-tier side Dinamo Dresden have placed their entire squad and coaching staff into isolation for two weeks after two players tested positive for coronavirus.A previous wave of 1,724 tests carried out last week by the Bundesliga returned 10 positive results.“The German example could provide a blueprint for us and clearly we can see some of the early challenges,” added Parish.“They may prove insurmountable, but the concern for us is that if they prove insurmountable now then we may be in for a very, very extended period of not being able to play and that has huge ramifications for the game.”Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has previously predicted a loss of “at least £1bn” if the Premier League fails to complete the 2019-20 campaign.Parish believes that deciding the final league positions on the pitch, rather than relying on points per game or taking the current table as the final outcome, is preferable, even if conditions are far from ideal.“Deciding it competitively would be best, obviously if we can play in our own stadiums that would be preferable for everybody, but for the moment that situation is with government and the authorities and not with us,” he said.“The police have made it clear that they don’t think they can police every ground.“I have enormous sympathy with [Watford chief executive ] Scott Duxbury’s position. Having said that, I think it may well prove to be the least worst option.“There are no easy answers, we have to work through it as a collective and I think we will come out with a consensus in the end.”Parish also underlined that he and his colleagues are keeping football in perspective during an outbreak in which, as of 11:30 BST on 10 May, at least 31,587 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in the United Kingdom.“Football is entirely unimportant in the context of the public health crisis, that has to come first,” he said.“We will want assurances as clubs that we are not taking resources away from anyone. We simply can’t take tests away from anyone who is more needful than us.“We have been told so far that these are private facilities that are not being utilised for this particular public health crisis. We will all want more clarity on that, it is essential that that is the case.”last_img read more

How the Gaits have revolutionized women’s lacrosse sticks

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first_imgSteve Levy watched his daughter Nicole glide across the turf, amazed at the chunk of plastic in her hands. Nicole, then a high school sophomore, was at a Syracuse-sponsored women’s lacrosse camp run by Orange head coach Gary Gait. She used an SU-branded stick, one of many sold at the camp, strung by Gait. Steve noticed how well the pocket held the ball and allowed Nicole to cradle from different angles. Hoping to recreate it for his players at East Islip (New York) High School, he snapped pictures of the stick head with his phone. He didn’t know then, but that pocket was the result of a near 30-year trial-and-error experiment by Gait, his twin brother Paul and other brother Bob Gait. No. 16 Syracuse (8-6, 0-4 Atlantic Coast) has 43 players on its roster. All of them use sticks strung by Gait. He uses pieces manufactured by his brothers’ company, Laxpocket. The interconnected twine, mesh and leather are the Gait family’s latest gift to lacrosse, a sport they defined and are now trying to innovate.“The modern pocket is a pocket that evolved from something that, you know, I came up with,” Gait said. “Now, I think every top school in D1 uses it.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMaryland, Hofstra and Florida are programs that also use Laxpocket stick heads. Some schools, like Michigan, commission the Laxpocket staff to string all its sticks. Others, like North Carolina, have specialists — who are often team assistants — order materials from Laxpocket and string the sticks themselves.Gait said he allows his players to string their own sticks, but they just prefer him to do it. Multiple SU players have said that Gait’s ability to have the pocket high up on a stick is invaluable. The stick pocket, according to NCAA rules, cannot be larger than 1.68-inches in diameter. Senior captain Riley Donahue said that Gait’s pockets are deep but not “illegally deep,” as no Syracuse stick has been flagged for being illegal this season.A deep pocket allows a player more control with the ball, giving attacks more leverage when they attack the goal. SU’s offense ranks second in the ACC and 18th overall with more than 15 scores a game. “Oh my gosh, it’s awesome,” freshman attack Mackenzie Baker said. “I’ve played with sticks in the past and then playing with sticks that he has worked on, it’s a huge difference.”The Gaits have had a history of modifying sticks to their advantage. Gary said he started stringing sticks as a child when he learned from older players. In college, while leading the Syracuse men’s team to two national titles, he and his brother Paul would discuss stringing techniques and design new equipment. Paul was photographed in 2001 while playing for Major League Lacrosse’s Long Island Lizards, and others noticed his new invention: a lime-green tracker pocket. After that, he was approached to design new products. He created a blended-leather mesh and transferred that to the women’s game. He founded Laxpocket in 2016 after working for a variety of athletic equipment companies. His company operates out of a barn and an office/showroom in Guiderland, and it hand-weaves clients’ custom stick heads using Paul’s patented rail-elite model. Bob Gait joined him and invented a pedaling-powered leather stretcher that allows the leather to flow through the stick head. Their sister, Debby, runs customer service. “It’s a family affair, to some degree,” Jenny Riitano Levy, a founding member of Laxpocket with no relation to SU’s Levy, said. “They are all amazing people, but their minds are unreal.”She said Gait has been a “testing ground” for their products. The modern rail pocket, which Laxpocket is trying to integrate into the men’s game, was the end result of a late-night conversation trying to find a suitable mix of leather and mesh materials.There is no way to tell how much Gait has meant to the evolution of sticks. The brothers are constantly talking about new ideas, just like they’ve done their whole lives.Gait said it takes him about 20 minutes to string a stick. He customized certain sticks to players, incorporating diamond meshes and alterations to the sidewalls. Throughout the last year, the modern sticks have bled over into the high school game, Riitano Levy said.SU-branded camp sticks, like the one Nicole Levy fell in love with and her father wanted to replicate, now are more than a souvenir. They are an entryway into a world that the Gaits helped create, and SU midfielder Taylor Gait, Gary’s daughter, knows it. “You know they are going to come to ‘Cuse because of the ‘Cuse stick,” she said. Comments Published on April 10, 2018 at 9:08 am Contact Nick: nialvare@syr.edu | @nick_a_alvarez Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more