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Following my brief hiatus from these pages and the world being denied of my thoughts, upon which so much depends, I thought it only fair to share my pearls of wisdom with you this week when I could be treated with more seriousness following the removal of that hideous moustache from my picture in the last issue!


Again, many stories have been flying around the sporting world of late, the most shocking of which being the tragic death of Gary Speed. He was a much loved and highly respected player, manager and football pundit who has most certainly left his mark on the game which he loved. As much as it pains me to admit, the article by Mr Rutherford (see below) is a must read to see just how much his passing meant to at least one adoring fan.


You may also remember in my last Foulds’ thoughts I, with assured confidence, told you of Shaun Edwards “looking forward to new challenges within Rugby” which I again assured you meant he was nailed on to be the next England Rugby coach, well… I was wrong, truly and utterly incorrect in so much as his name barely got a mention. Oh well, on to the next one! So I can now tell you with absolute certainty that Martin O’Neil will be the successor to Steve Bruce at Sunderland. The man is without doubt one of the best coaches in the game and this could be a great way for him to get back involved within English football. Added to that, the foundation is already there at Sunderland to allow him to impart his own personality onto an already capable squad and take them to that next level, as he so successfully managed to do at Villa.


Back to the England Rugby scene again, and how about the ‘leak’ of the RFU’s investigation into what went wrong at the World Cup? It certainly raises a lot of questions about the attitudes of some senior players at the World Cup. I think this certainly exposed the amateur strain that is still very much prevalent within Rugby, which in relative terms is still very young as a professional sport. That players representing their country are so money motivated – it is claimed that one of the senior players bemoaned the loss of £30,000 having just lost in the quarter final – presents a sad image for young aspiring players to look up to. Playing for your country is a bout pride and honour, ok I understand that money is what makes the world go round, but I think it being at the forefront of their thoughts whilst on the rugby field can only ever be detrimental to their performance. With Christmas now looming, for me it means an extravaganza of festive sport, endless football but most importantly for everyone the Darts World championship, which I again can tell you Phil Taylor will win (his previous 15 world titles aiding my crystal ball somewhat!). So I wish you all the merriest of Christmases and look forward to seeing you all that little bit plumper next term!


So here we are again at the start of a fresh term all raring to go both academically and in your sport, right? Erm, whilst I’m sure we all start with the best of intentions in the New Year, them moment you step onto those training pitches on a freezing cold Monday evening is never a good one. Still, we’ve all got leagues to win and Derby Day too so there’s no letting up just yet.

Away from the bubble of University sport there has been plenty to talk about so far in this New Year. A big talking point at the moment is the outburst of information relating to depression in sport in the wake of Gary Speed’s tragic death. With the recent release of Freddie Flintoff’s ‘Depression in Sport’ it really highlights to the public the susceptibility of sports stars to these mental breakdown’s that you would not necessarily associate with someone earning money through their dream job. However, the pressures that all sportsmen are under is immense and I for one think it’s fantastic that sport is becoming ever more candid in exposing these realities to a naïve public which is otherwise ill-informed on such issues. I would highly recommend Bruce Halling’s article below for a more insightful look into the effects of depression from a man that it wouldn’t necessarily be expected.

Back out on the playing fields/courts and British tennis is back in the news again. When I say British tennis, obviously I mean Andy Murray’s quest for his first Grand Slam title in the Australian Open, although the other 5 British competitors did get some coverage after all being knocked out in the first round! As for Murray though, he has brought in the expertise of a new coach Ivan Lendl on a rather part-time basis. Now it seems to me that all Murray ever uses a coach for is to vent his somewhat pent up anger when playing like a classic Brit and folding to the pressure, however Lendl (known in his playing days for his ruthlessness) can hopefully bring an edge to Murray’s game to finally get him over the finish line. Anyway, the hard court is always his best shot so let’s keep our fingers crossed and see.

I can’t finish without mentioning the start to the most hectic part of the football season; the January transfer window. With inflated player prices and keen buyers with innumerable blank cheques in the pockets this annual circus is always a fun time for me and may be even more so with QPR’s new owners being openly willing to splash the cash, although it could be somewhat misguided with, at one point, talks of buying Wayne Bridge and his heft £90k a week salary. Still, anything to wind John Terry up, right?

So the best of luck to you all with the latest of your fresh starts and I hope you’re all building up to the inevitable thrashing of UEA come Derby Day!