The Importance of Volleyball Practice Drills

Champion volleyball players do not become as good as they are in an instant. It takes years of training hard to become good enough to compete at the professional level. Champions are winners because they have mastered the fundamentals,not because they dream up awesome plays. For this reason all coaches, players, officials, and students of the game need to give that 110% that’s needed to achieve the ultimate goal of success.

Volleyball practice drills include getting to the volleyball positions to receive the ball, the motions of a serve (this is mostly for overhand serving, but it can help teach it too). Practicing fundamentals should be progressive and can be progressed much further into details than the basics of setting or passing. At the top level, the skill drills look a whole lot different compared to junior level.

Some players may benefit from increasing their lean mass but even they should focus on converting much of their strength into soccer-specific power. One player stands at different spots and tries to «Swish» the Volleyball using a overhand set. Volleyball practice drills are easier if you have a partner throwing balls up at you from below the net. All exercises are geared specifically for a volleyball player, designed to make your athlete stronger, faster and jump higher without adding a lot of bulk to your athlete. You really need to make sure that you continue to get stronger, faster and jump higher!

Please notice it is never too late to learn proper fundamentals, which are the key becoming a successful volleyball player.Volleyball beginning Drills are a great way to improve every aspect of a player’s game. If you are training to reach the professional level or simply play in a recreational league, drills will help improve your game and improve your overall fitness.

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League Of Legends Champion Tier List

League of Legends is on the list of most popular online multiplayer games. For the first time, the game was launched in 2009. The company that produced the game is known as Riot Games. Originally, it was made for PC and Mac. Let’s read more about this game.

As with any other game you can find online, this game features a 5v5 mode. In this mode, a pair of teams takes part in a competition and the aim is to destroy the base of the enemy known as Nexus. And for this a map is used by the teams.

Apart from the 5v5 feature, you also have the option to use 3v3. If you like Dominion, you will like this game as well. Your objective is to get objective points in order to damage the enemy Nexus health.

Influence Points

During the gameplay, you make use of the influence points in the form of a currency. Your aggregate earnings are based on a number of factors, such as bots quantity, the game result and summoner level, to name a few. You can also choose to use the points to purchase in-game items, such as champions and runes.

Riot Points

This alternate currency is offered to both teams. If you want to get this currency, you can buy it with PayPal, credit/debit cards, and the game cards.

You can use the Riot Points to rune pages, unlock champions and different types of boosts. However, you can’t spend them on runes. As a player, you can get Riot Points from other activities. For instance, you can recommend the game to your family members or friends for earning points.

Runes

With Runes, you can customize your League of Legends. You can amplify your statistics, such as movement speed, manna regeneration, and health, to name a few. This allows you to enjoy your game without the champion change based on the options at your disposal.

Champions

You can choose from a number of champions, and each week it goes up. You can use Riot Points or Influence points for the purpose of unlocking the champions prior to putting them to use. However, you can find many champions to play for free. This allows you to test them before you go ahead and buy them. You can get different types of champions, such as tanks, support, janglers, casters, bruisers and assassins.

Ranks and Awards

Both regular games and ranked matches are similar: however, based on the game results, you get a rank. This system is known as ELO ranking. Actually, this is a situation where you have broke players. Due to the unique game design, this aspect of the ELO system is a bit challenging.

So, if you have been thinking of playing League of Legends, we hope that this introduction and the tips it has will help you during the game play. You may want to keep in mind that this is an online multiplayer game and it will be played with more than one player.

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Alaska – Not Only a Tourist Destination for Summer Vacations

Alaska is blessed with stunning landscapes: snow-clad mountains and beautiful lakes and coastlines. Alaska is a heaven for the adventurous traveler. You will have a lot of offers for outdoor life in Alaska: Kayaking in fjords and lakes, trekking the valleys and mountains, wildlife viewing is inevitable with happy sights of big brown bears, eagles, and the rich marine life with whales and seabirds.

Alaska has been called ‘The Last Frontier’, ‘The Land of the Midnight Sun’, ‘The Great Land’ – all names for good reasons. Alaska is reallyan exotic and wild land – and at the same time offering all needed facilities for the visitor, all year round.

The capital of Alaska, Anchorage, is a natural starting point for your Alaska experience. You will find some up to date information at anchorage.net about the area as a tourist destination.

Anchorage has a rater mild climate in the southern part of the country due to the maritime influence while many parts of Alaska have a continental climate with much bigger differences between winter and summer.

In Anchorage you will find first class hotels as well as lots of other more modest priced hotel accommodations. Or you might like the bed and breakfast offers. Leaving Anchorage you can find very charming resorts and cabins.

As a country with a rather tuff past Alaska is home to a number of interesting resorts revealing past conditions and history, like historic ins, cozy cabins, mountain chalets and lodges, not to mention fishing lodges. Of cause you will also find convenient located motels.

When trekking, biking or driving your car camping is easy on numerous designated campgrounds, and even public use cabins, yurts or just in the beautiful countryside. Remember to bring insect repellant, compass and a good map with you.

The fishing option in Alaska is a chapter of its own. In spectacular environments Alaska is an angler’s dream. The rivers, lakes and the oceans of Alaska are teeming with big runs of Rainbow Trout, Salmon, Arctic Char and huge examples of Halibut are cached of-shore.

It is easy to understand why anglers are traveling from far to catch the sport fishes of Alaska. Alaska holds the world record of King Salmon and is home to five species of Pacific Salmon. What more can you dream about, if you are a dedicated angler? And as mentioned fishing cabins, lodges and resorts are often convenient situated for fishing.

If you are on a tight time schedule fly-in service to unbelievable beautiful streams and lakes are available. Some are offering local guides to facilitate your fishing for Salmon, Char, Pike, Grayling, Whitefish and Sheefish.

As mentioned Alaska isn’t only for summer vacations. Even the middle of the winter is a fine time for visiting Alaska. For example are parts of Alaska excellent for skiing in the winter. A skiing resort might just offer seven hours of daylight for skiing in December but then facilities for night skiing is offered. Because of the northern location the skiing in April will boost a full 16 hors of daylight for skiing.

All in all Alaska is a superb tourist destination that will not disappoint you for your summer vacation as well as for adventurous travels with focus on winter activities or wildlife watching through the year.

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Want to Go Fishing?

Below is a list of a fisherman’s or fisherwoman’s arsenal plus some tips

  • Fish Rod – Bait Casting, Spinning, Telescopic, Fly Rods and more
  • Fishing Reel – Bait Casting, Spinning, Fly Reels and more
  • Clothing for Fishermen – Male and Female
  • Fishing Equipment for Children, Boys and Girls
  • Fish Hooks – an enormous range for various types of fishing
  • Lures and Flies
  • Fishing Line, Braided and Nylon and everything in between
  • Fishing Accessories – impossible to list all that is available
  • Fishing Combos – Rod and Reel plus other needed goodies all in one

I recommend CATCH AND RELEASE and here are a few tips to use. While originally used extensively as the domain of Fly Fishermen, «catch and release» is now practiced by most fishermen. Fish stocks worldwide are under pressure, some types more that other so unless you catch for the pot release the fish. Most of us unfortunately have no idea if the fish is male or female, carrying eggs or not therefore releasing the fish safely back to its habitat is the right thing to do.

Treble Hooks are a No-No!

Use Circle Hooks. These hooks are designed so that the point is turned away from the shank to form a circular shape. The Circle Hook has been heavily researched and is a must for all catch-and-release anglers. Get rid of the Barb on the hook.Use a pair of pliers or forceps to squash the barb down. This makes for much more interesting fishing as you need to keep the line taught so that the fish does not spit out the hook. Barbless hooks are much safer, easier and quicker to remove therefore causes less stress for the fish.

Be Careful!!

Be mindful of the fact that hooking a fish is extremely stressful for it. Too much stress can let the fish die even after hours after release.

  • To combat this problem use oversize equipment to land the fish as soon as possible.
  • Wet your hands before handling a fish.
  • Use a net that will not damage the fish.
  • Use surgical forceps or special pliers plus a tool that may cut the metal of the hook if needed.
  • If your forceps/pliers will not release the hook then cut the line where it is tied to the hook. The hook will rust soon and give the fish a better chance of recovery.

Another No-No!

Never ever try to remove a hook through the fish’s gills. In fact do not touch the gills at all.

CPR

Fish may appear lethargic when released. Hold the fish into the stream or in still water hold the fish gently and move it backwards and forwards until you sense that it is ready to be released.

And now the most important issue!

  • While the catch and release issue but it is certainly at the forefront of saving our oceans for future generations.
  • You have no doubt seen on the news and other TV programs about global pollution of the oceans. It is in everyone’s interest to be responsible!
  • Leave the area better than you found it. Always take a container or bag with you to take your rubbish, used line, lures, flies, bait containers and more with you to dispose of in the correct manner.

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The Famous Actor And The Homeless Man

On The Street.

It was the actor I noticed first, laughing and full of bonhomie, talking to a Big Issue seller on the street.

«That was John Hurt,» said the Big Issue seller to an indifferent passer-by.

«That was John Hurt,» he said to me as I walked towards him, his enthusiasm undimmed. «Did he buy one?» I said.

I could not ignore his pleasure. He was smiling. I couldn’t walk by, as I sometimes do with Big Issue sellers.

«Yes!» he cried excitedly. «That was John Hurt.»

John Hurt was an actor, but he was also jon hurt, a homeless man. Not unusual sight, an ordinary jon with ordinary hurts. But, this one could say:

«I may be in the gutter but I’m looking at the stars.» or, at one star – who had briefly brightened his life.

And for a moment, the illusion seemed real: that people cared, that everything would be alright, that we were all part of the same existence.

We might accept an illusion until the little boy points out that the Emperor has no clothes. How long did that glow remain with the Big Issue seller? How long did he bathe in reflected light? –

«John Hurt bought a Big Issue from me

But even if the actor had paid double (or more) for the magazine, had he really touched that man’s life? He may have briefly felt good about his largesse – he had been talking and laughing with the seller; not worrying about the price of the magazine and not waiting for any change.

Actions and gestures can take on a quality out of proportion to their worth. Politicians are prime examples of this.

They say they are in public life, as if they mean they are performing a service. But they expect the public to serve their ambition, behaving as if they have a right to their position – both self-seeking and self-serving.

It’s an illusion. The world of the two John Hurts do not touch. Another little boy sees that the ‘Emperor has no clothes’. No homeless person is rehoused. No policies change.

I briefly engaged with jon hurt on the street. But I did not buy a Big Issue. I already had a magazine for my journey home. I’d done my bit by witnessing jon hurt’s transformation.

John is still acting and jon is still homeless and I have turned the experience into a self-indulgent piece. Maybe the Big Issue will buy it.

copyright Marguerite Hegley 1994

N.B. The day I wrote this was the first day of an «Introduction to Journalism» at the City Lit in London. We were asked to write a ‘report’ on something that had happened on our way home, and bring it to the second lesson the following week. When the tutor read ‘The Big Issue’ he said to me:

«You are not a journalist, you are a writer». I did not go back to the class. But sent this story to The Big Issue the next day.

Next… A short story, written after the above encounter, imagining what jon hurt’s life could be like.

The Homeless Man

jon hurt – an imagined life

jon opened his eyes painfully and then closed them again. The numbness of his limbs made him let out a huge sigh. The sigh quickly turned to a cough which raked his chest and sent his head spinning. The single blanket which covered him was damp with sweat, despite the coldness of the morning.

The noises of others around him slowed and died… as he sank into unconsciousness.

He woke again and tried to stretch his legs. A cold stiffness crept stealthily thought his thin body. He coughed again and again until his head hurt. «

«Come on, jon, it’s chucking out time. Come on you lazy bastard, get up, you’ve already missed breakfast.» called a voice from the door, which banged closed shortly afterwards.

jon eased himself out of bed. He knew there would be no hot water to wash with and that the breakfast, even if there was any left, would have been rejected even by Oliver Twist.

He tried to remember where he had heard that name…

‘Oliver Twist’ sounded like a made up name. Where had he heard it before? Was it a book he had read at school?

He tried to remember.

There was a thin little boy standing in rags, saying that one plate of gruel was not enough.

«No», said jon out loud. «It is not enough.»

He remembered being at school. He had wanted to be an actor. He managed to get a warm cup of tea from the Hostel kitchen and sat, warming his hands… trying to remember.

And then he did remember. A school play when he was about 12 years old.

He had been Oliver Twist. He could sing then. He could act as well. Where had it all gone wrong?

jon collected his copies of the Big Issue and walked to his pitch in Leicester Square. He could always smile for the public. Some were his customers.

He had some nice ones, regular customers who said hello, some even stopping to talk.

«I may be in the gutter, but I’m looking at the stars.» he joked to himself with grim irony.

Now where had he heard that? Did he read it in book at school, where he read well and was always near the top in English?

Where had it all gone wrong? Why, when he left school, unable to get into Drama college, did he take one dead end job after another, start spending every evening in the pub, and be thrown out by his Dad, disappointed in his once- promising only son.

A middle-aged man stopped to by a Big Issue from him. He had a smiling, rather crinkly face which seemed familiar.

jon tried to put a name to the face.

He was an actor! At times like this jon began to feel hopeful that there could be a chance to do something else. That there was live after this. He looked closely at the man, who smiled.

‘Aren’t you an actor?’ he asked. The man laughed. He had a throaty, croakey laugh. As throaty and croakey as jon’s cough.

‘Well, yes,’ said the man. ‘My name’s John Hurt’. ‘But that’s my name’, said jon hurt, bitterly adding: ‘I bet it hurts me more.’

The actor looked sympathetic. He stayed and talked to jon then gave him a £50 note.

jon walked the streets with the £50 note in his pocket. What good was it? He could spend it trying to forget his situation. But it was not enough to turn his life around.

He remembered how going to the pub every night with his workmates dulled his ambition. He walked and walked.

What was the point of £50?

It would not get him a home, or a job. It would gradually be spent as he tried just to get by.

He remembered where he had seen his namesake. It had been in a film about a horse racing. That was it.

John Hurt had played the true life story of a jockey who had fought back against a terminal illness to win the Grand National, or some such big race.

jon found a bookies.

The Grand National had been postponed because of a bomb scare. Yes, he could put a bet on, it was running today, Monday instead.

jon chose a horse with ‘Lord’ in it’s name –

‘ha, ha,ha,’ he thought. ‘A titled horse’ and laughed until his chest hurt.

He put his £50, that was £40 after tax, on his ‘lordship’ at 100-1 on the nose. And then he walked away. He could not listen to the race, of course. He sat in Leicester Square.

Later he went to the bookies. He had won £40,000.

ends

copyright Marguerite Hegley 1995

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Stansted Airport London – An Independent Travellers Guide

Of London’s airports, Stansted Airport is furthest from the centre of London, nearly 40 miles. The airport is dominated by low cost budget airlines and in particular Ryanair and easyJet, Europe’s largest low cost airlines.

The overwhelming majority of flights are European or UK domestic flights.

The airport also has significant charter traffic, particularly for the British travelling on package tours to the sun.

The main intercontinental and state carriers like British Airways, Virgin, American and Singapore Airlines all use London’s Heathrow or Gatwick Airports.

The airport is an established airport but was relaunched 15 years ago with a brand new terminal and infrastructure, including a direct rail link and motorway to London. At first it was a white elephant but the emergence of the low cost budget carriers has transformed Stansted into one of the fastest growing airports in Europe in the last decade.

Today, full capacity of the main terminal is within sight and a new terminal and further out a second runway is planned.

There are no surprises with the terminal itself, all the standard facilities are in place including choice of foreign exchange, pharmacies, news stands etc. There is a good range of eating opportunities ranging from fast food and pub food through to sit down restaurants. In common with all airports run by BAA, the owner, there is a lot of luxury shopping outlets. But remember, the vast majority of flights from Stansted are within the EEC and do not qualify for duty free status.

It normally takes around 30 minutes from touch down to exiting customs with most flights if you have luggage. There is an airport information desk immediately outside customs and a desk for AirportCarz who have a monopoly on taxi services at the airport. Taking a taxi to London is only used by a very small minority of passengers because of the distance and expense.

If your destination is London, the quickest option is to take the Stansted Express train. The train station is underneath the terminal so you just descend to the platforms by escalators or lifts.

The Stansted Express takes 45 minutes to London’s Liverpool Street Station and runs about every 15 minutes during the day. Last trains are around midnight. The fares on the Stansted Express are expensive, well over $US40 for a single return fare. The Liverpool Street terminus is also not very convenient for most travellers, being sited in the middle of the financial district of London, 3-5 miles from most of the most popular hotel accommodation. The train stops at an intermediate stop called Tottenham Hale, 10 minutes before Liverpool Street, an interchange with the London Underground (Victoria Line).

Many of the airlines will sell tickets for the Stansted Express, some at a discount, before landing at Stansted Airport.

The budget transfer option into London is to take one of four scheduled coach services run by National Express and Terravision. There is a large, modern coach station in front of the terminal, adjacent to the rail station.

The cheapest option is the Terravision service to Liverpool Street Station, the same route as the Stansted Express. The price is about half that of the Stansted Express Train. Downside like all road based transfers is the London traffic, on a good day the coach will make it in about an hour. National Express run services about every 30 minutes to nearby Stratford Underground at a similar price.

The other route taken by the coaches is Stansted to London Victoria. Both have return fares around $US25. The Terravision service is non-stop, the National Express service makes stops through central London, many of them close to the major hotel districts. The National Express service is a true 24×7 service, the Terravision service only stops for a couple of hours early morning. Some of the highest frequencies are around midnight Stansted-London and very early morning London-Stansted for the first and last flights when the Stansted Express and London Underground have shut down.

Because of the sometimes extraordinarily cheap fares of Ryanair and easyJet a lot of transcontinental travellers have found it cheapest to fly into Heathrow and then complete their journey to their European destination using a low cost airline from Stansted.

National Express run shuttle services between Heathrow and Stansted from the coach station at Stansted. There are usually a couple of services an hour, the journey taking around 90 minutes (though delays on the motorway are almost routine at rush hours). The fare is not cheap either. The return fare is about $US50. It is cheaper to use the indirect National Express service to Stratford and then catch the London Underground to Heathrow, but less comfortable.

If you want to stay over at Stansted Airport before a flight there are plenty of options available. Like all airport hotels at London, room rates are normally much cheaper at weekends than mid-week. If you are transiting from Heathrow or Gatwick which have much fiercer competition, you will probably find rates more expensive at Stansted, particularly in the budget sector.

Immediately adjacent to the terminal is the luxury Stansted Radisson SAS, the only airport hotel where you do not need a hotel transfer vehicle. This is perhaps the most luxurious hotel and at weekends rates can be fairly competitive. The original luxury hotel at Stansted is the 4 star Hilton Hotel on the airport perimeter. The Hilton Stansted runs its own shuttle bus from the coach station about every 30 minutes.

In the immediate vicinity of the airport is an Express by Holiday Inn and a Best Western. The consistently cheapest option is the Days Inn on a motorway services area at the entrance to Stansted Airport. It provides no airport transfer facility itself though of course there are taxis and a local bus service.

Apart from the chains there are a lot of independent hotels in the vicinity. These feature hotels for all budgets and tastes, ranging from Country House Hotels, to pubs to traditional Bed and Breakfasts. The countryside around Stansted is surprisingly unspoilt and there is opportunity to stay in a traditional market town or coaching inn for example.

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How to Become a Master of Your Work

I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that you either are, or you want to be, good at what you do. I'm going to take that even further and assume that you either are, or want to be, great at what you do.

But are you committed to becoming an absolute master? Possibly one of the greatest of all time? And, if so, how do you get there?

My brother-in-law Steve has a Ph.D. in musicology. He's one of the world's foremost Beethoven scholars. [An aside: There's nothing quite like touring Beethoven's birth house in Bonn, Germany in the company of one of the world foremost Beethoven scholars! Someday I'll have to return the favor and take Steve to Liverpool.] In addition, he also wrote the definitive biography of French composer Erik Satie. So, when I asked him who he thought was the greatest composer of all time, I was a little surprised when he answered, without hesitation, "Bach, of course!"

Johann Sebastian Bach is, arguably (very arguably), the greatest composer of all time. He was inarguably a complete master of his art. Which brings me to an article I was just reading about Bach which talks about how diligently he studied everything that had come before. The article sums it up beautifully this way:

"Bach became an absolute master of his art by never ceasing to be a student of it."

(By the way, art historians would probably say the same about Picasso.)

You become a master of your art / craft / occupation / calling by never ceasing to be a student of it.
And, because you're a leader, you need to be a continuous student of two disciplines:

  1. Your industry.
  2. Leadership itself.

If you want to be a master leader in the widget industry (the one that they'll be writing articles about 267 years after your death), you need to be a voracious student of both widgets and leadership. Which means you subscribe to Widgets Monthly as well as Harvard Business Review. You read Widget Design in the 1800s as well as Maxwell, Cialdini, and Bill George. [Full disclosure: I don't think there is an actual book called Widget Design in the 1800s.]

The point is that what came before matters. Bach knew it. Picasso knew it. And you should know it too. Yes, you need to stay on top of current trends. But only by studying what came before can you put the present into context. And it's from within that context that you can see the patterns (if you look for them) that can help you predict the future.

Bach made musical breakthroughs because he was a student of music. Picasso made artistic breakthroughs because he was a student of art.

And, as a leader in your field, you will make breakthroughs-and become a master-only when you become a student of both leadership and your field.

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Do You Need a Set Top Box? Australia is Getting More Free to Air Channels

As you are aware we already have ABC1, SBS One, Seven, Nine, and Ten which have been broadcasting in digital spectrum since January 1, 2001. When digital television launched on 1 January 2001, the majority of households did not know of or were unable to buy a set top box in order to receive the signal. Households not already using digital televisions will need to purchase a set-top box (stb) in order to continue receiving a television signal. We also have ABC2, SBS Two and the sports channel One. Recently we started to receive Nine’s new entertainment channel Go!

If you are purchasing a new digital television or set top box, the Australian government has developed a scheme where labels are attached to digital equipment for sale in retail outlets. People who have not yet invested in a freeview television or set-top box, or signed up to a cable or satellite service, have until 2013 to ensure they can receive digital television signals and new digital channels coming up. Channel Seven has a yet an unnamed extra channel which is due to air later this year and the ABC will follow on December the 4th with ABC3 a channel dedicated to children’s TV. This will bring the total to 11 free-to-air channels.

The six free-to-air licensees Seven, Nine, Ten, WIN, Prime, Southern Cross and the two public broadcasters, ABC and SBS, introduced a common marketing platform, Freeview, last November, hoping to drive viewers to digital television before the analog signals are switched off in 2013.

To receive the best possible viewing experience delivered by high definition television programming, you will need either: a high definition set-top-box coupled with a high definition display device such as a television, monitor or projector,   or a high definition integrated digital television. Once you purchase either a digital television set top box or integrated digital television there is nothing more to pay. So far, only 45 percent of the population has switched over, either by connecting a digital set top box to the existing television or buying a new TV. Because the new channels are in the digital format, viewers that are not digital ready will not be able to receive them on their analogue TV.

While some of the content on the new digital channels is duplicated from the main channels to which they are tethered, there is a significant amount of new content, including critically acclaimed programs Beautiful People, Boy meets girl and The Wire on ABC2 and Vampire diaries, Curb Your Enthusiasm, New episodes of Survivor and Weeds on Go!

Ten has invested in a portfolio of sport on One, including AFL, swimming’s FINA world championships, motor sport, golf, baseball and triathlon, while SBS Two has shown the 2009 Tour de France and Ashes Series and will follow with the 2009-10 season UEFA champions League matches.

The government may give vouchers to television viewers who have not moved to digital television by the time the analogue broadcasting network is switched off in a few years, to help defray the cost of buying a digital set-top box. The switch to digital television has led thousands of people to throw out their tvs, in spite of the fact that older televisions can still receive a digital signal by adding a set-top box.

If viewers experience disruption to their viewing in this time of change, I recommend you access the set-up menu of their digital television or digital set-top-box and «rescan» using the automatic tuning function. This will give you all the up to date channels that are out there, and solve any problems you may have with existing channels. Happy digital viewing!

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2010 World Cup – Full List of Preliminary National Team Squads

The 32 qualified teams participating in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa have provided a preliminary list of up to 30 players. The teams have till June 1st to provide a final list of 23 players. Provisions are made where players with serious injuries can be replaced up to 24 hours before their team’s first game.

The highlight in any footballer’s career is without a doubt, playing for his country in the World Cup. This week was «a dream come true» for many players and a massive disappointment for others. Thousands of fans in the 32 countries will contest their coach’s controversial decisions to include certain players while omitting others.

World Cup Group A (France, Mexico, Uruguay, South Africa)

Raymond Domenech, the French coach announced a preliminary list of 30 players for the 2010 World Cup. The big surprises are the absences of Benzema (Real Madrid), Nasri (Arsenal) and Patrick Vieira (Manchester City). France and the host country South Africa will face in the opening match of the tournament on 11 June.

In this same group Mexico have chosen a very young squad and will play without the talented Miguel Sabah due to injury. Bafana Bafana’s Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, also sprang some surprises for South Africa, like Israel-based defender Bevan Fransman and prodigal son Benni McCarthy.

As for Uruguay, Oscar Tabarez announced a list of 26 without any major surprises except for the non inclusion of Cristian Rodríguez, possibly for the fact that he would have missed the first two games of the World Cup due to a red card suspension.

World Cup Group B (Argentina, Greece, Nigeria, South Korea)

Diego Maradona’s selection provided some surprises for the Argentines, by picking the unknown trio of Ariel Garce, Sebastian Blanco and Juan Insaurralde, contrasting with notable absences like Javier Zanetti, Cambiasso, Gago, or Lucho Gonzalez. Argentina is drawn in Group A along with Greece, Nigeria and South Korea.

The Greek coach, Otto Rehhagel, named 30 players without any surprises, bringing in Seitaridis and Patsatzoglou after an injury filled season.

Lars Lagerback, the Nigerian coach, made no notable surprises in the 30 man list, maintaining veteran striker Kanu in the squad.

South Korea’ coach Huh Jung-Moo also made no surprises in the 30 choices, maintaining 2002 FIFA World Cup hero Ahn Jung-hwan who will play for a third consecutive appearance on World Cup.

World Cup Group C (England, USA, Slovenia, Algeria)

England were surprised by call-up of uncapped Michael Dawson, and the talented Adam Johnson. Jamie Carragher and Ledley King return to the squad. The two big names that Fabio Capello will not go to South Africa’s World Cup are David Beckham because of injury and Pal Scholes, retired from the England Squad.

The other teams in this group include the USA, Slovenia and Algeria. Coach Bob Bradley did not include Freddy Adu in the US team even though he went for the Confederations Cup. Another absence due to a serious car accident is Charlie Davies.

There were no big surprises from Algeria coach Rabah Sadaane whose team is dominated by a strong Europe based contingent. No surprises from coach Matjaz Kek after chosing 30 for Slovenia bringing in young striker Tim Matavz. This is Slovenia’s second participation in a World Cup.

World Cup Group D (Germany, Serbia, Ghana, Australia)

Joachim Löw of Germany picked his 30-man provisional squad with a few surprises. Two uncapped players, Holder Badstuber and Dennis Aogo, were chosen, while the most notable omission was that of midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger, as well as Simon Rolfes, Aaron Hunt and goalkeeper René Adler.

Radomir Antic named seven players, based in England to a very strong looking Serbia squad, with no notable surprises.

For Ghana, Coach Milovan Rajevac picked Chelsea’s Michael Essien who is still recovering from knee surgery. In a similar situation as Essian is John Mensah.

Australia coach Pim Verbeek named 31 players including star forward Harry Kewell still recovering from his latest injury before July’s FIFA World Cup. One surprise call-up was 18-year-old Tommy Oar, who only made his international debut in March this year.

World Cup Group E (Denmark, Netherlands, Cameroon, Japan)

Denmark’s goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen was included by Danish coach Morten Olsen, despite suffering a dislocated elbow two weeks ago. Patrick Mtiliga was the surprise inclusion even though he had not played for his country since November 2008.

Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk, left out 33 year old Ruud van Nistelrooy who admitted he was «greatly disappointed» in his rejection. On the other hand its worth taking note of 23 year old Eljero Elia who many believe is Hollands hidden gem.

Cameroon coach Paul Le Guen included Sebastien Bassong, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Alexandre Song who play in the Premier League. Surprise is the call-up of teenager Joel Matip and the exclusion of Ngom Kome. Only three players from the Cameroon League are included.

Japan coach Takeshi Okada’s only surprise was including Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi, the Portsmouth goalkeeper who has not played in the national team for 18 months after recovering from a broken leg.

World Cup Group F (Italy, Slovakia, Paraguay, New Zealand)

Marcello Lippi reserved some surprises for the «azzurri» squad when he left out Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano, Nicola Legottaglie, Luca Toni, Simone Perrotta, and most notably Francesco Totti, while American born Giuseppe Rossi was called up for Italy, the World Cup holders.

Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino called Argentine striker Lucas Barrios who recently became a naturalized Paraguayan. No surprise was the inclusion of strikers Nelson Haedo Valdez and Oscar Cardozo who are in great form, while Salvador Cabanas didn’t make it due to injury.

Slovakia coach Vladimir Weiss is hoping that Martin Skrtel, Filip Holosko and Robert Vittek recover from their injuries in time for the World in South Africa. Curious is the fact that this is Slovakia’s first World Cup appearance, as well as the inclusion the coach’s son Vladimir Weiss into the squad.

New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert did not pull off any surprises, except for the inclusion of midfielder Aaron Clapham. This is the Kiwis second World Cup appearance, the last one being in Spain back in 1982

World Cup Group G (Brazil, Portugal, Ivory Coast, North Korea)

Brazil coach Dunga probably had the biggest pool of talented players to chose from. This inevitably led to some surprises like the omission of Ronaldinho, Adriano, Ganso, Pato and Neymar into the Selecção (squad) Surprise inclusions were Michel Bastos, and Grafite.

Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz also upset many Portuguese fans by not including goalkeepers Quim and Rui Patrício as well as midfielders João Moutinho and Carlos Martins. Queiroz also picked Pepe even though he is still recovering from knee surgery. Surprise call-ups were Beto, Daniel Fernandes and Zé Castro.

Sven-Goran Eriksson of the Ivory Coast had no surprises in the 29 players to represent their country. Didier Drogba will lead the powerful attacking «Elephants».

North Korea coach Kim Jong-Hun will count with some J-League players like Jong Tae-Se, Ahn Yong-Hak and Ryang Yong-Gi. This will be North Korea’s second participation in a World Cup.

World Cup Group F (Spain, Chile, Switzerland, Hunduras)

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque had no surprises in his provisional 30-man squad and included injured stars Andreas Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and Fernando Torres for South Africa 2010. Also included in the list is naturalized Brazilian Marcos Senna.

Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa surprised many, when he picked Luis Marin, Jaime Valdes and Charles Aranguiz. Notable names missing are Claudio Maldonado, Hans Martinez and Osvaldo Gonzalez.

Ottmar Hitzfeld, the Switzerland coach announced 30 names without any surprises. One curiosity is Johan Vonlanthen, 24, who was born in Colombia but has lived in Switzerland since he was 5 years old.

Honduras coach Reinaldo Rueda had no surprises but was forced to replace the injured Carlos Costly by Georgie Welcome. The experienced Wilson Palacios, Hendry Thomas, Maynor Figueroa, David are part of the list.

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