14/09/2012 Sport Wales


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4th Khedive name for stop today, Wales welcomed home its Olympic and


Paralympic athletes, and as the party get started here at Sophia


Gardens, we will be catching up with some of the London 2012 heroes,


plus 20 more are -- plenty more on tonight's Sport Wales. Coming up,


two straight defeats in the World Cup qualifiers, so what's gone


wrong for Chris Coleman's men and how to be put it right? I will make


sure the players understand their responsibility to each other, him


and the country. And we follow Robert Croft as he bids goodbye to


23 years as a Glamorgan player. That is what makes me happy,


because I know there is nothing else left, it is time to move on.


Plus Brendan Rodgers on his emotional farewell to Swansea City.


Me and my wife couldn't stop crying. As our Olympians and Paralympians


gathered behind me, thoughts turn to what Chris Coleman would give


for something to celebrate right now after a disappointing start to


Wales's World Cup qualifying campaign. The great and good of


Welsh football have been sharing their thoughts on Wales's first's


It's pushed away for stop and it's I thought Wales were very poor for


stop back to the days when you were a laughing stock. This is a Boorman


-- performance I am embarrassed about. I take responsibility, I'm


the manager. Chris Coleman is a man under


pressure. Two Games in to his tenure as Wales manager and they


are at the bottom of the group. They seem to fall like a deck of


cards every time one game -- goal goes in. Six months per goal. We


thought we would have a chance of finishing second. The way things


look at the moment, we are may be looking at finishing second from


bottom, which is demoralising, the defeat, and wasn't the best


performance, there was a lot of players playing sub-standard, and


so they need to look at themselves. There are reasons, excuses if you


like, for bad results. The absence of Taylor, led Lee, Hennessy and


Bellamy. To going to any international match, losing 6 oz


seven starters from your main in it -- main 11, it won't help. They


were poor on the night and the midfielder was in front of them, I


felt it was one of those occasions where everybody in the team had an


off day. We have to start winning Games now. They will be down and


very disappointed, but there are still many points to be played for,


and there will be a lot of countries taking points. This is a


new management and coaching set-up, just four matches into their tenure,


trying to put shape on a team shaken by the death of Gary Speed.


When Gary Speed started he didn't win a first full game, so you have


to take your time. With everything that went on with Gary Speed and


the situation there, it will be a stranger was feared. Maybe it is


affecting people and they don't even realise it. The energy coming


of the players, maybe that is a consequence of memories of Gary,


but I am sure Gary would be the first to say that that is looking


behind and to move on, the lads have to get some new Games. This


isn't the first time Wales have been thrashed and a qualification


campaign. John Toshack--- John Toshack's team were thrashed 5-1.


This week's was in search -- Serbia was the first since 1996 How Wales


respond this time may be crucial. Terry Yorath's team went from a


loss in Bucharest to the verge of World Cup qualification in 1994. If


anyone knows how it feels when it doesn't go your way in management,


it is Calman's former assistant, Steve Kean. -- Chris Cole man. They


need to -- he needs to get around them and pick them up again. He is


carrying the hopes of the nation as a manager, and needs to get his


point across, and the lads will know what is expected for him.


the evidence of the first four of five Games, Friendly's and


qualifiers, I have to say they can't qualifier.


While Chris Coleman has steered clear of interviews in the


aftermath of Tuesday, his immediate post-match comments reflected his


underlying anger at his players. They won four at the five Games but


losing 6-1 and a performance like that, you have to take


responsibility, well let's see it, then. The majority of parents --


are Premier League players and a high standard, so you have to put


an expectation on the players. You can't say it doesn't matter.


market were true play is how they react after a bad day. Players go


out there and shy away and hide. Aaron Ramsey wouldn't do that. He


put everything into the game, heart on his sleeve, and it is vital for


Wales if they are to achieve anything. The next chance for the


golden generation to impose their abilities on the group and the


public are back-to-back Games in October, starting with Scotland at


home. We have had two losses. It can take us up a couple of places


if we win one and it will be a massive boost, because we have


Croatia again next -- a way next. For his own peace of mind, for the


country's peace of mind, we have to get a win.


It was also a significant week for cricket as one of the true greats


of Glamorgan, bowling legend, Robert Croft, decided to hang up


his spikes at the age of 42. Sport Wales was there to follow his


emotional final week as a It is 7:30am on Tuesday, the


beginning of the end for Croft's career as he leaves his home.


morning of the last game of my career. It feels a bit odd,


actually, I have goose bumps talking to you. Just four more


drive-ins to the square-leg stadium from my beloved West Wales. --


Swalec stadium. It is not sinking in yet. It feels so long ago when I


was bowling in the nets, first and second team, nervous as a kitten,


and the one thing that is sure is that nerves never change. Still as


nervous. Even with more experience. An hour and 20 minutes later, we


finally hit the Swalec Stadium. Day one -- day one of a four-day game


against Kent. Let's have it! As he warns -- warms up for his last


stand as a pro, reflections on a legend who has been part of the


fabric here, and his highlight, the Glamorgan are the 1997 county


The emotion I will miss most is that split-second when the umpire's


finger goes up with an lbw or a stumping, and then you see the


catch going in the deep 60 ft in the air and somebody running round,


taking the catch and realising you have a wicket. Nothing will replace


that. But first, what has he got left as a batsman? After Kent win


the toss and chose to field, just a single run to add here, caught


behind, out for one. But there is always another chance in four-day


cricket, and they too would give him the opportunity to get his


hands on the ball -- day two. Unfortunately -- fortunately it is


not that sweaty. This is what they came to see, Vintage, timeless spin


bowling from a master of the art, craft taking five wickets for 31 to


take Glamorgan well on course to mark his farewell with a win.


People are saying, kick give him a new contract, don't put him out to


grass. I don't want to hear that! The time is right to move on. We


have to look -- look for the next generation. It is pleasing to go


out on a high, and you want people to remember you for what you could


do rather than couldn't. Day three, and a perfectly scripted finale for


craft. He takes two more wickets, the second with his last-ever ball


as Glamorgan were in the context with a day to spare. Croft and


right in there a memorable end to the season of county -- the county


To get a wicket with your last ball in county cricket is a bit of a


dream, I suppose. To go alongside his Test caps, Glamorgan


Championships, a fantastic career. It has been an emotional day for


him. But he is going to move on now, he is 41, 42 and has had an


exceptional career, and no one can take that away from him. Sad to see


him hanging up his spikes? Nuttall, really! He is a fine bowler, -- not


at all. He has done himself proud especially in this game, and he has


had a long, very, very good Korea, and he is always good fun, and I am


sure he will carry on next year in a coaching role at the club. I feel


really shattered now. I have nothing left to give. That is how I


feel. And that's what makes me happy, because I know there is


nothing else left, it is time to And good luck to Robert with


hopefully an equally illustrious coaching career. Now as the crowds


gather to await their heroes here in Cardiff Bay, we turn our


attentions to a man who has had some celebrations in his time.


Brendan Rodgers left Swansea City in May for pastures new in


Liverpool and we sent Lisa Rodgers New manager Brendan Rodgers has


promised he will fight for his life to bring success and ultimately the


Premier League title to the club... Liverpool say Rodgers was the only


man offered the job... So, Brendan, how soon did you know Liverpool


might be interested? It was obviously after the season. We


played Liverpool on the Sunday. you beat them? Yet. -- yes. I had a


wonderful season, and it was time to reflect after that. I signed a


new deal in January, firstly because I had spoken about wanting


to stay with the club, and secondly, because I wanted to stay with the


boys, anything in the future, to ensure the club would be protected,


because before I signed a new deal we went protected. There was very


little compensation. But that is how football works. It changes, and


one of the biggest clubs in world football were looking for a manager,


and having their unspoken with Huw Jenkins at Swansea and had an


emotional conversation, because I think, me and my wife, we couldn't


stop crying! Because we really loved our life in Swansea and were


in no rush to leave. So absolutely, Swansea couldn't have given me any


more, and hopefully they felt happy for what I had given them and my


time there. I went to Swansea to try to make it a better place than


when I first arrived. The club, I was a part of the journey for the


club. For a number of years, I came in and gave my all, and obviously,


I depart and Michael will come in, and he will add his philosophy and


his slant, so I move on, and I am sure the club will move on again.


How did it feel the first time you walked out at Anfield? It was very


special. When I recognised the size of the institution that was


Liverpool was when we went to America where 40,000 of were at the


Games, 40,000 Liverpool supporters! It was absolutely incredible,


talking to some of the staff who had been to Asia, that when they go


to Asia, they get 60,004 training. So it's that, the sheer scale of it


is unbelievable. You are manager of Liverpool. When you come here to


what are extraordinary state-of- the-art training facilities. In the


last -- in the last 10 to 15 years they have modernised it and brought


it up to speed with all the modern technology, and all the facilities


that allow players to perform for stop he has got everything on!


sports scientists put the supplements in here, and everything


that players need. It's very good. The one player that came with you


was Joe Allen. Did you feel that was the one play you wanted to


bring, or did he say he wanted to It was quite straightforward. We


spoke to the chairman, and obviously, if there is an


interest... If there is a market for Joe Allen, then I would be keen


to be in that market. So you wouldn't flocking to somebody else?


-- blog him. We have an excellent relationship and still do. Would


Swansea relate -- fans feel disappointed that you took Joe


Allen with you? I think he was -- I don't think he was going to go


anyway. I had asked the question if he was for sale, and obviously, if


he becomes available, I would like to take a top player, but it is


also understandable that the money on offer for Joe as well... It was


certainly... He's got a manager he's worked with before, an


opportunity to come and changed his life for the rest of his life


financially, but that wasn't that the overriding reason for it, I


think it was just one of those moments, we had a great couple of


years together like I had with all the players, they were fantastic,


and there was availability for Joe, which I was able to take on board


from Swansea, and we were thankfully able to get him. Joe has


been outstanding, and the Liverpool Hateley he can be a big player for


Liverpool in the coming years. of the strikers you lost was Craig


Bellamy, a big figure in Wales. Would you have liked to have kept


him at Liverpool? For sure. Craig has spent his life travelling


around the country. He felt it was time to go home. I spoke to


Craigend it was the club he wanted to leave Liverpool four.


Reluctantly I went along with that. A did want to rub salt and the


wound, but you haven't won in the first three. Are you feeling the


pressure from the fans? It is the fans who put pressure rather than


the management or anyone else? Football is very simple. If you


don't win games you will get a bit of stick. If you do, then it is the


limit some for dealing with everything that comes. -- it is the


only medicine for dealing with everything that comes. You will go


back to the liberty in November. How do you think you will be


received? How do you think? Listen, I was very proud that we made it


one of the most difficult places for any team to come. It will be


the same in November. The reception you go to the manager will never


take away from my time there, my family's time there. Because as I


said it was an incredible journey and one I will never forget.


Sad news in football this week with the passing of former Cardiff City


manager Jimmy Andrews, the man credited with bringing culture


rogue Robin Friday to the club. He died after a long illness at the


age of 85. Now I am joined by two men who have


five medals between them. I have been warned about these two. A


couple of characters from the Paralympic Games, Le Jon Davies, I


will begin with you. The last time I saw you you were sat on the sofa


with Lorraine. What a crazy few weeks you have had? It has been so


real. It is funny how you can go from and nobody took a somebody in


a matter of hours. It is nice to be recognised for the hard work we put


him behind the scenes. When is it going to sink in and when does the


hard work start again? I honestly don't think it will at the sink in.


This is something that not many people can say, to be at the home


Paralympics is one thing, to be at your home Paralympics and get a


medal is another. It will sink him in about four or five weeks, when I


am training again, going for the Commonwealth Games and Rio. For us


to go to our first games, he was almost half my age. We are very


proud, very proud to represent ParalympicsGB and proud to


represent Wales. Very exciting times and fantastic memories to


take forward for the future. had the first medal for


ParalympicsGB as well. There will be tension that came with that?


is fantastic. On Thursday morning, racing and the Velodrome, focusing


on my job at hand and winning the silver and being told I had won the


first medal for ParalympicsGB the Home Games, it was a great feeling.


It really was. There are hundreds of people wanting to congratulate


you. I will congratulate you myself., regulations, boys. Well


done, go and party. -- congratulations, boys. You may be


surprised that women's hockey was only introduced as an Olympic sport


in 1980. Since then, just three Welsh players have been selected


for British Olympic squads. The most recent, Sarah Thomas, was part


of the bronze medal-winning team at COMMENTATOR: Absolutely brilliant.


Sarah Thomas has scored. Olympic medals are a long time in


the making. Sarah Thomas has been an international hockey player for


15 years. She has won 69 caps for Wales. COMMENTATOR: A dummy, oh yes,


beautifully turned in. It is Sarah Thomas. As well as 72 for Great


Britain. But her career will be defined by the final seven matches


during London 2012. 16,000 people screaming, it was incredible. I


will never forget walking out and everyone screaming. It was tingling


through your body, lovely. COMMENTATOR: Yes. The Welsh member


of the party. As soon as you're on the pitch can you play as you do


every single day that you play like you do in training. I do this on a


regular basis, just go out, play and enjoy it. It could be your last


tournament. It was lovely to get on the scoresheet. It is a team effort.


That game against Japan, we played well. The second place finish in


the group meant the semi-final against Argentina. The semi-final,


the depth of feeling, how heartbreaking was that moment?


genuinely was. Very few experiences have made me feel that way. Knowing


we had given everything and it was not enough was soul-destroying and


to go back that night. I had two hours' sleep at the next day I


could not shake my mood. For me, I can smile and laugh, so it was


weird that I could not shake it off. The bronze medal match, is that


going to be the one game that sticks with you for the rest of


your life, would you say? From the mid- bit -- from the minute the


whistle went, we knew we would win. You sometimes get that feeling.


When we scored, there was no doubt. Once you scored it. Hal was that


feeling? You know what is done at Witt. Yes come to sealed the deal


was incredible. I was like this is my moment to make this happen. It


was really nice it came off. It is nice to be with my team. Winning a


bronze medal at the Olympics shows that Welsh hockey players can make


the jump to Great Britain level, but only 17 women and 33 men have


made it so far. Sarah Thomas helped to inspire more in time for Rio in


and 60. It was very difficult and 2002 at 2003 going from Wales to


Great Britain. It is an enormous step. There is a gap. No one is


saying that gap cannot be made. People should get out there that


continue what they're doing and believe. If you want something


enough, you can go and get it. future, are you going to carry on


with hockey? Is that the end for you? I don't know. I am taking a


break. I am having a bit of time out. I will try and get a real job,


as my parents say, and start in the real world and get a normal life. I


will continue looking to do something which inspired me as much


as hockey it. -- as much as hockey did.


From hockey to football now and the Wales women's team has never


qualified for a major championship. But this weekend they could take a


major step towards their that the repayments as they take on Scotland


in a crucial European Championship tie in Llanelli.


A perhaps a good news story for Welsh football. If Wales beat


Scotland and the Scots lose to France, Wales are guaranteed a


play-off place for the European finals. Uncharted territory. This


is the biggest game for women's football so far. We are seeded 4th.


To be in this situation is pretty much unheard of. We have never got


anywhere near qualifying for a championship. We have been bottom


or one from bottom. It is a huge gap. If that happened in men's


football everybody would be watching, it would be amazing.


There is more media interest and more pressure we are not putting it


on ourselves. We will be underdogs and nobody expects us to get


results. If we did get the results and finished third, that is what


most people expect. This is the man who has raised the standards, the


Finnish coach who has improved the professionalism and standing of the


women's team in world football. were 29th in Europe relating to the


rank and next. Now we are 22nd. We have advanced quite a bit. There


are only 12 teams to go to the final tournament, so everybody can


understand what a big step that would be. You have been there, at


finals. What would it mean to you to take Wales to the European


championships next year? It would be the proudest moment of my


footballing and coaching career. Again, I know how difficult it is.


I have been there and they know the quality of those 12 teams it


eventually will go to the final tournament. It is extremely good.


So it remains to be seen whether we are ready for that yet but at least


we're going in the right direction. I have played 59 off 60 game for


Wales would probably 55 of those, it is down to emotions. You just


think, we're never going to get there. We look at each other and go,


we have a chance here. Do you think you can do it? Yes, I really do. I


honestly do. Public it will be tough. Scotland are a great side.


And quietly confident. I think it is going to be for us on Saturday.


Good luck to the Wales women's squad this weekend. Now, time to


meet the goal did the King superstar from North Wales. She is


the taekwondo gold medallists, Jade Jones. It is so good to have you on


the programme. What a few weeks for you. A covered bowl of the


magazines and everything. How has life been? -- the cover girl.


Unbelievable experience, really. I am happy I have it on my neck.


it up properly. How has life changed? It has been overwhelming.


The requests I have been, I was sponsored by Jaguar. I am just a


goal from Flint. You have been in Hello magazine, meeting famous


people. Is it hard to get a good training? It is hard because I am


Olympic champion. This is the best that is ever going to get. I am not


a world champion yet of European champion at by what to be one of


the greats in the sport. I want to keep going. I don't want to be a


one-hit wonder. I want to be recognised as going to numerous


competitions that we need. On all the film now there is that image of


youth chucking your head guard into the air. Have you been watching


back back? I have seen it once on the advert and it looks crazy.


People say, did you planet? I just went crazy, I just put it in the


air. It was fantastic, the abiding memory for so many people. Huge


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