14/12/2012 Sport Wales


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I am settled here for the time being. I am a proud Welshman, and


you cannot beat the Premier League. We will see what the future holds.


And we catch up with Swansea and Cardiff as both clubs get into the


case -- into the Christmas spirit. All of that, plus plenty more on


Sport Wales. Here at Winter Wonderland we will begin with a


look back at the annual celebration of Welsh sport. On Monday evening


BBC Cymru crowned the Sports personality of the year and our


reporters join the party. It is a new world record. And Great Britain


have won the gold medal. Mason! have done it in style! Great


Britain, the Olympic champions once more. Wonderful finish from Michu.


2012 will go down as one of the greatest years in the history of


Welsh sport. You little beauty. two ball and the Champions, three


world champions, the Six Nations Player of the tournament and a


Premier League footballer made up the nominees for this year's Sports


personality trophy. It has been an incredible year and to be nominated


amongst these talented athletes is an achievement on its own, I am so


happy. I got up on a massive stage in London and they delivered, and


that is what I wanted to do. It is a massive privilege to come along


and well -- bring my daughter, and rub shoulders with the Welsh rugby


team and amazing athletes from a fantastic summer of sport.


Welsh rugby team was named Team of the year despite dropping out of


the top eight in the world during autumn following the Grand Slam


successes in the swing. I have been part of the Grand Slam team and I


have been Player of the tournament, so it is a big honour, it is an


amazing experience. What were you hoping for or for next year for


yourself? Just to get back to full fitness. I missed the autumn


internationals. It is hard not to be involved. If I can push to get


back into the Welsh short, that will be my goal. I will be moving


on from the Dragons, I have been a seven season so it is time for a


change, but I am looking forward to getting back playing for a Dragon's


now, and hopefully put in some good performances before and leaves.


young sports personality was a cyclist Eleanor Parker, and Euan


Lloyd who is breaking records at the world championships in Turkey.


It has been a massive year. That has as much of an impact on your as


anything. There was a lot to take in. You do not come across Olympic


champions and will break up orders very often there mind to ride with


them and then win with them, so it is absolutely amazing. Despite a


poor year for the national football side, Spurs winger Gareth Bale is


one of the 10 nominees. Hopefully, he will be the catalyst for better


results next year. We started with a few losses, there are a fantastic


victory against Scotland at we hope that the men's team will go with a


couple of away games in Scotland, and then home to Croatia and


hopefully he'll come up with some good points from those matches.


2013 could see a second will steam joined Swansea in the Premier


League and perhaps two more League says as well. With Newport leading


the Conference and Wrexham not far behind. We are hoping to continue


where we are at the moment, to try to continue the form, on and off


the pitch, with their new stadium we are in, tried to continue the


progress that we have made throughout this year. How good we


it would be for you guys to be in the league, and you guys to be in


the Premier League? We will drink to that, if we could freeze-frame


everything just now, that would be nice. The unsung hero was


afterwards, a long-term volunteer of the Swansea rival club. Long


jumper, Lynn Davies was on hand to present the trophy before being


honoured with a lifetime achievement award himself. Good


height, and a wonderful run. From Olympic gold medal winner 96-4 to


the recent vintage as a Jade Jones top of that year by winning the


public boat. I remember two years - - I was Olympic champion, so it was


hard to keep focused. Just, the lot of it, it has been a whirlwind. I


have been taking all that in my stride and enjoying every minute. I


just hope that I can get even better at keep improving. Since the


Olympics I have tried to do some sessions, but Dillon Dicks is the


pinnacle of my sport, it is the best Olympics I am never going to


have. I have to think about my new goals, I am not world champion or


European champion yet, and they want to become a legend, not just


somebody who won the Olympics, once. Jade Jones, we wish you all the


best for next year. Now, a man who is on first-name terms with Joe


Zinedine your, and Brendan Rodgers. And now, he has got a top job,


helping to revive one of the big clubs in Germany. All of this after


starting his coaching career at Wrexham, before moving to Chelsea


and Liverpool. Sport Wales went to Hamburg to meet the man from Wales


who has been on quite a jury. Germany, and national team on the


rise and that club's thriving in the Champions League. They say that


it is a structure that brings success. In Germany, the coaches


are left to coach. The rest of the long-term planning is dealt with by


sporting directors. Here in Hamburg, the football club also employs a


technical director, a Welshman called it Lee Congerton, who has,


brought to learn his trade in a foreign culture and to improve the


CV that has already rather impressive. His John they began as


a player in places like Crewe and Rhyl, then six years at Chelsea


where he finished up as chief scout. How does a man from Rhyl end up in


Hamburg? I don't know, it has been a fantastic journey. Doors are


opened and you have to make the decision whether you take those,


and one of those was to come to Hamburg and so far, it has been a


marvellous experience. Welsh people are so grumpy, it is typical Wales.


It is not cold enough for Hamburg. One persuaded you to come up here


and take up this post? Chelsea was fantastic, but Lee still


opportunities, hamburgers a great club, a traditional club, it has


won the Champions League, great players like Kevin Keegan in the


past. It is a life experience. he did at Josue, part of the job is


spotting and signing up future stars. You don't have to leave your


desk to do that, these days. We have a system that we star did at


Chelsea and we have taken further, we can click on any player, any


game, anywhere in the world, and have it recorded. This is the


player that we are looking at. You watch all his actions on the ball.


What else happens in a job that does not exist widely in the UK?


that and much will it is about planning for the medium and long-


term, as well as today. How do you want to play? Why do we want to


play like that? Which players do we need? Watching training. We have a


weekly meeting with some of the coaching staff. Look at the under


17, under 16 squads, who are the best players, what can we do to


make that individual better? It is about having the thing on course


for tomorrow, but not losing sight of the day. Do you think clubs in


England and Wales should adopt this model? Were there at about. --


without doubt. Managers do not seem to like that and seemed to want to


have all the power in England. They are control freaks. Those are your


words! I'll they power-crazed? has to be clear whose responsible


to. The trainer reports to the sporting director. And he


understands his role. This is the first team changing room. What did


you just say? I just said that the Welsh are very intelligent compared


to the Germans! It was a man brought in as a Chelsea sporting


director during the Jose Mourinho era, who liked what he saw in Lee


Congerton. It was very important. We had a few people with me which I


100% trust, and one of the key things was, I needed Lee Congerton


to come with me because without him it would be more difficult and they


probably would not have done it. What do you make of it as a place?


It seems like a lovely place. one of the most beautiful cities in


Germany. When you're driving a round, you think, this is what life


is all that, to live somewhere like this? Yes, obviously we are happy


that we are here, trying to improve, trying to help people improve. It


is not about just developing the players, but developing the coaches,


and their potential. Rafael van der Vaart, signed from Spurs and the


summer, is the star name as Hambrook him to compete for


European honours again after some lean terms. The Bundesliga is an


improving product. There are so many good teams. Brand new stadiums,


great infrastructure, every game as live on TV and every game has sold


out. It is a real occasion for the German supporters to go and watch


their ground. This club has 70,000 members. It is a big part of the


community. This benefits the league and the clubs to have such a big


fan base, and the fans can connect with their clubs. We understand


that Lee Congerton is a possible target for Spurs, as they look to


complete their coaching team along with Andre Villas-Boas. By all


accounts there was an approach, but I am at Hamburg for the time being,


I am happy at Hamburg, and I am led to believe that there have been one


or two other clubs and mention my name, but I am settled here, for


the time being. I am a proud Welshman, and you cannot beat the


Premier League, and we will see what the future wars. Hopefully,


one day, I can work as a sporting or technical director at one of the


big clubs back home, but for the time being I am very happy with


what I have got and they will try to do my best but this club.


Christmas is just around the corner, and that means one thing in the


horse racing character -- Callender, the Welsh National on 22nd December,


with a bumper crowd expected for the race at Chepstow. How is the


newest Welsh racecourse, Ffos Las, fearing in the current economic


climate? -- faring. Five years ago having a Premier League racecourse


in this part of Wales was little more than a dream, but that has


become a reality thanks to the hard work of the Warner, -- owner Dai


Walters. We are not going to get out of the recession for another


two or three years. As long as we keep our head above water, we will


keep on going. It will need to get the big names down to West Wales,


and there is none bigger than Tony McCoy, the champion jockey. People


have made comparisons to Newbury, and that is as high an accolade as


can be given, but it is still very well supported. Opened in 2009 at a


cost of over �21 million, the goal of Ffos Las is to become a


sustainable business. We are three years into our life, and it has


been a fascinating journey, so far, from the heady days when we opened,


we are no another racecourse, and we have to compete with all the


others to get customers to want to come here. Three years and Mr ever


racecourses nothing. We have a long way to go and to develop but we are


still full of ambition. That ambition could see Ffos Las bid for


top races like the Welsh National, Chepstow has been here for many


years and it is a fundamental part of the area, that helps. We are


very fortunate at Chepstow with a customer friendly races. We have


friendly Saturdays and evening meetings. We race when people can


come and the fixture list is beneficial to attracting people.


The National is the biggest race they imminent wealth jump calendar.


Punters and trainers alike a keen to be successful. What about a


horse like tea for three he won last season? Just how useful is a


track like Ffos Las for his trainer? It is great to have


somewhere so local. They are not many racetracks in Wales. I know


most of the trainers seem to be Welsh. They are putting on some


valuable chases and they have the Welsh champion here as well. I


think they are going the right way. Tea for three is favoured over


Christmas, as for Ffos Las, there is no doubt that racing is popular


in this part of the world, but what does the future hold? How can they


attract better horses running in bigger races? They started very


well and have not been racing for a long time, yet this year, out as 60


racecourses they will have staged as many racecourses with only 10


courses having more races than they have. That is a good start. Since


1900, 100 racecourses has closed so it has been at the rate of one per


year at the turn of the last century. Only to have opened and


one of those has subsequently closed, so you have a shining light


in Ffos Las to open an be an Open against 100 closures over the last


century. I would say that put Ffos Las in a magical position. Much


depends on the support of the owner. Ffos Las will be here for a long


time. We will turn our attention back to


football now and it is almost the halfway point in Cardiff City's


champion season. With some important league fixtures over the


Christmas and new year period, manager Malky MacKay will be hoping


to continue the record-breaking 10 match home winning run against


Peterborough tomorrow. Lisa Rogers caught up with the gaffer.


Last week's emphatic 41 win at Blackburn may have gone some way to


bearing the memory of some poor results early in the season. It


left Cardiff City proudly at the top of the table, three points


clear and in the best frame of mind at the busiest time of the year


with five important league games coming up in the next two weeks.


The game against Blackburn, you can't have any criticism of the


players after that, can you? Not at all. We knew it would be a tough


game. To win it in that way, you are always surprised at that. A


couple of boys to come off the bench and make an impact was great.


Looking at the next game, how much is it about saying to the players,


ignore that Peterborough at the bottom of the table, play them as


though you're playing Crystal Palace. The focus will be on that.


The focus will be on an easy home when, the expectation will be there.


We are not taking Peter Brett any less seriously than we did last


week, the week before the week before. It has not just been about


football preparation, this week the players made a Christmas visit to a


family hospice. This is not a common night. You do visit


hospitals around Christmas, but with it being home and me being in


Cardiff makes it special. In the visits I make with Cardiff make it


special because I have a bond with it. This is more of a treat, to be


honest. For one second you might be able to give a little smile on


someone's face. It means a lot. For an individual like me, it means a


real lot. How important it do you think it is for the players


themselves and for the club for things like that to happen? I think


it is massive. It shows our fans that we care for the community as


well. When I am long gone, players are long gone, owners are long gone,


the football club will still be here and the fans. Going into


Christmas, you are three points clear at the top, how easy is it to


try and keep your feet on the ground? Like anything way you are


doing OK, people might go overboard. When you are not doing so well it


is the depths of despair. As for being in the game so long, there is


an area in the middle that you have to stay in there. It is a fine line


between success and failure so we have to make sure we stay on the


right side of that, but it comes back to monotonous consistency. Try


and do the right things as long as possible. And as consistently as


possible. New year is also the transfer window, have you got any


ideas of strengthening the squad? Of the gutter budget to do that?


have had a few injuries, but they are all coming back now. Come


January we are looking if there is someone out there that I feel will


add to the quality of the squad, I will speak to my owner and we will


have plenty of chat. We will go down that line, but it has to be


somebody that will come here and improve the group. Not someone that


will just fill the squad. Do you think you will be able to maintain


the position you are end at the moment? That is a 64,000 dollar


question. It is consistency. We have to stay consistent. We need


luck, we need injuries to stay at bay and suspension at a minimum. If


we have all that it is just about consistency. The players going


forward for the next 20 odd games. The cycling season gets underway


next month in Australia. Team Sky will feature two Welshmen in the


line-up for the tour Down Under. Double Olympic gold medallist


Geraint Thomas returns to the road after a season based on the track


and he is joined by up and coming star, Luke Rowe.


In the history of cycling, only two Welshmen have ridden on grand tours.


Colin Lewis in the sixties and Geraint Thomas. Now there is a


third rider hoping to follow hot on their heels.


I am a supporting rider, you know. You have big guys that when the


biggest races in the world and below that you have guys who are


there to support the winning guys and make sure they have everything


they need and are kept out of the wind. He is a great bike rider and


his attitude is good in the team. He always get stuck in. If someone


asks him to fetch bottles all day he will happily do it. He started


in the Cardiff cycling clubs, mainly flyers and then he sort of


progressed into the Olympic development programme with British


cycling. Throughout his junior years, he was a multiple European


medallist both road and track. Now he has moved on to Team Sky. Every


time he is asked to do something he applies himself. With one season


under his belt, Luke Rowe is looking to pass -- push on. As he


trains around the lanes in South Wales for the new season in January.


Despite being chiefly a support rider, Luke Rowe won the first


stage of the Tour of Britain earlier this year. It is quite


unexpected. It is a massive buzz as you cross the line and you don't


really know what you are doing, arms going everywhere. Probably


shouting some bad stuff. Bathing everything comes out, the a motion


which shows how much it means. call up to ride with Bradley


Wiggins in the Great Britain squad in the world championships followed.


First year as a professional rider. At the start of the year I never


would have thought I would have been selected with a world champ.


To get the call up for that was pretty special and the race was


hard. I did not even feel my legs. The crowd was massive. If you NXT


your team-mate you couldn't even hear them. It was just a special


day. I well remember that for quite a while. 2030 will see Luke Rowe


focus on the cobbled classics. The end leat one day races during the


spring months. We have a big year coming up and sky is the limit.


Hopefully not too fast, I don't want him to overtake me just yet.


Next year, hopefully try and get in bigger races and bigger pro-Tory


races. I'll probably start as a supporting rider in those races.


But it is supporting racing in the biggest races in the world. I can't


wait to get on the cobbles. I have come in from the cold


because it is a special day at the Liberty where Swansea City players


and coaching staff welcome some children from the local hospital. I


am joined by Ashley Williams and Ben Davies. Ashley, tell us about


this event. We do it every year and it is an opportunity to put smiles


on kids' faces that are having a rough time. All of the players are


happy to come down and sign autographs. The kids are so excited,


look at them. You are smiling as well after the result midweek.


Definitely. It was a great result for the club. Everything is looking


good at the minute. The fans are pinching themselves this season.


How would you assess it going into the new year? I think we have done


really well this half of the season and we want to keep going as well


as we can for as long as we can. We understand it won't last for ever


so as long as we can keep working hard, that is the main thing.


if I asked you about your Christmas wish going into the new year, where


would you like to see Swansea? First and foremost our aim is to


stay in the Premier League. Hopefully we can reach the 40.


Marxian or later and hopefully push up the table as high as we can.


are you enjoying your time in Swansea? I am very happy here with


23 boys playing all the time and I can score. I'm very happy. Hopes


for next year, Europe? I won't get too carried away. The main aim is


to stay in the Premier League. We have given ourselves a good chance


so far, but there are still a lot of points to play for. As long as


we stay in the Premier League, once we are safe we will think about


what we want to do them. Michael, what about goals for next year and


it New year's resolutions? De you do that kind of thing? No, as I


said, when we still have three games to go, then you can look back


and see what we achieved in the first half of the season. Then what


goals and targets we can put in. Obviously we know we are in the


semi-final. At Christmas we know the draw as well. Who do you want?


I don't care. I said yesterday that I only hope we can have the second


leg at home so that when we play here, everybody knows that if we


have every shot that we need here, we will go through to the final.


Tottenham on Sunday. You have won at Arsenal and Newcastle. That is


right. Just because you do one thing one day though, doesn't mean


you do the same thing one week later. Tottenham is a great team.


The most important thing is that we believe we can do it. We may do it,


we may not. To believe, first of all, is a very important. And that


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