View Gallery (2 Photos)Ryan McDonagh has something teammates Brendan Smith and Cody Goloubef want: a roster spot for this year’s World Junior Championship.McDonagh, a sophomore defenseman from Arden Hills, Minn., was named to the U.S. Under-20 team earlier this month. Smith, a Mimico, Ontario, Canada native, and Goloubef, from Oakville, Ontario, begin their tryout process for Team Canada today in Ottawa.For McDonagh, the second time was the charm. He tried out last year during his freshman season but was not chosen to join teammates Blake Geoffrion and Jamie McBain on the U.S. team.After a good tryout and strong play during this season — his nine points on four goals and five assists are seventh best on the team in points — McDonagh was chosen to join the elite squad.“Having gone through it for my second time now, I felt more confident at the camp,” McDonagh said. “I felt I had a good chance to make the team if I had a pretty good first half. When I got the news, I was pretty happy. I called my parents right away, and they were pretty excited too.”Smith also tried out last season, but like McDonagh, didn’t earn a roster spot. The experience of going through the process once before is something Smith feels can only help this time around.“I’m just trying to prove myself,” Smith said. “I had a good camp last year, which I impressed myself with. I’m just trying to do the same things this time. I think I’ve been playing better defensively, so I think it’s just going to help out.”Smith and Goloubef have kept an eye on the annual tournament for years. Last season, they watched via Internet (the tournament is not broadcast in the U.S.) as former Badger teammate Kyle Turris won gold for Canada.This year, they’re hoping they’ll be the ones representing their country.“It’s a real big deal in Canada,” Goloubef said. “It’s a very well-respected tournament, so it’s definitely going to be an honor to put that jersey on if I make the team.”“It’s huge,” Smith said. “The World Juniors is the most televised thing in Canada [during] Christmas time. Everybody watches it, all my friends at school — they all watch it. I’m so excited about it. Just to wear that Canadian jersey, no words can describe it.”For McDonagh, the occasion is almost a bigger deal for his family — who will be making the nearly 20-hour drive from Minnesota to Ottawa — than it is to him.“I think it’s more exciting for my family because they’ve done so much for me growing up, driving me to the rink and spending a lot of money and everything,” McDonagh said. “They’re going to drive up to Ottawa for the whole tournament, so for them to get a chance to go up there and watch it — my mom’s never been to an international tournament before, but my dad has so it’s going to be real fun for them.”Last season, when Geoffrion, McBain and Turris took part in the event, Wisconsin had to play a two-game series against Colorado College during the same span. Without three of its best players, the Badgers were swept by the Tigers at home.A new rule this year, however, makes it so WCHA games can’t be scheduled during the World Juniors.“Colorado College is a great team. To miss some crucial players like we did with McBain and Geoffrion, just to miss some of those guys is so hard to play without them,” Smith said. “I think that’s a great rule for everybody. It just makes everything fair to every team.”The Badgers will for sure be without McDonagh for the Badger Hockey Showdown Jan. 2 and 3 and a two-game series against Northern Michigan, and could miss the services of Smith and Goloubef as well if either make the team.“Those are games that we’ve got to win, but it’s a really fun tournament,” Smith said. “I’m going to miss that, which I’m kind of disappointed about. I know the team’s going to pick up the slack for me.Regardless of who it’s playing, UW could potentially have three holes on defense to fill. It’s likely that freshmen Eric Springer and Ryan Little — who have been splitting time — will both start, as will seldom-used Craig Johnson.That will still leave one empty spot on the blue line.“I’m pretty confident in the guys that will fill the roles,” McDonagh said. “Maybe it’ll be a forward if all three of us make it that will have to come back. Our coaching staff and our teammates will all help them out. They’ll get the job done.”Johnson earned four starts in the four games missed by the UW trio and will very likely get the nod again.Without first-round draft picks McDonagh and Smith, and the second
Eze is however still eligible to play for Nigeria as he is yet to feature for England’s senior side. Indeed, he trained with the Super Eagles in October, 2017 before opting to star for England U20 team. The talented midfielder has scored six goals in 14 league appearances for the Londoners and observers see him as the long -sought successor to Austine Jay Jay Okocha if he eventually choses to star for Nigeria..“We have approached him, but not directly. Tunde Adelakun, my assistant, spoke to his mum. What we understand is that there is a lot of pressure on him and Ebere Eze doesn’t want to give an answer now. Obviously, we would love to have him in the SuperEagles, of course! We continue to work on getting him. It may take some time,” Rohr said in an interview.A Nigeria Football Federation official who recently pleaded anonymity revealed that the player was under the watch list of Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr and urged him to maintain his impressive form in the Championship.“Yes, Ebere Eze is doing very well for Queens Park Rangers (QPR) in the Championship in England and it’s good news for us. Besides, he has come to the Super Eagles camp before when we went to play in London. Our scout knows him very well. Nigerians should not be too anxious and put him under undue pressure.“There is always space for a good player in a team, most especially like the team we are building at the moment. So the scouts are monitoring him, he’s known to us and we see how it goes. But you know a lot of young players have come into the team of late and it’s an ongoing thing. If you are good enough and you can bring something extraordinary to the team, we can always give you a chance.“So we are very happy that Ebere Eze is doing well and believe that at the right time he will be giving the chance to play for the Super Eagles,” he said.When last weekend OPR lost to Leeds United, Manager Mark Warburton singled out Eze’s performances for praise, while Leeds fans calls for his transfer to Elland Road. Eze had an excellent game in QPR’s midfield and Leeds United fans on Twitter were suggesting the club make him a serious transfer target. He has been linked with a move in the past as Leeds had a ‘tentative interest’ in Eze ahead of the summer window. The youngster has been in fine form this season and certainly caught the eye at Elland Road. Warburton, in fact, believed that Eze was the best player on the pitch, as he explained to the official QPR website.Leeds United fans will certainly be hopeful that previous ‘tentative interest’ is still present from the club. The 21-year-old was all over the pitch and his ability certainly stood out in West Yorkshire. Eze looked like a player who could easily slot into the Leeds philosophy and should they secure promotion this season it will be interesting to see if Leeds rekindle their apparent keenness.“Eze was going to start working part-time in Tesco when we (QPR) first asked him to come in on trial. The journey he’s made in a short space of time since then has been quite phenomenal.”Those the words of Paul Hall, who has been a mentor to Eze throughout his spell at Loftus Road, as well as his manager when he featured for the Under-23s.Eze has endured a whirlwind few years since his release from Millwall in 2016. Lions boss Neil Harris felt Eze wasn’t the type of player who would succeed at a club like Millwall.Speaking exclusively to talkSPORT.com, he said: “When I got released by Millwall, I understood the decision. I get why Neil made that call. You could see in training and in matches that I wasn’t their typical type of player. I didn’t think I would get released at the time I did though – that came as a big shock to me.“I thought I’d probably get another year there, even though it didn’t look like there was much chance of me getting near the first team. It took me by surprise, but ultimately it was a blessing in disguise.”Following that setback, Eze had a number of unsuccessful trials elsewhere before his break finally came with Rangers.Chris Ramsey, the club’s technical director, has a long standing relationship with Eze’s agent – with QPR moving in swiftly to invite the Greenwich-born attacker on trial and It wasn’t long before Eze would be signing his first contract in W12, after impressing Ramsey and co enough with his technical prowess, drive and work rate.Eze admitted that he was considering calling it a day in football prior to that, with college or university on the horizon.He added: “When I initially got released by Millwall I wasn’t too down, as there were plenty of clubs interested in me. But after being turned down by a few of them that’s when it really started hitting me. I was getting a bit worried – all I’ve ever wanted to do is to be a professional footballer.“So then I was thinking about plan B and potentially going to university or college, and then QPR came along and gave me my big opportunity, which I’ll always be eternally grateful for.” After netting nine goals in 14 starts for the club’s Elite Development squad, Eze was rewarded with a new contract in January 2017.Soon after Eze made his senior debut against Blackburn in the FA Cup, but a promising 18-minute cameo was cut short by an Achilles injury.The 2017/2018 season is when Eze really introduced himself to the Football League, and after an excellent loan spell at Wycombe Wanderers – managed by Gareth Ainsworth, he was ready to make his mark at Loftus Road.Eze impressed in the second half of that campaign, featuring regularly under former Rangers boss Ian Holloway, who he knew from his time at Millwall.Big things were expected of the youngster this season as he put-pen-to-paper on a new three-year deal in August.He was also handed the iconic No 10 shirt by another former boss Steve McClaren, which has been worn by club legends Rodney Marsh and Stan Bowles – as well as the likes of John Byrne, Roy Wegerle and Adel Taarabt and with that has come considerable pressure. “No, I didn’t see the No 10 shirt as too much pressure being put on me,” he said.“Of course with that comes expectation, but at the end of the day I know what I’m capable of producing. I didn’t let it affect my mindset in terms of what I wanted to do and how I wanted to play. You have to deal with that pressure and expectation as a footballer, regardless of your age or status.“I saw being given the No 10 shirt as an appreciation for what I had achieved so far and a belief from people at the club that I can prove to be a key player here. At the end of the day I’ve got a job to do, and I’ve got to produce and help this team as much as I can in the future.”After establishing himself as a regular under the former England boss, he was taken out of the firing line and dropped to the bench after he hit a patchy run of form.Eze, though, was ‘very disappointed’ to see McClaren – someone who he holds in very high regard axed by the Hoops .“It was really disappointing to see Steve leave. He played me on a regular basis and did a lot for me, both as a player and a person,” he revealed.“The belief he showed in me is something I’ve only received from a few managers, so for him to be so honest and invest the amount of time he did into me is something I won’t forget.”However, there is general feeling among many Rangers fans is that Eze’s progress stagnated under McClaren – an assertion he strongly disagrees with.“No, that’s not true whatsoever. I continued learning under Steve,” he continued.“He showed me a lot of things that I hadn’t seen before. I know what he did for me at the end of the day, and he most definitely gave me a platform to show what I could do. I’ve played a lot of games this season and taking my age into account that isn’t something you see that regularly at this level.“My form had dipped a little bit from the start of the season, so I understood why Steve put me on the bench. But I have nothing but the utmost respect for Steve, he taught me so much. I have a lot to thank him for.”Eze had been attracting interest from Championship promotion chasers Leeds, has been watched by Premier League duo Tottenham and Crystal Palace this season.There is the same belief around QPR that Eze can eventually go on to play at the highest level.“I tell Ebere he can be anything he wants to be. He’s the best player on the pitch when he’s on top form – it doesn’t matter who else is playing,” Hall added.“In his case especially patience will be absolutely key, if he is to develop into the player that we know he is truly capable of becoming.”Eze is on one hell of a rollercoaster, and Rangers fans should enjoy the ride for the duration that they’re on it. Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram His form for Queens Parks Rangers has been devastating and it did not come as a surprise to anyone when he was voted the Championship Player of the Month in October. This has made him an attraction to England and Nigeria, culminating in his invitation to the England U21 team, while an emissary was sent to his mother from the country of his parents to convince his son to play for Nigeria. He is now at crossroads as to where to pitch his allegianceEbere Eze has built a reputation for himself at Queens Park Rangers so- much-so that when his team loses he is exonerated from blame, however, the Anglo-Nigerian born midfielder is still undecided over his international future in spite approaches from Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr.He had featured for the England’s U-20 side earlier before he was called up to the England U-21 squad in September this year by manager Aidy Boothroyd for the UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifiers against Turkey and Kosovo, though he was an unused substitute on both occasions.
Noirin O’SullivanTHE police union representing rank and file gardai have also called on the Garda Ombudsman to pull out of its investigation into the death of Ballyshannon sergeant Michael Galvin.The Garda Representative Association says GSOC must pull out of the inquiry.“There are no words to express the pain and trauma of this past week. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Galvin family at the time of such great loss,” said a GRA spokesman. “Garda colleagues in the North West, and nationwide, are dismayed that GSOC be regarded as an appropriate agency to investigate the death of Sergeant Michael Galvin, who was highly regarded by those gardaí who had the honour of working with him.“Sergeant Galvin had been under investigation by GSOC, along with other members of garda rank. We fear that the stress of this made some significant contribution, in whatever way, to this tragic loss.“We fully support our colleagues in the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) in their call for independent investigation of Sergeant Galvin’s death – and this must include the conduct of GSOC in their investigation of Sergeant Galvin.“We need to be sure that this investigative process is transparent, and that the family, friends and colleagues can have absolute confidence that this absolute tragedy has been thoroughly examined, and that lessons can be learned for the future.” Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan (pictured) will visit the Ballyshannon station tomorrow. SECOND GARDA UNION SLAMS GSOC SGT GALVIN INQUIRY was last modified: June 4th, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)