Youth work and social care news from around the world

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5 Liverpool Players named in England Euro 2016 squad

5 Liverpool Players named in England Euro 2016 squad

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has proven his fitness enough to be named in the provisional Euro 2016 squad for England along with Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner, Adam Lallana, and Daniel Sturrige.

With just two days to go until the Europa League final, Liverpool’s season isn’t over just yet. For most of the clubs in Europe’s big leagues, though, Sunday marked the end of another campaign. Juventus ran away in Italy, Barcelona defended their La Liga title, Bayern Munich did what was expected of them, and Leicester City did what nobody had expected until recently.

And so, with seasons ending around the continent, the attention for many turns to France and the 2016 Euros. Roy Hodgson has named five Liverpool players to his provisional England squad—including Jordan Henderson, who had been a slight fitness doubt for the Euros before returning from injury on Sunday.

He joins a quartet of Liverpool players in Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner, Adam Lallana, and Daniel Sturridge. If fit, all will be expected to play major roles for the Three Lions at the Euros, and England’s squad looks to be one with some potential.

 

The England Squad in full:

Goalkeeper: Joe Hart (Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Tom Heaton (Burnley)

Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Everton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham)

Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham), Ross Barkley (Everton), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Danny Drinkwater (Leicester), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Andros Townsend (Newcastle), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)

Strikers: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Jamie Vardy (Leicester)

Klopp to Speak with FA Over Preventable Rossiter Injury

Jordan Rossiter

You can insert your “beating a dead horse” jokes here, but Jürgen Klopp isn’t wrong that treating young players like slaughtered stallions maybe isn’t the best way to ensure their proper development.

You know Jürgen Klopp is settling in as Liverpool manager when he is already embroiled in his very first disagreement with the FA. Like many of his predecessors, Klopp found himself angry with the powers that be in England’s national team set up when young Jordan Rossiter played an unheard of three full matches in the span of five days for England’s U19 side.

Klopp said on the subject.

“These young players are our future.  If we handle them like horses, we get horses. Rossiter is a special story. I don’t know who I have to talk to about this but I will find a way to talk with somebody about this because it is not OK.”

Presumably England is aware that young players like Rossiter are their future as well, not just Liverpool’s, yet that hasn’t prevented them from overplaying a youngster who will now miss Klopp’s first Europa League match due to a hamstring injury picked up on international duty.

The England U19s are in the midst of qualifying for the U19 European Championship taking place next summer in Germany. The Liverpool Echo is under the impression that there was added pressure for England to finish top of their group, which they ultimately did with seven points from three matches.

Whether an injury to the omnipresent Rossiter was worth it to the FA remains to be seen, but nonetheless England’s governing body for football will allegedly be reaching out to Klopp regarding his concerns. It wouldn’t be going too far to suggest that he’s unlikely to be satisfied by their explanations.

Gerrard reveals England retirement

Steven Gerrard today announced his retirement from international football with England following a glittering 14 years of representing his country.

Steven Gerrard - England

The midfielder’s journey with the Three Lions took him to three World Cup tournaments – 2006, 2010 and, most recently, this summer – and three European Championships.

After a debut against Ukraine in 2000, a total of 114 caps were amassed in the white colours, including 38 appearances as captain, making the Huyton native the nation’s third most capped player of all time.

In recognition of the Liverpool skipper’s unflinching commitment to England, he will now continue his relationship with the Football Association through an ambassadorial role.

Explaining the decision, Gerrard said:

“I have enjoyed every minute of representing my country and it is a sad day for me knowing that I won’t pull on the England shirt again.  However, I do look forward to continuing my strong relationship with The FA and helping out in any way I can going forward.

“I’d like to firstly thank my family and friends for all their support throughout my England journey. I’d also like to thank everyone who has been part of my international career, from the England managers I’ve played under to the staff at the FA and, of course, all the players I’ve been fortunate to play alongside.  In particular, the supporters have been amazing, not least in Brazil when they got behind the team despite the disappointing results.

“I’d especially like to thank Roy [Hodgson], firstly for giving me the captaincy permanently when he took the job, making me the proudest man in the country and allowing me to fulfil my childhood dream.  He has been very understanding over the past few weeks and is a man I will always hold in the highest regard.

“This has been a very difficult decision, one of the toughest I’ve had to make in my career. I have agonised over this since coming back from Brazil and have spoken to family, friends and people close to me in the game before coming to this point.

“Most importantly, Brendan [Rodgers] has been fantastic and obviously I have to look after my body as much as possible to ensure I can give everything when I take to the field.  To ensure I can keep playing to a high level and giving everything to Liverpool Football Club, I believe this is the right decision and having Champions League football back at Anfield is another big factor in my decision.”

Hodgson, who coached Gerrard both at Anfield and at international level, paid a glowing tribute to the man that captained his England side since taking the reins in 2012:

“While I’m disappointed in the decision, I can entirely understand Steven’s situation and can have no complaints given the incredible service he has given to his country.  I must respect his wishes due to the discussions we have had and the amount of thought and consideration he himself has given it.

“He is an incredible man and a fantastic footballer who we have all been blessed to see in an England shirt so often. It is never by coincidence that people reach such a staggering figure as 114 caps, it is a mark of his wonderful talent allied to a huge drive and determination to live up to the highest standard.

“He is not only a player to bring crowds to their feet with moments of brilliance; he was a tremendous captain and an exceptional role model for everyone who was fortunate to come into contact with him.  We shall miss his leadership qualities as we look ahead to the qualification campaign with a youthful group of players. I wish him all the best in the future, although I know I can count on his continued support and influence as a helpful presence moving forward.”

Church of England releases World Cup prayers

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The Church of England has released Prayers for the World Cup, including prayers for the England Team ahead of England’s first match against Italy.

The Prayers have been written by the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt. Revd. Nick Baines, who originally penned them during the last football World Cup in South Africa in 2010 and has posted them on his blog.

In addition to prayers for those participating in the World Cup and those travelling to “join in the party” there is also a prayer for those for who “are simply not interested” by the competition.

Bishop Nick has also written two prayers for the England Team, written after the end of the last World Cup. The first of these “Oh God…” reflects the lived experience of many England football fans, whilst the second prayer is a light hearted take on a traditional prayer used by the Church of England  in June each year to mark Bishop Richard of Chichester in 1253.

Speaking ahead of the release of the prayers, Bishop Nick, a die-hard Liverpool fan, said:

“God is not partisan and there are bigger things to pray for around the world, not least in Iraq, Nigeria and Sudan to name but three.  At its heart prayer is about expressing our desires honestly and having our vision of God, the world and one another changed by our praying.  For the next few weeks at least the passions and hearts of millions of men, women and children around the world will be focused on Brazil, where I’m pretty sure there will be lots of prayers being offered up throughout the tournament.

I know some have suggested it might take too much of a miracle for England to win the World Cup; we constantly over-rate, over-hype and over-anticipate England performance and then indulge in a collective intemperate bloodletting against team and manager when they fail to deliver on the big stage.  My hope is that the World Cup would be a reminder of the joy of a nation coming together in a common cause  – something that in itself is worth celebrating.”

Prayer 1
A Prayer for the World Cup

Lord of all the nations, who played the cosmos into being, guide, guard and protect all who work or play in the World Cup.
May all find in this competition a source of celebration, an experience of common humanity and a growing attitude of generous sportsmanship to others.
Amen.

Prayer 2
A Prayer for Brazil

God of the nations, who has always called his people to be a blessing for the world, bless all who take part in the World Cup.
Smile on Brazil in her hosting,
on the nations represented in competition and on those who travel to join in the party.
Amen.

Prayer 3
A prayer for those simply not interested

Lord, as all around are gripped with World Cup fever, bless us with understanding, strengthen us with patience and grant us the gift of sympathy if needed.
Amen.

Prayer 4
Prayers  for the England Football team

“Oh God…”

Prayer 5

“God, who played the cosmos into being, please help England rediscover their legs, their eyes and their hunger: that they might run more clearly, pass more nearly and enjoy the game more dearly. Amen.”

Sturridge scored a stunner for England

England v Montenegro - FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier

Daniel Sturridge scored a stunning goal as England recorded a 3-0 friendly victory over Peru at Wembley on Friday night.

The Liverpool striker curled home the opener just after the half-hour mark, collecting a throw in from Anfield teammate Glen Johnson before skipping inside and clipping into the top corner over goalkeeper, Raul Fernandez:

[youtube id=”1yo9jzYf5-0″ width=”580″ height=”337″]

The Reds duo were joined in the starting XI by Steven Gerrard, who skippered the team, and Jordan Henderson. Raheem Sterling, meanwhile, was introduced into the action as a second-half substitute.

Centre-backs Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka were England’s other scorers.

Afterwards, Sturridge said:

“It is not important about myself, it is about the team and our preparation; putting in a shift tactically and technically to be in the best shape for the first game.  It was difficult to be fair because they defended well and they were very compact.  We had worked very hard throughout the week and there wasn’t the match sharpness as much as we would have liked.  But it was great to be out there and we are happy with the result.”

Sturridge ruled out for England

Daniel Sturridge

Liverpool star striker Daniel Sturridge has failed to recover from a thigh injury in time to play for England’s fixture with Moldova at Wembley on Friday evening.

The injury, which Sturridge suffered prior to Sundays clash with Manchester United, is not considered to be serious. However it is unclear whether the 24 year old will be fit to play against the Ukraine next Tuesday.

An FA statement read:

“As Roy Hodgson prepares his England team to face Moldova on Friday evening, Daniel Sturridge has returned to Liverpool for further treatment.  The squad departed St. George’s Park on Thursday afternoon ahead of the World Cup qualifier at Wembley, but the Liverpool forward will return to his club with the intention of joining the England squad again at the weekend and traveling to Ukraine.”

Looks like the international break has come at a good time for Liverpool and hopefully Sturridge will be fully recovered and ready to play against Swansea next weekend.

Latest research from Church Urban Fund

Church Urban Fund report

Survival Strategies: A survey of the impact of the current economic climate on community organisations in the most deprived areas of England

Church Urban Fund’s latest research report examines the impact of the current economic climate on community organisations in the most deprived areas of England.

It follows two reports published by Church Urban Fund in 2011, ‘At the Cutting Edge’ and ‘Holding on by a Shoestring’, which looked in detail at how public spending cuts were affecting people and organisations at a grassroots level. Returning a year later to the same organisations, we wanted to examine the ongoing effects of the economic climate.

We found that the current economic climate is having a significant impact upon community organisations and people living in deprived areas of England. This impact can be seen in the rising demand for services and the difficulty of securing funding.

However, in response to these difficulties, organisations are employing a range of survival strategies in order to meet rising demand with rising service provision.

Cat survives 1,700 miles under a train

Plymouth Cat

Polly the cat was found after riding 1,700 miles around England and Wales in the undercarriage of a train. It is thought that she stayed in the undercarriage for at least two days in fear after badly mangling her front limb. Train manager Emily Mahoney-Smith found the cat when she heard meowing at a stop on the way to Cornwall:

Emily took her on board and fed her tuna from a sandwich from the train’s buffet and put her in a box in her compartment.  She then asked controllers to alert the RSPCA and the charity got in touch with on-call vet Matthew Berriman in Penzance.

Matthew, 34, said Polly was in such a bad state he thought she was a stray and was preparing to put her down.

But she used up her final life when he decided to check if she had been microchipped – and found she had.

The chip gave the details of the cattery in Plymouth who had looked after Polly before giving her a home with retired train driver Arthur Westington, 84, and his wife Louisa.

 

Polly’s owners had not seen the cat in three weeks and thought she was gone for good. They gave permission for her limb to be amputated. Polly is recovering well and will be returned home soon. Click here for the full article.

Gerrard Vows to Return to His Best

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Skipper Steven Gerrard says he is getting back to his best after describing his form over the first half of the season as “mixed”.

The 32 year old has played every minute of Liverpool’s 21 Premier League games so far this season and scored four goals, three of those coming in the last five league appearances a sign that means Gerrard’s peak performance level is about to return.

Gerrard told Liverpool FC magazine:

“I’ve had mixed experiences this season. I’ve passed some unbelievable landmarks for club and country, getting to the 600 games mark and winning my 100th cap for England.  But with the slow start we made and being where we have in the league it’s been a bit mixed for me.

There’s my form as well. I’ve played well in some games but I’ve been disappointed with myself in others and I’m not happy with my goal tally at the moment.  I think my performances are getting closer to where I want them to be so if I can add goals to those performances then maybe people will start saying the old Steven Gerrard is back.

I don’t think the manager’s asked me to do anything different in terms of the way he wants to me to perform but because of certain injuries, situations that have happened to the team and formations that we’ve played, I’ve naturally played a little bit deeper.

I’ve maybe gone into protection mode rather than playing the old Steven Gerrard way with the shackles off and going for the jugular.  When you’re one of the experienced players in the team, the team’s more important than yourself and maybe I’ve sacrificed myself in certain games and tried to protect by playing deeper and be a controller with Joe [Allen] but now that Lucas is back, he gives me the licence to get forward a lot more so hopefully I can add some goals to my performances.

But I’ve got the buzz that the team’s improving and it’s going to get better. I’m confident that come the end of the season I will be satisfied with myself and the team because I do believe we can finish the season really strong.”

Steven Gerrard is top of the Premier League’s assist chart, with 8 assists and has scored 4 goals for Liverpool this season. Let’s hope our Captain fantastic continues his form against Manchester United this weekend.