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Shawcross facing spell on sidelines

first_imgStoke captain Ryan Shawcross is to undergo back surgery and will be out for at least two months, the club have announced. Press Association The central defender is to have the operation next week having suffered a recurrence of the back problem that troubled him last season. A statement on the Potters’ official website on Thursday said: “The club had hoped surgery would not be necessary and that the summer break would provide a solution. center_img “That initially appeared to be the case, but the harder Shawcross pushed himself in pre-season the more discomfort he found himself in, leaving no alternative but for him to undergo the operation.” The news is a significant blow for Stoke three days before their 2015/16 Barclays Premier League campaign kicks off with a home clash against Liverpool. Shawcross, 27, has consistently been a key figure during the Potters’ seven-year stint as a top-flight club following their promotion in 2008. He initially joined them on loan from Manchester United in the summer of 2007, signed on a permanent deal in January 2008 and has made over 300 appearances for the Staffordshire outfit in total. It will be interesting to see if Stoke boss Mark Hughes, who has already made eight signings this summer, will now move again in the transfer market in a bid to compensate for the loss of Shawcross. Hughes has the likes of Marc Wilson, Marc Muniesa and Philipp Wollscheid as options already at his disposal for providing cover. And Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland told the BBC of once-capped England international Shawcross: “To lose him is a big loss, but we’ve got players capable of filling the void. “The likes of Geoff Cameron, Marc, Philipp and Muni are top-class centre-halves and would be brilliant replacements.” last_img read more

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Simon Smith has become one of SU’s top runners since walking on

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ When Simon Smith was looking to make his college decision, only one school had offered him a chance to run: Bucknell.Smith had been accepted to Pittsburgh and Syracuse academically, but not athletically. Knowing he still wanted to run, he turned to Google to aid in his decision. A history of Big East titles and Atlantic Coast Conference championships set Syracuse apart.He knew they were good, but he didn’t realize how good. When Smith entered the Syracuse training facility for his first practice, a bold objective was presented to the team from head coach Chris Fox: Win a national championship.Following the end of his high school career where Smith felt he failed to realize his full potential, Smith knew he needed guidance if his running career was to continue. Smith joined the Orange as a walk-on in 2015, which allowed him to develop into a top performer for Syracuse. He now places in the top-five consistently for the Orange and placed seventh on SU in its first meet in Boston in September.In high school, Smith was an accomplished runner, winning the 5000-meter race at the PIAA District IV Championships in 2014, but says that he lacked an understanding for what top-tier running looked like. When he entered the Syracuse training facility for his first practice, a bold objective was presented to the team from head coach Chris Fox: to win a national championship.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Simon kind of came in not at the same talent level, accomplishment-wise, as the rest of us,” said Dominic Hockenbury, a junior on the team. “But over the years he has been working just as hard as us, if not harder.”Smith said he knew he had potential but was missing someone to show him the way and allow him to capitalize on it. When Syracuse made good on Fox’s challenge in 2015, winning a national title, Smith found exactly that.“To have won the national title that year, to look at those guys, to see how they function, without having the pressure to perform right away,” Smith said. “I mean when you come in as a walk-on, you are not really used to running at this high a level.” Published on October 9, 2019 at 10:32 pm Contact Eli: [email protected] center_img Eva Suppa | Digital Design EditorAs a walk-on, Smith faced a steep learning curve and would not get a chance to perform in a major race until his redshirt sophomore year. He had become accustomed to a winning culture at Syracuse, but still needed to make better use of training. Smith settled on a simple plan, to emulate the best. The underclassman turned to Justyn Knight, an individual national champion in 2017.“Coming here and watching guys like Justyn Knight work out and some of the workouts that they were doing,” Smith said. “I couldn’t even imagine that stuff in high school and now I’m doing some of the same workouts.”Smith finally began to see improvement in his redshirt junior year. He posted personal bests at almost every event that year, highlighted by a 17thplace finish at NCAA Northeast Regionals. Now as a redshirt senior, Smith is regarded as one of the Orange’s top leaders, not because of his willingness to lead, but because of the respect he earned during his rise.“He kind of walks with that confidence that he has worked his way there,” said senior Aidan Tooker. “He is just one of those guys that I think all of the younger guys, whether they say it or not, look up to as a role model. He doesn’t need anyone else’s approval.” Commentslast_img read more