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Laudrup: Chelsea enquired after me

first_img But, quoted in A Bola, Laudrup claimed there was interest from Stamford Bridge before Mourinho signed on for a second spell. He said: “Someone tried to know my availability through intermediaries, but there was nothing concrete. “Also, I had given my word that I would be in Swansea.” Chelsea were unavailable for comment when contacted by Press Association Sport. Arguably Laudrup’s most important act as Swansea boss was completing the signing of Michu for just over £2million last summer. The Spaniard has gone on to score 27 goals for the Swans and has been rewarded with his first call-up to the Spain squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Georgia. The 27-year-old placed on record his thanks for Laudrup, telling the club’s official website: “It’s because of Michael Laudrup that I am here. “He is one of the best managers I have ever worked with in my life.” He also revealed Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata has been helping him adjust to life in the squad. “I feel like I am annoying Juan Mata as I am always asking him about the training and the new experience,” he said. “Mata is helping me a lot, I know him very well. I can’t describe the feeling when I went into the pitch wearing the shirt of the best team of the world. “But it is very easy to play with all these players. The players who are in the squad are the best in the world and they’re at the maximum level.” Swansea have also given a first professional deal to Pau Morer. The 18-year-old Spanish midfielder has been training with the club’s Under-21s since July, but could not sign professionally until his 18th birthday. Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has told a Portuguese newspaper Chelsea enquired about his availability prior to their appointment of Jose Mourinho. The Dane was linked with a number of high-profile jobs after guiding the Welsh club to Capital One Cup glory and a ninth-placed finish in the Barclays Premier League. A falling out between Swansea and Laudrup’s agent Bayram Tutumlu over proposed transfer targets only added to the speculation, but the former Getafe and Real Mallorca boss ended up staying in south Wales. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Baumann, Michalicka succeed at ITA’s

first_imgSenior Moritz Baumann and junior Marek Michalicka formed a formidable duo throughout the fall, and continued they their strong play this past weekend in New Haven, Conn., at the ITA Indoor Championships.The two traveled to ITAs as the No. 4 seed in doubles, where the Wisconsin duo was upset by Robert Farah and Steve Johnson from Southern Cal in the second round. After being moved to the consolation bracket, Baumann and Michalicka showed their toughness by coming back and advancing to the final round before being defeated by Yale’s Marek Czerwinski and Dennis Nevolo. After a being defeated so early, the two came back and showed the country just how fearsome they could be in the spring season.“We [feel we] have two guys at the top who can beat anyone in the country,” said Michalicka.Head coach Greg Van Emburgh feels they were unlucky and should have remained in the winners bracket longer, given their high seeding, but a couple of unlucky breaks went against them in their second-round loss.Regardless of their early exit from the winners bracket, the trip turned out to be a phenomenal outing for the two seniors. This was the first time in school history the tennis team has sent two players to the ITAs. Even more impressive, the two were the first two players in school history to win a match and advance to the second round. Despite the odds against them, Van Emburgh never doubted his two players.“I think it’s a huge accomplishment for our program [and] for them as players,” Van Emburgh said. “[However] I wasn’t surprised, I know their potential and their [talent] level, but it’s quite an accomplishment for them to make it that far.”Even with newfound success, coaches and players alike claim their preparation and practice was relatively unchanged from a season ago, only that this time they were just able to put everything together.“I don’t think there was anything different, we did the same things last year, but we just did it better,” Michalicka said. “I felt better on the court, [and] I know everything was better than last year when we just didn’t have a good season.”The success caps off a great fall season for the team, setting up things quite nicely for Van Emburgh and the rest of the coaching staff in the spring.“We’re really excited with our fall, it’s probably one of the best falls I’ve had here and this is my fifth year [here],” Van Emburgh said.That being said, it isn’t always easy to take a two-month break in the middle of your season and expect to come back and pick it up where you left off, a concern Van Emburgh noted following the tournament.“It’s always a tough time, end of the fall season,” Van Emburgh said. “The only motivation is the spring season, trying to work on some things to make sure to we continue to improve.”Fortunately for the Badgers, reinforcements are on the way. A prize recruit from Colombia, Ricardo Martin, will enroll in January and compete for the team in the spring season.International recruiting has been something Van Emburgh has focused on throughout his tenure in Madison. Tennis is truly an international sport and is something to capitalize on when it comes to fielding the best possible team. He believes his team is no exception and that coaches throughout collegiate tennis recruit from Europe, South America and other hot spots for tennis around the world.“I think it’s that way across the board, you see the international players,” Van Emburgh said. “It’s such a broad based sport, to be competitive you have to feed into the international player.”Michalicka relished an opportunity to come to America and play tennis while also receiving a top-notch education.“I just wanted to experience something new and to study abroad in America while getting a good degree,” Michalicka said. “Back home it’s tough to play tennis and [also] get a degree at the same time.”last_img read more

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