Toffees hire Martinez
Roberto Martinez was hired as Everton manager on Wednesday after quitting relegated Wigan Athletic and immediately piled the pressure on himself by promising to guide his new club into the UEFA Champions League. The 39-year-old Spaniard signed a four-year deal as the replacement for David Moyes, who is taking over from Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. Martinez becomes only Everton’s 14th permanent manager in the club’s 135-year history. Moyes established Everton as a regular fixture in the top half of the Premier League during his 11 years at Goodison Park, but failed to either win a trophy or seriously challenge the top teams. Martinez believes it can all be different under him. “Almost his first words to me were: ‘I’ll get you in the Champions League,’ and that is extraordinary for a man who doesn’t know much about the football club from the inside, but who has obviously studied the football club and looked at what we have been doing the last few years,” Everton owner Bill Kenwright said.
Schwarzer to leave Cottage
Veteran Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer says he plans to leave Fulham after the English Premier League club signed Netherlands international Maarten Stekelenburg from AS Roma in a four-year deal. Schwarzer told News Limited newspapers yesterday: “I’ve been hearing that for a while, so it’s no great surprise and I’ll be looking for another club.” The 40-year-old Schwarzer, who played in a 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw against Japan on Tuesday and will play again for Australia in a qualifier against Jordan next week in Melbourne, added: “Nothing has been sorted at the moment, the Japan game was the most important thing on the agenda so I’m worried about the Australia games now.”
Runner’s pain is a baby
An aspiring half-marathon runner attributed her unbearable back pain to a two-hour training session. A day later, she was cradling a newborn. Trish Staine, 33, says she had no idea she was pregnant before Monday’s surprise birth. The Duluth, Minnesota, mother of three said she had not gained any weight or felt fetal movement in the months before, and besides, her husband had a vasectomy. “I said: ‘No, no, that’s impossible,’” Staine said on Wednesday. “I definitely thought I was done having kids,” she joked. Staine and her husband, John, have a daughter, 7, and a son, 11. Staine said she ran for about two hours on Sunday in preparation for the Garry Bjorklund half-marathon on June 22. “I had a sore back [on] Sunday evening. I had taken a hot shower and was dealing with it,” Staine said. “Monday morning, I woke up and had more back pain, and as the day went on it got worse.”
Fan holds nerve to win big
Fan Chris Newell kept his cool in front of a crowd of more than 16,000 at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Wednesday to win ￡50,000 (US$77,000). Since November last year, the 50-year-old had known he would have the chance to win the money in a competition run by the sponsors, and having been set the task of hitting three stumps, then two and then one in successive deliveries in the break in the third one-day international between England and New Zealand, Newell held his nerve by bowling a trio of accurate deliveries to claim the cash. Asked about his bowling, Newell said: “Well I’m originally from Yorkshire, so I guess there’s a bit of the old Fred Trueman in there somewhere.”