The former England international is out of contract in the summer and so could now open negotiations with foreign clubs over a potentially lucrative Bosman free transfer abroad. However, the much-travelled frontman – who joined Stoke from Tottenham in late August 2011 and has been reported to be interesting former Potters boss Tony Pulis at West Brom – would prefer to stay on at the Britannia Stadium, with manager Mark Hughes keen to retain him. Striker Peter Crouch hopes a deal can be agreed to extend his stay at Stoke past the end of the season. “I don’t know what will happen in the future but at the moment, for the foreseeable future, I am happy playing for Stoke,” said Crouch. “My contract is up at the end of the season so I don’t know what the future will hold, but at the moment I will just continue to do what I do – that is work hard and hopefully score some goals.” Crouch added: “It is nice to hear when the manager has got belief in you and hopefully I can stay here for a few more years after this.” Stoke could not unsettle Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday in the same way they had in the home Barclays Premier League game before Christmas, and were well beaten 3-0. Crouch, though, relished his “gigantic” battle with 6ft 6in German defender Per Mertesacker. “I have always enjoyed it, I don’t want to give any defenders an easy ride and hopefully you can put yourself about to unsettle them,” he said. “I have tried to do that and always try to do.” Stoke fell behind early after sloppy defending allowed Laurent Koscielny a free header in the six-yard box, and from then on could just not contain the rampant Gunners as Alexis Sanchez struck twice either side of the break. Crouch said: “We have to try to stop them playing, to get in about them. They have world class players so if you let them play they are going to punish you and that is what happened. “In the game at home we did not let them play, we did not let them have any space and we played to our strengths. “The early goal here killed us and we were not able to get back from that.” The defeat was a first in four games and Stoke are 11th ahead of the visit to Leicester. Crouch said: “I think it has been a good season and that we can finish in the top half of the league. “Apart from at Arsenal we have been in every game we have played. Even in the games we have lost we have given a good account of ourselves.” Press Association
Education Minister Peter Fassbender is in Fort St. John today, his fourth stop on the K-12 Innovation Tour. The purpose of the tour is to communicate with education leaders on how the government can support innovative learning opportunities for students in this area of the province.His day began with a stop at North Peace Secondary School where he took in a presentation by students on the benefits of School District 60’s dual credit program, in conjunction with Northern Opportunities. Students discussed topics surrounding skills and career training, the benefits of connecting them with local industries, and the role of Northern Lights College in the process.Afterwards Minister Fassbender, along with Peace River North MLA and members of School District went to the Pomeroy Hotel to announce $7 million in funding to purchase land for three new schools in Fort St. John. The schools will be two elementary schools and a middle school.- Advertisement -In a release Fassbender said, “This fourth stop on the Innovation Tour is important because Fort St. John and the Peace River region offer some great examples of the need for more advanced skilled trades workers to support the thriving industries in the area. As more families move here for jobs, we are seeing a demand for new K-12 student space. The site acquisitions announced today are demonstrations of the commitments we are making to this growing region.”M
“Day by day every player is improving. They realize they have to play and perform and that’s why there is a bit of consistency. When I came in they were not training as a team; sometimes players were not even coming to training. But now we are more like a unit and the mentality and attitude has changed. It becomes easier to plan,” Matano has said.Matano’s discipline axe has already been wielded on Ugandan forward Allan Katterega who crossed paths with the tactician referred to as ‘The Lion’ in Nakuru during their 1-0 loss to Bandari.Katterega openly argued with the coach after he was substituted despite coming on in the second half and Matano said he would not work with him again.Goalkeeper Ian Otieno is also reported to have fallen prey of Matano’s tough regime having missed a training session.AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia players clash mid-air during the Mashemeji Derby match on August 26, 2017. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaThe tactician is confident that with renewed spirit, the team has the capability to fight to finish the season on a high.“Of course we can’t win the league now but the plan is to play each of the remaining 13 matches well and see what comes out at the end of the season. We have to play to win and if we continue like this, we will achieve our target. We have to finish above top 10. AFC is a big team and we can’t afford to finish lower,” the tactician noted.Ingwe put up perhaps their best performance on Sunday evening when they played to a 1-1 draw with arch rivals Gor Mahia, a result that Matano is confident will spur them on as they aim to finish the season on a high.“For me, these are not two dropped points. Coming from two 3-0 losses to draw 1-1 is a good result. Of course Gor is on top at the moment and this is a very important point for us. If you compare us to Gor, they are better,” Matano offered.After the international break, Ingwe will shift their hunt to fast rising Zoo Kericho in Nakuru.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000AFC Leopards head coach Robert Matano speaks to midfielder Duncan Otieno before their game against Gor Mahia in the Mashemeji Derby on August 26, 2017. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 28 – The recent upturn of results at AFC Leopards has been down to discipline and an attitude change among the players, head coach Robert Matano has revealed.Matano who joined AFC in July from National Super League side Bidco United believes that they will finish within the top 10 positions even as he looks to close the season with a trophy, having qualified for the GOtv Shield semi-finals.