International Netball Federation President Molly Rhone says that preparations are going slowly for the World Youth Cup in Botswana next year, but she is confident that the tournament will go ahead smoothly.Rhone, who is currently back home in Jamaica, said that she visited the country and toured the venues at the University of Botswana in Gaborone, the capital. She found that the facilities at the institutions had undergone changes that her federation had not expected.”The university had a new complex built,” she said.”When I had gone there first and spoke with the university officials, they were going to have a building with two courts. But when we visited, we saw that one end of the gymnasium was now set up for boxing, so it can now hold only one court.”This means they have to now go and make do with a second championship court. You now have to go and retrofit a whole convention centre. So that has added a bit of expense for them but I think the teams are really looking forward to the competition next year.”Botswana will become the first African nation to host an international netball tournament when the competition runs from July 8 to 16 next year. Rhone said that as a result, everyone is looking forward to it.Botswana Netball Association (BONA) President Tebogo Lebotse Sebego said recently that the Cook Islands, who hosted the event in 2009, had given her inspiration that they too can put on a successful tournament.”When we put in the bid, we knew that we were punching above our weight. But as a small nation with great ambitions, punching above our weight is our inspiration,” she said.Jamaica’s Under-21 Sunshine Girls have been drawn in Pool C with the hosts, the Cook Islands, Malaysia and Uganda.
Roberto Martinez felt David de Gea was the reason for Everton leaving Old Trafford empty-handed on Sunday.The Toffees suffered a 2-1 reverse against Manchester United, with Radamel Falcao scoring the winner for the home side after Steven Naismith had earlier cancelled out Angel di Maria’s opener.Martinez insists his side deserved at least a draw and pinpointed De Gea as the difference between the two sides.The Spanish stopper kept out a penalty from Leighton Baines just before half-time and capped a fine individual performance with a stunning save from Bryan Oviedo in stoppage time.“You can clearly state he is the difference in the scoreline,” said Martinez.“The scoreline would have been very different had David de Gea not been at that level today. “He had no right to save the strike from Bryan Oviedo and it was a great save from the penalty.“His outstanding performance today has stopped us from getting a positive result.”De Gea’s fine late stop from Oviedo meant Falcao’s first strike for United proved to be the matchwinner.But Martinez was disappointed that the goal stood, with the Spaniard claiming referee Kevin Friend should have stopped the match when midfielder Steven Pienaar went down injured moments before the Colombian struck.“I’m really disappointed that the second goal was allowed to stand. Steven Pienaar was on the ground and needed to come off and we left the referee know,” he said.“The small margins today stopped us from getting a positive result that I feel we deserved if you looked at the overall performance of the two sides.”