Printer Friendly

SPORT; FACES TO WATCH 2014 Brian Dick considers the sportspeople to look out for in 2014.

Dan Evans (Tennis) BRITISH tennis's prodigal son finally found the motivation and form to match his undoubted talent last year when he qualified for and reached the third round of the US Open.

Bernard Tomic and Kei Nishikori were both bamboozled by the gifted 23-year-old, who also made the most of his Queen's Club wild card by beating Guido Pella and Jarkko Nieminen.

Ranked 150 in the world 2014 must be the year the Hall Green player kicks on and cracks the top 100 and qualifies for Grand Slams by right.

Richard Garlick (football) PROMOTED from within to succeed the excellent Dan Ashworth as West Brom's sporting and technical director, Garlick came under the microscope when Steve Clarke was sacked.

That might be slightly unfair because Garlick's player recruitment role is not exactly the same as his predecessors but the failure to impress of several of their deadline day signings has not helped his stock among supporters.

With the transfer window now open and a new man at the helm, Garlick will be expected to close the deals for the players who will keep the Baggies in the Premier League.

Carson Yeung (football) THE uncertainty surrounding the Birmingham City owner's legal status in Hong Kong, where he has pleaded not guilty to five counts of money laundering, has left the Championship club in a state of inertia.

The football club desperately needs to be sold so that money can be invested and the superb management of Lee Clark does not go to waste. Blues are clinging bravely on to their second tier status but they can't do it indefinitely.

Hopefully we'll all know more by February 28 when District Judge Douglas Yau Tak-hong is expected to deliver his verdict.

Paul Lambert (football) JUST when you think Lambert's revolution has taken two steps forward, Aston Villa take one backwards which means we seem to be in the same position we were 12 months ago. With the jury out.

Lambert has not been helped by Christian Benteke's early season struggles nor by the failure of some of his summer buys to prove themselves although youngsters like Ashley Westwood and Yacouba Sylla have developed.

Nevertheless, Villa fans will want to see signs of solid progress in 2014 because if we're asking the same questions this time next year the answers might be pretty negative.

Roy Hodgson (football) FIFTEEN months as manager of West Brom is enough for us to claim Hodgson as an honorary West Midlander - and we'll all be behind him in Brazil.

Hodgson, as decent as they come, will face the test that defines his career at the World Cup and if he can lead England out of a group that contains Uruguay, Italy and Costa Rica he'll be rightly feted.

But one gets the impression the tabloid caricatures and withering impressions are only a couple of defeats away and the 66-year-old could experience the same bile poured on predecessors Steve McLaren and Graham Taylor.

Dean Ryan (rugby) THE Worcester director of rugby swapped the TV booth for the Premiership hotseat last summer and Warriors results are worse now than when he started.

However, after years travelling down the wrong road - when the academy was mothballed, Ryan has worked hard at building a top flight infrastructure off the pitch - to develop a team worthy of that status on it.

Relegation to the Championship is the most likely outcome at the end of this season but many Warriors fans might stomach that as long as they believe the club is going forward in other ways. 2014 is as big a year as any other in the club's history.

Joel Fearon (athletics and bobsleigh) THOUGHT dual internationals belonged to the corinthian days of yesterday? You might be right but Joel Fearon doesn't think so.

The Birchfield Harrier came within a whisker of qualifying for the 100m at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow in the summer and stands a good chance of representing England in the Commonwealth Games.

But not until he has fulfilled his obligations a brakeman in the fourman bob at the Winter Olympics in Sochi next month. Blindingly fast the 25-year-old from Coventry deserves to be a household name.

Dougie Brown (cricket) THE Warwickshire director of cricket's first year in charge at Edgbaston was seemingly an impossible task with player unavailability at an all-time high.

Bears scrapped for their lives in the county championship but stank to high heaven in both limited overs competitions and Brown will have to sort that out.

The Scot has identified a lack of runs as the most obvious shortcoming and has promised to build a more balanced squad this winter.

But he'll need a decent start if trouble is to be kept off the horizon - and a few matches from Messrs Bell, Trott, Woakes and Rankin would be a massive help.

Jordanne Whiley (wheelchair tennis) THE Halesonian enjoyed a breakthrough season and will hope to kick on in 2014 after reaching a career high world ranking at No. 7. With wheelchair tennis still looking for an undisputed queen - following the end of Esther Vergeer's decade of dominance, there are several contenders for her crown - and Whiley is one.

With a paralympic medal already won and success at the end of season Masters event in California the 21-year-old will target success in the Grand Slams this year - and where better to achieve that than at Wimbledon.

Meghan Beesley (athletics) AFTER contemplating giving up athletics when she failed to qualify for London 2012, Beesley decided to give it one final go in 2013. What a good decision that proved to be.

The 24-year-old Birchfield Harrier ran several personal bests last summer and reached her first ever IAAF World Championships - where she repeated the feat and reached the semi-finals.

She has an excellent chance of making it to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where she will compete with English compatriot Perri Shakes-Drayton and Scotland's Eilidh Child for a first major medal.

CAPTION(S):

Warwickshire head coach ??Dougie Brown

Tennis player Dan Evans, of Hall Green, Birmingham
COPYRIGHT 2014 Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2014 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jan 2, 2014
Words:1009
Previous Article:CULTURE; FACES TO WATCH 2014 Roz Laws on the faces of culture over the next year.
Next Article:Asbestos law does not go far enough; Letters.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters