“Bearwood is one of a number of sites we have looked at and of course there is a long way to go before anything is confirmed or any work can begin. “As a club we aim to build, evolve and succeed so we need to move away from the current site at Hogwood, which we have outgrown. “With the plans we have in place for the first team facility, and our desire to have the best possible academy, this is a vital step and if all goes well then it can only be of benefit to the football club.” The Royals’ return to the npower Championship was decided with three games to spare, but owner Anton Zingarevich remains committed to improving the club on and off the field. “We are striving to improve all aspects of the football club and have agreed in principle a contract with Bearwood to purchase land and build a new training ground, subject to planning permission,” chief executive Nigel Howe told the club’s official website. Press Association Relegated Reading are pressing ahead with plans for a new training ground, with a deal agreed in principle with Bearwood Golf Club.
As students at University of Wisconsin celebrated Homecoming on campus, a Wisconsin men’s soccer player celebrated a different type of homecoming — by playing a match in the city where he first learned the game.Tom Barlow returned to his hometown of St. Louis as the Badgers took on St. Louis University, and the young striker provided the game-winning goal in double overtime for the Cardinal and White.Barlow played his first game in his hometown since joining the Badgers nearly two years ago. The striker said it was a special feeling to play in front of loved ones and people he hadn’t seen since coming to Madison. Even more so, Barlow thought it was cool to showcase how much his talents have improved to his onlooking high school coaches — the individuals that helped him reach the college level in the first place.“Being able to play in front of [my old coaches] again was a cool moment,” Barlow said. “It was a lot of fun to see a bunch of them, and my high school coach came over and told me ‘great goal’ after the game was over.”Barlow scoring in his return to St. Louis is a story in itself, but for him to net the winning goal in a highly contested, double overtime match? It really couldn’t get better than that, and Barlow agreed.“Getting [the goal] in St. Louis was a really special moment for me,” he said. “It didn’t hit me at first. It was just so surreal, and I’m really happy that it happened when it did.”Barlow, who came into season ranked as the 98th-best player in the country, according to TopDrawerSoccer, got off to a slow start to the campaign, managing to produce only one assist in the team’s first seven games.That’s not the type of production the coaching staff wanted from their top goal-scorer from a season ago.But as of late, Barlow’s fortunes have started to change. In the past seven games, Barlow has racked up three goals and notched one assist, putting him into second place on the team in points (eight). Barlow said he attributes this turnaround in his performances to the unity of the team, something that wasn’t really there in the early stages of the season.“I think our team is starting to come together more and you can feel it in practice,” Barlow said. “Now I feel like we’re not gonna give up a goal. We’re passing better, which helps open up spaces for myself to get in behind [the defense], allowing us to get better looks on goal. Things are starting to click more for us.”Barlow became a household name during his time playing high school soccer in St. Louis at Chaminade College Prep. During his junior season, the striker was named the Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year following a campaign that saw him score 27 goals and tally 17 assists to help lead his team to the state championship. The accolades Barlow picked up during his senior season are even more impressive — he received the award for the St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame Rising Star, as well as the Larry Hughes award, in addition to his All-American recognition.Barlow added to his long list of awards after his first season with Wisconsin when he was named to the Big Ten All-Freshmen team following his five-goal, three-assist campaign for the Badgers in 2014.Part of the reason Barlow settled into the team so effortlessly, he said, was due to the relationship he already had with fellow St. Louis sophomore forward Mark Segbers. The two grew up playing club soccer for St. Louis Scott Gallagher, and then both ended up donning the Wisconsin jersey. It’s this unique partnership that has given Barlow and Segbers a huge advantage against defenses, Barlow said.“We just kind of understand what kind of players we are — he knows my strengths and I know his,” Barlow said. “We just kind of know where each other is going to be, and we try our best to throw off defenses using this. It’s nice having someone that I know pretty well playing up their with me.”Barlow certainly made the most of his homecoming opportunity in St. Louis. Except this time, he left Missouri as Wisconsin’s homecoming hero.
This past weekend, defensive tackle junior Rasheem Green declared for the 2018 NFL Draft. He is the first draft-eligible defensive player on the USC Football team to do so during this off-season.Green’s departure leaves a major hole on the Trojans’ defense. Daily Trojan file photo.The 6-foot-4 Los Angeles native made his presence felt on the defensive line, with 117 tackles, 16.5 sacks, a pair of blocked field goals and even a touchdown via a fumble recovery. Green announced his NFL declaration through Twitter on Jan. 13. “After a lot of careful thought and discussions with my family, trusted friends, and the USC coaching staff, I have decided to forgo my final year of eligibility at USC and enter the 2018 NFL Draft,” Green wrote in his tweet. Green also thanked those who have supported him throughout his football career.“I wouldn’t be the player and person that I am without you guys,” Green said. “My three years at USC have been a blessing, and I am forever grateful for the people that I have encountered on this journey.”These last few weeks, the USC Football team has lost a few significant members, including redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold, junior running back Ronald Jones II and junior wide receiver Deontay Burnett. Despite the chain reaction of declarations that occurred after Darnold announced his decision, a few players elected to spend another year sporting the USC colors, including junior inside linebacker Cameron Smith. On Jan. 12, Smith’s junior defensive-mate Iman Marshall announced that he would remain a Trojan for another season. “I came to USC three years ago with big expectations for myself and for this University,” Marshall said. “[I] want to help bring this University back to the top and feel we got a lot more left to accomplish, time to go and get it!”The 6-foot-1, 200-pound cornerback is known for his physical play-style that has resulted in 118 tackles, 17 deflections and six interceptions throughout his football career at USC. Without a doubt, the two returning veteran defenders, Smith and Marshall, will have to serve as leaders for a now offense-depleted Trojan Football team. Fellow defenders, redhsirt junior cornerback Ajene Harris and junior safety Marvell Tell III are also expected to return for their senior seasons.