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World Sports: Gerrard to score 100 caps; Debuts for Sterling, Osman and Caulker

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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World Sports: Gerrard to score 100 caps; Debuts for Sterling, Osman and Caulker | Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World sporting news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Gerrard to score 100 caps; Debuts for Sterling, Osman and Caulker
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Captain Steven Gerrard is set to become the sixth player to reach the milestone of 100 caps for England in tonight’s friendly against Sweden and feels he still has a lot more fuel left in his international tank.

The 32-year-old midfielder has had to cope with a few more injuries in recent times but is confident he can keep making a telling contribution for his country.

“My journey has been full of ups and downs and I feel there are a few chapters to write. I don’t feel my England career is coming to an end,” Gerrard told reporters yesterday.

“I’m slightly nervous, very excited and can’t wait for the game to start. I try to be the driving force, get assists and goals and lead by example.”

There were doubts over Gerrard’s fitness when he received a knock in Sunday’s Premier League game at Chelsea but a scan gave the Liverpool skipper the all-clear.

Goalkeeper Peter Shilton (125), David Beckham (115), Bobby Moore (108), Bobby Charlton (106) and Billy Wright (105) have also reached a century of England appearances, with Beckham the most-capped outfield player.

“David’s a hero of mine and it is not important if I beat his record, it is just about qualifying for the next major tournament,” Gerrard said of his former team mate who has not played for his country since 2009.

Roy Hodgson explained that Gerrard’s captaincy had been a highlight since he took over as manager in May.

“I’ve been exceptionally pleased with his leadership qualities, giving younger lads a wise, calming, comforting word,” said Hodgson who also briefly worked with Gerrard at Liverpool in 2010-11.

Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes the midfielder is no ordinary performer.

“He feels more like an international player rather than a normal English player,” said Ibrahimovic.

“English players have big hearts, they are always fighting and are very aggressive but for me Gerrard feels more international. He has more skills than the normal player.

“He must be a very good person to have as a team mate. He always gives 200 percent,” added Ibrahimovic.

Sterling, Osman and Caulker to make England debuts
England will also hand debuts to forward Raheem Sterling, midfielder Leon Osman and defender Steven Caulker in the friendly against Sweden in Stockholm, British media have reported.

Everton’s Osman, 31 years and 181 days old, and Liverpool’s Sterling, aged 17 and 342 days, would span the biggest age gap between England debutants in the same match since the Second World War.

“Steven Caulker and Raheem have been playing regularly for the under-21s and have made that transition you expect players to make when they are playing well for the under-21s into the national team,” Hodgson told reporters regarding the 20-year-old Tottenham Hotspur player and the Anfield youngster.

“Leon Osman is the odd one out, he’s a bit different. He has been performing regularly and well for Everton but has been passed over.

“I thought it was time to give him a chance because he has been one of the unsung heroes of a very good football club and a very good football team for many years.

“He is a very energetic player. And the fact he is 31 surprises me because he plays like a much younger man.

“Let’s hope that continues and I won’t have to worry about his birth certificate.”

Sterling would become England’s fifth youngest player.

“In some of the Liverpool games I have seen, he has pretty much been the star player,” said Hodgson, who worked with Sterling when he was Liverpool manager.

“He is extremely dangerous with his ability to run with the ball, his pace and directness. He has even scored one or two important goals.

“If he can do it on a regular basis for Liverpool in the Premier League I have every right to think he can do it playing for England as well.”

Anticipated England starting line-up: Joe Hart (Manchester City), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Steven Caulker (Tottenham Hotspur), Leighton Baines (Everton), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Leon Osman (Everton), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United), Ashley Young (Manchester United).

Kick-off is scheduled for 2:30 tomorrow morning and is viewable on channel 9 in Phuket.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions

Tim Newton

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Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | Thaiger

Three of Thailand’s biggest expat areas are seeing sharp rises in new infections, partly from pre-Songkran traffic. The Songkran holidays, now officially over (but will see many people taking today off and making a weekend Songkran extension), and the government says they are expecting to see a rise in the cases numbers reported in the popular holiday locations.

Chon Buri Public Health office says they now have a total of 910 infections since April 1. They have 103 new cases in the past 24 hours. Most new cases are in Bang Lamung district which includes Pattaya City with 47, Siracha with 12) & Chon buri City with 8.

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | News by Thaiger

Meanwhile Phuket has a total of 142 infections recorded on the island with the Governor still insisting there will be no need for a lockdown. Here’s a breakdown of the areas and the numbers of recorded infections so far (below).

Governor Narong announced that the Phuket Infectious Disease Control Committee won’t be implementing an official lockdown, but will “strictly raise the intensity of public health measures to counter the spread of Covid-19″.

“Everyone should wear a face mask, maintain social distancing, wash their hands frequently and install the Mor Chana app (available for free from App Store and Google Play Store).”

A meeting of the CCSA, chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is expected to upgrade restrictions in red zone areas around the country, which includes Phuket and Pattaya. Read more about the latest red and orange zones HERE.

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | News by Thaiger

For Hua Hin expats, there’s been 100 new Covid-19 infections announced in Prachuap Khiri Khan in the past 24 hours, 75 cases from Hua Hin. This takes the total in the province since April 1 to 625. Hua Hin accounts for nearly 90% of the district’s total cases.

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Transport

Footbridges stop luxury yacht travelling from Phuket to Samui

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Footbridges stop luxury yacht travelling from Phuket to Samui | Thaiger
PHOTO: Thailand's version of the Suez Canal blockage.

Footbridges in Phuket stood in the way of a luxury yacht travelling from its home in Phuket to Koh Samui when the boat was too tall to pass. Police received a call around 8 pm last night from the truck driver after his trailer carrying the yacht had trouble getting under one of several bridges for walkers to pass over the highway. The boat was travelling down Thepkrasattri Road, where it was stopped by the bridge near Baan Tha Reua School. The boat also had trouble at the pedestrian bridge at the Provincial Electricity Authority Thalang Branch and the bridge at Baan Lipon School in Srisoonthorn.

All the bridges were supposed to have a 5-metre clearance, though one observer speculated that all the repaving of the road over the years may have raised the road and lowered the clearance. Traffic police responded to the first bridge incident by sending officers to direct traffic and make sure bikes and cars didn’t pass and impeded progress on freeing the boat. The second incident about 30 minutes later was resolved by letting air out of the truck’s tires to lower it just enough to pass under the bridge. The third snag prompted the driver to go in person to the Thalang Police station to request help yet again.

This time police were less amused and suggested the truck driver try to resolve the issue himself and call back to the police only if he was unable to free the luxury yacht. A traffic police officer went to follow up with the stranded boat at the end of his shift and found the driver had given up and decided to return the yacht to its Phuket origin at Boat Lagoon Marina in Koh Kaew. The boat, now damaged from the bridge bumps, wasn’t going to make it to Surat Thani to be sailed to Koh Samui on this journey. The boat radar had broken off on one of the bridges. No word on any major damage to the pedestrian bridges.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Hotel blog suggests Phuket should push ahead with July reopening despite Covid surge

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Hotel blog suggests Phuket should push ahead with July reopening despite Covid surge | Thaiger
PHOTO: Hotels and other tourism business are hoping the July 1st reopening goal can still be achieved.

A hotel information blog is claiming that, despite growing Covid-19 numbers, Phuket should stick to its schedule in reopening to travellers without quarantine in July. That’s only 2 and a half months away.

In an interview with the Director of Travel and Tourism Consulting at GlobalData, they stressed that while it is crucial to rein in the spread of Covid-19 and the B117 strain now menacing Thailand, the risk must not overshadow the need to push forward with vaccinations and the march towards eliminating the quarantine by July in order to save the tourism industry and all those dependent on it.

“The Phuket pilot program is essential in creating a path towards economic recovery for Thailand, a country heavily dependent on tourism. More than 17% of Thailand’s gross domestic product is attributed to tourism and the Covid-19 pandemic has lead to the worst economic free-fall in over 20 years”

The blog acknowledges the inherent risk and possible appearance of foolishness to prioritise the plans to reopen and carry on with the same rollout schedule. But they urge Thai authorities to consider that July 1 is still 2 and a half months away, leaving ample time to recover and make progress towards the approaching Phuket reopening. A vital aspect of the reopening plan lies in vaccinating over 70% of Phuket’s provincial residents, a sizable task, but one that brings great benefit with or without the scheduled reopening.

“Pushing ahead to achieve this goal puts Phuket on track to welcome back tourists, perhaps in a “bio-bubble”, and restart the economy. The economy is desperate with household debt growing, pushing the government to enact emergency decrees to provide relief. These households need the return of tourism and the influx of cash international tourists will bring.”

The blog hopes that Thai authorities can balance the necessary Covid-19 safety measures in Phuket to protect the Thai population with the economic need to bring back tourism. They believe that with sufficient measures in place, vaccinated locals could welcome vaccinated international tourists back to Phuket reopening safely in July.

SOURCE: Hotel News Resource

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