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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: Chennaiyin FC appoint Englishman Gregory as Head Coach

Sports Shorts: Chennaiyin FC appoint Englishman Gregory as Head Coach

July 03, 2017 16:51 IST

Chennaiyin FC appoint Englishman John Gregory as Head Coach

John Gregory

IMAGE: Former Aston Villa manager John Gregory. Photograph: Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Chennaiyin FC on Monday appointed former Aston Villa manager John Gregory as their head coach replacing Italian Marco Materazzi.

The 63-year-old Gregory has over four decades of experience as a player and coach with six appearances as 'full international' for the England national team.

His coaching career started at Portsmouth and then he had spells at Plymouth Argyle and Wycombe Wanderers before his most notable four-year stint with Aston Villa in the English Premier League.

Under Gregory's guidance Aston Villa finished runners-up in the 2000 FA Cup after losing to Chelsea in the last ever FA Cup final at the Old Wembley Stadium.

After leaving Aston Villa in 2002, Gregory was head coach at Derby County and Queens Park Rangers.

He then had two stints in Israel at Maccabi Ahi Nazareth and FC Ashdod before moving to Kazakhstan where he coached FC Kairat. His last stint was at English third tier outfit Crawley Town.

Gregory said,"I am very excited to have joined Chennaiyin FC and would like to thank the club owners for believing in me and giving me this wonderful opportunity. Chennaiyin has been one of the most consistent teams in the ISL so far and I want to continue the great work done by Marco Materazzi in the first three seasons."

Ramkumar shoots to best rank after splendid show in Antalya

Ramkumar Ramanathan

IMAGE: Ramkumar Ramnathan in action. Photograph: PTI

Young Indian tennis player Ramkumar Ramanathan achieved his career-best rank of 184 after jumping up 38 places in the ATP singles ranking chart following his inspiring show at the Antalya Open, where he humbled world number eighth Dominic Thiem.

Ramkumar, 22, had qualified for the ATP250 event and progressed to quarter-finals, where he lost to veteran Marcos Baghdatis.

The Chennai lad earned 57 points for his effort and as a result leapfrogged 38 places in the ladder to be the highest- ranked Indian in the singles now.

He is followed by Yuki Bhambri (222), Prajnesh Gunneswaran (259), N Sriram Balaji (291) and Sumit Nagal (342), who jumped 27 places.

In the doubles, Rohan Bopanna was highest-ranked Indian at number 21, followed by Purav Raja (57), Divij Sharan (57), Leander Paes (62) and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (90).

In the WTA rankings, Sania Mirza remained at number seven in the doubles and Ankita Raina was highest-ranked singles player at number 274. Karman Kaur Thandi was next best at 413.

Manchester United's busy pre-season will boost players - Jones

Manchester United's packed pre-season schedule with seven matches to be played in a little over two weeks will boost players' fitness and prepare them for the start of the 2017-18 Premier League campaign, defender Phil Jones has said.

United, who finished sixth in the league last season, start their pre-season fixtures with a five-match tour of the United States where they face Los Angeles Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The Europa League winners round out their tour with a trip to Norwegian side Valerenga in Oslo before a trip to Ireland where they face Italy's Sampdoria.

"The more matches you play, the more match-fit you are and seven games will give everyone a chance to get minutes under their belts. You need everyone at a good level for the start of the season," Jones said on the club's official website. 

The tour will be the second under manager Jose Mourinho, who joined the club last May, and Jones says that the Portuguese will have every detail of the tour planned out.

"We know exactly what the manager expects from us and he knows the players inside and out. He'll have organised this pre-season period exactly how he wants it - when we'll train, when we'll rest and when we'll have commercial work to do," Jones said.

"I'm sure it will be a great tour and I'm looking forward to it."

After their pre-season run, United take on Champions League winners Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup in Macedonia on Aug. 8, four days before the start of the new league campaign.

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