Press Association Everton boss Roberto Martinez feels his side’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham on Sunday was a game that boded well for England ahead of Euro 2016. And Martinez said: “It was a joy to see so many English players on both sides with young ages but big roles in the game. “You could see players that probably wouldn’t get opportunities in other teams in this league. “It is the best league in world football, but sometimes you need to be a bit patient. “What you are seeing now is such a variety of good young English players. “You don’t get many opportunities of having generations with players like Ross Barkley, John Stones, Harry Kane and Dele Alli – a large pool of players with something to offer, but very, very different. The options are huge. “It is important they play in games like this, that they develop and that they can then bring experience, because at the end of the day, the psychological aspect of a player in big tournaments is important.” An England man with plenty of experience who was an unused substitute on Sunday is Toffees defender Phil Jagielka. The 33-year-old Everton captain was back as part of a matchday squad for the first time since sustaining a knee injury in October. Toffees duo Ross Barkley and John Stones and Spurs’ Harry Kane each made notable contributions to an absorbing Barclays Premier League encounter at Goodison Park, while the latter’s team-mate Dele Alli was widely seen as the man of the match. That youthful foursome – along with several others who were involved, including Tottenham’s 21-year-old Eric Dier – are aiming to be part of England’s squad for the Euros in France this summer. He is close to a return to action, but Martinez stressed Wednesday’s Capital One Cup semi-final first leg against Manchester City at home will not see Jagielka feature in the first XI. “It was just important for us to have the figure of a captain and that feeling of comfort in the dressing room,” Martinez said. “He will be part of the team in the next few games, but I think maybe the FA Cup third round game (against Dagenham next Saturday) is a more realistic target.” Between both Kane and team-mate Ben Davies hitting the woodwork, Everton took the lead against the run of play in Sunday’s match through ex-Spurs man Aaron Lennon’s 22nd-minute strike. Alli provided the visitors with a richly-deserved equaliser in first-half stoppage time, dispatching a fine volley past Tim Howard. The hosts improved after the break and finished strongly, but Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino stressed his men, seeking a fourth straight win, had not been content with a point. Pochettino – whose side are fourth in the table, six points off the top and three clear of fifth, while Everton lie 11th – said: “For a lot of the second half we were dominant too. “They only created some chances, and not too many, in the last 15 minutes. “The game was open then because we wanted to try to win it. “While attacking sometimes we gave some space to them in transition. But that was because our ambition was to get the three points.”
However Michael Ryan says Cork will be a major stumbling block for Tipp. Tipp manager Michael Ryan says his side will have to be at their very best when they take on Cork later this month.The Rebels will travel to Semple Stadium for the Munster Senior Hurling Championship quarter-final on Sunday May 21st.The winners will take on Waterford in the provincial semi-final in June.
Ghana’s men’s under 23 team, the Black Meteors have held their first training session in Egypt ahead of their opening match at the U-23 African Cup of Nations tournament on Friday.The players were taken through their paces by the technical team in preparation for their game against Cameroon.The players arrived in Cairo on Tuesday but didn’t wait too long before getting down to business on the pitch.They have been drawn in Group A along with hosts Egypt, Mali and Cameroon at the tournament.The tournament serves as a qualifier for next year’s Olympic Games, with the top three sides booking a place in Tokyo.The Meteors will be hoping to qualify for the Olympics for the first time since 2004.Head coach, Ibrahim Tanko said the players and his technical team are determined to make it to the Olympics“We have only one mindset and that is making it to the Olympics. The players and the technical team know what lies ahead of us.We are ready and we will go there to prepare. We have a few days to polish what we are doing before playing the first match. We have to win every match if we are going to be successful and that is our mindset as we go to Egypt.”Full AFCON squadGoalkeepers: Kwame Baah (Asante Kotoko), Richmond Ayi (Hearts of Oak), Ibrahim Danlad (Asante Kotoko)Defenders: Kingsley Fobi (CB Badajoz, Spain), Edward Sarpong (Esperanca de Lagos, Spain) Emmanuel Cudjoe (Attram De Visser), Fuseini Zackaria (Berekum Chelsea), William Ntori, Dankyi (Hearts of Oak), Mohammed Habib (Asante Kotoko), Robin Polley (ADO Den Haag)Midfielders: Evans Osei Wusu (Tema Youth), Simon Zibo (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal), Nurudeen Abdul-Aziz (Vision FC), Emmanuel Addoquaye Lomotey (Extremadura, Spain), Yaw Yeboah (Celta Vigo, Spain), Evans Mensah (HJK Helsinki, Finland), Michael Agbekpornu (Dreams FC).Strikers: Frank Arhin (Dalkurd, Sweden), Kwabena Owusu (Cordoba, Spain) Ropapa Mensah (Nashville SC), Samuel Obeng Gyabaa (Real Oviedo)