Blackpool striker’s success hasn’t shocked former Seasiders loanee

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Shayne Lavery’s bright start for both club and country has come as no surprise to his Northern Ireland teammate Dan Ballard.

 

The striker has scored four goals in his first seven games with Blackpool.

The 22-year-old’s latest strike at club level came against Ballard at The Den last weekend during Blackpool’s 2-1 defeat to Millwall.

Ballard, now on loan with the Lions following his season-long stint at Bloomfield Road last term, has since linked up with Lavery on Northern Ireland duty.

Shayne Lavery netted for Northern Ireland on Thursday night

Shayne Lavery netted for Northern Ireland on Thursday night

Matt Scrafton column: Deadline day can sometimes prove little more than a circus.

Both were on the scoresheet for the first time in their international careers during Northern Ireland’s 4-1 World Cup qualifying win against Lithuania on Thursday.

Ballard said: “From such a young age, you could always see Shayne’s class and quality.

“You have seen how aggressive and fast he is and how hard he works, so to be on the flipside of that and play against him on the weekend, you can really feel it.

“It was a real struggle trying to contain that and obviously he got a goal, so I’m glad to have him on our side for these next few games because he can cause real issues.”

Ballard, who also played with Lavery for Northern Ireland’s Under-21s, believes the Championship is the ideal stage for the forward to progress his career.

“He has come in and done really well and I’m not surprised that he is scoring goals this early on, because he has always done that throughout his career,” Ballard added.

“I’ve been really impressed by Shayne, especially on the weekend, in terms of how tough he makes it for the opposition.”

Lavery began his career with Everton’s youth set-up before joining Linfield in 2019, scoring 47 goals in 77 appearances.

His return of 30 goals in all competitions last season, which helped Linfield win the double, earned him the Northern Ireland player and young player of the year awards.

Lavery will be looking to add to his tally when Northern Ireland face Estonia in a friendly on Sunday (5pm).

Their last game of this international window comes against Switzerland on Wednesday (7.45pm).

Ian Baraclough’s side sit third in their qualifying group for next year’s World Cup in Qatar, having claimed four points from their opening three games.

Switzerland sit in second on six points, while Italy lead the group on 10 points.

Elsewhere, Kenny Dougall was an unused substitute as Australia beat China 3-0 on Thursday before facing Vietnam on Tuesday, the game kicking off at 1pm UK time.

Tyreece John-Jules had hoped to make his first appearance for England’s Under-21s last night, but the Young Lions’ friendly against Romania was cancelled after two positive Covid-19 tests within the England U21 camp.

Lee Carsley’s men take on Kosovo in Milton Keynes in their opening qualifying game for the 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship on Tuesday (7pm).

 

New Enterprise Partnership chairman Veli’s rallying call to St Annes traders

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Veli Kirk is issuing a rallying call to St Annes businesses after being appointed the new chairman of the town’s Enterprise Partnership.

 

The Partnership, popularly known at STEP, has adopted a new constitution and appointed a new committee after striking out on its own following a close connection to St Annes Town Council.

The change follows the demise of the Government-backed Coastal Communities Alliance, under which STEP was founded five years ago and coincides with the departure of previous chairman Colin Ballard,who is emigrating.

A new 10-strong committee is headed by Veli, owner-chef of the Anatolia Seaview restaurant on St Annes seafront, as chairman, with Aileen Ames vice chairman, Heather Cross treasurer and Alan Pedder secretary, with Coun David O’Rourke as Fylde Council representative and Coun Karen Harrison representing St Annes Town Council.

Veli Kirk in his St Annes restaurant

Veli Kirk in his St Annes restaurant

St Annes Enterprise Partnership changes constitution to step out on its own

“I was delighted to accept the invitation to become STEP chairman,” said Veli. “I have lived here for 30 years and St Annes means so much to me.

“STEP has an important role to play in promoting all that is best about the town and I’m writing to every business to ask them to get involved.

“It is in the interests of every business, every resident, that St Annes is successful – we have a wonderful town here and there is so much to build on for a great future.

“We have many independent businesses and people are eager to come. We hoped for a successful latter part of the summer to help make up for the business lost during lockdown but we have been busier than we dared imagine.”

 

Sisters’ marathon charity cycle ride inspired by their dad

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Three sisters are taking on a near 1000-mile cycle challenge to raise vital life-saving money for charity.

 

Becky Watton, 35, Abi Green, 38, and Jodie D’Enrico, 40, are aiming to raise more than £10,000 for Prostate Cancer UK by taking on the 956 miles distance between Lands End to John O’Groats.

But the marathon ride will be on Lancashire’s roads, beginning and ending in their home town of Lytham on every one of the 14 days it will take.

The sisters were inspired after their dad Glenn Campbell, 65, a keen cyclist, was diagnosed with an inoperable tumour a year ago.

Becky Watton, Abi Green and Jodie DEnrico with their dad Glenn Campbell

Becky Watton, Abi Green and Jodie DEnrico with their dad Glenn Campbell

The girls said: “We decided to take on this two week challenge, for Prostate Cancer UK, because every man deserves an opportunity to fight this devastating disease.

“We are keeping it close to home so we can set off and return to our parents’ home every day and hopefully Dad can join us on the ride.

“Dad is our world and if we can help raise enough awareness and life saving money to give the many grandads, dads, brothers and partners out there a fighting chance – we will do everything in our power.

“While we do not know how long Dad will respond to treatment, as a family, we will remain cautiously optimistic and committed in our fight against this disease.”

All three sisters are former pupils of St John’s Primary, now incorporated into Lytham CE Primary, and Lytham St Annes High School. Abi still lives in Lytham while Becky is now based in Warwickshire and Jodie in Cheshire.

Abi, like her dad, is a keen cyclist and both have tackled the Lands End to John o’Groats ride for real previously, but Becky and Jodie are new to long-distance cycling.

“We have been training hard and are ready,” said Becky. “We’ll be going out around 9am every day and covering different routes of around 70 miles each per day, with two rest days among the 16 days we have allowed.”

Nicola Tallett, Director of Fundraising and Supporter Engagement at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in the UK and the Covid-19 pandemic has made living with a diagnosis only harder.

“Thankfully, the support of the Campbell girls and so many other wonderfully generous people has allowed us to continue funding research into better tests and treatments, to stop prostate cancer being a killer.

“Hard times show what people stand for. When the future is uncertain and the choices are tough, we stand for men with prostate cancer. We thank Jodie, Abi and Becky for going that extra mile.”

To help the sisters continue to raise money visit the ride’s fundraising page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/pedallingforprostatecancertour.

Blackpool FC backing council’s Get Vocal mental health campaign

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Blackpool FC are backing a mental health campaign by the resort’s council for the third consecutive year – and have launched a striking black and tangerine kit displaying the branding for Get Vocal.

 

Blackpool defender Reece James in the new kit

Blackpool defender Reece James in the new kit

The campaign logo appears on the front of the team’s third kit away shirts for the 2021/22 football season.

Get Vocal advertising will be on display at the Bloomfield Road ground and players will promote the campaign’s key messages over the season.

It is part of a wider Blackpool Council sponsorship deal, which also sees VisitBlackpool branding on the players’ home kit.

Get Vocal’s message is particularly aimed at men in Blackpool who may be struggling but might not feel able to reach out.

The sponsorship aims to raise awareness and reduce stigma around mental health and encourages all residents to look after their mental wellbeing and seek support if they need it.

Get Vocal promotes five tips for better mental health: Voice – Talk to people; Observe – Live in the moment; Connect – Help others; Active – Move to clear your mind; Learn – Try something new.

Dr Arif Rajpura, Director of Public Health at Blackpool Council said: “Mental health is something we all have and need to look after.

“The stigma around reaching out and asking for support or letting loved ones know we are struggling is still very much there for many people and we want to change that.

“We are all aware that our physical health can be improved, but sometimes we forget our mental health also needs attention. The Get Vocal tips are a way to start giving your mental health the care it needs.

“The partnership between Get Vocal and Blackpool Football Club means we can reach more residents with our message and start a conversation about the importance of mental wellbeing.”

Linton Brown, Blackpool FC’s Chief Commercial Officer, said:“We are delighted to be working with such an important campaign as Get Vocal for a third consecutive season.

“Taking care of your mental health is as important as looking after your physical health, and to have such an important message adorn the front of our third kit once again is something we are really proud of.

“We look forward to continuing our work with Blackpool Council on this important subject over the course of the season and thank them for their ongoing support.”

The Get Vocal kit went on sale in-store and online at Blackpool Football Club this week.

More information about the Get Vocal campaign and local mental health services can be found online at www.healthierblackpool.co.uk/GetVocal

Anyone who needs urgent mental health support in Blackpool can call the Mental Health Crisis Line 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 0800 953 0110.

Deadline day again for Blackpool as final 25-man squad must be submitted to EFL

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#Blackpool must submit their 25-man squad list to the EFL today, now the transfer window has closed.

 

The Seasiders experienced another busy summer window, bringing in 13 players and moving on a further 10. Three arrived on deadline day alone: Dujon Sterling (Chelsea), Jordan Gabriel (Nottingham Forest) and Owen Dale (Crewe Alexandra)

Clubs in the Championship are allowed to register 25 players aged 21 and above, three more than in League One.

Grant Ward could be omitted from Blackpool's 25-man squad due to injury, enabling the club to sign another player as a free agent

Grant Ward could be omitted from Blackpool’s 25-man squad due to injury, enabling the club to sign another player as a free agent

In the second tier, loan players also have to fit into the 25-man quota. Blackpool currently have four loanees: Sterling, Dale, Ryan Wintle and Tyreece John-Jules.

The club now have 30 senior players on their books but that includes Teddy Howe, Oliver Sarkic, Bez Lubala and Joe Nuttall, players who are yet to feature this season and are unlikely to be named in the 25.

Matty Virtue and Grant Ward could also be left out as they’re unlikely to return from long-term injuries before January, when the next window opens and the squad can be altered.

Virtue has been sidelined with an ACL injury since March, while Ward’s recent Achilles problem will require surgery.

If Howe, Sarkic, Lubala, Nuttall, Virtue and Ward are all left off the squad list, Pool will have 24 senior players and potentially a space available to sign a free agent, which is allowed outside the windows.

This is an avenue the Seasiders utilised last season to good effect, bringing in both Kenny Dougall and Kevin Stewart after the window had closed.

Critchley is still keen to bring in a central midfielder, having had approaches knocked back for Josh Vela (Shrewsbury Town), Cameron Brannagan (Oxford United) and Matt O’Riley (MK Dons) in recent days.

Under-21s don’t have to be registered in the 25-man squad unless they are on loan. Oliver Casey, Cameron Antwi, Sonny Carey and Brad Holmes all fit into this category.

 

Blackpool’s Shayne Lavery scores first international goal in Northern Ireland’s victory over Lithuania

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Blackpool’s Shayne Lavery has scored the first international goal of his career.

 

Winning his eighth international cap, the striker scored Northern Ireland’s third goal in their 4-1 win against Lithuania this evening.

It was a typical poacher’s finish from the 22-year-old, steering home at the near post from a left-wing cross from former Seasider Jordan Thompson.

Another former Blackpool man, last season’s loanee Dan Ballard, scored Northern Ireland’s first goal of the game – also his first for his country.

Ian Baraclough’s side sit third in their qualifying group for next year’s World Cup in Qatar, having claimed four points from their opening three games.

Switzerland sit in second on six points, while Italy lead the group on 10 points.

Lavery will be looking to add to his tally when Northern Ireland face Estonia in a friendly on Sunday (5pm kick-off).

Lavery celebrates scoring his first goal for Northern Ireland. Picture: PA

Lavery celebrates scoring his first goal for Northern Ireland. Picture: PA

Their last game of this international window comes against Switzerland on Wednesday (7.45pm kick-off).

Elsewhere, Kenny Dougall was an unused substitute as Australia beat China 3-0 in their qualifying game.

The Socceroos face Vietnam on Tuesday, the game kicking off at 1pm UK time.

 

Brett Ormerod column: Blackpool now have strength across their squad

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There’s no game for the Seasiders this week as we’re currently in the international break.

 

Whether or not the break comes at a good time for you depends on what form you’re in.

Sometimes you’re just glad for the break if you’re not winning games.

At other times, you’ve won a few and you’re on a roll, and the break came at the worst time because it put a stop to your momentum.

Jordan Gabriel added to Blackpool's ranks earlier this week

Jordan Gabriel added to Blackpool’s ranks earlier this week

I was never an international, unfortunately, so it was always a bit of a break for me! I didn’t really mind it though.

Blackpool finally get their man as Crewe winger completes last-minute deadline d…

We always had a couple of days off, which was nice.

When I was at Southampton, the training ground was pretty much dead because we had that many internationals who were away.

The ones that stayed, I think there were only five of us, we’d just do a bit of running and then get the weekend off which would give me the chance to get back home.

They’d make sure we still did plenty of running first though, don’t worry about that.

It was still hard training with weights and that sort of thing but it was worth it to get the weekend off.

I didn’t go to the game against Millwall last weekend but I did listen to the report on the radio and Neil Critchley’s post-match comments.

It sounds like they were outstanding despite playing with 10 men for long periods and were very unfortunate to lose the game.

At the moment, it all seems a bit similar to the start of last season where everything was going against them. Let’s hope it ends up the same way!

In all seriousness, it’s been a tough start but as I wrote before, the Championship is a big step up and there’s going to be occasions where you get punished.

They’ve signed a few more players and Jordan Gabriel has rejoined on a permanent deal, so that will certainly help.

Critchley has got plenty of options at his disposal. He just needs to find that winning formula again, which I’m sure he will.

It was interesting to see the club bring in two right-backs on deadline day.

Callum Connolly isn’t a natural right-back but I think he’s done well filling in there so far this season.

The attacking option Gabriel gives will be massive because he came on in leaps and bounds last season.

I’m surprised Forest were willing to let him go because he’s started the season in their team and was doing well by all accounts.

He even started in the game against Derby at the weekend, so it’s not like he’s been frozen out.

That’s a great signing though, so I’m sure the fans are delighted with that one.

He had a fantastic season last year and finished really strongly.

He’s got that pace to fly down the wing, cause problems and get crosses into the box, so Critchley will be happy to get that one over the line – plus having cover as well. That bodes well.

It didn’t escape my attention that Gabriel signed a four-year deal.

We never got that in our day, it was always a year plus a year option – but it was never your option!

It’s new times though, isn’t it? This isn’t the Blackpool of old.

That’s great for him because it provides security and, hopefully, he can fulfil the potential and carry on from where he left off.

There’s strength in all areas, it’s just about clicking now and getting that first win under your belt.

That might be playing on the players’ minds a little bit, even though it’s still early in the season.

The longer it goes on, it’s only natural the players will worry a little bit.

There’s been a few games where they haven’t got what they deserved and there’s been a couple where they’ve come across quality opposition – but that’s the Championship, it’s such a tough league.

I’m still confident though, because there’s more than enough in that squad.

Once they start winning games, they’ll kick on from there.

It doesn’t get any easier though and it’s Fulham up next after the international break.

That won’t be easy at all but that’s just how it goes playing in a league like this.

You’ve got to try and find a way of winning football matches, but that’s easier said than done.

 

Fleetwood Town coach would have liked to play again on Saturday

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Although Fleetwood Town can now have a period of rest after a hectic start to the League One season, first-team coach Barry Nicholson would not have minded another outing on Saturday.

 

Town were due to be playing Wigan Athletic this weekend but the game was called off because of international call-ups.

After a losing start to the season, the Cod Army have taken four points from their last two games, beating Cheltenham Town and then drawing with Plymouth Argyle last weekend.

Fleetwood Town boss Simon Grayson satisfied with summer window shopping
Fleetwood Town coach Barry Nicholson Picture: Sam Fielding/PRiME Media Images Limited

Fleetwood Town coach Barry Nicholson Picture: Sam Fielding/PRiME Media Images Limited

Nicholson admitted he would have wanted to keep things going, saying: “Yes, we’d probably have liked to play on the back of Tuesday’s win, but the players will get a couple of days and then we’ll be back on the training game preparing for Rotherham.

“We’ll analyse them and look at where we can hurt them. We feel that on our day, when we’re 100 per cent at it, we’re a match for anyone in this division.”

 

Blackpool is at the heart of the ball as Cinderella, filmed in the resort, premieres on Amazon Prime today

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A fashionable new take on the old, perennial fairytale of Cinderella – which filmed in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom – premieres on the streaming platform Amazon Prime from today.

 

Kay Cannon, Camila Cabello and Nicholas Galitzine behind the scenes of the movie  filmed inside the Blackpool Tower Ballroom  Amazon Pictures

Kay Cannon, Camila Cabello and Nicholas Galitzine behind the scenes of the movie filmed inside the Blackpool Tower Ballroom Amazon Pictures

The story has undergone live-action treatment – again – in the new feminist-friendly Kay Cannon musical starring international pop sensation Camila Cabello.

But film-lovers will not be able to view the new movie on the big screen in the resort, with only Reel Cinemas showing viewings in Chorley and Morecambe.

Sony Pictures sold the rights to Amazon in May and the film is one of many moved to streaming services amid ongoing box office uncertainty.

In the new version, produced and starring James Corden, Cinderella is an aspiring dress designer who does not want to stay confined to her stepmother’s basement or a royal life and instead has her sights set on being the next ‘girlboss.’

The tale, which includes a genderless fairy godmother, has a cast including Pierce Brosnan, Minnie Driver, Idina Menzel, and Billy Porter, with Nicholas Galitzine playing Prince Robert.

The soundtrack is a mash-up of remixed pop classics and original songs performed by Cabello and cast, including Menzel, who is best known for her voice of Princess Elsa in Frozen.

Cinderella began filming in 2020 with the cast in the resort during the March for the ball scenes, which saw the Tower Ballroom transformed into a palace setting.

Cinderella premieres on Amazon Prime today

Cinderella premieres on Amazon Prime today

Filming took place ahead of the £1.1 million restoration project that was completed there earlier this year.

Production had to be suspended owing to Covid and the film’s original release date of July put back.

Critics have so far offered mixed reviews of the movie- which sees Cabello make her film debut.

James Corden will be adding yet another musical and animal character to his resume as a footman-turned-mouse – and also produces the film – while comedians James Acaster and Romesh Ranganathan will be making their feature film debuts as Corden’s fellow mouse pals.

Camila Cabello and Nicholas Galitzine star as Cinderella and Prince Robert in the new Amazon Prime movie

Camila Cabello and Nicholas Galitzine star as Cinderella and Prince Robert in the new Amazon Prime movie

Pierce Brosnan plays Prince Rowan, while Good Will Hunting star Minnie Driver takes the role of his wife Queen Beatrice.

Maddie Baillio and Charlotte Spencer feature as the spiteful step-sisters, whilst Idina Menzel turns villainess as the wicked stepmother Vivian.

Amazon Prime subscribers can watch the movie from today.

Blackpool Tower Ballroom takes centre stage in the new live-action movie directed by Kay Cannon.

Blackpool Tower Ballroom takes centre stage in the new live-action movie directed by Kay Cannon.

Behind the scenes filming in Blackpool Tower Ballroom in March in 2020 pictures Amazon Studios

Behind the scenes filming in Blackpool Tower Ballroom in March in 2020 pictures Amazon Studios