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Tuesday, 30 March 2010 01:29

Scotland U21s showing signs of progress

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Can Scotland U21 finally reach the major competition?
In the absence of proper football action caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we decided to take a look at Scotland U21 team’s chances of making it to the U21 European Championshipin Hungary and Slovenia with the help of football betting tips experts at Bettingtips4you.com. The young Scots are currently halfway through their qualifying campaign. Even though they are winless in three straight affairs, the head coach Scot Gemmill can still perform the miracle and lead the team at the major youth tournament.
Fixtures against Croatia and Greece are postponed
Gemmill’s men should have played two highly-important clashes in late-March, but the matches against Croatia U21 and Greece U21 were postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. The youth Scots occupy the third place in the standings of the qualifying Group 4 after five games. They got off to a fabulous start with two wins from two, a series that included the shocking 1-2 win against the group favourites Croatia U21 in mid-September last year.
However, the team failed to find the back of the net in any of the following three outings. They played back-to-back goalless draws to Lithuania U21 and Czech Republic U21 before falling 0-1 at home to Greece U21.
The young Scots conceded just two goals in five matches so far
Gemmill can clearly be thrilled about his team's stern defensive displays. Scotland U21 shipped no more than two goals in five outings even though they've played the likes of Croatia U21, Czech Republic U21, and Greece U21 in the process. The defence is obviously this side's massive strength. Can it do enough to compensate for the lack of attacking creativity at the opposite end? 
Gemmill’s troops failed to score in three successive matches. The home draw to Lithuania U21 was particularly disappointing, especially if we know that it came after the initial two wins over San Marino U21 and Croatia U21.
Scotland U21 are just three points shy of the group leaders
We would’ve known much more about the team’s chances had they played the likes of Croatia U21 and Greece U21 in March. This way, it’s all still wide open. The young Scots are just three points short of the Czech Republic U21 at the top of the group. The Czechs are about to visit Tynecastle in October this year. The team can ill afford slip-ups against group underdogs (San Marino U21 and Lithuania U21). Can they do well in these postponed affairs, though?
Conor McLennan could be this generation’s driving force
Aberdeen’s striker made the difference in the aforementioned win away against Croatia U21. He came on from the bench to turn things around and bag two super-late goals within eight minutes for the youth Scots. He also earned more minutes on the pitch for the club. The 20-year-old forward bagged three goals for the Dons this season, equalling his tally from the previous term of the Premiership. He was on target in Aberdeen’s recent 2-2 draw at Kilmarnock in early-March.
We also have to mention Chelsea’s midfielder Billy Gilmour who stepped up with a phenomenal pair of performances against Liverpool and Everton respectively. He could be a vital part of the youth Scottish team in the decisive matches.
The new faces we could see in the next affairs include Stephen Welsh (Celtic), Lewis Moore and Andrew Irving (Hearts), Jamie Gullan (Hibs), Lewis Mayo (Rangers), and Louis Appere (Dundee United).
There is much to be excited for when football returns to action
Scotland U21 had a disappointing qualifying campaign in the previous term when they finished the group behind England U21, Netherlands U21, and Ukraine U21. They were nowhere near the battle for the top of the standings back then.
They now have a much easier group. They have done well without being prolific in the final third so far. However, if McLennan stays healthy ahead of the decisive affairs, we would not be surprised to see the youth Scots in serious contention for the top spot in the group.
Tuesday, 30 March 2010 01:20

NFL Draft News Guide

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American Football, Athlete, Ball, Football, Helmet, Man
The National Football League Draft, also known as the NFL Draft, it’s an event performed annually and is one of the many ways to recruit new players. In fact,  this is the most common method of recruiting new players for the league.
According to this article, the first event was held in 1936, and ever since then, it has been done every year. Nowadays it is performed in spring, during April.
How Does It Work?
NFL teams usually complete their rosters using three methods of recruiting: trading players between teams, free-agent signings, and drafting. The NFL draft is all about how teams draft college students who are eligible through the drafting process. This even in specific lasts up to two days, and 32 teams take their turns to select players.
The draft is usually done during weekends and has 7 rounds. The first three rounds are held on Saturday, and the last four rands are held on Sunday. On average, each round consists of 32 picks. Considering that there are 32 teams participating, each team has one pick per round. In some cases, a team will not be able to draft during a round, but that depends on certain circumstances. On the contrary, there are teams that might be able to select more than once during a round.
Something interesting to add is that, between 1977 and 1993, there were 12 rounds per event, and before that, from 1967 to 1976, it was 17 rounds.
Now, when it comes to a team’s positioning in the list for the drafting process, it depends on its performance during the previous year, but in reverse. For example, the last team placed in the previous year is placed first during the draft. After deciding a team’s position, a team can either trade their position in the drafting process, trade a player for another player or select a player from the draft.
Normally, a team starts analyzing the players available for selection months, and even years, previous to the event. They compare the statistics of hundreds of players that are categorized as the best players before making a decision. Considering how important scouting is, this is an absolutely necessary step to decide whether a player is good or not.
There’s another event held previous to the NFL Draft that allows teams to get to know players available during the draft before the event. This is known as the NFL Scouting Combine and is held in February. This event lets more than 300 players showcase their skills and performance.
This lets teams create their own list of players they want during the drafting process. Also, they may create an alternative list of possible candidates considering how difficult it is to get the players they want depending on their positioning on the event.
For more detailed information, you can visit https://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/nfl-draft.htm-.
Who Are Eligible For Drafting?
American Football, Sport, Competition, Super Bowl
Well, believe it or not, teams can get themselves whoever they want. There’s a case where the Dallas Cowboys got themselves two players with no experience in playing football.  Carl Lewis (Known for winning an Olympic gold medal) and Bob Hayes.
With that said, most players eligible for drafting are those who played football during college. One of the few rules of the drafting process is that players can only be eligible once three college football seasons have ended since they graduated from high school. This means that most people entering college are not eligible for the event.
For the Fans of the Event
During the start of the event, fans can actually get to cheer and enjoy the whole event if they purchase a ticket. One person can only buy one ticket, and it allows it to participate in the event for the whole two days. Most of the cases, people prefer to enjoy the event through television or streaming services, though.
You can always check Fanspeak daily draft news for more information on the recent news.
Mr. Irrelevant.
Although being the first pick is something to enjoy, some people may want to be picked last during the drafting process. The last player selected during the event is known as Mr. Irrelevant. This may sound kind of dispraising for the player, that player gets a formal celebration in its name.
Mr. Irrelevant gets to fly to California, participate in several events, and even go to Disneyland. That’s why, for some people, being Mr.Irrelevant is more than an honor.
That player also receives a trophy known as the Lowsman Trophy, which consists of a statue made of bronze representing a player with a ball. This trophy is usually described as the opposite of the Heisman Trophy, which is given to those players that are considered the best among the best.
This whole thing of formally celebrating the last pick during the NCL Draft has been done since 1976 thanks to Paul Salata, a receiver from the Baltimore Colts during 1950. This makes Paul Salata the savior of those who were selected last during each draft ever since then.
The Scottish FA has announced new guidelines for all age groups from six to 17 year olds.
Among the guidelines are recommendations not to head the ball in training for primary school children, as well as a graduated approach to heading as youngsters make their way through secondary school.
The guidelines come in response to a study led by the University of Glasgow published in October last year, which revealed insights into the impact heading had on professional footballers long term health.
The study established a link between the repeated heading of footballs and degenerative brain diseases such as Dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
The guidelines include the following recommendations:
- Heading should not be introduced in training sessions from the age of six through to 11.
- Heading should be considered a low coaching priority between the ages of 12 to 15 years however training sessions can be introduced. These should be limited to one session of no more than five headers per week at 13 years, increasing to 10 headers per session at 14 and 15.
- It is acknowledged that heading will begin to form part of the game at 12 and should be permitted, however, coaches are encouraged to promote a style of play that limits long passing.
- Heading burden will remain restricted to one training session per week for 16 and 17 year olds and coaches should be mindful of limiting repetitions during that session.
Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA Chief Executive: “While it is important to re-emphasise there is no research to suggest that heading in younger age groups was a contributory factor in the findings of the FIELD study into professional footballers, nevertheless Scottish football has a duty of care to young people, their parents and those responsible for their wellbeing throughout youth football.
“The updated guidelines are designed to help coaches remove repetitive and unnecessary heading from youth football in the earliest years, with a phased introduction at an age group considered most appropriate by our medical experts.
“It is important to reassure that heading is rare in youth football matches but we are clear that the guidelines should mitigate any potential risks. We will also look to monitor and review the guidance as part of our commitment to making the national game a safe and enjoyable environment for young people.
“I would like to thank our colleagues at the English FA for their collaboration in this process and UEFA’s Medical Committee for their guidance.”
Dr John MacLean: “I am proud that the Scottish FA has taken a positive, proactive and proportionate approach to the findings of the FIELD study. Scottish football has taken a lead on the subject of head injury and trauma in sport, from becoming the first country in the world to produce cross-sport concussion guidelines - If In Doubt, Sit Them Out - to having one of the most advanced medical education programmes in sport.
“Since the publication of the report we have consulted with colleagues on the football and medical sides at The English FA and UEFA and I believe the guidance will help provide reassurance for young players and their parents nationwide.”
Youth Football Scotland would be interested to hear the opinions of those within the football community on the new guidelines. If you are a coach, a parent or associated with a youth club, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to let us know what you think.
Monday, 24 February 2014 09:49

What Kind of Socks for Football Players are Best?

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The need for football socks is to ensure that they are comfortable and players can wear them for long in comfort and without having blisters. In most cases, football clubs are known to have affiliation with certain brands but players can also choose as per their individual preferences. There are several sports brands out there along with the kind of accessories they offer; hence, one can make a choice to get quality protection in the kind of budget they have in mind.
Football socks are as breathable and of comfortable fabric and design as any good quality sock; however, there are certain qualities that are incorporated in socks for sports like football which helps to soak up sweat, prevent the build-up of microbial bacteria and ensures comfort for long hours of play or practice.
Features to Look for
If one is out to buy football socks here are some points to keep in mind:
  • Moisture Wicking or Breathability
This is the first factor to look into. Most sports socks ensure that this quality is inbuilt in them; since football involves considerable sweat build-up, this quality is the first aspect to look for when one is buying sportswear. It also prevents the buildup of odors.
  • Anti Microbial Properties
This aspect is also important for which certain quality cotton or special blends are used in such sportswear. With sweat and dirt the buildup of antimicrobial bodies is easy; however with the right kind of fabrics sports socks are usually kept germ free as well as risks of bacterial infections reduced considerably.
  • Resistant to Abrasion
Leather boots that are usually the footwear for such sports can be tough; hence, the feet need to have adequate cushioning. For such reasons, most high-quality footwear for sports like football comes in comfort fabrics as well as with inbuilt resistant liners.
  • Protection from Blisters
This is important, especially when a player opts for new boots. These are usually of leather and if the inner liners are not adequate, they can form blisters on the feet of the players. A certain thickness of the sock fabric can help protect the feet skin from blisters and forming of the same. The best football socks are of a certain thickness that also lends comfort while one walks or runs around in them.
  • Elasticity
Stretchability is another important quality to look for; this also enables a sock to provide a comfortable fit. Spandex that is used in the products of top brands ensures a seamless fit, especially around the heel as well as around the toes.
It is important to check the above features when one is shopping for sports socks.
Different Sock Designs
If you are part of a football club, chances are that your gear is already provided for. However, if you are shopping for yourself or stocking up on quality sportswear, here are some options to consider among the products made available among several sports brands in the market.
  • Football Socks with Vapour Cushioning
This is one category of socks from Nike Men’s range. The socks are designed for comfort and come at reasonable prices. The features include 100% nylon which ensures the durability of the socks. They are of a seamless design that makes them a perfect fit. A special characteristic is zonal cushioning that is found across the whole design. It helps to relieve clear pressure on joints and on feet. There is Achilles protection so that one’s ankles are protected, especially if one steps on the back of one’s shoes. Dri-Fit technology is another patent technology that is found in most of Nike products. This also helps in sweat drying up fast. It prevents any mushy feel and keeps the feet cool. One will also find support for the arch of the foot as well as allowing one to slide their foot into boots easily.
These are designs that work for intermediate and junior players as they are of affordable price. They are also great for new shoes as blisters are formed easily on the feet.
  • Crew Socks
This is another category that is often marketed by several sports brands. These are of the athletic range of many brands and are of different color combinations. That makes it possible for players to choose as per uniform designs and colors. Socks feature acrylic cushioning that offer protection to the feet and are also of a thicker design. There are added bars at the back which are great for preventing blisters. The bars help to provide a comfortable fit on the heels. The fit is also great on ankles and provides arch support. This in turn helps reduce strain on ankle joints as well as bridge of foot. The crew sock design works great for other sports as well. These are usually more common in larger sizes while small sizes remain limited. One should check the brand and feature details to ensure that moisture-wicking features are incorporated. This would also ensure decent ventilation.
  • Over the Calf Socks
This is another category of socks that is common in football. These are usually polyester and ensure adequate ventilation. The socks come of high cut design and can be used for different sports as well. Socks are usually of lighter fabrics and are thinner. They are designed to provide greater comfort and absorb sweat from feet and legs. These are great for wearing during long hours of play or practice sessions. The socks come of diverse colors and are often designed as per uniform design details of different clubs. There are some that are knee-high as well which are designed with a mix of spandex, polyester, and cotton, making them fit for long hours on the field.
Every premier sports brand, from Nike, Adidas, Under Armor and several others have different categories of football socks on offer. It is important to check the length, material and comfort aspects or review the same before making a purchase. In certain cases football coaches or trainers will provide specifications that make it easier to choose or make a purchase.
Thursday, 19 February 2015 00:00

Up and coming Scottish players aged 20 and below

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In the last decade, Scotland has been consistently producing some good footballing talent. While the majority of these youngsters are still plying their trade in the domestic Scottish Premier League, the older generation is finding way into other top European leagues. Lethal striker Mousa Dembele swapped Celtic for Lyon at a young age, and from the look of things, he could have opened the doors for other younger talents.
As Scottish football continues to receive more attention globally, you can find a list of the best betting sites that cover different tiers in the country. In this article, we look at 10 upcoming Scottish players aged 20 and below. Number in brackets denotes age).
#1. Ross McCrorie (20) – Rangers
The young midfielder may not have seen as many minutes as he would have fancied under the tutelage of Steve Gerrard, but he has proved himself in the few he has got. After the recent draw with Kilmarnock, Gerrard was full of praise for the youngster, saying McCrorie was a good ‘performance enforcer’ in the making.
#2. Lewis Ferguson (19) – Aberdeen
At 18, he made 14 appearances for Hamilton before his transfer to Aberdeen. This season is already proving his breakthrough season with 30 appearances so far for the Dons.
#3. Callum Morrison (19) – Hearts
Hearts manager is not known to give youngsters too many chances, and when he does, he fully trusts you. There is a story about the right winger who has already made over 31 appearances in a Hearts shirt.
#4. David Turnbull (19) – Motherwell
He is a central midfielder, and a five-goal return so far this season is quite something for a 19-year old. He scored back-to-back winning strikes against Hibs and Dundee.
#5. Ryan Porteous (19) – Hibernian
As recently as December, it was Porteous who starred as Hibs frustrated giants Celtic and Rangers in successive matches. He is a no-nonsense defender who has often been criticized by opponents for his tough tackling.
#6. Ethan Erhahon (17) – St. Mirren
He made his debut for St. Mirren in November against Rangers in a game the Saints lost 0-2. He has since been a regular fixture, and he looks set for a big money move abroad in a few years.
#7. Connor McLennan (20) – Aberdeen
The Peterhead-born forward has already represented his country 12 times in different categories, most recently in the Under21 side. He plays for Aberdeen, where he has 35 appearances in-between two loan spells at Brenchin City.
#8. Fraser Preston (20) – Sheffield Wednesday
He has 4 caps in total in a Scotland shirt, but the Sheffield Wednesday young forward has a future if he can keep his head down.
#9. Cammy Gill (20) – Dunfermline Athletic
He is the only goalkeeper in the list, and that tells quite a story. He plays as a back-up keeper in the Scottish second tier side, and a lot is expected of the prodigy.
#10. Ben House (19) – Reading
House was born in Surrey, England, but he chose Scotland where he has already made 3 appearances for the U20 and U21 sides. He is currently on loan at Dagenham & Redbridge.
Thursday, 06 February 2020 17:48

Future Pro USA opportunities for new girls' season

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After a year of tremendous success stories in 2019, Future Pro USA is back for 2020 with the first opportunity for female players. With the new female season's kick-off on the horizon, it's a busy time for club players with pre-season in full swing, so a package has been created to allow players to explore opportunities across the pond without breaking their stride.
YFS is offering female players the following:

- Filming of one or more pre-season/season opening matches.
- Showreel video production.
- One to one meeting with Future Pro USA advisor on 15th March.

Phone Number:*
Current school year:*
Playing Position:*
January opens the transfer window for the second half of the season, with the Premier League and Europeans getting players to strengthen their teams. The window is already open for the French, Scottish, German, English, and Chinese clubs, with Spanish and Italian clubs waiting to join on 2nd January. 
Expect to see some serious transfers with the likes of Arsenal hunting for a defender and Manchester United for a striker after their target, Erling Haaland, chose to join Borussia Dortmund. Elsewhere, Chealse will be comparing Bundesliga, Jadon Sanch and Timo Werner. So far, Liverpool has already signed Takumi Minamino. Another interesting transfer you should be aware of when placing your bets on sites like ComeOn odds, is that of former Liverpool striker, Daniel Sturridge. The million-dollar question is, will he join Aston Villa or Marseille? 
Below we look at which clubs need to bolster their squads during this transfer window and which payer they may go for. 
Aston Villa
The club spent over £100 million pounds during the summer transfer window but still needs to spend more if they are to get out of their relegation problems. With John McGinn out for three months due to injury, the club needs to find strengthen their frontline as well as relieve the pressure on Wesley. Among their targets is  Werder Bremen’s winger, Milot Rashica. 
Arsenal has deficiencies for both midfield and centre-back; positions that would perfectly be filled by Thomas Lemar of Atletico Madrid and Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig. However, buying these two would cost the club approx. £100 million, money that the club doesn’t have. The club may get some money by letting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang go, but that wouldn’t be a worthy sacrifice. 
Lifting of the club’s transfer ban creates a good opportunity for Frank Lampard to improve his striking team. With over £150 million to spend, the club is eyeing several players including:
  • Samuel Chukwueze of Villareal  
  • Jadon Sancho of Dortmund
  • RB Leipzig’s  Timo Werner
  • Fyodor Chalov of CSKA Moscow
  • Wilfried Zaha and Moussa Dembele, both of Lyon 
The club will be releasing Olivier Giroud.
Although the club doesn’t need any new players this January, Jurgen Klopp has already signed Takumi Minamino from RB Salzburg. Klopp, however, admits that it’ll be tricky to fit the Japanese midfielder since the team is already performing well. There’s also the likelihood of the team signing Saint Germain’s Kylian Mbappe, and that’s all the deals the team is expected to make this season. 
Manchester United
Ole Gunnar has a budget of £150 million set aside in case any of his summer list players become available. These include:
  • James Maddison of Leicester
  • Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund
  •  Decline Rice of West Ham
  • Christian Eriksen of Tottenham
However, the midfield is the club’s weakest division and the manager should, therefore, prioritize on Eriksen, Rice, and Madison. The manager isn’t expected to let any player go unless he gets a good deal on Nemanja Matic or the player demands to go. 
Manchester City
Guardiola insists that he isn’t signing new players despite Aymeric Larpote’s knee injury. This comes even after the team has suffered poor defence due to lack of good replacement. But in case he changes his mind, the manager will spend £50 million to buy a new player. It won’t be a surprise though, considering it’s the transfer market season. 
Wrapping Up
The transfer window will close on Friday 31st January 2020 at 11 PM for Germany, Italy, France, and Spain, while Portuguese teams have until the following day to complete the signing. For the Chinese Premier League, the transfer window closes on February 27, while it closes on February 21 for the Russian teams. If any team wishes to make any deals after the deadlines, then it can do so via the “Deal Sheet.”

Football is the most mainstream sport on the planet, and like clockwork, the FIFA World Cup tournament happens. Aficionados of groups from all the contending nations go soccer-distraught for half a month or at least until their group gets kicked out, after which intrigue appears to fade away before long. Unlike the real FIFA World Cup tournament, you won't have to wait four years before attempting to score a few successes in the World Cup Football slot opening, as it's sitting tight for you to play it all year, consistently. You can discover the kicker, quarterback, the holder, and even team promoters in this game. 


The most effective method to score genuine cash with Football themed slots 


The primary thing you have to comprehend about slots machines is the manner by which they decide the winners. These games utilize a PC program called a random number generator (RNG) to continually create numbers. Those numbers figure out which stop each reel ends up on after you turn the reels. One significant truth to recollect is that this procedure is altogether irregular, and its absolutely impossible to anticipate what will occur on some random turn. Another significant certainty to recall is that each turn of the reels is an autonomous occasion. That implies that the aftereffects of past twists have no impact on the consequences of the following twist.  


The last reality to remember is that the arbitrary number generators are customized so that the gambling club has an unrealistic scientific bit of leeway. On the off chance that you play sufficiently long, at that point the club will win, since that is the manner in which the game is set up. That doesn't mean you can't leave a champ in the short run, yet it has nothing to do with picking hot or cold machines. 


All online gambling club players wish to locate the mystery that will enable them to win each time they turn the reels of online slots. Be that as it may, getting a major success when playing genuine cash machines is generally about karma as opposed to a particular methodology. Since each turn is constrained by a Random Number Generator, there isn't a lot of you can do to improve your odds. All things considered, taking it relentlessly and marginally expanding the best as you go should give you a slight favorable position.


Play Free Slots to win Real Money


As referenced, it is conceivable to score genuine cash wins when playing free slots. For whatever length of time that you play free slots inside new slot sites, the successes from the free twists you get will be enlisted for you. At that point, in the wake of completing the betting prerequisites, any measure of cash you have in your money equalization can be pulled back. Along these lines, playing slots for genuine cash doesn't generally need to be costly or expect you to go through cash to profit.

The appeal for sports apps has been on the rise for quite some amount of time, and football lovers have been especially delighted by the service of such online sports website. These are not only some of the most reliable platforms to get news and reports regarding football matches, but these also provide a stable platform to the bookmakers. The public perception is excellent, and many such online sports platforms are considered as safest websites for betting. Please read the complete Skybet review to know about it in details.
Trustworthiness and Safety
Applications like these have recognized backing of corporate and it is officially licensed. These apps have been provided to those who are not particularly fond of online working, and most of the general public seems to be assured while dealing in bets. However, the terms and conditions should be thoroughly read before proceeding.
Withdrawals and Deposits
The money transactions are SSL encrypted. Unless the user wants, there are no such limitations. In football, payouts or fine can be highest at 500k Pounds, and other sports may incur 250k pounds. The withdrawal feature is excellent, where customers could get real-time info on Barclays. VISA cardholders and bank customers can also use the same withdrawal method.
Having these applications in the laptop, tablet, and especially in mobile is a blessing. With the app in Android or iOS, it becomes very easy for betting in the click of a button. Prominent betting operators in the UK are all such app users. These apps are excellent in many aspects, and markets regarding football have been immensely popular. Games and fixtures are well displayed. Most of these apps are entirely free to download.
Betting Offers
A new user usually gets some rewards in Free Bets promotion. With a single bet of 10 Pounds, a new user will get two 20 Pounds tokens in his or her playing account. When it comes to the betting markets and the odds quality, users will get the opportunity to keep an eye on their favourite matches. Live updates and almost instant reports will be provided, as the betting odds will change every second.
When it comes to in-play bets, the live betting consoles are excellent as well. The users are well connected in the betting process, and every step has been made as clear as possible. The live betting of football matches is extensively covered, with incredibly competitive odds.
For most of the best football sites for such purposes, support is mainly UK based, and users can contact them by emails or calls, which are generally active from 8 A.M. to midnight. Apart from these, 24x7 live chat is also available. These applications also provide FAQs and common questions which answer the general doubts of most of the users. With the assistance and support being high, the users are delighted with the services. This, on the other hand, has helped to make such apps even popular.
At present, Skybet can be safely said as the number in broadcaster of sports and especially football in the UK. With the entry in the betting market online, Skybet can be stated as an excellent platform for betting safe online, and the bookmakers are well assured of the services. With a history of fifteen years, Skybet is gradually becoming a premium platform for online sports betting.
Head injuries have always been part and parcel of the professional game; however, mid-air collisions and the impact thereof have quite rightly become a major discussion point over the last decade. Plenty of research has been carried out, and the latest study by the Glasgow University has prompted the Scottish Youth Football Association to make a monumental ruling. In October 2019, it was announced that they will seek to ban the practice of heading the ball in training, whilst they've also advised youth coaches to make every effort to reduce head-to-ball contact during competitive fixtures. It's a landmark decision which will only be applicable to under-11s teams for the time being; however, it's a huge step forward for the game and it's good to see the SYFA acting as trailblazers in this sphere.

The SYFA became the first body in world football to issue such advice, although it's highly likely that many others will follow suit. They issued a statement reiterating that they are "committed to ensuring the safest environment possible for children and young people to play football" and confirmed that they will also continue to work closely with the Scottish FA over the coming months. It isn't the first time that this subject has been raised, with brain injury specialist Dr Bennett Omalu calling for a ban back in 2018. He told the BBC that "no player under the age of 18 should be heading the ball". He went on to suggest that it should be also be heavily restricted in the professional game as well. 

He went on to suggest that it should be also be heavily restricted in the professional game as well. Jeff Astle's family have tirelessly campaigned for a change in the law after the former West Brom and England striker passed away as a result of a specific type of dementia which has been strongly linked to repeated head trauma. Their hard work is starting to pay-off and the authorities are beginning to sit up and take notice.

There have been plenty of recent examples which highlight the need for change, including Gary Mackay-Steven's blow to the head in last year's League Cup final which left the Aberdeen winger unconscious. In September 2019, Rangers' Joe Aribo required stitches following a nasty-looking incident in the game against Livingston. Whilst the primary concern will always be the welfare of the player, supporters don't enjoy seeing their players on the sidelines as a result of an innocuous and avoidable collision. The Gers are 31/20 in the football betting at Space Casino to finish top of the Scottish Premiership, and they can't afford to lose any of their key men to head injuries as they bid to overthrow Celtic this season.

Player safety is absolutely paramount, and this is a significant step in the right direction. The increased awareness around head injuries is extremely positive and these latest guidelines are likely to lead to plenty more discussions around the subject. Although the landmark ruling will not be enforced on all clubs, the majority of youth sides are likely to adhere to this notable change and the SYFA have been widely praised for setting a precedent in the modern game. Scottish youth football is leading the way and the parents of those players involved have unanimously welcomed the move. It is likely to be a long time before we see any significant changes at the very highest level, but it's a major step in helping protect the welfare of younger players in Scotland.
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