Euro 2016: The countdown to France begins now

Euro 2016: The countdown to France begins now

More than 100,000 fans, possibly double that, will head from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to France for the European Championships. Some will make short trips, taking in one game, flying in and out, or making Eurostar dashes, but others will stay longer, touring a beautiful country. France’s famous vineyards will be visited and drained. Attending a tournament is a joy on many levels. There is the drama of the games themselves, the hope and expectation, and frequent frustration. England will expect to qualify from their group, and anything less than reaching the quarter-finals will ensure some painful headlines for Roy Hodgson. He has the experience of Wayne Rooney and Joe Hart and the youth of Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, Ross Barkley, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Chris Smalling and John Stones to call upon. If England can keep the ball and keep their cool, they could surprise a few people, even if France, Germany and Spain are deserved favourites.   Alli’s emergence is particularly exciting as he gives England a box-to-box force and an eye for goal and a tackle. His irrepressible character will help ease the tension that can build up off the field. The teenager showed against France at Wembley that he can impose himself on opponents.   Northern Ireland will play with unbelievable passion for the shirt, proving so much more than the sum of their parts, and could provide an upset. Gareth Bale will be a threat to opposing defences, and teams’ fixation with the Wales attacker may gift some space for Aaron Ramsey. Ashley Williams is the type of strong,...
Who will dominate golf for the next five years?

Who will dominate golf for the next five years?

As a thrilling year of golf draws to a close, debate has been raging in BAC HQ over who will dominate golf for the next five years. Following Tiger Woods’ third back operation in less than a year, friend and long-time understudy Rory McIlroy stated that he feared for Woods’ future ability “not just to play golf but just for everyday life and being able to do everyday things”. Woods now ranks outside the world’s top 350 golfers. A startling statistic for an athlete not yet 40, and who in the years preceding his final major win in 2008 dominated the sport in a manner few have done before – and none since. Numerous golfers have raised their hands to be Woods’ successor, including prestigious major winners Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, and England’s own Justin Rose. However, the outstanding candidate to dominate golf for the next five years had been Rory McIlroy. The young Northern Irishman, with four major wins to his name and time on his side looked a certainty to boss the game for years to come. But the last two seasons have seen the rise of fierce competition in Jordan Speith and more recently Jason Day. It looks like a three-horse race, but they aren’t the only contenders. We take a closer look at who will dominate golf for the next five years. Rory McIlroy With back-to-back major wins, McIlroy closed out 2014 in style and looked untouchable. Contrastingly, 2015 hasn’t gone quite to plan. Several injuries, including a notorious football-related ankle problem, impacted his consistency and availability – although he did once again prove himself...