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CrystalCastles

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About CrystalCastles

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  • Birthday 03/03/1988

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  1. CrystalCastles

    Emma Raducanu

    Undoubtedly it's an amazing achievement to win it as a qualifier and with the long historical wait for a British Women to win a major tennis tournament. She also will deserve to win SPOTY. I do think our media at a headline level have made the most of focusing on the long wait, her lack of professional game time & just finishing her A levels. In reality, Raducanu has trained for this her whole life, she was very highly rated as a Junior and has been in the women's rankings since 2018, steadily rising. Like most young players her ability has been overlooked simply because of her age, her lack of ranking, lack of professional experience which is because she has quite rightly been focused on studying. Interestingly the women's game has come out of a long period of dominant players. To having a lot of competition. There have been 14 different winners of Majors in women's Tennis since 2016, Including Andreescu, Square at 19, Osaka, Ostapenko at 20 and Kenin at 21. It's pretty normal for Majors to be won by young players. So in some ways I don't think it was that much of a Shock Result.
  2. CrystalCastles

    Football 2021/22

    I don't get why Ole chose that team tonight. Started the season well, we have played very few games & the last few years we have flopped in the CL. I'd want to have got off to a good start. I really didn't get his substitutions, but upto AWB sending off, they played ok. Tonight we have yet again chucked a result away because of naivety, arrogance, lack of concentration & individual errors. The result tonight was down to the players and the attitude in the club as much as the poor tactics from Ole. In fairness to Ole I think tactically he either gets it spot on, or completely wrong. Regarding Chelsea last years improvement and CL success was a great achievement by Tuchel But at the same time, Lampard created a good team. They simply were inconsistent and wasteful in front of goal rather than actually being rubbish under Lampard. And he got sacked as a result. Tuchel came in with no expectation of winning the CL, they'd virtually written of the top 4. All he had to do to improve, was to say to the players, the rest of the season go out and enjoy your football and see what happens. It was a free hit. The CL draw went quite nicely for them, and in fairness they played well, getting better each game after stringing results together. Then they had the desire to win it. Chelsea now have one of the best 5 strikers in the world. So the reality is that they should do even better this year and improve. However the thing about English football is it is now very hard to challenge on all fronts. City give it a good bash every season and choke. Every other big club else tends to write off at least 1 competition.
  3. CrystalCastles

    The Crisp Crack Of Leather On Willow

    I think Silverwood looks short of ideas which for a Coach is worrying. His calm relaxed attitude compliments a strong ODI/T20 team and philosophy and with strong leadership. However I agree that we need someone with a bit more of a personna on this team. Reality is none of us mind losing as we accept that we are no longer the best Test team in the world, but when you keep failing in the same way and falling short with Application etc it's frustrating that the Coach isn't more animated. We need a kick up the backside and a lot of home truths need to be aired, instead we get we didn't play badly, we are a team that is evolving and developing etc A 2-2 draw as a series would be a decent result against a better Team. But it would also cover up really inconsistent performance levels, decision making, application throughout it. As a captain, he's naive and really not got any ideas or any out of the box thinking when our backs are against the Wall. We do what teams or players expect us to do. As a team we lose our heads as a team with Bat and Ball on a regular basis under his leadership and if you can't stay focused then you lose control of Match situations. I'd agree that i think they have done well to be competitive without a full strength Team but at the same time we have stayed in the series because of Individual brilliance, Having a few good days & taking advantage of conditions that suit us.
  4. CrystalCastles

    The Crisp Crack Of Leather On Willow

    Silverwood as Head Coach hasn't done anything, I'm really not sure he's a great coach. Its pretty easy to have a decent White ball record as our game is now full of good or Specialist players. The Red Ball team however seem to have less of an idea of what to do than when he took over. Root has been a brilliant player and a decent captain but ultimately his captaincy record only looks good statistically. Keep making the same mistakes with selection, with our batting and bowling. They need to be told that they are a very mediocre test Team with no resilience.
  5. CrystalCastles

    The Crisp Crack Of Leather On Willow

    What a contrast in Indias performance on Day 1 to Day 5 of the previous Test
  6. CrystalCastles

    The Crisp Crack Of Leather On Willow

    Oh Glammy Glammy Waited a long long time for this! Gutted to not be there but hopefully will be a massive boost for us as a County
  7. CrystalCastles

    The Crisp Crack Of Leather On Willow

    Shambles. When they play badly they are an embarrassment. Same old excuses will be rolled out. They deserve every bit of criticism they get. Bowled badly, batted appallingly and chucked away a winnable game.
  8. CrystalCastles

    The Crisp Crack Of Leather On Willow

    Proper day of Test cricket, great effort from Pujara and Rahane. Lesson in application and batting sensibly. England dug in with the ball, big session tomorrow morning. Hopefully they can bowl well again as a simply Tremendous batting effort from Root, has given them the opportunity to still win this game. Root has been fantastic this year. Pleased that Bairstow got a 50 as well.
  9. CrystalCastles

    Football 2021/22

    Great opening weekend in the Premier League with big crowds back, great football, exciting games and lots of goals. A reminder of why it is the best League in the world. Seem to have a much better interpretation of the laws in place for VAR as well. Biggest problem last year with it was the wording of the Laws of the game and bad decisions made by referees sat watching the TV. Don't think the promoted teams will be as bad as some people think.
  10. CrystalCastles

    The Crisp Crack Of Leather On Willow

    Great game between Somerset and Glammy. Fantastic spell from Hogan and then a great recovery from Somerset. Glamorgan in trouble early, recovered through Root and Cullen and then brilliant spell from Somerset to take control again. Don't think I've seen a team lose by 1 run using DLS before. Was gutted.
  11. CrystalCastles

    The Crisp Crack Of Leather On Willow

    I jumped on the original pre sale so got mine for £10 then returned them based on restrictions in Wales. Sadly in Wales they are restricted to 20% Capacity currently. I think after the original pre-sale Adult tickets were split into 3 categories roughly between £15-£25. I also noticed that the larger grounds/bigger games tickets were more expensive. Whilst not ridiculous I think it's enough to put some people off, mainly existing Cricket fans.
  12. CrystalCastles

    The Crisp Crack Of Leather On Willow

    I think people can take it for what it is, and the positives of the competition. Or can simply switch off because it's ruining the game. At least a few people are enjoying it. Really not sure that they have got Ticket pricing correct. I had booked to get TIckets when it was due to start originally simply due to having a great desire to see certain players, but even then i thought it was a tad expensive. It's a very difficult nut to crack. Ultimately the current structure isn't sustainable, they simply must find a way to make more profit, or at least drive the counties to break even. They have to tackle the crowd situation and generate more interest in the game. The 100 is definitely testing the Water. A radical restructure of the game will be far easier to justify, once the Hundred has got into full swing. Personally i think the ECB has got the restructure of the 4 Day County game correct - i like the format and think it could work sustainably. We also have to accept that we need a 50 over and 20 over game to reflect the current International Formats. We need English (British) players playing more regularly & we need International players to play our domestic competition, rather than constantly dipping in and out. However the Counties are run by people in constant denial, who simply want to protect their class status, who want to keep all of the fixtures, eventhough financially most of them are loss making. My suggestion would be do to do everything to retain the 1st Class Status. So keep the CC with it's new format. But to be radical with the 50 over & 20 over game and squeeze them into 6-8 Weeks - attract more foreign players. E.g. 9 teams play T20 Cricket and 9 Teams play 50 over cricket, on a Bi-Annual Rotation. Or utilize minor counties in both formats to reduce the number of qualifying games (Particularly in the blast) - If you get up to 24 teams then, you could have 4 groups of 6, 5 group games, a QF,SF,Final. Money may have been the primary motivating factor, but i think the new Format and the lack of games played a part in attracting the players. The majority of counties are loss making, outside of the OD/T20 - Yorkshire/Lancashire Derbies, and Middlesex/Surrey i don't think i have seen a really big crowd. How the Domestic game deals with dwindling crowds, an inability to attract top players for a full season, and the dominance of the Large/Financially Rich Counties. are also major problems. The restructure of the County Championship is probably the best thing the ECB have done in my lifetime. I wish i could see grounds full for 4 day cricket regularly, to have big interest in the OD Competition (Like the old Sunday League) but those days are gone. They missed the boat with the T20 game & the Counties all put there own interests in protecting their status ahead off the long term Financial sustainability of the Domestic game. So it is no wonder that they came up with a new Idea. Massive problem, hopefully they work out a sensible solution
  13. CrystalCastles

    The Crisp Crack Of Leather On Willow

    It's been necessary to attempt to change the financial future of the domestic game for a long time. Positives for me, are the players are behind it, its on terrestrial TV, its attracted players who wouldn't have played over here. Not really sure it's going to work or last as a competition. Really competitive games today
  14. CrystalCastles

    European Union - In Or Out?

    Absolutely, it does make you think. I don't envy anyone who has been to University since the Tuition fees were increased & the continual cost of living increasing, accomodation fees have gone through the roof in the last decade. I'd imagine £40K would probably be a realistic figure without the support of parents/working part time. Sadly i think our Education system simply doesn't work as well as it should, but Educators work within a system with lots of constraints. I think back to when i was in school and all the government really needed to do was widen the curriculum, make things more accessible to give young people more options and choice. I'm not sure any policy implemented since i left 6th Form & School has actually done anything to address that. I do think the government's desire to push apprenticeships again was a good idea, it certainly is a good option for a lot of people, you know that from experience, and what it's given you. However i think we also have to address why young people aren't really interested in certain roles.
  15. CrystalCastles

    European Union - In Or Out?

    That is a tough situation, but young people will also look at where they are going to progress too. I'm sure you may be able to say somewhere if you work hard, but that doesn't appeal to lots of young people. At the same time, I've just re-joined my previous employer and they have launched a massive Apprenticeship recruitment drive across the board, they don't seem to have any trouble filling Apprenticeship positions at all. Dealing with a generation who are now so used to having everything immediately. As a society that is our fault - Affluent Parents doting on their children has ruined the concept of work ethic in my opinion. Blaming Schools for labelling "Manufacturing as a Dirty Industry" may also play a part to some extent. However even it does the reality is that the curriculum has been set by older generations. Funding of schools doesn't help. However i also think Manufacturing is simply reaping the consequences of getting rid of apprenticeships and not supporting training for a long period of time. in my area this is certainly the case My grandad and dad worked at the same Factory, when my Grandad started it employed 6,000 people, when my Dad started their were a few thousand, by the time he finished a few hundred. Natural evolution of Technology a major factor, as well as UK policies and attitudes. The large employers in my area used to fund a training college, that used to probably have 50- 100 people training to go into apprenticeships every year at one point in time. As technology improved, these businesses cut the apprenticeships, funding training was completely unnecessary because they had a massive surplus of experienced skilled people around. By the time i was in school 16 years ago, it was on it's last legs and probably 5-10 people were going into the training college, then it got wound up a few years later The company my dad worked for still offered apprenticeships up to about 10 years ago but they then found that they would train people up, only for them to leave to work somewhere else that paid more/ because there were no prospects of progression. It's a real positive that the 24 year old that you took a gamble on paid off. Keep going hopefully you will find some more young people like that! In my experience ,people and companies willing to take a risk on someone, are really an exception. I think if more employers took people with no experience at all, with no expectations of them filling a specific role, they might find more people with the aptitude and skillset for something, no doubt that they would encounter lots of people who aren't suitable. Even if they are earning £40K+ which may seem a lot. I think in a lot of places in England particularly in Cities/large towns that probably doesn't get you very far, when you factor in repaying a student loan trying to get on the property ladder, workloads and the stress involved. I wouldn't really blame them for deciding to enjoy life and go travelling instead.
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