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Ivan Toney interview: Brentford striker on exceeding expectations, proving doubters wrong and competition with Marcus Forss | Football News

first_img Image:Brentford have won four of their opening 11 Championship fixtures  Image:Toney scored eight goals in just six games in October But it’s competition by name only, insists Toney.“If I can help him in any way then that’s the kind of person I am. If he scores a goal, I’m just as happy as he is for me. As long as we are both doing well, that’s all we can do. We bounce off each other and it helps. The manager has a choice to pick a striker; it’s me at the moment and it’s just up to me to keep my shirt.“As a striker, you want to score as many goals as possible and the more games there are, the more goals you can get. I’m excited for the next period and I just want to get more goals under my belt, as well as three points, to push us forward to getting promoted.” 1:58 Following news that Brentford had agreed a fee a few days prior, Sky Sports News travelled to Posh’s training ground to gauge Toney’s thoughts. “I want to play at the highest possible level – the Premier League,” he said. “I feel like my ability will get me there, whether it’s now, next season or whenever.”A short clip of the interview subsequently did the rounds in the increasingly volatile social media environment and what followed was a significant outpouring of vitriol, with his attitude and ability quickly called into question. It was mid-August and, with just weeks until the start of the 2020/21 campaign, speculation surrounding the future of Ivan Toney was beginning to ramp up.Peterborough had missed out on a place in the Sky Bet League One play-offs on a points-per-game basis and, having scored 26 goals in 39 games, the striker’s stock was at an all-time high. Scottish champions Celtic were among a host of clubs with a reported interest.- Advertisement – Toney stated his future Premier League ambitions in an interview with Sky Sports News in August – Advertisement – Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Middlesbrough. “People are going to have their opinions and just because it’s their opinion to have, it doesn’t mean it’s factual,” he says.“I see myself as a Premier League player. If I see myself as a Championship player, that’s not good enough. You have to aim higher and if you come just short then it’s not too bad. You must have high ambitions and high ambitions scare small-minded people. I’m excited to be in the Championship and I’m sure I can play a big part in taking Brentford to the Premier League.”When the dust had finally settled, the move to west London materialised on August 31, with the Bees forking out an initial £5million for his services, rising to a maximum of £10million including add-ons. Ollie Watkins was still on the club’s books at the time, though Toney’s arrival paved the way for his record-breaking move to Aston Villa.center_img Peterborough United striker Ivan ToneyImage:The 24-year-old scored 26 goals for Peterborough last season preview image 1:39 “It wasn’t much of a shock to the system, it was more excitement. When you are excited and you want to do something, you don’t really care how your body is. You look past that and just enjoy it,” he says.“I would never have thought I’d be in this position at the beginning of the season but I did believe in myself and I know what I’m capable of and it’s starting to really show. I’ve believed in myself, and the manager, all the staff and the players have helped me.“I feel like everyone is a team player; there’s no individuals or standouts. I know I’ve been scoring the goals but without them I wouldn’t have been able to score them. Everyone wants the same goal at the end, which is to get promoted.“It’s pretty much the same squad as last year, obviously taking out two players [Watkins and Said Benrahma]. I’m sure the whole team knows what it is like to be so close and then not make it. They don’t want the same heartache they had last year and we want to put things right.” Nonetheless, Watkins’ boots would take some filling. In his first season since moving in from the wing last summer, the 24-year-old had made the No 9 role his own, with 26 goals in 50 appearances. It represented a wholly daunting prospect for some.“I was just excited to take the challenge on because I like proving people wrong. Without blowing my own trumpet, I feel like I completed League One a few years ago,” Toney adds, with a smile.There were nerves when his first four games ended without a goal. But then one away at Millwall was followed by two against Preston, two against Coventry and two more against Sheffield Wednesday. Eight in six games in October saw him named Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for October. Needless to say, the naysayers vanished.Even more impressive was the way he picked up where he left off last season, as if the six-month break before his Bees debut never happened. As he speaks to Sky Sports, however, it doesn’t take long to realise that his statement was somewhat misconstrued.- Advertisement – Meanwhile, jostling with Toney at the top of the Championship scoring charts is Blackburn’s Adam Armstrong. The pair were under contract at Newcastle from 2014 to 2018, though neither managed to break through to the first team on a regular basis. “I think we both have a point to prove,” Toney continues.“When I went to Newcastle, Adam was out on loan, but we did speak and said we should both be playing up front together. It was never to happen but he is a great striker who knows where the goal is, for sure.”There’s competition closer to home, though. Fresh from a loan spell at AFC Wimbledon last season, Marcus Forss has forced his way into head coach Thomas Frank’s plans and currently has four league goals from his eight appearances – all have which have come from the bench – which represents an incredible average of one goal every 35 minutes. Not to mention the fact he scored on his senior debut for Finland earlier this week, against world champions France, no less. Peterborough striker Ivan Toney– Advertisement –last_img read more

Boldon Named The Franklin P. Johnson Director of the Drake Relays

first_imgStory Links DES MOINES, Iowa – Drake University director of athletics Sandy Hatfield Clubb has announced the hiring of Blake Boldon as the 12th Franklin P. Johnson Director of the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee. Boldon will be introduced during a press conference held in the Courtside Club of the Shivers Basketball Practice Facility on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 11 a.m.Boldon, a native of Osceola, Iowa, currently serves as the executive director of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon and has an extensive background and record of success as a competitive athlete, collegiate coach and event director.”I am excited to become a part of the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee, Drake University and the Des Moines community,” Boldon said. “As an Iowan and former Relays competitor, I know firsthand the tremendous history and tradition the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee has in Iowa, the U.S. and in the international track and field community. With Hy-Vee’s partnership, the Drake Relays has become one of the premier athletic events in the world. Through my experience growing up as a spectator, competing as an athlete and coaching, the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee has played a significant role in making me who I am today.  The opportunity to build upon the incredible foundation of success while we work to continue to elevate the profile of the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee is truly an honor.”In addition to Boldon’s familiarity with the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee, his experience at Beyond Monumental and the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon presented the unique qualifications Hatfield Clubb was looking for in selecting the 12th Franklin ‘Pitch’ Johnson Director of the Relays.”Blake is the perfect candidate at the right time who has a personal and passionate history with the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee,” Hatfield Clubb said. “His extensive knowledge of and passion for track and field, coupled with his experience leading major events make him uniquely qualified for the position. However, it is his demonstrated integrity and his undeniable commitment to excellence that stand out. I have had the opportunity to see and have been incredibly impressed by Blake’s deep dedication to his work as well his admiration for the people he works with at Beyond Monumental. I very much look forward to working with Blake as we enter a new era with the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee.”In his previous role, Boldon has transformed the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon (IMM) and its associated races within the Beyond Monumental organization into one of the premier road racing events in the nation over the last four years. Overseeing a budget of nearly $2 million, Boldon has propelled the event from the 60th largest marathon in the country to the 20th. That growth rate was the third largest nationally for a marathon and the largest for a half marathon. His leadership has resulted in the IMM setting annual revenue records and a 100 percent growth in sponsorships while also making the IMM an agent of change in the Indianapolis community. In addition to strengthening the existing lineup of events, Boldon created the Monumental Mile in 2014 that was ranked by Shape Magazine as one of the top 10 1-mile road races in the nation alongside with Des Moines’ Grand Blue Mile.”The Drake Relays serves not only as one of the nation’s most celebrated high school, intercollegiate, and elite track and field event, but also as a university-wide celebration for the Drake community and an important cultural event and economic driver for Des Moines and the Midwest,” said Drake University President Marty Martin. “This legacy as America’s Athletic Classic has been carefully cultivated over more than a century, most recently under the exceptional leadership of Brian Brown and with the robust support of Hy-Vee. I am confident that Blake Boldon has the leadership experience, logistical expertise, and creative vision to carry this legacy forward.”Before taking the reins of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, Boldon spent two years at the University of Pennsylvania as the Quakers’ head cross country coach and track and field distance coach. While managing every aspect of a successful Division I cross country program, he was also involved in the planning and execution of the Penn Relays and coordinated the Penn Relays Men’s Olympic Development Mile.Boldon also coached at UAB (2009-10) and Iowa State (2005-08), serving as the recruiting and academic coordinator at the latter.As an Iowan and competitive athlete, Boldon is extremely familiar with Drake Stadium and the iconic Blue Oval, where he won the 3A state title in the 1,600 meters in 1998. As a collegian at Missouri State, he won five Missouri Valley Conference titles and a Drake Relays title in the 1,500 meters in 2003. Boldon graduated from Missouri State with a degree in education in 2003 and was named MSU’s Outstanding Male Athlete Award winner in addition to being a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American.Boldon also competed professionally, returning to the Drake Stadium many times. In 2007, he became just the third Iowan to run a sub 4-minute mile during the indoor season and finished fourth at the USATF Indoor Championships. Later that season he finished second at the Drake Relays to American record holder, Alan Webb, who shattered the Drake Stadium record with a 3:51.71 finish in that classic race. Boldon’s professional career also include four top 10 finishes at USATF Championships.Boldon assumes the role of Franklin P. Johnson Director of the Drake Relays from Brian Brown, who recently completed an 11-year tenure directing the iconic event. In 2016, the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee saw more than 40,000 fans witness some of the finest professional, collegiate and high school performances of the year at Drake Stadium.As part of the building excitement for the 2016 Rio Olympics, the Relays staged numerous Olympic Preview events that brought more than 60 Olympians to the Blue Oval. Those athletes would go on to win 20 medals at the 2016 Rio Games, including 10 gold medals. In addition to showcasing that Olympic talent, the 2016 Relays featured a total of 11 Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee records that were broken or tied and three world-leading marks were established. The 108th Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee is scheduled for April 26-29, 2017.Print Friendly Version What Others Are Saying last_img read more