{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"sport","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/cowdenbeath/cowdenbeath-0-3-dundee-sofien-moussa-turns-in-a-masterclass-1-4515012","id":"1.4515012","articleHeadline": "Cowdenbeath 0 - 3 Dundee: Sofien Moussa turns in a masterclass","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501103280000 ,"articleLead": "

Dundee have a new hero and Sofien Moussa could not have timed his ascent any better ahead of Sunday’s city derby with rivals Dundee United.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4515011.1501103181!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sofien Moussa heads Dundees third goal against Cowdenbeath to complete his hat-trick. Picture: SNS."} ,"articleBody": "

The Tunisian grabbed a magnificent hat-trick in just 37 minutes at Central Park with a superb display of clinical finishing and penalty-box skill. That he passed up further gilt-edged opportunities to add to his tally was proof of a night to remember for the 29-year-old in Fife.

The summer signing had netted in both of Dundee’s previous Betfred Cup victories, against Raith Rovers and Buckie Thistle, but this was a performance that elevated him still further in the eyes of the adoring Dark Blues faithful. How they would love him to repeat this performance this weekend.

Manager Neil McCann was left furious by his team’s showing in their 2-0 win over Buckie on Saturday, responding to what he saw by cancelling their planned day off on Sunday. He could not have hoped for a better response at a tricky venue. Instead of working him hard, McCann may be tempted to now wrap Moussa in cotton wool in preparation for Sunday.

Dundee began brightly in the sparkling Fife sunshine and none more so than the hat-trick hero. Scott Allan almost caught out Joe McGovern, brother of Northern Ireland’s Michael, with a cheeky fourth-minute free-kick from the left, and full-back Cammy Kerr fired in a stinging drive with the aid of the breeze moments later that the home keeper had to beat away.

Then it turned into the Moussa show. His first arrived in the 17th minute and was a glimpse of the predatory instinct in evidence throughout. Allan sought out space on the left edge of the box and his cross was weighted perfectly for Moussa’s arrival at the back post. It was no surprise to see the net bulge.

It took the former Tromso forward only six minutes to add a sensational second. Roarie Deacon stretched to keep the ball in on the bye-line and Moussa applied the coup de grace with an acrobatic overhead kick.

Dundee were clearly in the mood and skipper Darren O’Dea, restored to the team as one of four changes, had a close-range header parried away, while Moussa was denied by both McGovern and defender David Syme as he bore down on goal.

After screwing a free header wide from an Allan corner, the man of the moment would not be denied his hat-trick and capped a sumptuous first-half performance with his third seven minutes from the interval.

Deacon’s trickery took him deep into the Blue Brazil box and when Paul McGowan helped his pass on, Moussa knocked in from six yards out.

Cowdenbeath announced the signing of 18-year-old keeper Blair Penman, but the former Celtic youngster – who was on on trial at Hearts recently – only made it as far as the bench, and he may have been glad as he took in the Moussa masterclass.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "IAIN COLLIN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4515011.1501103181!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4515011.1501103181!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sofien Moussa heads Dundees third goal against Cowdenbeath to complete his hat-trick. Picture: SNS.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sofien Moussa heads Dundees third goal against Cowdenbeath to complete his hat-trick. Picture: SNS.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4515011.1501103181!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/celtic/celtic-0-0-rosenborg-striker-less-celtic-left-frustrated-1-4515015","id":"1.4515015","articleHeadline": "Celtic 0 - 0 Rosenborg: Striker-less Celtic left frustrated","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501103272000 ,"articleLead": "

Celtic’s bid to reach the Champions League group stages stuttered with a goalless draw against Rosenborg in the first leg of their third-round qualifier at Parkhead.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4515013.1501103251!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scott Sinclair of Celtic pushes off Vegar Eggen Hedenstad. Picture: Steve Welsh/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The Hoops played without a recognised centre forward due to injury and suspension - midfielder Tom Rogic was ostensibly the furthest man in attack - and they missed a focal point in an encounter where the visiting keeper Andre Hansen had little to do.

Indeed, the Norwegian side created the better chances and Celtic keeper Craig Gordon made several saves to give the Scottish champions, big favourites for the tie, at least a clean sheet to take into the second leg.

The suspended Leigh Griffiths will be available for the return game at the Lerkendal Stadion in Trondheim next Wednesday if he recovers from a calf injury - Moussa Dembele’s hamstring injury could keep him out until September - and boss Brendan Rodgers will need more firepower from somewhere if his side are to clinch a play-off spot.

With centre-back Erik Sviatchenko failing a fitness test, and injured Dedryck Boyata out long-term, 19-year-old Norwegian Kristoffer Ajer was handed his first start after returning from a loan spell at Kilmarnock last season.

His previous appearance came 12 months ago as a second-half substitute in the 3-0 home win over Lincoln Red Imps

Former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner led the line for Rosenborg, who needed extra-time to get past Republic of Ireland’s Dundalk in the previous qualifier.

With the ultras-style fan group the Green Brigade banned from Celtic Park for two matches after ‘’serious incidents of unsafe behaviour’’ at Celtic’s previous two home games, the rest of the home support took it upon themselves to gee up the Scottish champions but it was tough going.

As expected Celtic dominated the early possession but it became clear that the lack of a spearhead was proving problematic, despite some nice build-up play.

Midfielder Stuart Armstrong had a shot blocked in the ninth minute after drifting into the box to take a delightful Olivier Ntcham pass and Rogic just could not get the loose ball under control.

The Eliteserien leaders, 17 games into their season, threatened in their occasional forays and in the 21st minute Milan Jevtovic got behind left-back Kieran Tierney, his angled-drive blocked by Ajer for a corner which came to nothing before Gordon turned over an attempt by Anders Konradsen from 14 yards.

Rosenborg manager Kare Ingebrigtsen would have been happy with the goalless first-half and would have been a whole lot happier had Vegar Eggen Hedenstad’s whipped-in free-kick early after the restart gone under the bar and not tipped over by the Scotland keeper.

The Norwegian side should have taken the lead in the 61st minute when a loose pass by skipper Scott Brown was taken by Bendtner but when Jevtovic eventually set up Yann Erik de Lanlay 12 yards from goal, he blasted over.

Seconds later, inside a nervy Celtic Park, Bendtner forced Gordon into a decent save with a drive and at the other end, as the Hoops upped the tempo, James Forrest drilled a shot inches past the far post.

However, in another Rosenborg attack, captain Mike Jensen set up Bendtner 12 yards out but he missed his kick completely, ensuring another let-off for the Glasgow side.

Gordon blocked a drive from substitute Elbasan Rashani in injury time before the final whistle confirmed that Celtic still have a bit to do next week if they are to take the next step towards the coveted group stages.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Ronnie Esplin"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4515013.1501103251!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4515013.1501103251!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scott Sinclair of Celtic pushes off Vegar Eggen Hedenstad. Picture: Steve Welsh/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scott Sinclair of Celtic pushes off Vegar Eggen Hedenstad. Picture: Steve Welsh/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4515013.1501103251!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4515014.1501103253!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4515014.1501103253!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Section of the stand normally given to The Green Brigade is empty following ban. Picture: Steve Welsh/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Section of the stand normally given to The Green Brigade is empty following ban. Picture: Steve Welsh/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4515014.1501103253!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/golf/lydia-ko-showing-same-patience-as-jordan-spieth-1-4514970","id":"1.4514970","articleHeadline": "Lydia Ko showing same patience as Jordan Spieth","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501102798000 ,"articleLead": "

Jordan Spieth’s Open Championship victory on Sunday showed he is back to the form that earned him the 2015 male player of the year award from the Golf Writers Association of America and now the person who picked up the female equivalent at the same time is hoping to use a double-header in Scotland to do likewise.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514969.1501102778!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "From left to right: Michelle Wie, Lydia Ko, Isabelle Boineau, Catriona Matthew and Suzann Pettersen ahead of the Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald Links"} ,"articleBody": "

After being world No 1 for 
84 consecutive weeks, Lydia Ko has slipped to fourth in the rankings after changing her clubs, coach and caddie since the end of last season and has now gone a full 
12 months since chalking up her 14th LPGA triumph, a haul that includes two majors.

According to the 20-year-old Kiwi, though, it’s just a matter of her trying to piece together a “puzzle” as she bids to get back to winning ways and seeing Spieth being rewarded with a Claret Jug for the patience he’s shown since coming close to claiming that two years ago on the back of Masters and US Open wins has certainly given Ko belief heading into both the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open and the Ricoh Women’s British Open.

“Because of that (2015) season where he won two majors and got so close in the other two (finishing fourth in the Open Championship and second in the USPGA Championship), I think he set the bar so high up that when you’re still playing good but not as good, you feel like you’re not playing as good, and I think that’s how people kind of perceive it,” said Ko, speaking on a wild and wet morning at Dundonald Links during a fascinating press conference ahead of the first of those events.

“But, when I watch him play on the PGA Tour, I still feel like he’s that same awesome player that he was in that season and the season after. Especially on that back nine last week, where he was just grinding, he made some of the impossible possible. I think that just shows what kind of a class player he is. I’m pretty sure he stayed patient and he kind of blocked out what everybody was saying, because I think he knew that it was still the same him.” Is Ko saying the same thing to herself as she experiences the first lull in a career that has also seen her break record after record? “It’s easy to say, but it’s hard to do,” she added. “I know that you just have to keep your head up high and just focus on what’s going on right now and what I need to work on, rather than think about what has happened in the past.

“I think what’s really important going forward is I’ve just got to look at what’s going on at this moment and what I need to prove and what I need to improve. I’ve obviously been fortunate to be able to play some really good golf, and I think that will be a huge experience factor and I think being patient is going to be the key for me until hopefully that next win. I know we are all working hard to be the one holding the trophy at the end of the week. It’s not like I’m a special case where, hey, ‘I’m the special one’. We’re all trying to be patient and confident in our game.”

Ko is playing in her second Scottish Open at Dundonald Links, having tied for fourth behind Australian winner Rebecca Artis two years ago, and is looking forward to trying to improve on that performance in an event that has seen its field strengthened substantially – the prize fund has also trebled to £1.2 million – due to it now being on the LPGA schedule before turning her attention to next week’s Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns.

“I had my best finish in the Women’s British Open (joint-third behind Inbee Park at Turnberry) after playing in this tournament two years ago,” recalled Ko, whose title rivals on the Ayrshire coast over the next four days include world No 1 So Yeon Ryu and second-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn, as well as a strong American contingent headed by Stacy Lewis, Cristie Kerr, Michelle Wie, Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer.

“While this is a great championship, too, it’s a great lead-up to the British Open. It’s a great learning curve, especially if the winds get strong. It will definitely be helpful in not only club selection but how the ball is affected in the air. It’s a nice experience for the people that are playing this week and next week. I think it’s great for the fans, too, as it’s a cool stretch of events that doesn’t happen very often.”

For two-time Scottish Open winner Catriona Matthew, the double-header will determine whether she will be making a ninth playing appearance in next month’s Solheim Cup in Des Moines, Iowa, or having to be content with a backroom role as one of Annika Sorenstam’s vice-captains. “I think I’ve played enough myself that I know I’ve got to produce a good couple of weeks here,” said the 47-year-old, who spearheads a nine-strong home challenge that also includes 2012 winner 
Carly Booth.

“It depends on a lot of factors and who qualifies and how other people play. We’ll just need to wait and see what happens these two weeks. It’s a big two weeks for probably a few of us going for those last couple of spots. I’ve got to go out there and play pretty well, just like the other ones do. At the end of the day, it comes down to results, perhaps a little bit of experience, helping on my part a little. I think it just depends perhaps on the 
make-up of the team.”

Frenchwoman Isabelle Boineau is hoping to shake off a “s*** season” to put up a respectable title defence in an event offering free admission to anyone who attended the men’s equivalent at the same venue a fortnight ago.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARTIN DEMPSTER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514969.1501102778!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514969.1501102778!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "From left to right: Michelle Wie, Lydia Ko, Isabelle Boineau, Catriona Matthew and Suzann Pettersen ahead of the Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald Links","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "From left to right: Michelle Wie, Lydia Ko, Isabelle Boineau, Catriona Matthew and Suzann Pettersen ahead of the Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald Links","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514969.1501102778!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/golf/bernhard-langer-expects-tougher-test-in-senior-open-1-4514982","id":"1.4514982","articleHeadline": "Bernhard Langer expects tougher test in Senior Open","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501101249000 ,"articleLead": "

Bernhard Langer, winner of the Senior Open Championship in 2014 by a mammoth 13 strokes, believes that the links of Royal Porthcawl will offer a much sterner test this time round as golf’s superstars return to south Wales.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514981.1501101229!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bernhard Langer talks to the media ahead of the Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Langer set a new Senior major record with his winning margin as Royal Porthcawl bathed in sunshine, but, with the weather forecast favouring wind and rain, the German believes things will be a lot tougher the next four days.

“I can’t predict the winning score,” said nine-time Senior major winner Langer. “Because I haven’t actually played the course the way it is now. The wind is about 20 to 25 miles per hour and I think the forecast is for that kind of wind throughout the week. I think the score will be over par, but I’ve been wrong before. I’m not a good forecaster. I’m a better golfer.”

Second in the field in 2014 was Colin Montgomerie, one of just five golfers to score better than par that year. “This course will be a massive challenge for everybody, both physically and mentally,” said three-time major winner Montgomerie. “Starting off with a hole that is dead into the wind, it will be driver, 3-iron or driver, 3-wood, and that’s downhill.

“It was windy on Friday at The Open, but Birkdale is less exposed than this. I can’t see anybody breaking par if the conditions are like they were today. That’s not because we can’t play the game, we’re very, very good, but the elements are going to win.

“But it’s the winning score that counts, not how many under par you are. You have to score less than everybody else. If it’s four 74s, it’s four 74s, but you’ve beaten the rest of them.”

Montgomerie is one of nine former Ryder Cup captains and 30 former Ryder Cup players in the field.

“I think it’s a great field and it’s getting stronger every year,” he said. “It’s becoming tougher and tougher every year and that’s why Bernhard has been beating the system hands down. He’s 60 in August and you usually get just five years at this. So he’s given us all hope.”

Paul Broadhurst, who won at Carnoustie last year by two strokes, is under no illusions as to the challenge he faces this week to retain the Senior Claret Jug. “It’s not just Langer, the field is a really strong field,” he said.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARVIN COLLINS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514981.1501101229!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514981.1501101229!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Bernhard Langer talks to the media ahead of the Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bernhard Langer talks to the media ahead of the Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514981.1501101229!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/golf/suzann-pettersen-confident-solheim-cup-row-is-cleared-up-1-4514975","id":"1.4514975","articleHeadline": "Suzann Pettersen confident Solheim Cup row is cleared up","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501100716000 ,"articleLead": "

Suzann Pettersen is confident that the Solheim Cup row dubbed “Gimmegate” has been cleared up heading into next month’s match in Iowa, but is bracing herself to be reminded of it by some American fans.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514973.1501100696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Suzann Pettersen says 'Gimmegate' has been cleared up. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The Norwegian was at the centre of a storm during the 2015 match at St Leon-Rot in Germany after US rookie Alison Lee scooped up her ball thinking a 16-inch putt had been given only for Pettersen to claim that hadn’t been the case.

With Lee left in tears, 
Pettersen, pictured, one of the most experienced members of the European team, was slammed over the incident by US captain Juli Inkster, as well as the likes of former world No 1 Laura Davies. In fairness, Pettersen issued a fulsome apology straight after the event and she believes there will be no bad blood whatsoever when the two teams clash in Des Moines in just over three weeks’ time.

“You do get reminded by some random fan here and there, but I think the media kind of dragged that incident on and on and on, much more than we players and whoever was involved did,” she said, speaking in a press conference ahead of 
the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald Links.

“I feel like everyone that was involved kind of cleared that up fairly quickly in the 
aftermath and all moved on. But, going back to the US, 
we are on foreign ground and the crowds are going to be bigger than they have ever been. The more we can keep the crowds quiet, I think that’s our biggest goal that week.”

Pettersen, the world No 23, is set to play in her ninth successive Solheim Cup. “The two years has gone by fairly quick,” she added. “I would 
say still we are a massive underdog. I think Annika [Sorenstam] has her hands full trying to win that trophy back. But it will be a very fun challenge.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARTIN DEMPSTER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514973.1501100696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514973.1501100696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Suzann Pettersen says 'Gimmegate' has been cleared up. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Suzann Pettersen says 'Gimmegate' has been cleared up. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514973.1501100696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/more-in-sport/duncan-scott-shrugs-off-200m-woes-to-reach-100m-final-1-4514947","id":"1.4514947","articleHeadline": "Duncan Scott shrugs off 200m woes to reach 100m final","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501098004000 ,"articleLead": "

Duncan Scott put the 
disappointment of finishing fourth in the 200m freestyle to one side to safely progress to the 100m freestyle final at the World Championships in Budapest last night.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514946.1501097984!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Duncan Scott reacts after his 100m freestyle heat at the World Championships in Budapest. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

In the longer event he had finished just outside the 
medals on Tuesday night with a time of 1:45.27, the Russian Aleksandr Krasnykh pipping him to third in 1:45.23.

After that race he said it was “a sore one to take, but I will learn from this experience and move on”. And, he 
certainly did just that.

In the 100m heats yesterday morning the 20-year-old University of Stirling athlete finished third in his heat in 48.46, Cameron McEvoy of Australia winning it in 47.97 and his countryman Jack Cartwright finishing second in 48.43.

In the evening’s semi-final he went even quicker. He swam 48.10 in that one and that saw him qualify for the final as the sixth fastest of the eight athletes remaining.

After the semi-final he said: “I was happy with that. It has been a tough couple of days and it will be a real dogfight in the final. There are some quality swimmers, but I have given myself a chance.

“This is not an event that you would necessarily pick me for given my height and size. They are all big guys that I am up against, but I try to use my height-weight ratio to my advantage.

“I have been working hard with my coach to lengthen my stroke in the second 50m as we come home to get a strong finish and it seems to be working well. Now I just need to rest up and get myself ready for the final.”

Last year in Rio at the Olympics, Scott swam 48.01 in the final of the same event to 
finish in fifth place.

To push for a medal in this one he will likely have to break 48 seconds as in the semi-finals five athletes broke that barrier.

The five fastest qualifiers were France’s Mehdy Metella (47.65), Caleb Dressel of the USA (47.66), his countryman Nathan Adrian (47.85), McEvoy (47.95) and Cartwright (47.97).

Scott has that sort of time in his locker, though, and has a personal best of 47.90. The final takes place tonight.

In his first World Championships, Mark Szaranek did a great job to make it through the heats in the 200m individual medley before going out at the semi-final stage.

Fellow Team GB swimmer Max Litchfield showed Szarnek the way by winning his heat in 1:56.64 and then the 21-year-old from Glenrothes took centre stage.

Szaranek, who is linked to the University of Florida and the University of Edinburgh where his father coaches, claimed two silver medals at the 2017 British Swimming Championships earlier this year and in his heat swam 1:59.68 to finish fourth.

That was enough to see him through to the evening 

The first semi was won by American Chase Kalisz in a fast time of 1:55.88 and with the likes of Japan’s Kosuke Hagino and Litchfield in his race, Szaranek knew he was going to have to go close to his personal best of 1:58.39 to get through.

In the end he did go close to that, swimming a time of 1:58.80, but finishing seventh in that semi. That meant that he finished 11th overall to miss out on the final. However, he will take confidence into the 400m individual medley that takes place on the final day of the meet on Sunday.

Kathleen Dawson, the 19-year-old University of Stirling swimmer, could not progress from the heats in the 50m backstroke.

She posted a time of 28.42, but it wasn’t enough.

The fourth Scot in action in Hungary yesterday was Ross Murdoch. On Monday, 
Murdoch, the 23-year-old also from the University of Stirling, finished in eighth place in the final of the 100m breaststroke, before being back in the pool for the heats of the mixed 4x100m medley relay.

Murdoch swam the second leg in a time of 59.49 to safely progress to the final along with Georgia Davies, James Guy and Freya Anderson after finishing second to Australia in 3:44.79.

However, Murdoch was not required for the final, man of the moment Adam Peaty replacing him, as Team GB finished fifth in 3:41.56, USA 
taking gold in a world record time of 3:38.56.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "GARY HEATLY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514946.1501097984!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514946.1501097984!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Duncan Scott reacts after his 100m freestyle heat at the World Championships in Budapest. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Duncan Scott reacts after his 100m freestyle heat at the World Championships in Budapest. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514946.1501097984!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/jamie-murray-trolls-brother-andy-in-hilarious-video-1-4514641","id":"1.4514641","articleHeadline": "Jamie Murray trolls brother Andy in hilarious video","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501079114000 ,"articleLead": "

Talking tech is all the rage with products such as Google Home and Alexa proving to be some of the most sought after devices in 2017.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514639.1501078697!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Andy Murray responded saying the video is 'hilarious' Picture; John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

And it appears that Jamie Murray is a fan if his hilarious video on Instagram is anything to go by.

Using Google Home, the British Number 1 doubles player jokingly mocked his brother and their Grand Slam record on Instagram.

READ MORE: Edinburgh coach playing key role in Jamie Murray’s success

Asking the device, “Who is your favourite tennis player?” it responded: “All I’m saying is no-one ever remembers that Jamie Murray won a Grand Slam before Andy.”

Jamie famously won his first Grand Slam five years before his brother, and it appears from the smirk on his face after Google Home responded that he doesn’t let Andy forget.

Andy even responded to the video on Instagram calling it ‘hilarious’

READ MORE: Sir Andy Murray ‘always welcome at Easter Road’ say Hibs bosses

In terms of sibling banter, it’s game, set and match Jamie.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "STEPHEN MCILKENNY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514639.1501078697!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514639.1501078697!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Andy Murray responded saying the video is 'hilarious' Picture; John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Andy Murray responded saying the video is 'hilarious' Picture; John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514639.1501078697!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"1501077823634"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/tennis/novak-djokovic-to-miss-rest-of-season-with-elbow-injury-1-4514914","id":"1.4514914","articleHeadline": "Novak Djokovic to miss rest of season with elbow injury","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501091840000 ,"articleLead": "

Novak Djokovic has admitted he had no choice but to take the rest of 2017 off as he tries to recover from an elbow injury.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514913.1501091820!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Novak Djokovic gestures to reporters in Belgrade as he announces that he will take part in no further tournaments this year. Picture: Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

The 30-year-old’s decision means he will miss the final grand slam of the year, the US Open, an event he has won twice. World No 4 Djokovic was forced to retire midway through his Wimbledon quarter-final with Tomas Berdych earlier this month because of the problem.

After the match, he said he had been feeling pain in his right elbow for over a year and half and the 12-time major champion has now opted to take the rest of the year off.

“I have made the decision to not play any tournaments for the rest of the 2017 season,” Djokovic said. “Unfortunately, this is the decision that had to be made at this moment. Wimbledon was the toughest tournament for me in terms of feeling the pain that has escalated.

“I have consulted doctors and specialists and various people from the medicine [profession] in the last 12 to 15 months, and especially the last couple of months when I felt the injury was getting worse.

“They all agree I need rest, I need time. This is one of those injuries where nothing can really help instantly. You have to allow natural rehabilitation to take its course.”

Missing the US Open next month will end Djokovic’s run of 51 consecutive grand slam appearances, but the Serbian has been well below his best in the past year.

After winning four consecutive major tournaments, Djokovic has now gone further than the quarter-finals only once in his last five.

He began working with eight-time grand slam champion Andre Agassi at the French Open in May and has confirmed the American will stay on his coaching team when he returns in 2018.

“I am looking forward to be honest to building my body, my game and my team as well,” Djokovic said.

“I am happy to share that Andre Agassi is committed to staying with me next year.”

Djokovic may have drawn encouragement from Roger Federer, who missed the second half of 2016 to recover from injury before coming back to win the Australian Open and his 19th grand slam title at Wimbledon.

Coincidentally, Federer announced his decision to take an extended break on the same day of last year.

“I have time to dedicate to healing myself, to building up my body and my strength and focusing on certain aspects of my game I never had time to work on,” Djokovic added. “Now I have time to perfect it and build the foundation for the next five years or more. God knows I really want to play professional tennis for many years to come.”

Meanwhile, British No 3 Aljaz Bedene eased into the last 16 of the German Tennis Championships with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over the Dominican Republic’s Jose Hernandez-Fernandez.

The Slovenia-born 28-year-old broke the lucky loser twice in the first set and then twice in the second to secure a convincing triumph within 69 minutes in Hamburg.

Next up for world No 46 Bedene is Russia’s Karen Khachanov, who overcame Germany’s Rudolf Molleker 6-4, 6-3 in the first round.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "EVE FODENS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514913.1501091820!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514913.1501091820!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Novak Djokovic gestures to reporters in Belgrade as he announces that he will take part in no further tournaments this year. Picture: Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Novak Djokovic gestures to reporters in Belgrade as he announces that he will take part in no further tournaments this year. Picture: Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514913.1501091820!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/cricket/joe-root-truce-with-michael-vaughan-as-england-eye-revival-1-4514889","id":"1.4514889","articleHeadline": "Joe Root truce with Michael Vaughan as England eye revival","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501091002000 ,"articleLead": "

Joe Root has put a line through his transient disagreement with Michael Vaughan as England bid to bounce back against South Africa at the Oval.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514888.1501090982!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "England captain Joe Root chats to coach Trevor Bayliss at a training session at the Oval. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

England fell flat at Trent Bridge last week when they were trounced by 340 runs, in Root’s second match as captain – attracting strong and high-profile criticism, including from Vaughan, who accused them of failing to “respect” Test cricket.

The Investec series is therefore level at 1-1 with two to play going into this famous venue’s 100th Test, and Root is well aware England need to raise their game.

They will be doing so with at least two debutants, and possibly a third, after Root confirmed Toby Roland-Jones is set to replace the injured Mark Wood, Tom Westley previously announced at number three following Gary Ballance’s broken finger and Dawid Malan in the wings too if England opt for an extra batsman over a second spinner.

As for Vaughan, Root has made clear there are no hard feelings between himself and the former England captain and fellow ex-Sheffield Collegiate graduate.

When first told of Vaughan’s critique at the captain’s post-match press conference in Nottingham, Root was aghast at the remarks and described them as “unfair”. On the eve of the third Test, nine days later, he said: “It’s his job to be opinionated and give his view on what he sees. No one agrees on everything all the time. I understand that, and I’m sure he understands that as well.”

Root fully expects England will prove to one and all this week how much pride they take in their own standards.

“The guys do really care – they are desperate to win and perform well in an England shirt,” he said. “They don’t want to let anyone down. It’s a great opportunity this week for us to show what it means to play for England.”

Root is not seeking to dodge fair criticism either of the performance which consigned England to their seventh defeat in their last ten Tests.

“We obviously weren’t good enough – there’s no point hiding behind it or making excuses – but the most important thing is the attitude we show this week to bounce back strong. Effort has never been an issue with the guys, it’s just making sure we recognise the key periods and we grab them and take the game forward.

“We know how much talent and ability is in the dressing room. We need to read those situations quicker, adapt and, when we do get a chance, take it. It’s important that we remain true to each other.”

However many debutants are needed at the Oval, Root insists they will enter a cohesive environment. He said: “We’ve a settled dressing room that is desperate to get better, and knows we’re a better side than we showed last week.

“All the lads have gone away and had a think themselves, and everyone seems very focused about how they want to go about this week, which is really important.”

England do not appear to know yet whether to give Malan the nod for his maiden Test and field three debutants for the first time since 2014, or stick with Liam Dawson to bat at No 8 and provide an extra spin option.

“It’s important to look at the surface and decide what’s going to be the best side to play South Africa in those conditions,” added Root.

“So we’ll turn up tomorrow, take a look at the wicket and make a decision.”

One man who will not be involved is Wood, whose heel niggle which affected his pace at Trent Bridge has resurfaced despite favourable scans between Tests. Root confirmed the fast bowler’s absence and spelled out why Roland-Jones can be an effective deputy.

“Woody is not 100 per cent fit, so he’s going to miss out this week and Toby is going to come in and make his debut,” he said.

“Toby has looked really good in the lead-up to the other games.

“He’s had a fine couple of years. He’s been banging the door down.

“I’m really excited for him and I’m sure he’ll be desperate to show everyone what he can do with a red ball for England.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CLIVE WELLINGTON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514888.1501090982!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514888.1501090982!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "England captain Joe Root chats to coach Trevor Bayliss at a training session at the Oval. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "England captain Joe Root chats to coach Trevor Bayliss at a training session at the Oval. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514888.1501090982!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/stephanie-inglis-brain-injury-prevents-return-to-judo-1-4514454","id":"1.4514454","articleHeadline": "Stephanie Inglis brain injury prevents return to judo","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501071733000 ,"articleLead": "

Commonwealth Games medallist Stephanie Inglis has admitted defeat in her bid to return to competitive judo as she continues her recovery from a horrific motorbike crash in Vietnam.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514452.1501071710!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stephanie Inglis in action during the Commonwealth Games. Picture; LIsa Ferguson"} ,"articleBody": "

The 28-year-old was initially given just a 1% chance of survival from serious head and neck injuries in the road accident last year.

A crowdfunding campaign raised money to cover the cost of treatment in Thailand and her return to Scotland, where she woke up from a coma in a hospital in Edinburgh, six weeks after the crash.

Ms Inglis, from Daviot, near Inverness, had to learn to walk again but made a remarkable physical recovery and had targeted a return to judo, where she won a silver medal at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

However, with doctors telling her any head knock in judo could risk her life, Ms Inglis has admitted she will not compete again.

READ MORE: Stephanie Inglis supporters raise £4000 for medical bills

She told BBC Radio Scotland: “I’m struggling to come to terms with it and it’s probably affecting my mental state on top of everything else. I’d always been hopeful I could return to the mat.

“It’s not something I’m choosing to put an end to but my surgeons just highly recommend it’s not the best thing, it’s life threatening if I did re-injure the head.

“At the end of the day, judo is just a sport, I mean it’s been everything to me but I’ve got my whole future ahead of me, and I’m very lucky for that.

“I’m slowly coming to terms with that door maybe being closed in my life.”

Ms Inglis said she “still has a lot to give to the sport” and could go into coaching later.

“It’s hard being around something you love so much when you just want to do it yourself, so I think when I come to terms with that chapter of my life being over I’ll be in a better position to help others and coach the future talent in the Highlands.”

READ MORE: Judo star Stephanie Inglis ‘astounding doctors’

The 28-year-old recently noticed she has lost her sense of smell as a side effect of the Vietnam accident.

Ms Inglis has returned to work two days a week and is on the verge of regaining her driving licence - another goal she set during her recovery.

She told the Kaye Adams programme: “I now need to get insured and take a refresh course.

“I’ve always been goal-driven, that’s what motivates me - working towards competition or selection. To have that away from me now, it’s like ‘what can I find that will motivate me?’

“Driving has been a huge thing. Getting my independence again is important.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DIANE KING"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514452.1501071710!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514452.1501071710!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Stephanie Inglis in action during the Commonwealth Games. Picture; LIsa Ferguson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stephanie Inglis in action during the Commonwealth Games. Picture; LIsa Ferguson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514452.1501071710!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514453.1501071714!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514453.1501071714!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Commonwealth Games medallist Stephanie Inglis has admitted defeat in her bid to return to competitive judo as she continues her recovery from a horrific motorbike crash in Vietnam. Picture; PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Commonwealth Games medallist Stephanie Inglis has admitted defeat in her bid to return to competitive judo as she continues her recovery from a horrific motorbike crash in Vietnam. Picture; PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514453.1501071714!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/celtic/aiden-mcgeady-opens-up-on-strained-relationship-with-gordon-strachan-1-4514435","id":"1.4514435","articleHeadline": "Aiden McGeady opens up on ‘strained’ relationship with Gordon Strachan","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501070590000 ,"articleLead": "

Aiden McGeady has revealed the depths of his “strained” relationship with former Celtic boss Gordon Strachan while the two of them were at Parkhead.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514434.1501070571!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Aiden McGeady, right, shone at Celtic Park for six years. Picture: Ian Georgeson"} ,"articleBody": "

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Speaking to fellow ex-Celtic youth player Simon Ferry on the Si Ferry Meets... show, presented by Open Goal, McGeady put it down to a “clash of personalities” which meant he was always wary of facing the manager’s wrath.

McGeady, who would play throughout Strachan’s tenure before leaving the club in 2010 for Spartak Moscow, first broke into the side under Martin O’Neill and featured 37 times in the 2004-05 season.

However, the following campaign his appearances dropped to 24, thanks to a late-season knee injury and an early reticence from Strachan to pick a player who wasn’t his “type of guy”.

McGeady said: “We played Rangers at Ibrox and he [Strachan] stuck Paul Lawson on the bench ahead of me. I was raging. Tommy [Burns] pulled me aside and told me to show a little respect and to back my team-mates, which was fair enough.

“I went to go and see the manager on the Monday after and he just said, ‘nah, you’re not for me, you’re not my type of guy, you think you’re ahead of yourself’. So I asked to go out on loan and he said no. So I went back to playing reserves every week.

“I won him over just through working hard and keeping my head down. Eventually he came to see a reserve game and he pulled me aside and said, ‘well done, you’ve turned it around for yourself’. After that I was playing.

“Me and Strachan, it probably just a clash of personalities. I thought he singled me out a lot of the time. Unfair criticism and things like that.

“I felt I had to be playing well literally every single game to stay in the team, where as other players got a bit of leniency. Our relationship was always a bit strained.”

READ MORE - ‘Magic Man’ Tom Rogic can fill striking void for Celtic

McGeady later recalled a time where he had a dressing room bust-up with Neil Lennon and Strachan quickly leapt to the defence of the veteran campaigner.

“This was an occasion which sticks in my mind where I didn’t do anything wrong and I got blamed for it.

“We were away at Dunfermline. We won 2-1. In the last five minutes, we were 2-0 up, we’d moved to a 4-3-3 and I was playing right of the front three. Their winger has picked the ball up, beaten Mark Wilson, crossed it in and they’ve scored. And Lenny is going mental.

“Something set him off. He was shouting at everyone. Eventually he shouted at me. He pushed me and I pushed him back.

“I didn’t really think much of it. I hadn’t done anything wrong, I’d just stood up for himself.

“Strachan comes in and he starts having a go at me. He’s like, ‘this guy has done everything for this club, he’s won everything, he’s been here for seven years’. Then he’s like, ‘the biggest skill in football is passing a ball to a team-mate, not all of your tricks and flicks’, talking to me. He then said, ‘Aidan, you may get a few girls in the nightclub with your flicks and your tricks’. I mean, what does that even mean?”

The Sunderland winger also opened up on the eccentricities of Thomas Gravesen in the second part of his interview with Ferry.

READ MORE - Celtic’s wonderkid Karamoko Dembele stars in Scotland win

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANGUS WRIGHT"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514434.1501070571!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514434.1501070571!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Aiden McGeady, right, shone at Celtic Park for six years. Picture: Ian Georgeson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Aiden McGeady, right, shone at Celtic Park for six years. Picture: Ian Georgeson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514434.1501070571!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/spfl-has-no-legal-power-to-further-punish-rangers-over-ebts-1-4514317","id":"1.4514317","articleHeadline": "SPFL has ‘no legal power’ to further punish Rangers over EBTs","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501064351000 ,"articleLead": "

The Scottish Professional Football League has declared it has “no legal power” to reopen disciplinary action surrounding the Rangers tax case.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514316.1501067635!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The SPFL have announced they cannot further punish Rangers. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

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Legal advice given to the SPFL in the wake of a recent Supreme Court ruling that Rangers should have paid tax on about £50million of payments to players and staff, is that a pre-existing commission or a new commission cannot issue fresh sanctions.

Rangers were fined £250,000 in 2013 after an independent commission set up by the Scottish Premier League and led by Lord Nimmo Smith ruled they had breached rules relating to the non-disclosure of documents associated with the Employee Benefit Trust payments, but had gained no “unfair competitive advantage”.

The SPFL has said it supports calls for an independent review of how Scottish football authorities dealt with the situation.

READ MORE - Celtic’s wonderkid Karamoko Dembele stars in Scotland win

A statement read: “The SPFL Board today announced, following legal advice from eminent Senior Counsel, Gerry Moynihan QC, that there will be no further disciplinary proceedings taken by the SPFL connected with the use by Rangers of EBTs and other tax schemes.

“The SPFL Board further announced that it supports the calls that have been made for an independent review concerning the way in which Scottish football’s authorities have dealt with non-payment of tax by clubs, have applied their rules and regulations, and the sufficiency of changes made to their rules and regulations in this area over the last few years.”

The league published advice by Moynihan, which included that the breaches of SPL rules “are now closed and cannot be re-opened by the SPFL nor can the commission or a new commission now impose further or different sanctions. The SPFL has no power in law to re-open these issues and the commission has no power in law, assuming it wished to do so, to modify or supplement the sanction previously imposed.”

Calls for Rangers to be stripped of titles won during the EBT years, from 2001 to 2010, intensified after the Supreme Court ruling earlier this month and groups representing supporters of Aberdeen, Dundee United and Celtic added their voice.

Celtic had left the authorities in no doubt that they expected the case to be reviewed but the Scottish Football Association ruled out action “at this time” hours after the Supreme Court verdict, citing unspecified legal advice.

The SPFL has gone a step further in publishing full details of the legal opinion it received and it has already approached the SFA over a potential review.

Moynihan’s advice also stated that there were no provisions in the league rules over the failure of Rangers to pay the required tax, and that the league had no power to instigate action over allegations that clubs damaged the reputation of the game.

READ MORE - ‘Magic Man’ Tom Rogic can fill striking void for Celtic

The SPFL has since introduced rules relating to the non-payment of tax - delays trigger transfer embargoes - and says it bolstered those regulations at its annual general meeting on Monday.

Outgoing SPFL chairman Ralph Topping said: “The board of the SPFL has noted the calls that have been made for an independent review and report concerning the way in which Scottish football’s authorities have dealt with non-payment of tax by clubs, application of their rules and regulations and the sufficiency of changes made to their rules and regulations in this area over the last few years.

“The board of the SPFL supports those calls for such an independent review and will seek to facilitate such review and the publication of its report with and to the Scottish FA. The SPFL will seek to agree terms of reference with the Scottish FA and the identification of appropriate independent reviewers.”

The matter might not be closed though as initial preparations for a crowd-funded legal review appear to have begun before official confirmation of the SPFL’s position.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Gavin McCafferty"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514316.1501067635!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514316.1501067635!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The SPFL have announced they cannot further punish Rangers. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The SPFL have announced they cannot further punish Rangers. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514316.1501067635!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/golf/sergio-garcia-to-play-british-masters-at-close-house-1-4514303","id":"1.4514303","articleHeadline": "Sergio Garcia to play British Masters at Close House","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501063772000 ,"articleLead": "

Masters champion Sergio Garcia has confirmed he will join tournament host Lee Westwood at the British Masters supported by Sky Sports at Close House in Northumberland from September 28-October 1.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514292.1501063730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sergio Garcia is repaying a favour to Lee Westwood by playing in the event at Close House in the autumn. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Garcia has accepted an invitation from his Ryder Cup teammate to return to the British Masters for the first time since 1998, returning the favour after Westwood participated in Garcia’s charity event, Sergio and Friends, in Switzerland last summer.

The 37 year old overcame Justin Rose in a play-off at Augusta National in April to win his first Major Championship, following in the footsteps of Seve Ballesteros and José María Olazábal as the third Spaniard to win a Green Jacket.

Garcia will undoubtedly prove a popular addition to the British Masters supported by Sky Sports, which takes place in another passionate sporting area, with Close House located on the outskirts of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Golf fans can book their tickets to watch the Spaniard in action at Close House by clicking here with hospitality packages also available.

Garcia and former World Number One Westwood have been friends since Garcia burst on to the golfing scene as a talented teenager in the late 1990s, and the pair have featured on eight Ryder Cup teams together, forming an impressive partnership in the 2002 Ryder Cup at The Belfry and again two years later at Oakland Hills, before reuniting in Valhalla in 2008.

Garcia is now excited by the prospect of joining Westwood once more and playing in front of the British fans again.

“It’s going to be great,” said the 13-time European Tour winner. “Lee came to play our charity event last year in Switzerland, Sergio and Friends, so he made a great effort to come over there right after The Open Championship. He asked me if I would do the same thing for him for the British Masters and obviously he is a good friend of mine, so I said yes.

“I’m excited about it. I played it as an amateur a couple of times and I have good memories. It should be fun to go back there and it seems like the last couple of years the event has taken a big step forward and it looks really fun, so we will try to have a great weekend at Close House.”

Westwood, who has been attached to Close House since 2011, follows Ian Poulter and Luke Donald in the role of tournament host and he is delighted that Garcia is able to join him in the field.

“I’ve known Sergio for a long time, since he came out on Tour,” said Westwood. “When he was playing events as an amateur, you keep an eye on someone when everyone is talking about them. And then obviously we’ve been partners in The Ryder Cup, which was special. I remember playing together at the Belfry. I was in a bit of a slump and Sergio was the ideal partner for me. He really helped me and I ended up having a good week and we’ve been friends ever since. He’s just a nice guy. I like going out for dinner and playing golf with him. I just enjoy his company

“He is certainly a great addition to the tournament. The response so far from fans has been brilliant and it’s getting very well supported with sponsors. The field is shaping up nicely so it will be a great week and I’m really looking forward to it.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARVIN COLLINS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514292.1501063730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514292.1501063730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sergio Garcia is repaying a favour to Lee Westwood by playing in the event at Close House in the autumn. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sergio Garcia is repaying a favour to Lee Westwood by playing in the event at Close House in the autumn. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514292.1501063730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/hibernian/five-things-hibs-fans-should-know-about-vykintas-slivka-1-4514272","id":"1.4514272","articleHeadline": "Five things Hibs fans should know about Vykintas Slivka","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501062272000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs are on the verge of signing the Lithuanian from Juventus on a three-year deal. Here’s everything you need to know about the 22-year-old.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514271.1501062252!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vykintas Slivka attempts to dispossess Kyle Walker during a match between Lithuania and England at Wembley. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

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He’s a technically proficient midfielder

As expected by someone signed by Juventus as a youth player, Slivka has impressive technique for a midfielder. Comfortable with controlling the ball with both feet, he takes light touches and is able to stroke the ball around the park with minimal fuss.

While he lacks pace and strength, he’s still an athletic and dynamic player, capable of getting forward quickly and breaking past the strikers or running into the channels to offer another option in attack.

He’s another versatile player

As we’ve previously covered, Neil Lennon likes to remain flexible with his tactical gameplan and has already recruited versatile players to keep his options open next season. Steven Whittaker can play at either full-back spot or in the centre of the park, Danny Swanson can operate on either wing or as a supporting striker, and Simon Murray spent time as a winger and a striker during Dundee United’s failed promotion bid last season. With the likes of Lewis Stevenson, Dylan McGeouch and Martin Boyle already capable of performing in more than one role, Lennon has a team he can shape from one system to another during a match without making wholesale changes to the personnel.

Adding to this squad flexibility is Slivka. Across his career he’s played as a No.8, a No.10 and spent time on both wings thanks to his ambidexterity.

He had an assist against Scotland

If you’ve not already buried it deep in your subconscious, try if you can to remember Scotland’s dismal 1-1 draw with Lithuania earlier in this qualification campaign. Slivka started the match in the No.10 role for the visitors, tasked with linking midfield and attack. Rather than going beyond the striker, the midfielder would usually look to drop back and link play. It meant Lithuania had more of the ball than anyone could have anticipated before the match, especially while the game was still at 0-0.

READ MORE - Five things we’ve learned from the summer transfer window

This goes along with what Lennon said when the manager was describing the player’s ability. He talked of Slivka as a strong tactical player and it was certainly evident in this disciplined performance at our national stadium.

Against Gordon Strachan’s side he showed great composure on the football, calmly stepping away from danger time and again and keeping possession ticking over for his side. He also helped drag his team up the park by utilising his aerial advantage. Over 6ft in height, Slivka won his fair share of long-balls, which stopped the play coming straight back towards the Lithuanian goal whenever Scotland threatened.

He even made an impact on the scoresheet, playing through a perfectly weighted pass for Fedor Cernych to fire the visitors in front just before the hour mark.

Based on this performance, a supporting striker role alongside, say, Simon Murray could well be on the cards in games where Hibs are expected to defend for long periods.

He got three goals for Den Bosch

Across 18 months with the Dutch second tier side, Slivka netted just three goals despite playing a significant portion of his 40-plus games as an attacking midfielder.

Getting goals from midfield and finishing off lesser opponents has been a problem for Hibs over the past three seasons and though the signing of Swanson will certainly add a greater scoring threat from the middle of the park, Lennon may be reticent to use Slivka as an out-and-out No.10 in games where the onus is on Hibs to take the game to the opposition.

He’s started every single one of Lithuania’s World Cup qualifiers

Manager Edgaras Jankauskas is a big fan of the 22-year-old and, therefore, doesn’t just play him against dross like Scotland. He’s started in all six of the country’s matches in the World Cup qualifying campaign so far, including an appearance against England at Wembley. All in all he’s got 19 caps for his nation. Not bad for a player who turned 22 earlier this year.

READ MORE - Why Hibs fans can rest easy for the next four years

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CRAIG FOWLER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514271.1501062252!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514271.1501062252!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Vykintas Slivka attempts to dispossess Kyle Walker during a match between Lithuania and England at Wembley. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vykintas Slivka attempts to dispossess Kyle Walker during a match between Lithuania and England at Wembley. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514271.1501062252!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/five-things-we-ve-learned-from-the-summer-transfer-window-1-4514264","id":"1.4514264","articleHeadline": "Five things we’ve learned from the summer transfer window","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501061396000 ,"articleLead": "

Celtic are content to take their time, Neil Lennon is looking to recruit some familiar faces, and Hamilton Accies are in an unusual position, writes Craig Fowler

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514263.1501061377!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has been patient in the transfer window. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

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Celtic will not be rushed

Following last year’s unbeaten season and the promise of another extended excursion in the Champions League, Celtic fans were understandably excited over the prospect of several big-money signings arriving at the club this summer. Instead, only Olivier Ntcham could be classed as such to this point, with the reigning champions going for the patient approach rather than throwing their money about.

They are doing so with good reason. With the financial gulf between England and Scotland continuing to rise, it’s increasingly difficult to go out and procure talents you know are going to be ready to slot in. Instead of departures and arrivals passing each other in the night, upsetting the equilibrium of the squad, Rodgers has sought to keep the core of last year’s team together, add a couple of new pieces and look to claim another Champions League place. He’s doing that with good reason. This was a historically great Scottish league side that didn’t disgrace itself in a group with Barcelona (save one game), Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach.

There’s also the wrinkle of some better players becoming available when the qualifiers are over, as Celtic can hover up talent from clubs of similar stature in the European game who can no longer give their players Champions League football.

Which brings us on to the other side of this coin. There has been interest in at least four of Celtic’s first-team players, most notably Moussa Dembele and Stuart Armstrong. Throughout football, we see teams rise above expectations in one season, only to have their talent picked off by the waiting vultures. Celtic, to their credit, have remained steadfast. No one is going anywhere until the qualifiers are done and dusted.

READ MORE - Why Celtic fans are rightly excited about Olivier Ntcham after one game

Cycles can be renewed

There was a time at the beginning of the summer where Pedro Caixinha’s insistence that Aberdeen were coming to the end of a “cycle” looked prescient. McGinn was on his way out, Hayes was the subject of a bid from Celtic, and Derek McInnes was meeting with Sunderland over the vacant manager’s job. Everything the club had built over recent seasons looked in danger of crashing down, and Caixinha must have been rubbing his hands in glee at the prospect of not having to worry about the Dons next season.

McInnes, much to the surprise of everyone in Scottish football, decided to go nowhere. As soon as that particular decision was made, Aberdeen’s prospects for the upcoming campaign looked immediately brighter, and so it has proved.

Whether they are as a strong as they were last season is up for debate, but by bringing Ryan Christie back to Pittodrie and adding Greg Stewart and Gary Mackay-Steven, they’ve replaced significant player departures with a competency no-one would have expected.

Caixinha could well be made to eat his own words.

READ MORE - What Aberdeen are getting in former fans’ favourite Kari Arnason

Neil Lennon is trying to put the band back together

Having recruited Efe Ambrose on a permanent deal, the Hibs boss has gone after two more ex-Celtic heroes in the shape of Anthony Stokes and Kris Commons. They would be high profile signings, the type that get the blood pumping if you’re a supporter, but each must be classed as a gamble. Ambrose’s error-prone tendencies could re-emerge upon his return to the top flight, while Stokes hasn’t played anywhere near his best since 2014 - including a stint in the Scottish Championship with Hibs (Scottish Cup final apart) - and Kris Commons will soon turn 34 years of age.

Then again, for all three players, Neil Lennon is the boss who arguably got the best out of them. Ambrose and Stokes still have plenty left in their career and a lot to prove, while Commons insists he won’t be signing for anyone unless he knows he can rediscover some of his past form. And with aspirations of getting into the top three, it would be a great coup for Hibs to sign three players with recent experience of winning the Ladbrokes Premiership crown.

READ MORE - Where Hibs may look next after signing Deivydas Matulevicius

Hamilton shop in a market of their own

At the time of writing, Hamilton have signed only two players: goalkeeper Ryan Fulton and defender Xavier Tomas. Having lost two of the clubs’ three first-team strikers last season, Alex D’Acol and Eamonn Brophy, fans are getting understandably nervous at the prospect of going into the next campaign with Rakish Bingham as the only recognised striker.

With eight players departing, the situation looks pretty dire with the season just around the corner. However, with the exception of the striker issue, Hamilton may feel fairly content with what else they have. The likes of Gramoz Kurtaj, Jesus Garcia Tena and Danny Seaborne may all have been regular starters at one point, but they weren’t as last season drew to a close thanks to a mixture of mid-season signings (Alex Gogić and Giannis Skondras) and youth-team graduates (Scott McMann and Greg Docherty) stepping up to the mark.

The loss of Michael Devlin to another long-term injury will sting, but on paper the signing of Tomas (whom they paid money for) addresses such a need, while Fulton will provide competition for places with the perfectly adequate Gary Woods following the conclusion of Remi Matthews’ loan.

As Martin Canning has put it himself, Hamilton almost have to shop in their own special market. They have the lowest budget in the top flight by far, so cannot compete with their immediate rivals for talent. They could look lower and flex their top flight muscles against Championship sides in potential bidding wars, but why should they settle for players who may not be good enough for the top flight?

Reinvention is the order of the day

There are going to be a number of top flight clubs who will look almost unrecognisable from their preferred starting XIs of last season. We’re not yet in August and four separate top flight side have recruited eight or more players, including Motherwell who have been the busiest with ten new arrivals. That’s not even taking into consideration the major rebuilding work carried out by both Aberdeen and Hearts, who’ve each recruited six new players and show little sign of finishing their shopping spree before the close of the transfer window.

In fairness to each of the clubs, they’ve been pushed into such major rebuilds, either through the exit of several first-team stars or the need for urgent surgery following disastrous 2016/17 campaigns.

Ian Cathro and Pedro Caixinha have completely overhauled their respective squads in the hope of creating a competitive side worthy of keeping them in a job, while Derek McInnes had to act fast after losing talismanic duo Niall McGinn and Jonny Hayes in a matter of weeks.

Lee McCulloch at Kilmarnock has been forced into a building the side in his own image after several of Lee Clark’s short-term deals and loan contracts expired, while Stephen Robinson has tried to reinvent a more youthful looking Motherwell side following the departure of veteran campaigners Stephen Pearson and Scott McDonald, and retirement of club captain Keith Lasley.

Meanwhile, over at Dundee, Neil McCann has carried out a bit fair of wheeling and dealing. Despite having most of last season’s underperformers under contract for another year, he’s managed to send a few players on their way, freeing up room to make eight signings to this point.

READ MORE - Why Dundee fans are rightly optimistic about the new season

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CRAIG FOWLER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514263.1501061377!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514263.1501061377!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has been patient in the transfer window. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has been patient in the transfer window. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514263.1501061377!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/celtic/moussa-dembele-will-get-even-better-at-celtic-scott-brown-1-4514186","id":"1.4514186","articleHeadline": "Moussa Dembele will get even better at Celtic - Scott Brown","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501055292000 ,"articleLead": "

Celtic skipper Scott Brown insists Moussa Dembele will get even better under Brendan Rodgers.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514185.1501055270!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Moussa Dembele, right, has been the subject of transfer speculations. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

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The Hoops boss denied reports that Marseille have held talks with the Parkhead club about a potential transfer for the 21-year-old French striker who scored 32 goals last season, his first in Glasgow.

Ahead of their Champions League third qualifying round first-leg clash against Rosenborg at Celtic Park on Wednesday night, for which Dembele is battling to be fit after picking up a hamstring problem, Brown revealed his admiration for the former Fulham player.

However, the Scotland captain believes Rodgers can improve him further.

He said: “For him to score a hat-trick in a Rangers v Celtic match in his first season and going from there to what he is now, he is a top quality player and underneath this manager he is going to get better.

“We have a great manager and, if he stays here, he will definitely improve.

“I am sure the gaffer wants everyone to stay here, so here’s hoping everyone does stay.

“It is a great bunch of lads in the dressing room and we are just going to get stronger the longer we stay together.

READ MORE - ‘Magic Man’ Tom Rogic can fill striking void for Celtic

“We have two great strikers in Moussa and Leigh (Griffiths) and they are totally different.

“Moussa can hold the ball up and bring other people into play and do great things and you know what Leigh is going to do, he is going to work hard and score 30/40 goals as well.

“So it is two great strikers, great competition.”

Speaking at Tuesday night’s Celtic Park press conference, Rosenborg manager Kare Ingebrigtsen claimed the pressure was on the Scottish champions to get through to the next round - and guarantee European football next season.

He said: “It will be hard for them if they are not assured of European football.

“Everyone in Scotland thinks they should beat us and beat us easily.

“We know that coming here is really difficult. We need to defend well, keep the ball, but also we have to attack.

“An away goal is very important for us. We are here to score goals.”

READ MORE - Celtic’s wonderkid Karamoko Dembele stars in Scotland win

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CRAIG FORBES"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514185.1501055270!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514185.1501055270!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Moussa Dembele, right, has been the subject of transfer speculations. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Moussa Dembele, right, has been the subject of transfer speculations. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514185.1501055270!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/hearts/ian-cathro-relaxed-about-criticism-after-hearts-loss-at-peterhead-1-4514168","id":"1.4514168","articleHeadline": "Ian Cathro relaxed about criticism after Hearts loss at Peterhead","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501054762000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts boss Ian Cathro remains relaxed about the criticism he faces even after his side were beaten in the Betfred Cup at League Two side Peterhead.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514167.1501054742!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts manager Ian Cathro. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

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Kyle Lafferty made it four goals in three games for Hearts to cancel out Jason Brown’s powerful header but Rory McAllister scored a late winner, leaving Cathro open to criticism.

He said: “I’m not going to stop it, so let it be.

“We’re disappointed and our expectations are to do better. We didn’t start particularly well, and it allowed Peterhead to be motivated to keep fighting and keep pushing.

“We probably got ourselves on top, but we need to make better decisions to make sure we can create the opportunities and be more efficient in taking them.

“We were looking to put ourselves to the top of the group and haven’t done that so we’re disappointed. But we also respect that we have a number of new players in the team and there are relationships building.

READ MORE - Peterhead 2-1 Hearts: Late penalty stuns Ian Cathro’s men

“We need to make sure we’re ready for Saturday first and foremost. The demands we put on ourselves mean we want to beat Dunfermline, but we now need to do so to progress in the competition. That’s the reality.”

Peterhead boss Jim McInally said: “I was going to take Rory McAllister off but I remembered that if we made it to the final whistle we’d have had penalties - he’s our number one penalty taker!

“I wanted the players to go out and show they can play, but to win is a massive bonus. We’ve now got a chance of going through if we beat Elgin on Saturday.

“Everybody had written us off and you get annoyed because you don’t get respected at this level.

“I read the press today and nobody even mentioned Peterhead, so I told the players to go away from here with people talking about them and they’ve done just that.”

READ MORE - Hibs 6-1 Arbroath: Simon Murray hits Easter Road hat-trick

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANGUS WRIGHT"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514167.1501054742!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514167.1501054742!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts manager Ian Cathro. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts manager Ian Cathro. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514167.1501054742!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/competitions/premiership/rumour-mill-hibs-to-sign-juventus-midfielder-ajer-in-line-for-rosenborg-start-celtic-won-t-replace-izaguirre-1-4514149","id":"1.4514149","articleHeadline": "Rumour Mill: Hibs to sign Juventus midfielder | Ajer in line for Rosenborg start | Celtic won’t replace Izaguirre","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501052711000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs are set to complete the capture of Juventus midfielder Vykintas Slivka on a three-year deal, Kristoffer Ajer could start for Celtic against Rosenborg, and Brendan Rodgers insists he won’t need to replace Emilio Izaguirre.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514147.1501052810!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vykintas Slivka playing for Lithuania against Scotland last October. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

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Hibs to sign Juventus midfielder

Hibs boss Neil Lennon has revealed he hopes to sign Lithuanian international midfielder Vykintas Slivka on a three-year deal. The Easter Road club had been intending to take the 22-year-old on a season-long loan from Italian giants Juventus. But now Slivka, who has won 19 caps for Lithuania and played in all of their current World Cup qualifying matches including the 1-1 draw with Scotland at Hampden, will agree a permanent contract. (Evening News)

Ajer in line for Rosenborg start

Youngster Kristoffer Ajer could be thrown into the deep end tonight by making his full Celtic debut against Rosenborg. The 19-year-old is in line to start the key fixture after an injury to Erik Sviatchenko put the Danish international at serious threat of missing the match. Ajer has played only once for Celtic before, as a substitute in the 3-0 win over Lincoln Red Imps last campaign, and spent time on loan at Kilmarnock. (Scottish Sun)

Rodgers won’t replace Izaguirre

Brendan Rodgers is not looking to replace back-up left-back Emilio Izaguirre following the player’s departure from Celtic because the manager believes there is already enough quality in reserve. Rodgers has been impressed with the development of academy graduates Tony Ralston and Calvin Miller and will give the pair the chance to stake a claim as Kieran Tierney’s understudy. (Scottish Sun)

McCann ‘heartbroken’ for Wighton

Dundee boss Neil McCann says he’s “heartbroken” for youngster Craig Wighton after the promising attacker was ruled out for most of the season with a knee ligament injury. The 19-year-old suffered the blow during an under-20s game last week and scans have since confirmed Dundee’s worst fears. (Evening Telegraph)

Brown calls on Dembele to stay

Celtic skipper Scott Brown insists Moussa Dembele will get even better under Brendan Rodgers. Ahead of the clash against Rosenborg, for which Dembele is battling to be fit after picking up a hamstring problem, Brown revealed his admiration for the former Fulham player. However, the Scotland captain believes Rodgers can improve him further. (Various)

• Scott Brown is hoping Celtic draw Real Madrid should they make it to the Champions League group stages, having never faced the most successful club in the competition’s history before. (Herald Scotland)

Cathro demands better from Hearts

Ian Cathro is demanding Hearts fight back from last night’s shock Betfred Cup defeat at League Two Peterhead by securing their place in the last 16. The Tynecastle head coach knows his players must beat Dunfermline on Saturday to reach the competition’s knockout phase and implored them to show the correct reaction. (Evening News)

McInnes confident ahead of Cypriot test

Derek McInnes expects Aberdeen to face a step up in class when they meet Apollon Limassol in the Europa League. The manager admits it’s difficult to be certain just how good Apollon are given their comfortable 5-1 aggregate win over Zaria of Moldova in the previous round. McInnes was certainly impressed with the way they went about their business in both legs of the tie but that doesn’t disguise the fact they didn’t face the toughest of tests. (The Scotsman)

Terrors sign McDonald

Dundee United have completed the signing of Scott McDonald on a one-year deal. The 33-year-old left Motherwell following the conclusion of the previous campaign after opting against signing a contract extension. The forward, who has played 25 times for Australia, impressed at Fir Park since rejoining at the beginning of 2015, netting 30 times. (The Scotsman)

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID GUNN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514147.1501052810!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514147.1501052810!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Vykintas Slivka playing for Lithuania against Scotland last October. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vykintas Slivka playing for Lithuania against Scotland last October. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514147.1501052810!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"1500042262558"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/golf/8am-round-up-richie-ramsay-hoping-for-one-more-big-week-in-hamburg-1-4514126","id":"1.4514126","articleHeadline": "8am Round-Up: Richie Ramsay hoping for ‘one more big week’ in Hamburg","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501051359000 ,"articleLead": "

Richie Ramsay is hoping to maintain his recent good form when he tees it up for the fifth week running on the European Tour tomorrow.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514125.1501051328!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richie Ramsay finished just outside the top 20 in the 146th Open at Royal Birkdale. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The Aberdonian could easily have decided to take a well-earned break after capping a good run by finishing just outside the top 20 in last week’s Open at Birkdale.

But he has kept the Porsche European Open on his schedule and is feeling confident about getting in the mix in an event being played near Hamburg.

“This is my fifth week and the reason I’m playing is because I feel like I’m playing good,” said Ramsay, who is sitting 20th in the Race to Dubai.

“I just want to get out there and compete, and try to put a number together. I took Monday off to relax and let the body rest and can hopefully have one more big week.”

Ramsay produced easily his best performance in seven Open appearances as he tied for 22nd behind Jordan Spieth in Southport.

“It went so quick, a little bit of a blur,” he recalled. “I just remember Friday was an incredible day, really tough conditions, my ball striking was great, the fans were incredible, and then you kind of think can it get better than this and then it did!

“Sunday was brilliant with the walk down 18, obviously with the stands being packed and the yellow leaderboards, and all of those things you see when you are a youngster on TV.

“You got to kind of live that and I said to someone that I effectively got to live the dream that week, so it was great fun.”

David Drysdale, the only other Scot to make the cut at Birkdale, has started a three-week break, but Ramsay has six other compatriots for company.

They are Marc Warren, Scott Jamieson, Stephen Gallacher, Duncan Stewart, Scott Henry, and Craig Lee.

The field is headed by US Ryder Cup star Patrick Reed and also includes Austin Connelly, the young Canadian who gave a great account of himself in The Open.


Carly Booth has joined two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson in signing up to play with the brightest golf balls in the business.

The Scottish star will be playing in this week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald Links with a Pink Volvik S4 golf ball after signing a multi-year deal with the company.

Booth, who put pen to paper during a visit to last week’s Open Championship, joins Watson and multiple LPGA winners such as Lee Il Hee and Chella Choi in using the ball.

“I just love playing with the Pink Volvik ball because it makes my game so much more colourful and fun,” she said.

“I first used the S4 ball during qualifying for the US Open and instantly loved the control it gave me, both off the tee and around the greens.”

Jason Stewart, European Manager for Volvik, said: “Having Carly as part of the new Volvik team is great for the brand and demonstrates that quality coloured golf balls are here to stay.”


Edinburgh-based American Beth Allen has spoken of her pride in carrying #scotspirit around the world with her this year in her rookie season on the LPGA Tour.

The 35-year-old Californian fell in love with Scotland when she joined the LET in 2008 and says her passion for her adopted country is reflected in VisitScotland’s global campaign, which highlights how different people from across the country embody the ‘Spirit of Scotland’.

Speaking as she prepared for this week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open at Dundonald Links, Allen said: Beth said: “Scotland is a magical place. Whether I am walking the gothic streets of Edinburgh, shopping beneath the castle, crossing the Swilcan Bridge on the Old Course or hiking around Loch Lomond I always experience something different.

“I cannot say enough about the people of Scotland who have made this Californian feel incredibly welcome and they are the reason that the place is so unforgettable.

“I am immensely proud to carry #scotspirit on my golf bag as I travel the world playing the game I love on both the Ladies European Tour and now the LPGA.”


Prostate Cancer UK and the Scottish Senior Open are extending their association into a third year with confirmation.

The 25th anniversary edition of the Scottish Senior Open, to be played at The Renaissance Club in East Lothian next week, will see all income from entrance to the event being donated to Prostate Cancer UK.

This represents the third successive Scottish Senior Open in which the tournament has linked arms with the leading men’s health charity.

Admission is free on all three days, but car parking will be charged at £5 for a solo driver and £10 per car with two or more occupants.


Balmore’s James Wilson and Joe Bryce of Bathgate are chasing title glory heading into the final round of a Faldo Series event at The Duke’s Course near St Andrews.

After rounds of of 70 and 71, Wilson sits second, a shot ahead of Bryce (72-70), with the pair having England’s Matthew Wilson (69-69) in their sights.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARTIN DEMPSTER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514125.1501051328!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514125.1501051328!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Richie Ramsay finished just outside the top 20 in the 146th Open at Royal Birkdale. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richie Ramsay finished just outside the top 20 in the 146th Open at Royal Birkdale. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514125.1501051328!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/tennis/contrasting-us-open-outlooks-for-novak-djokovic-and-andy-murray-1-4514118","id":"1.4514118","articleHeadline": "Contrasting US Open outlooks for Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501050645000 ,"articleLead": "

Novak Djokovic is set to miss the US Open after one of his doctors indicated he will need six to 12 weeks to recover from an elbow injury.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514117.1501050626!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Twelve-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic has been seeking advice from specialists as he bids to recover from an elbow injury. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

But Andy Murray’s chances of playing at Flushing Meadows would appear more 
positive, with the Scot continuing his rehabilitation from a hip problem.

The last grand slam of the year starts in just under five weeks on 28 August, meaning Djokovic will run out of time if the latest assessment is 

The 12-time major champion was forced to retire injured during his Wimbledon quarter-final against Tomas 
Berdych earlier this month and said after the match he had been feeling pain in his right elbow for over a year and a half.

He has since been seeking advice from specialists, including Serbian doctor Zdenko Milinkovic, who said Djokovic is suffering from a “bruised bone due to 
excessive playing”.

“Nole must rest for six to 12 weeks,” Milinkovic told 
Sportski Zurnal, a sports 
newspaper in Serbia.

“The next examination will know whether this assessment stays or changes. During this period, he will not train with a racket but he will run other sessions, such as fitness and the like. Of course there will be certain therapies.

“The symptoms have calmed down, he was with a specialist at Toronto for additional tests. He also consulted our experts of course because we are great friends.

“Now it’s important to rest with different types of procedures that can affect recovery. Surgery remains the last option.”

If Djokovic does sit out the trip to New York, it will end his run of 51 consecutive appearances at grand slams and mean dropping further down the world rankings.

He is currently placed fourth but is already due to slip to fifth when the list updates on Monday.

Murray’s Wimbledon hopes were also hampered by injury as he limped to a five-set defeat against American Sam 

The world No 1, however, looks to be feeling more 
positive about his 
troublesome hip after posting an Instagram video on Monday of him hitting balls against a practice wall.

“Which opponent has no weakness, never misses and has never lost? #the wall”, Murray wrote.

The 30-year-old also posted a photo last week of himself and his physio Shane Annun during a rehab session at a 
swimming pool.

Murray is due to play at the Canadian Open, which starts on 7 August, and then the Cincinnati Masters before the start of the US Open.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "TOM ALLNUTT"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514117.1501050626!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514117.1501050626!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Twelve-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic has been seeking advice from specialists as he bids to recover from an elbow injury. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Twelve-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic has been seeking advice from specialists as he bids to recover from an elbow injury. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514117.1501050626!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/glasgow-warriors/hard-working-summer-has-greg-peterson-and-warriors-combat-ready-1-4514116","id":"1.4514116","articleHeadline": "Hard-working summer has Greg Peterson and Warriors combat ready","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501050622000 ,"articleLead": "

Most rugby players get a look of fear in their eyes when the term “pre-season” is uttered, but Glasgow Warriors’ Greg Peterson is loving putting in the hard yards after a frustrating 2016/17.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514115.1501050604!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Greg Peterson missed six months of last season through injury, but is feeling confident this time. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The USA internationalist signed for the Scotstoun outfit from Leicester Tigers in summer 2015 and had a good first season. Then the second row was forced off in an early season loss to Ulster last term and was ruled out for six months with a shoulder injury.

He returned to action in March for draft club Glasgow Hawks and then made fleeting appearances for the Warriors towards the end of the campaign.

Having signed a new deal midway through 2016/17 to keep him in Scotland until at least May 2019, he really wants to hit the ground running when friendlies begin in August.

And with Jonny Gray out for an extended spell, Peterson, Tim Swinson and Brian Alain’nuese are likely to be key for Dave Rennie’s side in the second row with young players Scott Cummings and Kiran McDonald snapping at their heels.

Peterson, 26, said: “Training has been pretty tough, as you’d expect, but I am loving it. I haven’t done a full pre-season in a couple of years – I’ve avoided it due to injury or swapping teams or World Cup campaigns, so it’s actually been really good to get up and running.

“You’ve swapped out both the forwards and backs coaches [with Gregor Townsend and others going to Scotland] so of course there’ll be some change to the things we are doing. Kenny Murray [assistant coach] is still there so we’ve got that consistency, and George Petrakos has pretty much 
taken over the strength and conditioning side until Phil Healey gets here.

“All of the coaches have done a really good job – they’ve stepped up and want to run the systems and we’re all benefiting from that on the field.

“The last pre-season I had was back at the Waratahs, and that was pretty gruelling, it was six days a week for 12 weeks and it mentally broke me.

“This one has been great though – it’s been a balance between the science and the work on the field. We’re seeing the results and our bodies constantly improving throughout the process.

“I think George has done an excellent job, and the fruits will come to bear soon. ‘Chico’ [Francisco Tavares] has also brought in the boxing sessions on Tuesday afternoons, which is different.”

As mentioned Peterson is one of a number of quality second rows at the club, so many in fact that Scotland under-20 captain Callum Hunter-Hill has had to move to Edinburgh Rugby in search of more 
game time.

However, the man who played against Scotland in the 2015 World Cup embraces the competition.

“Competition breeds excellence. In the second row, we’ve got some international stalwarts like Tim Swinson and Jonny Gray around, so with myself, Scotty Cummings and Brian Alain’nuese there as well it makes everyone perform better,” he stated.

“There’s been that missing element with the international boys away, but the Academy and under-20 boys, as well as the rest of the senior players, have created a really tight-knit group. The under-20s did really well, and they’re like little sponges soaking up all the information.

“I am just looking forward to getting into games in a few weeks because it’ll re-affirm everything we’ve been doing over the past two blocks of training.

“When Dave Rennie arrives [after his Super Rugby commitments] and tells us we’re working in the right direction, that’s what we want to hear.

“It’s been a bit awkward, having 30 or 40 blokes crowded around Skype with him as the big, ominous face on screen.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "GARY HEATLY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514115.1501050604!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514115.1501050604!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Greg Peterson missed six months of last season through injury, but is feeling confident this time. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Greg Peterson missed six months of last season through injury, but is feeling confident this time. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514115.1501050604!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/first-players-in-scottish-rugby-nice-exchange-revealed-1-4513746","id":"1.4513746","articleHeadline": "First players in Scottish Rugby-Nice exchange revealed","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501045200000 ,"articleLead": "

The first players in an innovative exchange agreement signed in May by Scottish Rugby and the French fourth tier club Stade Nicois have been revealed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513745.1501009035!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The first signing under the arrangement was Peter Murchie. Picture: Ian Rutherford"} ,"articleBody": "

Keep up to date with all our sport news on The Scotsman’s Sport page on Facebook

However, Scottish Rugby has refuted claims made on a French website that the scheme could lead to full ownership of the Nice-based club by a Scottish consortium, backed by the governing body, before the start of the season.

Nice president, Patrice Prevot, was reported last week to have said that Scottish Rugby had invested money in the French club, and in return would place several players with them each season.

Describing the set-up, Prevot said: “The SRU were looking for partners on the continent. The discussions took 13 months. It’s a long-term arrangement. The Scottish Rugby Union decided to invest as a major partner alongside the Allianz Group which has just extended its partnership for five years. In addition to the financial support, which matches that of Allianz, the SRU will make available young internationals looking to develop, as well as experienced players. The partnership should also make it possible to form links and operate exchanges.”

The first signing under the arrangement was Peter Murchie, the former Glasgow Warriors full back whose contract with the Scotstoun-based side was not renewed at the end of last season. The 31-year-old had spent eight years at the club and during that time earned three Scotland caps.

Others confirmed to be joining Nice are Scottish rugby contracted age group caps Josh Henderson, who will vie with Italian international Luciano Orquero for the stand off berth, and back row Bruce Flockhart – both members of the Glasgow Warriors academy – as well as London Scottish hooker David Cherry, who has spent the past three seasons with the Exiles. Another making the switch is another back rower, Tyrone Holmes, who played for Newcastle Falcons last year after being released by Glasgow Warriors, having earned a Scottish cap against South Africa in 2014.

READ MORE - David Denton hopes Worcester move will lead to Scotland squad recall

Nice Rugby has existed in its current form since 2012 and currently operates in Federale Division 2 with a budget of €1.4 million for the coming season. The club’s stated ambition is to reach Pro D2, the fully professional second division, by 2021. A Scottish Rugby spokesman stated that the ambition of the club to progress through the divisions and the opportunity for players to operate in a different environment were more important than Nice’s current level.

He likened the arrangement to existing tie-ups elsewhere, saying, “We are looking to place players into a variety of different environments, at different levels. For younger players it is to broaden their experiences and for those reaching the end of their careers to provide pathways into coaching. In return we can provide opportunities in Scotland for players from other countries. Our arrangement with Stade Nicois is consistent with our recent activity with Western Force in Australia, Western Province in South Africa, Lille and London Scottish.”

Women’s international Jade Konkel joined Lille, while Edinburgh lock Lewis Carmichael spent time on loan with Western Force.

Claims in the French media that the terms of the deal will also allow Scotland’s sevens squad to use the facilities in Nice as its training base have also been dismissed as inaccurate by Scottish Rugby which has no plans to change existing arrangements at Oriam and Ravenscraig.

READ MORE - Vern Cotter says he left Scotland at right time

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "COLIN RENTON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4513745.1501009035!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513745.1501009035!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The first signing under the arrangement was Peter Murchie. Picture: Ian Rutherford","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The first signing under the arrangement was Peter Murchie. Picture: Ian Rutherford","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4513745.1501009035!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/celtic/magic-man-tom-rogic-can-fill-striking-void-for-celtic-1-4513942","id":"1.4513942","articleHeadline": "‘Magic Man’ Tom Rogic can fill striking void for Celtic","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501045200000 ,"articleLead": "

Most managers faced with going into a crucial fixture without two players who scored a combined total of 50 goals for their team last season would be excused more than an element of trepidation.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513941.1501013946!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tom Rogic could be deployed in a more advanced central role for Celtic against Rosenborg tonight. Picture: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

So it says much about the confidence Brendan Rodgers has in the adaptability of his squad that he is unfazed by the likely absence of both Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths from tonight’s Champions League third qualifying round, first leg meeting with Rosenborg at Celtic Park.

Dembele missed training with a thigh injury yesterday and could join the suspended Griffiths in the stand as the Scottish champions reach the halfway point of a qualifying campaign they hope will lead them into the group stage of the tournament once again.

Rodgers has found solutions to most of the problems he has faced since becoming Celtic manager. As he looks to conjure up another tonight, he has hinted that he could turn to the player he calls his ‘Magic Man’ as the focal point of a revamped attack.

Tom Rogic scored in both legs of Celtic’s 6-0 aggregate win over Linfield in the previous round and the Australian international’s attacking instincts are set to be a valuable weapon against the Norwegian champions.

During spells when Dembele and Griffiths were both missing last season, Rodgers tried wingers Scott Sinclair and Patrick Roberts in the central role with mixed results. It was Rogic’s contribution up front in the closing stages of the 5-0 win at Partick Thistle in May, however, which has perhaps provided the option the Celtic boss will take this time.

“I did a number of things last year,” reflected Rodgers. “I played Scotty up front, it didn’t work, so I had to change it! I played Pat up there, who was brilliant. Some of you may or may not have noticed that in the Partick game for the last half hour I played Tom Rogic up there. That was planning forward, thinking about the ‘what if’. That was a false nine. So we’ll see.

“I’ve done that wherever I’ve been, having that ‘floating’ player. You need to have pace in behind. It can gain you superiority in a vital area of the field. It works.

“You always have the reference of a No 9 in your squad. For me, they need to move and have mobility anyway. But if they’re not available, it’s about finding other ways.

“That was the beauty of last season. At this stage last year, we were a bit stiff and rigid in terms of how the team played.

“We had to get them mentally right and then over the course of the season we were able to play a different system, different structures and then we arrived at this point where we have courage.

“British teams, in the main, have a courage which is a physical courage – be aggressive, strong and then sometimes what happens is that, when the pressure is on, the players and the coaches get nervous.

“This team now is building towards having that courage to play. We are at a point now where, in these games there is a different feel and a different courage to accept the ball and have the nerve to play. That’s what you build and what you plan for.

“We didn’t have a striker at Hearts last season and we scored five. That’s what you need – multiple goalscorers. We’ve got Rogic who scores, Sinclair who scores, James Forrest chips in, Stuart Armstrong can score.

“We have enough goalscorers in there – just because it’s not a traditional goalscorer doesn’t mean you can’t score. You just have to find a different way if that is the case.”

Celtic face a Rosenborg side who are clear at the top of the Norwegian top flight, halfway through their domestic season. Rodgers believes he knows exactly what to expect from the visitors.

“They will want to be resolute and not open up too many spaces for us,” he said. “They are pretty straightforward in how they play – it’s 4-3-3. They are very set in their way – a single midfield pivot, two number eights pushing on, wingers outside.

“They are set on how they play and very rarely change. It will be structured, very organised, they will have good quality, they will be together as a team and they will be fit, of course, because of the time of year it is.”

Rosenborg have wasted no opportunity in the build-up to the tie to paint themselves in the role of rank outsiders. If that is an attempt at mind games on their part, Rodgers shrugs it aside.

“I’m not bothered,” he added. “We are Celtic. We will always have pressure. We plan to win over two legs and we accept pressure. That means you are the big club. The pressure is always there, it’s not going away.

“If you need to say you are the underdogs to relieve some pressure, that’s okay. We plan and develop to play with pressure and expectancy because of the size and scale of the club. You can’t hide from it. It’s there.”

The marquee name in the Rosenborg line-up is former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner. The Danish international’s reputation has often exceeded his performance levels during his career but Rodgers is wary of the mercurial 29-year-old suddenly turning it on at Celtic Park.

“He’s the reference for their team,” he said. “He is six foot four, has good feet and if he wakes up in the morning and God turns him on, he can maybe play well.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "STEPHEN HALLIDAY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4513941.1501013946!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513941.1501013946!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Tom Rogic could be deployed in a more advanced central role for Celtic against Rosenborg tonight. Picture: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tom Rogic could be deployed in a more advanced central role for Celtic against Rosenborg tonight. Picture: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4513941.1501013946!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/scotland/scorer-erin-cuthbert-could-start-must-win-clash-with-spain-1-4513936","id":"1.4513936","articleHeadline": "Scorer Erin Cuthbert could start must-win clash with Spain","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501045200000 ,"articleLead": "

Chelsea teenager Erin 
Cuthbert could be in line for her first Euro 2017 start against Spain in Deventer tomorrow. Scotland need to win by two goals and also rely on England beating Portugal in the other Group D game to have any chance of making the quarter finals.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513935.1501013464!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Erin Cuthbert celebrates her goal for Scotland. Picture: Maja Hitij/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Cuthbert made history in Sunday’s group game against Portugal by coming on early in the second half and scoring in the 68th minute. It was the first ever goal by a Scottish woman at a major tournament.

The 19-year-old, whose birthday was last Thursday, wasn’t even born when the Scotland men’s team scored their last goal in a major championship. That was back in June 1998, when Craig Burley scored against Norway in the second group match of the World Cup in France.

“I’ve heard of him,” said Cuthbert, who like her male predecessor is from Ayrshire. “That’s superb. It has been a while then, hasn’t it?”

The man who scored 
Scotland’s first-ever goal in a major championship, Jimmy Murray of Hearts, died two years ago this month, aged 82. He found the net against Yugoslavia in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden – Scotland having failed to score in either of their two games in Switzerland four years earlier.

“When I came on as a sub it was my job to make an impact,” Cuthbert said of the 14 minutes it took her to find the net. “When I got the equaliser I felt we had it in our grasp to go on and win the game. We hope to put things right against Spain.”

Head coach Anna Signeul sent Cuthbert on for striker Lana Clelland, but it’s a role she rarely plays at club level.

“I grew up playing as a holding midfielder, then at Glasgow City it was an attacking midfielder,” she pointed out. “I’ve played a number of positions at Chelsea – we’re very rotational and we can all play anywhere along the front three.”

Cuthbert’s head coach at Glasgow City was Scott Booth, another of the 1998 World Cup squad. Losing the teenager to Chelsea in the winter was a huge blow to the ten-times Scottish champions, although an inevitable next step for the most talented footballer of her generation.

Her parents guided her towards dancing classes, but the four-year-old was having none of it and from then on her childhood was all about football. Born in Irvine, she played for one boys’ club until she was ten, and then joined another.

“I was also playing for Kilwinning Girls, so I was playing on Saturdays and 
Sundays,” she explained. “The best thing for me was to stay in boys’ football as long as I could. The physical aspect is just so much greater than the girls’ game.”

The formula worked and when she was no longer allowed to play with boys she joined Rangers Ladies, once scoring a goal at the age of 15 which had a tabloid newspaper labelling her Little Miss Messi.

“I hate it,” she said of the tag. “I like to be my own player.

“The irony is that Messi, along with Iniesta, is my favourite player. Definitely Messi for the magic he can show in the final third, and Iniesta for the way he sprays passes and dictates games.”

Cuthbert says she doesn’t assume she will start against Spain, but hopes that she does. She is in a similar position at Chelsea, not guaranteed a game because of her age, but of huge value coming off the bench.

Signeul believes that Cuthbert can be as good as Kim Little, the difference being that the latter was a better athlete at the same age.

“When she was 17, Kim was able to cope with high intensity football,” the head coach pointed out. “That’s why she was able to go straight down to Arsenal and get a regular game in the first team.

“Erin has the same technical and tactical talent, but she’s not there yet with her fitness level. But she will be. She’s training hard.

“She made history by scoring that goal against Portugal and she will write history in the future as well.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ALAN CAMPBELL"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4513935.1501013464!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513935.1501013464!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Erin Cuthbert celebrates her goal for Scotland. Picture: Maja Hitij/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Erin Cuthbert celebrates her goal for Scotland. Picture: Maja Hitij/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4513935.1501013464!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/teams/aberdeen/derek-mcinnes-confident-aberdeen-can-handle-cypriot-test-1-4513951","id":"1.4513951","articleHeadline": "Derek McInnes confident Aberdeen can handle Cypriot test","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501045200000 ,"articleLead": "

Derek McInnes expects 
Aberdeen to face a step up in class when they meet Apollon Limassol in the third round of Europa League qualifying tomorrow.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513950.1501014350!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes expects a much stiffer test from Apollon Limassol than previous opponents Siroki Brijeg. Picture: Steve Welsh/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

The Dons recovered from a score draw in the home leg of the previous round against Siroki Brijeg to eliminate their opponents from Bosnia Herzegovina with another impressive victory on their travels. In contrast the Aberdeen manager admits it’s difficult to be certain just how good Apollon are given their comfortable 5-1 aggregate win over Zaria of Moldova in the previous round.

McInnes was certainly impressed with the way they went about their business in both legs of the tie but that doesn’t disguise the fact they didn’t face the toughest of tests.

Now he’s warned that’s a situation that won’t be repeated when the clubs meet in the first leg at Pittodrie tomorrow night.

It’s the fourth successive season Aberdeen have made it to this round of the competition but McInnes will only really be satisfied if they reach the group stage for the first time.

“Apollon were very impressive against the Moldovans but I will temper that a bit by saying they got it far too easy,” McInnes said.

“But you couldn’t fail to be impressed by their movement, their approach to 
the play and their intensity. Theywere clearly the 
better side but they did the right things.

“They have two overlapping full-backs, bright movement ahead of the play, two 
controllers in central midfield and two good centre-halves.

“But I would think they are looking at our second-half 
display in Bosnia and seeing why we were the second best team in Scotland last season.

“It will be a tough game for us but also a tough one for them, and we’re more ready for it now after that game on Thursday. The 90 minutes and the competitive element of the game in Bosnia will help the players make big strides 

McInnes will have the 
versatile Icelander Kari Arnason, who is equally at home in defence or midfield, available for the first time since his recent return to the club from Omonia Nicosia.

Aberdeen may have lost 
several key players in the summer but the manager has moved quickly to assemble what still looks like being a strong squad for the challenges ahead.

New signings Greg Tansey and Nicky Maynard were only on the bench against Siroki Brijeg last week alongside regular top goalscorer Adam Rooney and Scott Wright.

McInnes expects Rooney and Maynard to form a 
prolific partnership once the striker he previously managed at Bristol City settles in at his new club.

He’s also delighted to have Wright back to full fitness as the teenage winger can prove a valuable home grown 
replacement now Niall McGinn and Jonny Hayes have moved on.

McInnes added: “Scott 
overcame a mental hurdle 
last week and although he was on the bench for the home 
leg against Siroki he had only had a day’s training at that point.

“He was still not quite right with his hamstring injury but he has been bouncing in training and it was important to get him 90 minutes at Brechin on Sunday.

“I feel he is going to be a big player for us this season as he brings real speed at the top end of the pitch.

“He can play equally well off both sides of the pitch and his final ball is getting better as is his decision-making.

“He is certainly one that we want to have a big impact this season.

“If you put a camera on Nicky and follow his movement you’ll see he’s always asking questions of the centre-backs.

“He just needs that wee bit of sharpness to finish off the good work.

“I think him and Rooney could have scored some more goals between them but I think it’s really encouraging that we’ve got another option, and that type of player, at the club.”

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