Uganda’s Aucho tries his luck in tough Eastern Europe league

first_imgUganda football player Aucho Khalid (R), 23 and Japanese football player Takuto Yasuoka, 20, from Hyogo, play ball at the pitch of OFK Belgrade on March 16, 2017. Hundreds of players from Africa, Asia and South America, unaware of precarious conditions and late wages, are playing in Eastern Europe pending a transfer to the major championships and clubs. There are about thirty of them in Serbia, a country now mainly a player exporter, perceived as a “springboard” to the popular European championships.  AFP PHOTOFootball proletariat’ brave Serbia’s crumbling, violent stadiumsBelgrade, Serbia | AFP | Khalid Aucho and Takuto Yasuoka are two of hundreds of footballers from Africa, Asia and South America whose dream of stardom has brought them to Eastern Europe.Aucho, a 23-year-old from Uganda who has already tried Scotland, and his 20-year-old Japanese counterpart Yasuoka train together at OFK Belgrade, currently bottom of the Serbian second division.The pair would rather be at Manchester United or Barcelona and their prospects are as uncertain as the club’s south stand — which looks ready to collapse — and even Serbian football in general.There are about 30 foreign players in Serbia, a one-time football powerhouse now better known as a springboard to Europe’s big leagues.Serbian football has slumped deeper into trouble ever since the former Yugoslavia collapsed in the early 1990s.The main clubs are crippled by debt and no one really knows who the owners are.The trophy rooms are the only reminders of the glory years of Belgrade giants Partizan and Red Star, winners of the 1991 European Cup.Stadiums are empty and have become a haven for hooligans and bandits. One Partizan supporters’ chief, a known drug trafficker, was killed gangland-style in October 2016. The faces of the victims of the violence are painted on Belgrade walls.The FIFPro international footballers union this year warned players not to sign for clubs in Serbia, where 68 percent of professionals are paid late and 65 percent earn less than 1,000 euros ($1,070) a month. The average is 958 euros, according to a FIFPro survey.Twelve of the 16 first division clubs have only temporary operating licences and four are not allowed to buy players because of their debts to coaches and players.The Serbian football federation, FSS, and major clubs like Partizan and Red Star declined to comment on the crisis. – ‘Football proletariat’ –Most foreign players are now paid by their agents as they hope for a move to a bigger championship. Serbian sports journalist Mihajlo Todic said: “Foreigners here are in a kind of waiting room.”Clubs can only sign six foreigners, along with two from other ex-Yugoslav states.Those at Red Star and Partizan are paid well enough. Todic said foreign footballers in the Serbian provinces are “football’s proletariat”.Cranes at the recent Nations Cup tournamentAucho, who comes from the Ugandan capital Kampala, followed the advice of Ugandan national coach Milutin Sredojevic, one of the many Serbs who manage African and Asian nations.After a frustrating spell with Aberdeen in Scotland, the Ugandan went to Red Star. “The coach said it could open up possibilities,” Aucho told AFP, hinting at his hope of securing a bigger move farther down the line.But he has since been farmed out to second-tier basement side OFK, where the legendary Josip Skoblar, one of the stars of the 1962 World Cup, was once a top goalscorer.Aucho said he had been “treated well” by his OFK teammates and is convinced he will move on to a bigger team elsewhere in Europe.Yasuoka left Japan two years ago with another Japanese player to try his luck in Montenegro.He played with two clubs there before moving on to Serbia.“The conditions are good but I would like to go to a country where they are better,” he said, highlighting his dream of a London club or Barcelona.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Great Harvest Bread’s Summer Line-up

first_imgSubmitted by Great Harvest Bread CompanyLocally owned and operated Great Harvest Bread Co. has been part of the Olympia community for nearly a year and a half. When the store opened in January 2011, the lineup of offerings was fairly simple, but thanks to suggestions from customers and staff, they’ve added a little something for everyone!Over the past year, the owners, Jim and Kerry Norem, have met an increasing demand for gluten-free items as well as provided organic wheat and sourdough breads, focaccia and a few new sandwiches! Every month, great care and preparation are taken when adding delicious new items to the menu.Let’s take a look at what goes on at Great Harvest, and see what’s in store for June!One of the most exciting new additions to the menu this month has to be the Bacon Cheddar Beer Bread. This is a 100% whole wheat beer bread made with local beer from Fish Brewing Co. and is one of several premium breads offered. Great Harvest is excited to be baking not only mouth-watering Bacon Cheddar Beer hamburger buns for memorable summer barbecues, but they’re making white, whole wheat and Cheddar Garlic hamburger buns too!For those who desire or require gluten-free baked goods, don’t think they’ve forgotten about you! Gluten-free hamburger buns will be available all summer long, made to order in any flour or amount you desire. Aside from buns, the gluten-free options are plentiful – from delicious scones and cookies to hearty Flax Oat Walnut bread that’s great for sandwiches and toast!Another exciting addition to the gluten-free lineup in June will be our Groovy Granola, which has been a favorite since Great Harvest opened, but now they’ll also be making some with no gluten!While Great Harvest will be providing the premium breads and sweets that you’ve come to love since their grand opening, the focus in June is on summer activities. Jim Norem is excited to provide baked goods and sandwiches to the community while ensuring that you get out and do what you really want: enjoy the sun! “We’ve got energy bars for hiking and great box lunches for road trips and picnics so people can take advantage of the beautiful outdoors,” Jim said. He also said that if anyone needs a specialty item or wants to place an order for a special occasion, all they have to do is call!As you know, Washington summers are beyond compare. With so many barbecues, special events and warm days and nights, why not enjoy and share some quality, hand-made baked goods made right here in Olympia with fresh and local ingredients? Great Harvest is looking forward to a fantastic summer filled with friends, good times and great bread! Facebook29Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

US Forest Service Provides Paradise Fire Update

first_imgSubmitted by US Forest ServiceThe Paradise Fire continues to burn north of the Queets River in Olympic National Park. The west end of the fire is not moving and the wet line there is holding. The fire is located approximately 13 miles northeast of Quinault and has grown to 407 acres in size. It has moved into exceptionally steep terrain. Heavy mixed conifer fuels, snags, and the precipitous landscape pose a significant threat to firefighters. Rolling rocks, burning debris and falling snags are common in such areas. Smoke jumpers who had been staffing the fire were released today since the fire has spread into an area that is inaccessible. Firefighter safety remains a top priority, and crews will engage only when it is safe to do so.“We are doing everything possible to minimize the fire’s spread, but right now we do not have many options,” said Todd Rankin, the park’s Fire Management Officer. “Traditional suppression tactics do not work in this fuel type since the fire spread is occurring in the forest canopy, not on the ground.” Lichens, growing high in the tree tops, are catching on fire and carrying the flames from tree to tree. Fire behavior analysts have determined that this is the Olympic Peninsula’s driest year since 1951, the year of the Forks Fire.The weather forecast calls for continued hot and dry weather, and the Paradise Fire suppression efforts will likely get more complex. A Type 2 Incident Management Team has been ordered and is expected to arrive on Wednesday to assist the park. Current resources include two fire modules with 18 total firefighters, two helicopters, and numerous support personnel.If you have questions, please contact Fire Information at 360-565-2986 or click here for more updates. Facebook0Tweet0Pin0last_img read more