Mario Melchiot believes Virgil van Dijk has earned his spot at the top table of football as the centre-back prepares to lead Netherlands out in a crucial Euro 2020 qualifier against rivals Germany.Having missed the 2016 Euros and the 2018 World Cup, the Oranje are banking on a team led by last season’s Champions League winner to avoid missing another major tournament.Liverpool signed Van Dijk for £75 million (€84m/$96m) from Southampton 18 months ago and the defender has had a significant impact on Jurgen Klopp’s side. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? The Reds are the favourites to challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title, having finished just one point behind Pep Guardiola’s side with a club best 97 last season.And Melchiot, a former Netherlands international himself, believes that Van Dijk deserves to stand alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on the awards podium after he was named the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year for 2018-19 last week.“The great thing about Van Dijk is that he has a cool head in all situations,” Melchiot told Goal. “I hope he keeps it because it makes him different. It brings ease to his team-mates; it makes him look like he is in control and feel like he is in control.“When I was watching him in Holland at Groningen, I saw that he was relaxed. He was peaceful and not flash. His city is like that. Then he chose a great journey – he went to Scotland and showed he can handle it.“Then, in the Premier League, he showed he could handle it with Southampton. [Then] Liverpool came in with big money. Immediately he brought the calmness [that they didn’t have before]. He has speed, strength, technique and he understands the game.“He can take a striker out of the game and he has a coach that anyone would want to play for. The only thing is, people now see him as a special player. A small mistake will seem like a big mistake, but I don’t think he will struggle with that.“He is also Holland’s captain. He’s a great player, he brought calmness to Liverpool even in the Champions League final. He has proven himself as one of the best, he should definitely be amongst the top picks for the Ballon d’Or. This could be his moment.”Another Dutch centre-back impressing in the Premier League is Nathan Ake of Bournemouth. Ake’s performances have seen him linked with a move to Tottenham, but Chelsea are thought to have a £40m ($49m) buy-back option for a player they sold for £20m ($24m) two years ago.And Melchiot believes that, like Van Dijk, the 24-year-old could be ready to take his game to the next level.“He is doing really well,” he said. “Sometimes you need that last push to go to a bigger team and prove yourself. He has been in the Dutch national team and at Bournemouth he faces constant pressure.“It’s not a team that is guaranteed to win but they play good football. They have speed and get a lot of goals, but they’re under pressure. If he has another season of looking steady and dependable, or even performs better, I can’t see him staying there for very long.“I don’t focus much on transfer fees because the English market isn’t always accurate, but if Chelsea has a £40m clause and he has another good season… you’ll be laughing at how good that fee looks!” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Four Points by Sheraton Kolasin POINT 1: Accelerating its growth in emerging markets across the globe, Four Points by Sheraton® has announced the opening of the Four Points Kolašin, Montenegro. Owned by York Hotels & Resorts D.O.O., Four Points by Sheraton Kolašin is the newest property in the region, representing the standards of a contemporary mountain and ski resort, both in design and service. Nestled in Kolašin, at the foot of the Bjelasica mountains and Biogradska Gora national park, the hotel is situated an hour’s drive from the Airport Podgorica and a 10 minute drive from the ski lifts. POINT 2: “We are proud to debut the Four Points brand in Montenegro with the opening of the Four Points by Sheraton Kolašin. This new addition will welcome travellers who appreciate stylish comfort and uncomplicated service. It will also be a great stay for sports enthusiasts – starting the day with a delicious breakfast before hitting the slopes and finishing it in the bar with our signature Best Brews,” said John Licence, Vice President, Premium & Select Brands, Europe, Marriott International. POINT 3: Four Points by Sheraton Kolašin is located in Kolašin, a mountain town at 950 meters of altitude and a base for numerous winter and summer sport activities. The hotel features 72 guest rooms, including 12 suites, an all-day restaurant and bar, the Blanche Restaurant with its Montenegrin cuisine menu, the Flame Bar for light snacks, a 270sqm spa and a fitness centre and convenient parking facilities. Reflecting the brand’s promise to provide what matters most to today’s independent travellers, the hotel offers the brand’s defining touches, including the Four Points by Sheraton Four Comfort Bed, Wi-Fi in all public areas and the brand’s signature Best Brews™ program, helping guests enjoy their day from start to finish. POINT 4: Four Points by Sheraton Kolašin is the brand’s first ski resort in Europe and joins the brand’s dynamic portfolio in the region with 23 hotels in operation, with additions underway in Turkey and Russia. About Four Points Travel reinvented. With more than 225 Four Points hotels in more than 38 countries and territories, travelers can find the timeless style and comfort they’re looking for with genuine service and everything that matters most, all around the world. From Santiago to Shanghai and Milan to Milwaukee, Four Points hotels can be found in big urban centers, by the airport, near the beach, and in the suburbs. Each hotel offers a familiar place with an authentic sense of the local, and friendly genuine service where guests can relax and unwind, watch local sports, and enjoy the brand’s Best Brews and BBQ™ program. Four Points is proud to participate in the industry’s award-winning loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest®. Members can now link accounts with Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® at members.marriott.com for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. To learn more, visit us online and stay connected to Four Points on Facebook. Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,000 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 122 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com. Connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.
Norfolk councillors welcomed the Langton Royals Junior Hockey Club to the community on July 2.The Royals will join the Canadian Premier Junior Hockey League for the 2019-20 season. They will play in the West Division and have players from all over the world.Jason DoPaco, the Royals coach and general manager, attended a council-in-committee meeting.“I want to give young players the experience I had,” he told councillors. “And Langton loves their hockey.”At one time, Langton was home to the Langton Thunderbirds, a junior hockey team that played in the Southern Ontario Junior Hockey League.DoPaco said Langton has a close-knit family atmosphere the team owners found attractive. He is promising a hard-working, competitive and entertaining hockey team. DoPaco said he and the Royals players will be working closely with Langton Minor Hockey to provide a free on-ice skill development program. He said the goal is to be involved in local organizations, including schools, churches, and youth and senior programs.Concerns voiced about treesNorfolk County staff will be meeting with members of the Environmentally Concerned Organization to discuss their concerns about the destruction of trees.Group member Stephanie Wilson addressed councillors at a council-in-committee meeting last week.“The removal of trees is happening on a scale that makes myself and others very uncomfortable,” she said.Wilson made reference to trees being stripped in the Black Creek area in 2012. She said she approached council in 2014 about the same issues but no action was taken.Wilson said her group wants a tree survey completed before any development in the county begins.Coun. Chris Van Paasen pointed out that Norfolk County has the highest percentage of tree coverage in southern Ontario and has been named the Forestry Capital of Canada.County staff said environmental assessments are conducted before development is approved.New telecom towersConstruction of new telecommunication towers that will bring high-speed Internet to Villa Nova and Courtland were approved at a Norfolk County council-in-committee meeting on Tuesday, July 2.The towers will be located at 1409 Thompson Rd. East in the Waterford area and 174 Talbot St., Courtland.County staff said there were no comments or concerns raised by the neighbours of either project, brought forth by Silo Wireless Inc.