Sport Digest, December 27, 2012

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 December, 2012, 4:30am

Del Piero keen to stay with struggling Sydney

Alessandro Del Piero's uncertain future in Australia could be close to being resolved, with the former Italy striker pledging his support for struggling Sydney FC. The 38-year-old former World Cup winner arrived at the soccer club to much fanfare this season, but has failed to prevent Sydney's plunge to the foot of the A-League. But with negotiations to take up the option to extend his lucrative one-year deal dragging on, Del Piero appeared keen to dismiss rumours he would leave at the end of the season. "Everything is clear for me and the club," the former Juventus forward, who has struggled recently with a hamstring tweak, said yesterday. "We can act earlier than we think about the contract. It's not stressful here for me. I want to put all my knowledge and my heart into games." Del Piero asserted his management team, including brother Stefano, were working hard on negotiating a second season at the A-League side. "My brother talks about that," he said of his contract. "It's his problem, not mine. I've spent a really good time here. At the moment the best thing for me, the club and for teammates and everyone here is to concentrate about the games. We have to put all of our energy, mentally and physically [into games]," added Del Piero, a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006. "Not about other things. I'm really enjoying it here. Now we have to win a couple of games." Reuters


Old campaigner to keep Spurs safe

Veteran American goalkeeper Brad Friedel has extended his contract with Tottenham Hotspur until 2014, the English Premier League soccer club announced. At 41, Friedel is the oldest player in the Premier League and he is also the only man in the history of the division to start 300 consecutive matches. He started the season as the first-choice goalkeeper at White Hart Lane, but has since lost his place to Hugo Lloris, the France international. Friedel, who has 82 international caps for the United States, has been playing in England since 1997, when he joined Liverpool. He joined Spurs from Aston Villa in 2011. AFP


Creativity hits the track for Boxing Day race

Luka Noyes was the youngest competitor at just three years old, and dressed as a belly dancer in this year's Hong Kong Ladies Road Runners Club Boxing Day Race at Wan Chai Gap. Luka, accompanied by her mother, Aya, found herself in the company of a human Christmas tree, Batman, crocodiles and even a Taoist priest, as this year's event drew more fancy dress runners than ever for the four-kilometre loop of Mt Cameron. Mark Reeves wore traditional running attire to complete the race in first place overall, but was surprised to be followed home in second place by 13-year-old Erin Brown, who sported a green afro wig to support the fancy dress theme. Brown won the women's race. "The party atmosphere seems to get better each year, as more and more people turn up in fancy dress for this popular race," said HKLRRC spokesperson Sheila Purves."It seems to be the perfect way for some runners to detox after an over-indulgent Christmas Day." Richard Castka