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Anton Ferdinand signs two year deal with Royals

Reading Football Club have completed the signing of central defender Anton Ferdinand on a two-year deal.

The 29-year-old was most recently plying his trade with Antalyaspor in Turkey, and he has a wealth of experience in English football with more than 300 career appearances for West Ham, QPR and Sunderland, who he joined for £8million in 2008.

The brother of Rio and cousin to former Reading striker Les, Anton will wear squad number 4 for the Royals.

The deal is subject to the normal ratification and receipt of international clearance. Having not played for almost a year, Anton is likely to need a couple of weeks before he can make his mark on the first team squad, and he began that process by training with his new teammates today.

anton
Anton Ferdinand has signed a two year deal with Reading FC Credit: Reading Football Club

"I’d like to officially welcome Anton to the club, we’re pleased to have signed three players in the last few days with him, Simon Cox and Jamie Mackie. I know they will all add to what is a very hard-working group of players."

– Manager Nigel Adkins

"I’d like to wish Anton the best of luck here, he is a hugely experienced defender with more than 230 games in the Premier League, and that experience will also help all of our young players here."

– Director of Football Nick Hammond

"It feels fantastic to sign for a club like Reading. The first thing you feel when you come here is that it's a family environment. I've been away from English football for a year and had some tough times. Turkey is a fantastic place to go and play football, but certain things off the field didn't allow me to enjoy my football. That chapter is closed now, and I've opened a new chapter at Reading and I'm looking forward to it. I've got things to prove, to myself and everyone. A lot of people have written me off and doubted me because I've been away for a year, but I'm here to prove to people that I can offer a lot to English football. I want to offer what I can to Reading, and hopefully that means promotion. I'm champing at the bit to play my first game. I don't know when that will be as I'm lacking match fitness - I'm a bit behind the boys. I'm going to train hard, and when the gaffer thinks I'm ready, then I'll be ready."

– Anton Ferdinand, Reading FC

Record-breaking speeds for Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland crews as they race along Sussex coast

Race map
The Sevenstar fleet racing along the south coast Credit: Sevenstar/RORC

You can follow the progress of the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland race fleet on the organiser's race tracker here

round britain race
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland fleet setting off from Cowes Credit: Rick Tomlinson/RORC
round britain race
Volvo 65 teams SCA and Abu Dhabi go head-to-head off Cowes Credit: Rick Tomlinson/RORC

Sailors racing along south coast in Round Britain battle

The flotilla of 28 yachts are now heading east along the south coast after departing the Solent this morning . The 1,800 mile race around Britain and Ireland set off from the Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes with a stiff southwesterly wind and a good tide, allowing the yachts to fly their spinnakers.

At 1130 the fleet past Selsey Bill, with over 30 knots of breeze. Musandam-Oman Sail, skippered by Sidney Gavignet, has averaged 30 knots of boat speed since the start and is on course to finish the race in two and a half days, smashing the course record, if these conditions prevail.

Five Volvo 65s are taking part in the event - the first time the teams have raced against each other ahead of the Volvo Ocean Race which starts in October. They screamed through the start line with Team SCA, skippered by Sam Davies, getting the best start. Team Dongfeng, skippered by Frenchman Charles Caudrelier, was just in the lead at 1100am. Three teams have taken the lead in the Volvo 65 class in the first two hours, a pattern that may well continue right through the race.

Celtic goalkeeper signs for Southampton

Southampton FC
Fraser Forster played for Celtic in their recent Champions League qualifier against Legia Warsaw Credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Southampton have signed goalkeeper Fraser Forster from Scottish champions Celtic on a four-year contract for a fee in the region of £10m.

Forster recently travelled with the England squad to the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals, where he worked with Southampton’s new Senior Goalkeeping Coach, Dave Watson.

In a statement on the club's website, First Team Manager Ronald Koeman said: 'Fraser is a very talented player and we are delighted to be able to bring him to Southampton. This is another important part of our rebuilding process ahead of the start of the season.

'The fact that he has worked with Dave Watson before means we already know all about his strengths and weaknesses, and I am confident that we will be able to help him improve even further.

'Fraser is the perfect fit to help complement the players we already have, and he will add a lot of quality to the squad.

'He is an exciting English player with a very good reputation within the game and, at 26, he will enjoy the best years of his career at Southampton.'

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Today's results for the south's Football League teams

Brighton & Hove Albion
Sheffield Wednesday's Chris Maguire (left) challenges Brighton's Kemy Agustien during the Sky Bet Championship match at the AMEX Stadium, Brighton. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Championship

Brighton 0 Sheff Wed 1

Huddersfield 0 Bournemouth 4

Wigan 2 Reading 2

League One

Barnsley 0 Crawley 1

MK Dons 4 Gillingham 2

Swindon 3 Scunthorpe 1

League Two

Exeter 1 Portsmouth 1

Oxford Utd 0 Burton 1

Racing in Rio - GBR sailors prepare for 2016 Olympics

The third day of racing at the Aquece Rio venue in the shadow of Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio Janeiro, Brazil, saw a range of conditions with wind and waves on the outside courses and tricky breeze inside Guanabara Bay.

A 15 knot south westerly breeze worked its way across the five race areas with outside courses Copacabana and Niteroi experiencing a stable breeze and wild waves. Inside Guanabara Bay was a different story with an up and down breeze that tested the sailors across Pão de Açucar, Ponte and Escola Naval.

Olympic yacht racing
Olympic sailors from across the South race in Rio with 2 years to the Olympics Credit: Alex Ferro/Rio 2016/ISAF

In the women's 470 class, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark, from Hampshire, took the first race victory of the day and sit second overall following a 3-7. ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) are third overall, tied with the Brits on four points.

In the men's 470 Luke Patience and Elliot Willis (GBR) sit in third after winning the second race in their class. Giles Scott (GBR) moved into pole position in the Finn fleet following a fifth, a race win and a second. The British sailor has a four point advantage over overnight leader Jorge Zarif (BRA) who discards a 14th and counts two fifth places from three races on Ponte.

Natasha tackles her biggest ever challenge

Determined 'Sip and Puff’ sailor Natasha 'Miss Isle’ Lambert arrived in Falmouth twith a huge smile on her face after a day of champagne sailing in sunshine and good breeze.

The 17-year-old from the Isle of Wight, who has cerebral palsy and controls her boat by breathing through a straw in a specially-engineered bicycle helmet, is eight legs into her 12-leg sailing challenge and was delighted to be sailing with more power as she completed the 22 miles from Fowey in five hours.

Sea and Summit is Natasha’s biggest challenge yet - a month-long project sailing her specially-designed 21ft yacht, single-handed around the South West coast of England to Wales before she swaps her boat for her special walking aid, called a Hart Walker, to climb Pen y Fan, the highest peak in Southern Britain.

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