Swim Club renovations proceed as scheduled

first_imgStaff Writer FARRAH MAFFAI The roofs on the cabanas and lavatories at the Middletown Swim and Tennis Club are being renovated. The construction is halted for now and should be finished by next summer, officials say. MIDDLETOWN — It’s been a summer full of quality poolside play for members of the township’s Swim and Tennis Club, thanks to the successful completion of a portion of $250,000 worth of renovations not shouldered by taxpayers. All revamping has gone just swimmingly, so to speak. As the summer season draws to an end, officials say a good time was had by all, and there are more refurbishments and fun to come in the summers ahead. As part of a plan that’s been four years in the making, the demolition of roofs deemed unsafe resulted in some realigning and the construction of two new handicapped-accessible cabanas. The former A-line roof, which township Parks and Recreation Director Gregg Silva said was hard to maintain because of its design, was removed and replaced with pitched roofs for easier maintenance and durability. The two new cabanas were constructed in addition to the replacement of the new roofs on some of the club’s buildings. “They’re pie-shaped and a healthy size. They also have bathrooms with showers because they are handicapped accessible,” said Mayor Joan Smith, who is also a club member. The area around the club’s concession stand was also improved, while the stand itself got a new roof, as well. “By the time the club opens next year, all the roofs that need to be done will be completed,” added Smith. It’s not just roofing and cabanas that have improved the club. Those who enjoy tennis have been treated to new tennis courts this season. In the near future, the drainage and concrete surrounding the main pool will also be revamped. While a lot of improvements have been made over the past four years, according to Smith, there’s still more to be done and the club’s fees pay for the work. Though some have argued that the club is a tax burden, Smith says the fact that the club has been established as an independent township utility makes it a self-fulfilling entity. “All these repairs are supported by the fees collected from the membership,” Smith said. “We’ve made repairs as funds allow, and we’ve always managed to break even.” Township Administrator Robert Czech reiterated the specifics that a utility entails: “It means that revenues from the utility are used to operate it. In other words, the fees generated by the membership cover all operating and maintenance costs. There’s an entirely separate section of the municipal budget titled the Swim Club Utility — a separate utility budget — that delineates revenues received and expenditures absorbed by those revenues. This is separate from the municipal operating budget. In the event that the township bonds for money to complete repairs at the club, the debt service for that bond is paid for by fees generated from the club, not taxpayers.” Czech concluded that township officials expect to see all necessary repairs completed by the summer of 2003. By ELAINE VAN DEVELDE last_img read more

Wrestling season comes to a close for local standouts

first_imgBy doug mckenzieStaff Writer By doug mckenzie Staff Writer CHRIS KELLY CBA’s John Niedrich works Pequannock’s Scott Van Peenan for back points during a wrestleback match in Atlantic City on Saturday. While the Shore Conference wrestling community enjoyed some success this past weekend at the NJSIAA Wrestling Championships, a trio of local wrestlers found the competition to be a bit too much to handle. Christian Brothers Academy’s 145-pound senior John Niedrich got a bye in the preliminary round on Friday as a region champ. But in his prequarterfinal-round bout against Pitman’s Keros Cooper, the Colts suffered a 4-0 loss. Cooper went on to win the title at 145 pounds. From there, Niedrich came back strong with a 7-3 win over Pequannock’s Scott Van Peenan, before dropping his second-round wrestleback match to Phillipsburg’s Justin Koeller, 7-6. Koeller went on to take fourth at 145. Although Niedrich was hoping to at least place in what was a loaded 145-pound class, his losses this weekend did little to diminish what he achieved over the course of the season. Niedrich leaves CBA as one of the school’s most successful wrestlers, and is one of the main cogs in the Colts’ emergence as a local wrestling power. St. John Vianney’s Anthony Castro has also enjoyed a brilliant career, despite finding himself in the shadows of some of the Shore’s top grapplers over the past few seasons. Last weekend, Castro’s career came to an end when he was eliminated in the preliminary round by Scotch Plains/Fanwood’s Derek Francavilla, 2-1. Raritan’s junior Matt Pendle also failed to get out of the preliminary round, falling to Watchung Hills’ Alex Caruso, 8-2. Caruso went on to finish seventh/eighth in the weight class. Although it marked an early exit for Pendle, he certainly learned quite a bit from the experience and will look to take advantage of that next season. While Niedrich, Castro and Pendle were the only three local grapplers to travel to Atlantic City last weekend, a number of wrestlers from nearby communities also made the trip. Rumson-Fair Haven’s dynamic senior duo of Patrick Berger and Bryan Heller each fared well in A.C., with Berger taking third/fourth at 119, and Heller seventh/eight at 130. Berger lost to eventual champion Steve Adamscik of West Morris Mendham, 10-2, in the semifinals, before dropping his consolation bout to Absegami’s Nick Bridge, 14-3. Heller was knocked out of the title picture by eventual champion Ryan Bridge, by a pin in the quarterfinal round, but wrestled his way back to the seventh/eighth consolation match, where he beat Nutley’s Mike Bonora, 15-8. Howell’s Zac Cunliffe made his first appearance in the final round at 125 pounds, where he lost to Camden Catholic’s Ed Giosa, 6-4. With the loss, Cunliffe ended the Shore’s winningest career (133 wins) without a state title. Manalapan’s Nick Manochio (103) and Dan Hilt (119), state place-winners last year, went to Atlantic City seeking state gold as well. They were seeded first in their brackets, but neither got through to the final, settling instead for fifth place. Manochio won his fifth/sixth place consolation match over David Smith of Paulsboro, 9-4. The junior, 26-0 entering the states, lost to Mike Grey of Delbarton (the eventual champion), 6-3, in the quarterfinals to fall into the wrestle-backs, where he ultimately finished fifth. He took fourth last year. Hilt, who had the look of a state champion all year and was ranked No. 1 in the state at 119, lost in the pre-quarters to Ray Sarinelli of Morris Hills, 6-4. A third-place finisher last year, the three-time District 21 and two-time Region VI champion won by injury default over J.W. Bykowski of Pequannock in his fifth/sixth consolation match. The Braves’ Mike Gaeta placed in the state for the first time in his career. He finished eighth after losing the seventh/eighth place consolation match to Nick Matteo of Bergen Catholic by a pin. A pair of Long Branch wrestlers, Pat Tedeschi (145) and Manny Navarro (275), were eliminated in the preliminary round, while Ocean’s Dan Lopes (103) was eliminated in the first-round wrestlebacks. Toms River East’s Vinnie Salek was the only Shore Conference wrestler to claim a state title, pinning Buena’s Jim Thomas at the 2:26 mark of the 160-pound final. Jackson senior Jeramy Edwards took second at 171, losing to defending champ Ryan Goodman from Absegami in the final, 8-4.last_img read more

Middletown South’s Toto is third at MOC

first_img MIGUEL JUAREZ staff CBA’s Peter Glackin competes in the 400-meter hurdles during the June 8 Meet of Champions in South Plainfield. SOUTH PLAINFIELD — The NJSIAA Meet of Champions has become Julianne Toto’s Waterloo. The Middletown South pole vaulter was denied an MOC title for the second time in 2005 on June 8 when she finished third at South Plainfield High School. Like the indoor MOC, Toto came into the MOC with the best jump in the state and as the Group III state champion, but had to settle for third place. After jumping 12-0 at every New Jersey meet this spring, Toto did 11-6. All she could do was watch as Kristen Hafford of Warren Hills (who lost to Toto at the Group III state championships) and Jessica Kloss of Moorestown both clear 12-0 with Hafford getting the title on fewer misses. Hafford also won the indoor MOC at the same height. Toto was one of several area athletes who medaled at the season-ending MOC. On the track, Raritan’s Matt Dahl was eighth in the 1,600, turning in his best time of the spring (4:18,73). His Shore area rival, Craig Forys of Colts Neck, turned in the state’s fastest 1,600 of the year (4:11.27), in winning the state title. Matawan’s Tom Walsh and Christian Brothers Academy’s Chris Horel were caught up in a very fast 3,200. Walsh was fifth (9:24.25) and Horel, seventh (9:27.36). Gill St.-Bernards’ Robert Papazian broke 9:00 in turning in the state’s best time this spring (8:59.78). Peter Glackin of CBA was eighth in the 400-intermediate hurdles (55.30). Matawan’s Zakeyah Pitts was fifth in the girls javelin (123-07) finishing ahead of Raritan’s Jessica Bandy (117-01), winner of the Group III state title, who was ninth. The state’s best athlete’s will be in Greensboro, N.C., on Friday and Saturday for the Nike Nationals, which will close the door on the 2005 high school season. This meet will feature both individual and relay events. — Tim Morris Fast 1,600 turned in by Raritan last_img read more

Sailing’s a breeze for locals at Junior Sweeps

first_imgAbove, Ocean’s Scott Layton and Little Silver’s Brett Arnheiter lead the boat race in their 420 boat during the Junior Sweeps Regatta on the Navesink River on Aug. 10. Below, Middletown’s Paul Clauss guides his Optimus boat, while at left, Lincroft’s Madison Curtis prepares to set sail on her Optimus boat. The Junior Sweepstakes Regatta, held Aug. 8-11, brought out 160 sailors ages 8-17 for four days of racing on the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers. The annual event is held for junior sailors from the Shrewsbury Sailing and Yacht Club (SSYC), Monmouth Boat Club (MBC), Rumson Yacht Club (RYC), Fair Haven Sailing Club/River Rats (FHSC) and Keyport Yacht Club (KYC). PHOTOS BY MIGUEL JUAREZ staff Trophies were awarded to the following sailors: Overall winners (both rivers) — Optimist Red: 1. Alix Zweig (SSYC), 2. Geneva O’Brien (SSYC), 3. Ryan Topal (KYC); Optimist Blue: 1. Dan Ricker (SSYC), 2. Kevin Guadagno (SSYC), 3. Molly Lucyk (MBC); Optimist White: 1. Brian Duddy (RYC), 2. Ashley Bertrand (SSYC), 3. Turner Wibbelsman (MBC); Optimist Green: 1. Bobby Maguire (RYC), 2. George Zackman (MBC), 3. Curtis Maddison (MBC); Blue Jay: 1. Don Evans and Wyatt Mulheren (FHSC), 2. Charlie Gravina and Forrest Sexton (FHSC), 3. Alex Despo and Tibor Jackel (FHSC); N-10: 1. Cassey Taylor and Jake Simpson (FHSC), 2. Michael Evans and Chris Fusccetti (FHSC); Laser Radial: 1. Ryan Riddle (SSYC), 2. Kyle Heath (FHSC) 3. Jay Swartz (MBC); C420: 1. Brett Arnheiter and Scott Layton, 2. Andrew Tamblyn and Alley Ricker, 3. Jessica Gruskos and Taylor Dowd. South River — Optimist Red: 1. Alix Zweig (SSYC), 2. Geneva O’Brien (SSYC), 3. Ryan Topal (KYC); Optimist Blue: 1. Dan Ricker (SSYC), 2. Kevin Guadagno (SSYC), 3. Molly Lucyk (MBC), 4. Jack Drummond (RYC), 5. Kendall Van Winkle (SSYC); Optimist White: 1. Scott Drummond (RYC), 2. Brian Duddy (RYC), 3. Ashley Bertrand (SSYC), 4. Caroline Garth (SSYC), 5. Joseph Duncan (MBC); Optimist Green: 1. William Fischer (SSYC), 2. William Noglows (MBC), 3. George Zackman (MBC), 4. Bobby Maguire (RYC), 5. Madison Curtis (MBC); Dyer Dow: 1. Derek Arnheiter and Robert Gruskos; Blue Jay: 1. Don Evans and Wyatt Mulheren (FHSC) 2. Charlie Gravina and Forrest Sexton (FHSC), 3. Elizabeth Iliano and Laura Norton (FHSC); N-10: 1. Matthew Lloyd and Gabbi Neubelt (SSYC), 2. Autumn Watts and Teija Martin (SSYC), 3. Jake Simpson and Casey Taylor (FHSC); Laser Radial: 1. Ryan Riddle (SSYC), 2. Kyle Heath (FHSC), 3. Jay Swartz (MBC), 4. Ian Sanderson (MBC), 5. Chris Martin (SSYC); C420: 1. Brett Arnheiter and Scott Layton, 2. Andrew Tamblyn and Alley Ricker, 3. Jessica Gruskos and Taylor Dowd, 4. Michael Wodka and Bo Morris (SSYC), 5. Alex Curtis and Lauren Koch (MBC). North River — Optimist Red: 1. Alix Zweig (SSYC), 2. Geneva O’Brien (SSYC), 3. Ryan Topal (KYC); Optimist Blue: 1. Dan Ricker (SSYC), 2. Kevin Guadagno (SSYC), 3. Molly Lucyk (MBC), 4. Andrew DePaulis (SSYC), 5. Troy D’Amico (MBC); Optimist White: 1. Brian Duddy (RYC), 2. Kathryn Curtis (MBC), 3. Ashley Bertrand (SSYC), 4. Turner Wibbelsman (MBC), 5. Max Neubelt (SSYC); Optimist Green: 1. Bobby Maguire (RYC), 2. Clark Halpem (SSYC), 3. George Zackman (MBC), 4. Curtis Maddison (MBC), 5. Jazz Van Loon (MBC); Blue Jay: 1. Forrest Sexton and Charlie Gravina (FHSC), 2. Don Evans and Wyatt Mulheren (FHSC), 3. Tibor Jackel and Alex Despo (FHSC), 4. Elizabeth Iliano and Laura Norton, 5. Kate Valcamp and Julie Payton; N-10: 1. Jake Simpson and Cassey Taylor (FHSC), 2. Michael Evans and Chris Fusccetti (FHSC), 3. Katy and Megan Hellman; Laser Radial: 1. Ryan Riddle (SSYC), 2. Kyle Heath (FHSC), 3. Jay Swartz (MBC), 4. Ian Sanderson (MBC), 5. Max Butler (KYC); C420: 1. Brett Arnheiter and Scott Layton, 2. Andrew Tamblyn and Alley Ricker, 3. Jessica Gruskos and Taylor Dowd, 4. Alex Curtis and Lauren Koch (MBC), 5. Michael Wodka and Bo Morris (SSYC).last_img read more


first_imgMiddletown South High School teammates hug each other after completing the 5,000-meter race at the NJSIAA Central Jersey Cross Country Championships held Nov. 6 at Jamesburg’s Thompson Park. The Middletown South girls finished second in Group III. ERIC SUCAR stafflast_img

Eagles expect to fly when team returns to health

first_imgInjuries to two key players have slowed down the Middletown High School South girls soccer team, which was 1-1-1 going into its Sept. 18 home game against powerhouse Red Bank Catholic High School.Coach Tara Ernst remains confident that the lineup, loaded with experienced seniors, will contend for a second straight Shore Conference A North title when those players return shortly.“Yes we can (contend),” said Ernst, who lost five players off the 2011 squad that went 15-4 — the school’s most victories in 10 years, when Ernst played for Middletown South before embarking on a collegiate career at Rutgers University. “We have most of our starting lineup back. We just have to work things out.”“We have so many seniors (eight). We have played together since we were 8 years old, so there’s good chemistry,” said captain Bridget Skinner, a center midfielder at Middletown South who has verbally committed to Ohio State University. “I definitely think, in my four years, this is the best team we’ve had. We have new talent in the back who definitely want to win and everyone has played on a high level of club (soccer). We should come out and dominate.”That has driven Ernst even more. The coach wants to see the seniors, who she has had on the team in all four of her years as Middletown South coach, go out with a big season. Last year’s team ended the season with an opening-round loss to Marlboro High School, 1-0, in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV state tournament, which was a bitter loss to a team the Eagles beat twice during the regular season.The Eagles will play in Group III this fall.The dominance that Skinner speaks of will come in time. Senior goalkeeper Lauren VanExter has missed the last two games with a concussion. Ernst said that she hopes VanExter, who never missed a game in her three prior seasons as a starter, will be back in the lineup this week. The Eagles have two more home games after the Red Bank Catholic game. They play Howell High School on Sept. 20 and Manalapan High School on Sept. 22. Juliette Ferlita, a senior who usually plays on defense, has earned Ernst’s praise for filling in.Also expected back in the lineup soon from an ankle injury is junior middle defender Deanna Rotella, who started last season. Senior Emily Murphy and freshman Nicole Scalzo are playing in the middle on defense, while the outside backs are sophomore Madison Curtis and junior Morgan Duve, who is playing in her first season for the Eagles after her family relocated from Canada. Raquel Wall, a junior, backs up the starters on defense.Middletown South has gone from playing a flatback-four style to dropping Murphy as a deeper back until Rotella returns.Despite the youth in the back, Ernst said that her defenders “have been doing great the first three games,” including during a 2-2 tie with Manalapan, a 3-0 victory over Middletown High School North and a 1-0 loss to division newcomer Colts Neck High School, which scored on a rebound from close range midway through the second half.“Our shot selection against Colts Nerck should’ve been better,” said Ernst of the team’s most recent game. “We have to work on communicating more from midfield to forward. We’ve done well to keep possession.”Credit that to the play in the middle of Skinner, who has scored four goals in the first two games, and senior Kate Spence, whose twin sister, Lindsay, and junior Rachel Becker play on the outside. They’ve been feeding the ball to senior forwards Ashley Pankey and Christine Anselms. Junior Julia DeSanctis also sees a lot of playing time at center midfield, while senior Laura Watters and sophomore Tori Despirito back up the starters on the outside.“This year, my focus is going forward to goal,” said Skinner, who scored 14 goals last year and 17 in 2010.Contrary to her current game plan, Skinner said that she was told by Ohio State’s coaches that she will play on defense.“That’s fine, because I play defense for my club team,” she said. “Center fullback has always been my favorite position, but I’m at this spot (center midfield) to help my team.”Ernst said she is looking to get freshman Stephanie Kurcz on the field as a forward, as she has shown a knack for scoring on the underclassmen teams.The Eagles are filling the void left by graduated outside back Lauren Guglielmo, who is playing at Manhattanville College, outside midfielder Tara Cangelosi and forward Kelly McQuade.Assisting Ernst this season is Bob Lightbody, who is coaching the junior varsity team, and Jess Zampella, who is coaching the freshmen. BY WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent last_img read more

Murray survives five-set thriller, Djokovic imperious

first_imgBy Martyn HermanANDY Murray’s predicted stroll to the Wimbledon final became a hazardous obstacle course on Wednesday as he was forced to claw back a two-set deficit against Fernando Verdasco to join top seed Novak Djokovic in the last four.The imperious Djokovic, the man Murray is expected to face in Sunday’s final, swept past Czech Tomas Berdych 7-6(5) 6-4 6-3 to reach his 13th successive grand slam semi-final without dropping set.Murray prevailed 4-6 3-6 6-1 6-4 7-5 to reach his fifth successive Wimbledon semi-final but will require soothing balm on his nerves, and some more for his army of fans, before taking on the 140mph serve of Jerzy Janowicz, Poland’s first male grand slam semi-finalist, on Friday.Towering Argentine Juan Martin del Potro may need extra bandages for his battered left knee after a horrible tumble during fifth point of his quarter-final against David Ferrer looked like dealing him a cruel knockout blow.The 24-year-old climbed off the deck, however, to pummel the Spanish fourth seed 6-2 6-4 7-6(5) with a performance reminiscent of those that took him to the 2009 U.S. Open title.Janowicz, a qualifier last year who has rocketed up the rankings, beat fellow Pole Lukasz Kubot 7-5 6-4 6-4 in an unlikely quarter-final that, had the tournament gone to plan, would have been between Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal.The youngest of the eight quarter-finalist will now set his sights on Murray, hoping to wreck the second seed’s hopes of becoming Britain’s first men’s Wimbledon champion since Fred Perry in 1936.“Right now I’m the most happy person in the world,” said the 22-year-old Janowicz, who launched 30 aces past Kubot to surpass the feat of compatriot Wojtek Fibak who lost four grand slam quarter-finals.“I hope Andy will feel some kind of pressure. I’m sure he will feel some kind of pressure because Britain is waiting for the English champion in Wimbledon.”Murray, who is actually Scottish, is used to handling the pressure of being his country’s only realistic grand slam hope and delivered a U.S. Open title last year after losing his first Wimbledon final to Federer.When the draw opened up after a first week of shocks and injuries, Murray’s path to the final looked an enticing one.But things are rarely that simple.There were a few wobbles against Mikhail Youzhny in the fourth round and he endured a full-blown crisis against unseeded Spanish left-hander Verdasco who blazed away with his serve and forehand to move two sets ahead.Murray won the third with ease but twice had to fend off break points in the fourth before levelling the match in an electrifying atmosphere on Centre Court.Verdasco refused to cave in, however, and a nail-shredding deciding set went with serve until Murray broke through at 5-5 and kept a cool head to serve out to love and spark wild celebrations around the grounds.It was the seventh time in his career Murray has recovered from two sets down to win a match.“I think I’ve learnt how to come back from tough situations more as I got older,” said the 26-year-old who was watched by former Manchester United manager and fellow Scot Alex Ferguson.“It’s a great atmosphere to be playing in. I love it when it’s like that. It was extremely noisy.”Six-times grand slam champion Djokovic had the tougher task on paper against the hard-hitting Berdych who had won their only previous match at Wimbledon.He edged a high-quality first set but fell 3-0 behind in the second before finding the extra gear that so often comes to his rescue when faced with danger.“It was toe-to-toe in the first set and one shot decided the first set,” the 2011 champions said. “Even though I started poorly in the second, I still felt quite good on the court. Just really glad to go through in three.”Del Potro’s medical team will be working overtime in the next 24 hours, especially as the eighth seed said he needs to be at 110 percent to have a chance against Djokovic.“I’m not going to put my body at risk,” he told reporters. “The doctors tell me with this tape and taking some anti-inflammatories you can play.“If they say something different, I will think.”Del Potro looked down and out when his already-bandaged left knee crumpled as he tumbled chasing a wide ball.Grimacing in pain the six foot six Argentine climbed up from the turf and after treatment and a pain-killing tablet unfurled his right arm to its full condor-like wingspan and began to pound French Open runner-up Ferrer into submission.Such was the venom in his murderous forehand that any injury concerns were put aside as he struck 22 winners on that flank alone, including a screamer on match point.“I was very close (to pulling out) because I felt a lot of pain in the beginning of the match. I twisted my knee once again and the doctor gave me some magic pills and I could finish the match,” said Del Potro.“I tried to be positive and played unbelievable tennis.”last_img read more

Refs call on whistle blower to reveal names

first_imgBy George PsyllidesTHE referees’ association has called on a ref who claimed match-fixing in Cyprus was widespread to name those responsible and prove his allegations.Marios Panayi first made the claims back in December 2014.He reiterated his allegations in an interview with the Associated Press, adding that he had rebuffed requests to match-fix three times in his career. Once by a journalist with close ties to a third division team and another by an associate of a fourth division coach.The third involves a first division game in 2011, which is now under investigation.The referee association urged Panayi to give the names of those involved and hand over any proof he had to police, if he has not done so already.“There are many (team) officials, referees, and journalists involved with football and no one can generalise and cast shadows,” the association said in a statement.“Anonymous claims do not help in solving any case.”Any member involved in match-fixing has no place in the “referee family”, the association said.In December, Panayi went public with allegations that match-fixing was rife in Cyprus, naming the football association’s deputy chairman Giorgos Koumas as the man pulling the strings.He also said CFA chairman Kostakis Koutsokoumnis was a “straw-man”.last_img read more

Monaco through on away goals after home loss to Arsenal

first_imgMonaco survived an Arsenal onslaught to reach the Champions League quarter-finals on away goals after a 2-0 home defeat saw the tie finish 3-3 on aggregate on Tuesday.Arsenal, looking to become the first team to overcome a two-goal home first-leg deficit in the Champions League, came agonisingly close to progressing after Olivier Giroud and substitute Aaron Ramsey scored in each half.But the principality side’s 3-1 win at the Emirates was just enough to see them through after Monaco keeper Danijel Subasic spectacularly denied striker Giroud five minutes from time.The hosts took a cautious approach as they tried to preserve their first-leg lead, failing to get a single shot on target, and were fortunate to make it into the last eight.last_img

Arsenal’s drive to win Champions League immense, says Wenger

first_imgBy Shravanth Vijayakumar Arsenal’s drive to win the Champions League is “immense” after their painful early exits in the past few seasons, manager Arsene Wenger has said.The Premier League club are one of the most successful in England but have never managed to add the Champions League trophy to their cabinet.The closest they came to winning the most prestigious club tournament in Europe was in the 2005-06 season, when they lost 2-1 to Barcelona in the finals.“This drive (to win the competition) is immense. It has never been done at Arsenal and we were very, very, very, close,” Wenger told reporters.“On the other hand, I have been long enough in the job to know you have to be realistic and know that you have to put hard work in,” the 65-year-old Frenchman added.The Gunners were favourites in their round of 16 tie against Ligue 1 side Monaco last season, but were knocked out by the away goals rule after an aggregate score of 3-3.Wenger wants his side to show they have learnt from their mistakes.“If we missed one game last year, then it was our home game with Monaco. We were not patient enough and we wanted to make the difference in the first game,” Wenger said.“We know we have some way to put that right, that is a regret of the season last year. We know as well that we can show that we have learnt from that.”Arsenal have to play four away games over the next few weeks, including kicking off their Champions League campaign when they travel to Croatia to face Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday.“It is more the global programme we have to absorb in the next three weeks, rather than one game,” Wenger said.“I know the same team cannot play every single game over the next three weeks. I try to keep the balance right and give a little breather to players who need it.”last_img read more