Dyche said: “We have had ongoing communication with him and his agent as we do with every other player – Danny is just one of those we talk to freely. “Danny has assured everybody that he will be here so I don’t need to speak on his behalf. “It is an ongoing situation that we have had many times since I have been here. It is tough in the Premier League but we are making a good fist of it at the moment and if there is interest in your players it usually means there is life in the club. “I only speak to him (Ings) about his performances and how he is doing. The signs are good about him learning and adapting to the top level of football and even more so as a striker who has top international defenders against him. “Every manager wants players who are settled where they are and ours are settled as a group and they want to play well at this level.” Press Association The 22-year-old’s fine form for the Clarets this season has prompted speculation of a move elsewhere with his current deal set to expire at the end of the current campaign. But Ings reportedly stressed his desire to stay at Turf Moor earlier this week and Dyche is also resolute that the England under-21 front man is not for sale. Burnley boss Sean Dyche has revealed the club are involved in “ongoing communication” with striker Danny Ings over a contract extension.
Taylor VorthermsSports Editor at The Ellsworth AmericanTaylor Vortherms covers sports in Hancock County. The St. Louis, Missouri native recently graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism and joined The Ellsworth American in 2013. Bio EHS names new boys’ soccer coach – July 13, 2016 Latest Posts Part 2: When the injury is inside your head, some “don’t get it” – July 26, 2016 Latest posts by Taylor Vortherms (see all) ELLSWORTH — Alan Toothaker is living his dream — a dream likely shared among tennis players across the country and maybe, after this winter, some snow-loathing Maine residents.Later this month, the 54-year-old veterinarian will travel to balmy Indian Wells, Calif., with his two teammates, Ben Beverly and Phid Lawless, to compete on the same courts as the professionals in the United States Tennis Association’s tri-level national championships.And while the three players will not be slamming down aces against Roger Federer, they’ll get to watch the Swiss pro compete in the BNP Paribas Open, which will take place each day before their own USTA matches from March 20-22.“Roger Federer could be playing on a court, and we might be scheduled to go on right after him,” said Toothaker, who also is the team’s captain. “I think anyone playing USTA tennis would tell you that’s the goal — to get to nationals.”This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textThe tournament merges the worlds of amateur players with the pros. They are even united on a 10-point spectrum from ratings of 2.5 to 7.0 — novice to world-class professional. Toothaker’s team falls somewhere in the middle at 4.0.The trio, which rotates as a doubles team, advanced to the national stage by notching both state and New England titles in the 4.0 age 18+ division. At the tri-level, Toothaker, Beverly and Lawless will compete as a unit along with New England’s 3.5 and 4.5-rated champions. The three teams, which have never met each other, will represent the region — one of 17 in the country.Toothaker has never before made it to nationals, but in a sport where success is measured in the quantity of T-shirts won, his dresser drawers are filled to the brim.“It’s all about the T-shirts,” Toothaker said. “Because that’s basically what you end up winning: more and more shirts.”But the root of Toothaker’s love for the sport stretches beyond his enthusiasm for cotton tees. The Ellsworth native grew up playing tennis with his father on the only court once available in town: a private facility owned by a late tennis aficionado, Roger Willey.Toothaker shifted to the Ellsworth Tennis Center (ETC) in 2001 once Susan Scherbel’s recreational complex — four indoor and two outdoor courts — was built off of Downeast Highway. Since then, Toothaker, Beverly and Lawless have been practicing there together every Monday night.“It’s the nicest tennis center in the state,” Toothaker said. “And we get the advantage of using it.”Alan Toothaker returns the ball backhand in a match at the Ellsworth Tennis Center in a Monday night practice.The tennis gene didn’t skip a generation with the Toothakers. His two sons — now adults — also frequent ETC and accompany their dad every summer to New York to watch the U.S. Open — a family tradition dating back to their childhood.“The first year I took my kids, they spent the entire time chasing down Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer,” Toothaker said. “They have autographed tennis balls galore.”Toothaker, owner of Ellsworth’s Small Animal Clinic, has never experienced a demand for his signature on any Wilson-branded balls. But he didn’t miss an opportunity to play the role of a celebrity athlete when Beverly walked into the ETC lobby before Monday night’s practice.“Ben, come over and get your interview in,” Toothaker called out to the Ellsworth carpenter. “It’s time to be a star.”At 35 years old, Beverly is nearly half the age of 65-year-old teammate and veteran player Lawless, who lives in Sullivan and owns a concrete planter-manufacturing business called Lunaform.Their ages don’t seem to concern Toothaker, even in a division shared with opponents not yet legally old enough to drink alcohol.“If they’ve been playing at all, they know looks are deceiving,” Toothaker said of his much younger competitors.At the USTA New England championships held centrally in Springfield, Mass., the three men beat a team of two 18-year-olds and a 19-year-old from Connecticut in the 4.0 finals for the regional title.“If you can play smarter, you can usually outfox them,” Toothaker said.“That’s what we definitely have to hope for,” he added in a serious tone before breaking into laughter.In just more than two weeks, Toothaker’s team will step into one of the world’s largest tennis stadiums and perform in front of tens of thousands of spectators. And whether those fans will be there to see Federer or Hancock Country’s own tennis trio won’t really matter to Toothaker under the Palm Springs sun.“We’ll basically get treated like the pros,” Toothaker said. “That’s the cool thing about going to nationals: They send you somewhere nice, treat you really well…“Plus, you get way better T-shirts.” Part 1: Invisible, incapacitating concussions are sidelining high school athletes – July 19, 2016