Scottish Premier League

Goncalves joy at St Mirren move

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Wed, 23 Jan 2013 16:51:00

Sky Sports has been awarded more Premier League rights, cementing its position as the home of the Premier League and confirming the 2013/14 season as the biggest ever for Sky Sports.

The three-year agreement means that each season, Sky Sports viewers can enjoy extended highlights of all 226 Premier League matches not shown live on television, plus goals and key moments for other programming such as Sky Sports News HDand magazine shows including Goals on Sunday and Soccer Saturday.

From August, Sky Sports will offer:

GAME OF THE DAY: Full 90-minute replay of the best Saturday 3pm match from 8pm that evening

MATCH CHOICE: A choice of 45-minute highlights from all Saturday 3pm fixtures, available via Sky's interactive red button service at 10pm

KEY MOMENTS: All the goals and talking points from all Premier League matches shown throughout the week across Sky Sports and on Sky Sports News HD

Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports, said: "This is fantastic news for Sky Sports viewers who will continue to enjoy unrivalled coverage of the Barclays Premier League on TV and wherever they are with Sky Go.

"We'll give fans the first chance to see extended highlights of all the matches every Saturday, as well as the key moments throughout the week.

"Add these rights to our 116 live matches from next season, which include MNF and Super Sunday double-headers, and Sky Sports truly remains the home of the Barclays Premier League."

He continued: "This is the latest in a series of rights agreements that has seen us secure an unrivalled offering of sports across the UK and Ireland. In 2013 alone, our viewers can enjoy live Barclays Premier League and UEFA Champions League football, Ashes cricket home and away, British & Irish Lions tour, three of golf's Majors, F1 and the Solheim Cup."

Sky Sports viewers can enjoy over 500 live football matches a season from international, European and domestic competitions. This line-up includes UEFA Champions League, Barclays Premier League, npower Football League, Capital One Cup, Scottish Premier League and La Liga.

The coverage is available across TV, mobile, online and tablet devices through Sky Go, while the Sky Sports app for ipad was recently upgraded, providing users with access to technology used by Gary Neville for analysis during MNF.

Sky Sports News HD is Europe's leading 24 hour sports news channel and skysports.com is the UK's leading commercial sports website.

The 21-year-old Rio Ave striker has swapped life in Portugal for Paisley after signing a six-month loan deal with the Scottish Premier League side.

He will now go straight into the St Mirren squad for this Sunday's Scottish League Cup semi-final with Celtic at Hampden.

But while the frontman, who was loaned out to French Ligue 1 side Nice last term, has scant knowledge of the SPL, he is optimistic he can make a goal-scoring impact for his new team.

Goncalves, capped for Portugal's Under-17 side, told Press Association Sport: "A coach at my old club told me about St Mirren and said he thought it would be a good move for me.

"He thought I could come here and score goals so I said 'yes' to the chance.

"I had only played with eight games with Rio Ave this season, that is all. I was frustrated.

"I only know a bit about Scottish football, that it is a lot like English football, which I like.

"I don't know much about St Mirren either but I have met with the coach Danny and he is a good guy. He is funny. I like him.

"I trained with the squad this morning and the standard was good. I'm not sure what will happen once my loan is up. We will see. It depends how I play."

Goncalves slipped down the pecking order at Rio Ave after the Primeira Liga outfit brought in Manchester United's ?9million forward Bebe on loan.

Venezuelan international Yonathan Del Valle has also been brought in on a temporary basis and Buddies boss Danny Lennon admitted Goncalves' frustrations at a lack of first-team action opened the door for him to swoop.

He said: "Esmael is a player who has been on our radar since before the transfer window opened. He's strong and quick and will hopefully bring goals.

"He's got great experience in Portugal playing against the likes of Benfica, Porto and Sporting Lisbon but now finds himself third choice behind Bebe and Del Valle.

"It shows a lot about the boy that he is prepared to come and expand his horizons and have a go at Scottish football.

"And what a baptism it could be on Sunday for him with a semi-final against Celtic to come."

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