"Theres no place like home" -- Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz. Alex Bono Jersey . The road to the 2012 Grey Cup was not comprised of yellow brick. There were no lions, scarecrows or even tin woodsmen along for the journey. The final ingredient that provided the Toronto Argonauts with enough extra courage and heart to win the championship may have come from what the memorable quartet from movie lore was searching for all along - home. Eleven players on last years championship squad hailed from the Greater Toronto Area, a total of 15 called Southern Ontario home. While some of those players, most notably Ricky Foley, have left for various reasons, four new players on this years active roster are from the GTA. Jonathan Hood and Jermaine Reid are CFL veterans who have found their way into double-blue uniforms, while Shane Herbert and Jermaine Gabriel have the opportunity to take their first pro football snaps in front of family, friends and hometown crowds. Gabriel is a native of Scarborough, in the citys east end. He played in the fall at Cedarbrae Collegiate, while his summers were spent starring with the Toronto Thunder of the Ontario Varsity Football League. He also spent some time coaching at Lester B. Pearson Collegiate. The rookie defensive back is arriving just as his favourite player, long-time defensive star Jordan Younger, is leaving after announcing his retirement on the eve of training camp. Gabriel says that the two have crossed paths in the past. "I used to sit all the way up in the nosebleeds and watch the games growing up as a child,” Gabriel said. “I always used to watch the defensive backs, I watched Younger. I met him at e-camp, he was giving me a couple of pointers when we were doing the drills; it was pretty cool." Meeting your idol is one thing, but lacing up the cleats with your favourite CFL team blows that off the charts. "Its unbelievable, the love I get from everybody. Everyone is always checking up on me asking how Im doing and hows the team doing” Gabriel continued. “I feel like ever since I became an Argo everyone is like, Im going to buy an Argos hat, Im going to buy an Argos jersey and come out to all the games. Ive got a bunch of friends with season tickets now, so its been an unbelievable experience." Gabriels fellow freshman has been through the pro experience before, but like the heroine from the movie, things turned out to be a bad dream. Herbert is also from the east side of Toronto, hailing from Ajax. He played at Pickering High School and for the Pickering Dolphins and Oshawa Hawkeyes before heading to Wilfrid Laurier University, where he was a member of the Golden Hawks. He was signed as a free agent by the boatmen in 2011, but didnt make it through camp before being released. He looks like a completely different player this season. "For the past year Ive been working hard on my speed and strength,” Herbert said. “Jim (General Manager Barker) knows the potential I had and when he saw me at the workout I know I impressed him through my off-season training and my hard work and effort. I was fortunate to get invited back and Im just taking it step by step, day by day." At 61" and 190 pounds, the defensive back has the body type and attitude that Argos defensive coordinator Chris Jones loves. In turn, Herbert loves playing in the system that the DC employs. "Im a more in your face DB. Ive got long arms, Im a more rangy guy so its easier for me to get up in someones face and press a receiver and thats what Chris Jones loves. He loves the taller defenders that dont mind getting physical so I feel like I fit this defence quite well." Herberts favourite player as a kid was Damon Allen and he understands the unique opportunity to wear the same jersey as his idol. "Its an honour actually to play for your home team and to have your family and friends come out to the games and support you." Hood comes over from Hamilton after three seasons in black and gold. He appreciates the colour change and is thrilled to be donning the double blue. "It feels awesome. When I was growing up thats all we saw, we saw the Argos practices, we saw Pinball Clemons and everyone. Its amazing, we used to look up to those guys and now Im that guy, it feels great." The man who lit up stadiums wearing number 31 was idolized by just about everyone who saw him play, but what was it about Clemons that drew the native of Mississauga, west of Toronto, to the running backs style? "He was exciting to watch. He always brought energy,” Hood said. “It didnt matter that he was a smaller guy, it didnt matter who he was up against, he was just go, go, go and he made the best of everything and he won a lot of championships and he had lots of success." Hood graduated from Father Michael Goetz Secondary School and also played for the Etobicoke Eagles before heading to a CIS career at both St. Francis Xavier and Western Ontario. Hes certain that playing at home will be good for a jolt of adrenaline every game. "I definitely think so because you have a lot of family and friends that get more involved in the league,” Hood continued. “Even when I was playing in Hamilton it was close, but not everyone got involved. Now that Im in Toronto everyone is coming to the games. I have to make sure 50 people get tickets, its crazy. So it gives you that boost knowing that the support is there. Support is huge and it just gets you fired up to go and play your best." The other veteran is Reid, who suited up for Hamilton and Edmonton before heading home. His six years of pro football may be a bit of a surprise, seeing as he never played any amateur football aside from at St. Marys Catholic Secondary School in Pickering. He may have come to the game late, but it was certainly a case of love at first contact. "It was probably after the first hit. It was an inside run drill. I just shed a block and I leveled the running back and that was it, it got me." He was good enough at St. Marys to head to the University of Akron, where he played for four seasons. Now hes heading home. Reid had heard his name mentioned in trade rumours and was ecstatic to find out he was on his way back to where it all began. "It was amazing, Im going home, my family gets to see me. It was a good feeling, I was just thrilled when I heard the news." But is there an added burden that comes with playing at home? "Besides trying to round up 16 tickets a game its really not that much pressure,” said Reid. “Everything outside of the lines is washed away as soon as you cross those lines every game day, so I try not to think of any of that, I just put all that to the back of my mind and just think about the game." The first game at home will be one the foursome will always remember. Not only is it against the Argos arch rivals from Hamilton, but the 100th Grey Cup Championship banner will be unfurled before kickoff. Fridays game between the Argonauts and Tiger Cats can be heard live on TSN 1050 and TSN1050.ca with Mike Hogan and Sandy Annunziata Eriq Zavaleta Jersey . Jon Montgomerys gold medal in skeleton at the Whistler Sliding Centre and his subsequent auctioning off of a pitcher of beer in the village square elevated him to folk-hero status. Michael Bradley Toronto Jersey . Luis Suarezs double powered Liverpool to a 4-0 victory over Fulham, and Southampton easily overcame Hull 4-1 to continue the south coast clubs impressive start to the season. Liverpool and Southampton sent Chelsea down to fourth place as the west London club was held to 2-2 at home. http://www.torontofcshop.com/c-26-ahmed ... ersey.aspx
. After the whistle, Thornton skated the length of the ice, pulled Orpik to the ice from behind and punched him in the face several times.Ahead of England’s two-match T20I series against South Africa, Nick Knight blogs on why hed shunt Ben Stokes up the order and why Moeen Ali has a crucial role to play in the nets… England have a decision to make in their T20Is against South Africa - do they pick the best team to win the series, or the team they plan to use in the World T20?I would definitely go for the former as the best thing for England heading to India is to have wins under their belt, even if they then make minor tweaks to their side for the World Cup.They showed a want to chop and change in the UAE, saying they wanted to increase their depth of squad, but now is the time to play your top XI, not dish out opportunities.One change England could make - and something I would like to see them explore - is to promote Ben Stokes up the order, perhaps as high as No 3 but certainly to No 4. Watch Ben Stokes score the second fastest double century in history on day two of the second Test against South Africa That may be a bit of a gamble but you have the safety valve of Joe Root, Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler - whose position must remain flexible - to come and if they are to win another global tournament then having Stokes power in a bit earlier could be key.He is one of those players who you feel can make a dramatic impact in any game so you want him to play as big a role for you as possible.It could be the difference between winning and losing, even in a team of so many big hitters. Watch Jos Buttler blast a century for England in the second ODI against South Africa in Bloemfontein The guts of the side from the one-day series will remain in the T20Is, certainly in the batting department, but I do like the additions of James Vince and Sam Billings. Mark Bloom Jersey. Vince is a highly-regarded one-day player who gives England a quality replacement at the top of the order should Alex Hales or Jason Roy pick up a niggle.Plus, Billings is full of invention and could boost the side down the order in the No 6 or No 7 spot, although you would assume Buttler is nailed on to keep the gloves. Moeen Ali will have a crucial role ahead of the World T20 What goes on in the nets in South Africa could also be just as important for England as what happens out in the middle.I dont think theres a real chance they open the bowling with Moeen Ali or Adil Rashid in this series or that Hales and Roy face South Africa spinner Imran Tahir first up.But England should toss a new ball to Moeen in practice and get him bowling at Hales and Roy so that both of those bases are covered ahead of the World T20, where spin will figure prominently. AB de Villiers is back in the groove for South Africa South Africa have hit their straps at the right time, with their key men finding form - Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers scored excellent hundreds in the ODIs and Quinton de Kock hit two of them.The key for them moving forward is to get Dale Steyn fit and firing.If he is, South Africa become a genuine threat to win the World T20, especially considering many of their players are familiar with Indian conditions through the IPL.What would your preferred England batting line-up be? Have your say by filling out the comments box at the foot of the page...Stay up to date with Englands T20 warm-up match against South Africa A on Wednesday on Sky Sports digital platforms before watching the two-match series against South Africa on Sky Sports 2, starting with the opener, in Cape Town, from 3.30pm on Friday. Get a Sky Sports Day Pass Dont miss South Africa v England. Watch live on NOW TV for ￡6.99. No contract Also See: Fixtures/results Live cricket on Sky Get Sky Sports Cricket videos Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '