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‘Not enough time’: Cavallo decides not to seek Mildura Rural City Council re-election

Nick Cavallo is the second Mildura Rural City councillor to decide not to seek re-election in November.
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The Mildura businessman wants to regain the 20 to 30 hours he spends each week on council commitments and hopes to achieve a better work-life balance.

For similar reasons in March this year, councillor Fiona Hilton-Wood decided against nominating for a second term.

She wanted to spend more time with family and focus on the law firm she runs with her husband.

Both Cr Cavallo and Cr Hilton-Wood will remain dedicated to their council roles until the end of October, just before the election in November.

As well as fulfilling his weekly council commitments, Cr Cavallo is a partner in Leading Edge Computers Mildura, president of Mildura Settlers’ Cricket Club and a committee member with groups including Willowfest, the Iluka Environment Review committee and Sunraysia Sustainability Network.

He said his decision not to run again was “not made lightly”.

“Basically it’s a combination of things, I couldn’t sustain what I did,” he said.

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Tuesday’s Sunraysia Daily 18/09/2012.

Standing down: Councillor Nick Cavallo has decided not to stand for re-election in the Mildura Rural City Council election in November.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Mayoral race in the dark

Dubbo has one candidate for mayor and one for deputy mayor, but most councillors are keeping their cards close to their chest.
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Incumbent Mathew Dickerson will seek to return to the top job on Thursday while re-elected councillor Lyn Griffiths has announced she will stand for deputy mayor.

Those positions and committee leaders will be subject to a vote at an extraordinary meeting of the new Dubbo City Council on Thursday.

The civic leaders – four new to the role and seven returning – have big decisions before them.

Cr Ben Shields gained the most votes and was the first candidate declared, but he declined to comment on the mayoral race yesterday.

Cr Dickerson gained the second-most votes followed by newcomer John Walkom.

Cr Dickerson said he thought he had worked hard to be a positive representative for Dubbo as mayor and the other leadership positions needed to be filled – for at least the first year of the term – by people with some experience.

When asked if it made sense to have Cr Shields in one of the two top roles, Cr Dickerson said he was not sure of his colleague’s intentions.

“At this stage Ben hasn’t contacted me and asked for my vote so I am not even certain if he will be standing for the position,” Cr Dickerson said.

“If he contacts me and informs me that he is standing and wants my vote I will certainly listen to his reasons why he would make a good deputy mayor.”

Deputy mayor-hopeful Cr Griffiths said Cr Shields’ good poll result was a moot point because Dubbo did not have a popularly-elected mayor.

“The factors that I consider important are the ability of the nominated person to work hard for Dubbo and to work with other councillors in a positive and productive manner,” she said.

Cr Rod Towney ruled out any run for a position and gave his support to Cr Dickerson and Cr Griffiths.

“Mathew Dickerson has done a good job, going out on a limb to try to bring councillors together,” he said.

“For all the females around town it would be good to have a woman as deputy mayor, and Lyn has the runs on the board.”

Bill Kelly ruled out nominating for a position and although he would not declare his support for anyone, he said he knew which way he would vote and why.

“I’m not prepared to discuss this now, you’ll see on Thursday,” he said.

“I have my mind made up and the reasons and then I’ll be doing my best to unify the council.”

He said the actions during the next 12 months of those he voted for would decide whether his support was ongoing.

Mr Walkom was also coy about commenting on the race.

“To ensure a cohesive united council for which I have been a great advocator during my campaign for election to council, I think it prudent that the process of the election of the various positions on council be left to the democratic process of the meeting this coming Thursday,” he said.

Cr Tina Reynolds also said the discussion about the leadership positions should be amongst the 11 councillors, not played out in the media.

The Daily Liberal had not received any other responses to its request for comment from all councillors-elect at the time of going to press.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Sea Eagles in hunt for new prop as merry-go-round fires up

THE expected departures of Beau Ryan and Chris Heighington to Cronulla could pave the way for Manly prop Brent Kite to join Wests Tigers next season.
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While all parties were yesterday denying speculation of the NRL’s latest player merry-go-round, the Herald was told that player agents have been advised that the Sea Eagles are looking for a new prop next season.

The Sharks’ signing of Ryan and Heighington is also expected to result in the club releasing Kiwis international Jeremy Smith to join Newcastle next season. Liam Fulton and Lote Tuqiri are also expected to re-sign with the Tigers.

Both Manly and Wests Tigers are rumoured to have salary cap problems, with NRL salary cap auditor Ian Schubert reportedly refusing to register Sea Eagles fullback Brett Stewart’s new contract until the club resolves the problem.

A Manly official told the Herald that Kite was under contract next season, while the Sharks denied they had yet signed Ryan or Heighington.

However, it is understood that deals with both Tigers players are close to being finalised – much to the frustration of disappointed teammates, who were unhappy last year that the club released Bryce Gibbs and Andrew Fifita to make way for the signing of Adam Blair.

Captain and hooker Robbie Farah has also been linked to Parramatta but he is expected to remain at the Tigers for next season at least.

Speculation was rife a year ago about Ryan and Heighington joining Penrith this season but both stayed with the Tigers.

Heighington, now the English representative lock, was on contract with the Tigers until the end of the next season but the club is understood to have baulked at offering him an extension, given the failure of the squad to reach the finals this year.

Heighington was approached about a three-year deal with Cronulla, which he has clearly found difficult to ignore given his future at the Tigers was clouded.

Ryan’s impending departure is peculiar given his announcement on The Footy Show during the season that he had agreed to a new deal with the Tigers. Yet that deal was never formalised, and with Heighington’s future in the air, it appears certain it will not be.

Heighington and Ryan are good friends and are both popular members of the Tigers, which means the playing group will be hit hard by the departures, a year after Gibbs and Fifita left for Cronulla.

Ryan’s manager Wayne Beavis maintained he had signed ”no contract with Wests Tigers”, but that does appear to be a formality.

The Tigers are expected to announce that Tuqiri has agreed to a new deal with the club, which will ensure that his NRL career does not end with a broken arm.

Fulton is also believed to be close to finalising a new deal to remain at the Tigers beyond next season.

Meanwhile, Manly prop Jason King will be named today for Friday night’s preliminary final, despite failing to finish the match against North Queensland due to a shoulder injury. King was forced from the field with the same injury during the previous week’s loss to the Bulldogs.

Sea Eagles coach Geoff Toovey yesterday admitted there was a silver lining to his side being forced to play against North Queensland last weekend. ”It was actually a good thing for us, we ended up finding some form against North Queensland, and I think that will stand us in good stead for Melbourne.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Traders fear bike lanes could roll businesses

Cyclist numbers along Wellington Street, Collingwood, have been rising 20 per cent every year since 2004.TAILOR Peter Toumbourou has fought off major threats to his business during his many years in the rag trade – the lifting of tariffs and the arrival of cheap imports, and large buyers going out of business as retail conditions sagged.
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But the latest threat to his suit-making enterprise is one he never anticipated – a proposed ”Copenhagen-style” separated bicycle lane outside his factory’s front door.

”The thing that’s going to kill us doesn’t have tariffs, it has two wheels,” Mr Toumbourou says.

He manages Travellers Apparel on Wellington Street in Collingwood, the last major suit manufacturer still standing in Australia, with up to 120 people working for it.

The company tailors suits for several Australian labels, as well as making uniforms for large corporations and government agencies. Many of them collect their orders directly from the factory.

But the proposal to build a separated bike lane along Wellington Street includes the removal of 117 parking spaces and removing parking entirely from one side of the street. Mr Toumbourou stresses that he is in favour of promoting cycling, but says parking is ”the life blood” of his family’s business, with an estimated 60 to 80 trucks a day stopping there.

”Our problem is that we’ve got almost no other access to our building other than people parking in front of our factory,” he says.

The Yarra City Council will hear submissions on the proposal tonight and there is a chance it could vote on the issue. If not, it is unlikely to be decided before elections are held next month.

Wellington Street is a major and preferred north-south bicycle route in Melbourne’s inner north. According to the City of Yarra, the route is booming, with cyclist numbers growing 20 per cent every year since 2004.

This year, the council recorded 416 city-bound cyclists on Wellington Street in the morning peak, compared with 101 cyclists in 2004.

Bicycle Network Victoria’s Garry Brennan says the proposal to build separated bike lanes is excellent, because the street is already choked at the peak, and there is no capacity to increase traffic volumes along there other than by bicycle.

He says the concerns of businesses such as Travellers Apparel regarding lost parking are legitimate, but that the proposal includes options such as accessing parking in nearby back streets, or imposing time restrictions on parking spaces currently available all day.

”If these businesses need parking, there are solutions,” Mr Brennan says.

The Textiles Clothing and Footwear Union is asking the City of Yarra to find a compromise that would not jeopardise the livelihoods of its members who work at the Collingwood factory.

”If you drive out businesses such as Travellers Apparel through the unintended consequences of policies like this one, you actually lose what is part of the great charm and attractiveness of communities like Collingwood,” says Michele O’Neil, the union’s national secretary.

Follow MySmallBusiness on Twitter @MySmallBusiness

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Reynolds gives credit to father, teammates

Adam Reynolds’s only regret last Saturday night was that his father, Mark, couldn’t be at ANZ Stadium for the Rabbitohs’ historic finals defeat of Canberra after breaking his foot a few days earlier. ”Unfortunately, he had to watch the game from home but he has told me how proud he was,” Reynolds said of his record-breaking feat of becoming only the second South Sydney player to score 200 points in a season. The NRL rookie of the year crossed for a try and kicked seven goals to take his tally for the season to 204 – second only to Eric Simms, who achieved the feat four times between 1967 and 1971. While unaware of the achievement until after the game, Reynolds said he owed much to his father for the hours he spent with him practising kicking since the Rabbitohs halfback started playing at four years of age. Despite having a strike rate of almost 85 per cent with his goalkicking this season, Reynolds praised his teammates for his points-scoring feat. ”The boys have really made that possible for me to score so many points through all the tries I did and giving me the opportunity to kick goals,” he said.
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THE NUMBERS

115 – Metres Issac Luke makes per game. He has run for more than 100 metres in 16 of his 21 games this year, and is lengths ahead of his final counterparts. Cameron Smith is the next best (68.7m), ahead of Matt Ballin (43.2m) and Michael Ennis (23.5m).

92 – Tackles missed by Josh Reynolds this season. The Bulldogs five-eighth has missed more than any player remaining in the competition, ahead of Anthony Watmough (85), David Taylor (84) and Michael Ennis (82).

1975 – The year Manly last lost a preliminary final. They went down 28-13 to eventual premiers, Eastern Suburbs.

1 – Tries Joe Galuvao, Vic Mauro and George Rose need to score to avoid the end-of-season nudey run.

ODD FACT

South Sydney have only played the Bulldogs in a finals match on two occasions. One of them was the 1967 grand final, which they won 12-10. The other time was a qualifying final loss in 1986.

RUSSELL CROWE

Russell Crowe @russellcrowe – ”17km bike ride, shoulder routine, bench dumb-bells.”

WHAT WOULD DESSIE SAY?

Alessandro Del Piero was yesterday asked how he would cope with the level of expectation on his shoulders at Sydney FC. Here’s what Dessie would say: ”The Western Sydney Wanderers are a very good football side. They’ve signed fellow Italian Adam D’Apuzzo from APIA Leichhardt.”

THE LAST TIME SOUTH SYDNEY WON A PRELIMINARY FINAL…

 Michael Maguire wasn’t born

 Hawthorn won the VFL Premiership

 The top-grossing movie was Fiddler on the Roof

 George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord topped the charts worldwide

 William McMahon was prime minister of Australia

 Evonne Goolagong was named Australian of the Year

 Western Suburbs won the wooden spoon

  The first cricket one-day international was played

 Charles Coody won the US Masters

 Arsenal were English First Division champions

THE BEST OF THE BEARDS

If you were picking a team from the final four sides based on facial hair, this would be the best of it. David Taylor barely qualifies in beard or five-eighth stakes, but he’s as good a No.6 as the North Sydney Beards could afford. Frank Pritchard will lead the side, just shaving Sam Kasiano for the captaincy tag. Jaiman Lowe was the bolter and will make his representative debut. Coach Russell Crowe, who is in New York shooting his latest film, will do his coaching via Skype.

Team name: North Sydney Beards

  1. Brett Stewart

 2. Sisa Waqa

 3. Frank Pritchard (c)

 4. Greg Inglis

 5. Dane Nielsen

 6. David Taylor

 7. Glenn Stewart

 8. Sam Kasiano

 9. Nathan Peats

 10. Jaiman Lowe

 11. Roy Asotasi

 12. Eddy Pettybourne

 13. Anthony Watmough

 Coach: Russell Crowe

 18th man: Matt Gillett – He’s not in the finals and he has no beard but with that name, it’s a no-brainer.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Game basks in the glow of A-League’s newest superstar

The place card at yesterday’s media conference summed it all up: ”Alessandro Del Piero – The Star”.
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That he is, to say the least. Of course, that ”star” technically referred to the hotel where Del Piero was staying, but rarely has there been such a fitting double entendre.

Those outside the game have dubbed it the ”Del Piero effect”, and the moniker looks likely to stick. He is proving a one-man publicity machine like no other.

Wonderfully, and somewhat frustratingly, Football Federation Australia could not engineer a marketing campaign for the A-League half as effective as this signing. Newspapers and news bulletins are bulging with football at the height of the NRL and AFL finals series.

It is an extraordinary scenario, and long-suffering fans are wondering when they will wake up.

We have all sat there, in coffee shops and pubs, staring glumly into our lattes and lagers wondering what could be done to shift the local game from its idle state. That long-craved spotlight, however fleeting, is here.

What stood out about Del Piero yesterday was his impeccable demeanour. Two decades at the height of arguably the world’s toughest league could give rise to all kinds of arrogance, perhaps justifiably.

But his humility was most refreshing. There was no big-noting. The closest was when he offered a gentle reminder that for all the expectations that exist here, they are not even close to what he has had before. Yet even that was delivered so subtly that the reporter who asked laughed.

When pressed about the 2006 World Cup and the infamous last-second penalty earned by Fabio Grosso, groans and jeers were audible from the fans standing at the rear of the room. But Del Piero’s reply appeased all with a mix of humour and honesty.

His English is better than most expected, but even he fist-pumped when the media conference evolved into Italian. This circus will take a bit of getting used to for everyone, not least the man himself. One gets the feeling the first time he will truly be comfortable will come later today when he trains for the first time at Allianz Stadium.

In the midst of such exuberance, it is hard not to be sucked into thinking Del Piero is the panacea for all the game’s ills. If only.

However, while football still battles myriad issues, his arrival is a pointer to the potential within. It is another reminder in the slowly growing showcase that the game has the capacity to go where other codes cannot.

It is a moment in time to reflect on what is possible if the game pulls its collective finger out. What if the next Del Piero is running around in western Sydney? Can we find him? Can we turn him into a star of the A-League and then Europe?

The Australian public is clearly hungry for heroes, perhaps hungrier than it thought. Del Piero should serve to inspire us to find and cultivate our own, not fill us with the dread of what happens when, inevitably, his time is up. Such was the pull of the Italian that at yesterday’s media conference, journalists from all sectors of the media and walks of life were drawn to him. Those media outlets seldom kind to football, oft-defined by repeated, disparaging references to ”soccer”, were among those keenest to embrace Del Piero mania. How the tide can turn.

It was only last month that the game was back on its knees, beholden to dramatic headlines and explosive images about the ”ethnic” problem. Now, parents who might have wondered whether to sign their families up for Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers memberships have been scrambling for tickets.

The worry now is not what will happen if you go to an A-League match. The worry is what you’ll be missing out on if you don’t go.

On that note, tickets go on sale this Friday for Sydney FC’s first home match of the season, against the Newcastle Jets. They are expected to fly out the door. If you want prime position to watch Del Piero unleash his magic, don’t wait until game day. A sell-out is not out of the question.

The spotlight? We could get used to this.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Blown away: Del puts wind up fans over that penalty

SIX years on, a nation still wakes up in the middle of the night. Did Fabio Grosso dive? Or did Lucas Neill bring him down?
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Either way, the decision of Spanish referee Luis Cantalejo to award that penalty in the round of 16 match at the World Cup remains enough to spark heated debate from Australian fans.

Perhaps only Grosso and Neill know whether it was a penalty, but that didn’t stop the question being put to Grosso’s friend, Alessandro Del Piero, at his first Australian news conference yesterday.

”Because we were 10 [men], Fabio said to me: ‘Ale, I am very tired’ – in the last minute of the game, injury time – ‘I’m really tired,”’ Del Piero said. ”And I am thinking probably that’s why, the wind and something else put Fabio downstairs.”

The answer brought universal laughter at yesterday’s press conference before he got serious.

”But I think, after jokes, sometimes there are moments where you have everything. And for us 2006 was the perfect World Cup,” he said. ”Everything goes in the right place, also [in] that match. And that’s why we won.”

Grosso confirmed two years ago that he ”accentuated a little bit” when he felt contact from the Socceroos defender – although he, like Del Piero, believed it was a penalty.

“It’s been a long time since 2006 but I say this with as much sincerity as I possibly can,” Grosso said. “In this instance when Neill slid in, maybe I accentuated it a little bit.

”However, you must remember it was the last minute of an extremely difficult game, and everyone was tired.”

While Francesco Totti would score the resulting penalty to knock Australia out, Grosso would go on to score the first goal of the semi-final win over Germany and then net the winning goal in the penalty shoot-out in the final.

In an interesting twist, Grosso, now 34, has also shown interest in moving to the A-League to finish his career.

SEBASTIAN HASSETT

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Once more with feeling: Storm face old finals foes

MELBOURNE coach Craig Bellamy isn’t silly enough to claim there will be no emotion in Friday night’s preliminary final clash against Manly.
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The two clubs have battled regularly and – in the case of last year’s infamous Donnybrookvale clash – violently. They have also clashed in grand finals in 2007 and 2008, giving the feeling that the history between the two sides is incomparable to any NRL clubs over the past five years. Combine that with a grand-final qualifier and Bellamy fully expects emotion. Just not the variety that causes sideline brawls and send-offs.

”You’d hope that we have some emotion about it, because it’s a pretty important game,” Bellamy said yesterday. ”We have to channel our emotion into what we do out there and making sure we’re doing what helps us perform well. That’s all we’ll be concerned about.

”There’s obviously been some things in the past between the two clubs but that is in the past and that won’t matter come Friday night.”

Melbourne beat the Sea Eagles in the 2007 decider, while the Sea Eagles returned the favour in 2008. Both teams went on to win a grand final subsequently, although, as we all know, Melbourne’s two victories since 2007 are followed by a hefty asterisk.

Recent history has been more maroon than purple. The Sea Eagles are the current premiers, while the Storm were bundled out at this stage of the season last year, losing to the Warriors in the preliminary final. That led to suggestions that the Storm could not lift in the finals, that their forwards were too small and that they were too reliant on Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk. Bellamy admitted he changed his team’s routine this year in a bid to avoid a repeat of last year’s loss.

”We probably haven’t worked as hard as we did last year [during the break for the semi-finals],” Bellamy said. ”When I say ‘hard’, we haven’t had as many sessions as last year. We just thought ‘we’ve got the week off, so we may as well make the most of it and rest up a little bit’.”

Bellamy sees different circumstances and a different team, too.

”We’d like to think we learnt a few of things from last year. At the start of the year, we thought we needed a couple of bigger bodies in our team and we’ve done that. We just need to make sure that we train well this week and hopefully put a good performance in on Friday night,” he said.

One big difference from last year is the fact that the Storm were the standout team of the qualifying finals stage, in contrast to 2011. And they accounted for South Sydney without five players who could ordinarily demand selection – Jason Ryles (hamstring), Todd Lowrie (pectoral muscle), Anthony Quinn (calf), Will Chambers (hamstring) and Sika Manu (back). All could be set for a return against the Sea Eagles.

”Hopefully I’ll have a few headaches there,” Bellamy said. ”All of them are coming along pretty good. A couple of them, we’ll know [today] whether they’re right to play and a couple of them, we won’t know until Thursday. But we’ll give them until Thursday.

”The guys that have been out have played most of the year. We’ll pick what we think is the best team out of what comes out of our injuries.”

The Sea Eagles have not been at their best through the finals but Bellamy is wary as they historically produce their best football at this stage of the year.

”It was a tough, physical game, which is what you expect from Manly,” Bellamy said of the Sea Eagles’ semi-final win over North Queensland. ”At this time of year, they’ve got a very battle-hardened side … They know what semi-finals are about.”

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Souths build Saturday night fever

RabbitohsA RECORD NRL finals crowd of more than 75,000 is set to pack ANZ Stadium for Saturday night’s preliminary final after South Sydney and Canterbury members yesterday snapped up 20,000 tickets.
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The Herald was told that 8000 tickets were sold in the first 30 minutes – about the same number that had been sold by 4pm for the other NRL final at Melbourne’s AAMI Park between the Storm and Sea Eagles on Friday night.

The NRL said Manly members had bought 6 per cent or 480 tickets, with the rest sold to Storm members in Victoria. In comparison, Rabbitohs members had bought 9350 of the 17,000 tickets sold by 4pm for the club’s first preliminary final since 1971.

The breakdown of tickets sold was 55 per cent to Souths members and 45 per cent to Bulldogs members.

With members of the clubs involved having until 8pm yesterday to purchase tickets, officials estimated that more than 20,000 would be sold before they go on sale today to the general public. Based on those figures, the NRL is on track to surpass the 74,459 crowd that attended the 2009 preliminary final between Canterbury and Parramatta at ANZ Stadium.

The Rabbitohs and Bulldogs have been the two best supported Sydney teams this season, with Canterbury’s average home attendance of 21,963 second only to Brisbane.

Souths’ average home crowds of 18,904 were the fourth best in the NRL, with Newcastle third. With a similar crowd expected for Friday night’s AFL preliminary final between the Sydney Swans and Collingwood, it will be the biggest sporting weekend at ANZ Stadium since the 2000 Olympic Games.

“We are on track to move 20,000-plus tickets today in the pre-sale,” Swans chief executive Andrew Ireland said. “This great early response, plus the huge interest shown from approximately 10,000 ANZ Stadium members, has set the scene for a blockbuster crowd for Friday night’s game.”

The record crowd for an AFL finals match outside Victoria is 71,019, which was set when the Swans played Brisbane at ANZ Stadium in 2003. Sydney and Collingwood played before the biggest-ever AFL crowd outside Victoria when 72,393 watched their 2003 clash at ANZ Stadium.

ANZ Stadium managing director Daryl Kerry said: “This is potentially one of the biggest footy finals weekend in Sydney sporting history, and it is certainly the biggest since the Olympic venue was built.

”The AFL and NRL could reasonably expect crowds above 60,000 – possibly even higher – on both nights.”

The NRL grand final at ANZ Stadium on September 30 is already sold out, with 14,000 tickets reserved for members of this weekend’s winning teams.

Direct trains from Central to Sydney Olympic Park, and major event buses are in place for the AFL and NRL finals matches at ANZ Stadium this weekend.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Spoilt for choice

THE All-Australian team was announced last night. Hawk Josh Gibson wasn’t in it. This won’t have been a surprise to him, for he didn’t even make the short list.
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As an oversight, it was like leaving Kramer out of a Seinfeld episode – you can get away with it but (for this year at least) the whole thing works better when he is there. As if to prove the selectors’ folly, Gibson went out a week ago and had the second most spoils in a final (16) since these statistics began in 1999. The record for most spoils in a final (21), incidentally, is held by … Gibson.

The qualifying final performance, coming as it did days after the shortlist was announced, will have left the selectors looking a little sheepish as he repelled ball after ball from forward thrusts.

Several football insiders and analysts have posited that Gibson might be the best spoiler in the game, if not the best spare defender. This is one of the vogues of the game, playing an extra man in defence to read the play and join any marking contest. Gibson knows when to leave his man and get across to help out his fellow defenders.

Matthew Scarlett, who retired last week, and Dustin Fletcher are regarded among the best defenders of the past decade, but both stopped playing on the best forward years ago. Their value was in taking a lesser player and joining other contests and being liberated to create with the ball running out of defence.

Gibson still often takes the best forward, but he can just as often take a lesser player and be available as the spare. Sam Fisher has been playing this role for St Kilda for some years, Nick Maxwell likewise at Collingwood.

“He is as effective as anyone going around at the moment because of the impact he has,” said Ben Hart, the former Adelaide defender turned Collingwood defensive coach, who saw Gibson up close in the first final and will be a keen observer as he takes on his old side this week.

“He reads the play really well and realises his man is not going to get used so he gets back and assists the other defenders,” Hart said. ”If you haven’t kept him engaged with your movement or the way you are moving the ball then you know he is going to get around there and get to the ball.

“One way [to combat him] is to use his man, but it does not always work that way because he will get in dangerous positions to get used. But the thing is to try and separate him as well. If the two key forwards can separate, he hasn’t got enough room to get across and effect a spoil.”

Gibson’s effectiveness is also in creating a rethink in the minds of opposition midfielders about subsequent attacks. When a side finds itself playing squash with the footy into the forward line, as Collingwood did in the first half of the qualifying final, it reconsiders how to go forward, which creates its own pressure on the ball carrier, giving tacklers time to move in.

The fact that Gibson punches the ball 20 to 30 metres makes it hard for sides to apply defensive forward pressure.

“I think what makes him so effective is that Hawthorn’s pressure around the footy is so great that you can’t be as precise going forward as you would like,” Hart said.

Collingwood’s defender Ben Reid also plays the same role at times, such as he did last Saturday night, but his greater effectiveness in a best-on-ground effort was to mark, not spoil.

“For me personally it is more about having the defence mindset first,” Reid said.

“You can’t think to mark it if it is not the right opportunity, it’s all about the timing and knowing when to do it and not. First and foremost it is defence first.”

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State of mind gives Pies the wood over Swans

‘The Magpies know that it will be tough and attritional on Friday.’COLLINGWOOD’S 11-game winning streak over Sydney is a talking point in the lead-up to the preliminary final on Friday, as it should be. While it is a way off the longest head-to-head streak in the competition’s history, it is a lot of games over a long period, stretching back to 2005.
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It would appear to indicate some kind of match-up or tactical advantage to the Magpies. Yet that can be questioned since teams change constantly and, in the past few years, both coaches have changed, too.

The rivals will talk down its significance, Sydney because the last thing it wants is for its players to fear a preliminary final; Collingwood because it does not want to be seen to be assuming anything. In the end, Collingwood half-back Harry O’Brien probably puts it best. ”The recent games have been quite close,” O’Brien told The Age yesterday. ”That 11 in a row can be quite distorted, but certainly I’d rather be on this end of it than the other end.”

In this case, it is not just the 11 straight wins that will be discussed, it is also Collingwood’s ability to win at ANZ Stadium, Sydney’s secondary home. The Pies have won the past seven encounters between the teams at the Olympic stadium. All of which means they can attack this knockout final without trepidation.

When they met in round 20, it was a dogfight. Adam Goodes had a set shot at goal inside the last couple of minutes to put Sydney in front, but missed. Travis Cloke kicked the game-winner and then in the last few seconds, best-afield Dayne Beams put the icing on it. Collingwood won by eight points and laid 90 tackles, a season-high.

The Magpies know that it will be tough and attritional on Friday. ”The games are always close,” said O’Brien. ”We know what to expect from Sydney. They play a similar brand to us, they like a contested game. It’s predictable, but we think of ourselves as predictable, too. That’s probably why Sydney has always been around the mark as a finals team.”

In 2010 it was Cloke (six goals on Heath Grundy) who proved the difference, but only just. A Tadgh Kennelly turnover in the hectic final minutes gifted Collingwood the match-winning goal. The Pies won by six points but could have argued their early inaccuracy kept the Swans in the contest.

Both teams play the contested brand of football and there are other links, such as the presence of two sets of brothers (the Reids and Shaws) on opposite sides, and personified by ruckman Darren Jolly, a premiership player with both clubs. Jolly, who crossed in 2010, is still in touch with former teammates such as Ryan O’Keefe, Goodes and Jude Bolton, whom he was intending to text yesterday with congratulations on his 300th game. ”I’ll be out to spoil the party,” he said.

The ruckman was dismissive of the significance of the streak, saying that players don’t have time to ponder it. ”Is it 11?” he said. ”Bloody hell. To be honest, I wouldn’t even know. We match up well against them, we play well in Sydney, we travel well in general. Look, we’re not going into the game thinking it’s going to happen because of that. Sydney’s a different team, it’s finals. It’s all irrelevant then. It’s external talk. We don’t talk about it internally.”

The only point he would concede was that the Collingwood players would go in optimistic. ”It gives us confidence going in, knowing we can play well there. We’ve proven that we can beat them there. It’s a little head start, but once the ball’s bounced, it’s forgotten.”

Jolly, O’Brien and defender Ben Reid made the point that Collingwood’s ability to win at ANZ Stadium was not so much an enjoyment of that venue, but part of the club’s broader love of the challenge of playing interstate.

”We’re a close group,” said Reid. ”We love getting away together and having some fun. We have a few laughs and it’s good company to be in. We enjoy the challenge of going interstate and trying to knock a team over.”

O’Brien said the Pies would come to work, literally. ”We have a great process we follow. When it’s away from home, there’s an element added. You’re on business. That’s what we talk about. ‘Come in, get the job done, forget the distractions we might have here. Just get in and out’.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Cyclist’s three-year fund-raiser not over yet

IT’S been three years and about 45,000 kilometres since Chris Roach pushed a bicycle out the front door of his Newcastle home in March 2009 to cycle around the world.
Nanjing Night Net

On the way he’s survived medical setbacks in India, deserts in China, a drunken assault by a gang of youths in Kazakhstan, and bitter cold in Armenia, Georgia and Turkey.

Chris Roach on tour.

“Fortunately I managed to miss the full onslaught of winter where temperatures plummeted to minus 35 degrees in some of the places I’d been to only weeks earlier,” Mr Roach said.

With a budget of €10 a day, Mr Roach is relying on the generosity of others to help him on his way while raising money for Oxfam, an international aid agency that works with poor communities around the world to reduce poverty and injustice.

His aim is to raise $100,000, $1 for every kilometre.

Mr Roach has spent the past few days cycling from Goteborg, Sweden, to Oslo in Norway, where he will spend the next week or so earning some money for the return journey home.

The plan is to continue through Scotland, England, France, Spain, Africa, South America, North America then through Asia and back home again.

“There is still a long way to go,” he said.

“But it feels like having come this far I am more like on the way home now and that feels good.

Mr Roach said he was buoyed by the overwhelmingly positive response he has had so far.

“Of course, there are some that don’t really appreciate what I’m about, others don’t understand the journey at all – but then again I don’t expect them to,” he said. “It is all part of the adventure.”

Mr Roach said he missed his family, and being away during certain milestones, including the birth of his nephew, but he is determined to carry on.

To learn more, visit cyclestrongman南京夜网 or Facebook ‘roach.chris’.