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Ernst’s good Merewether move 

GARETH Ernst joined Merewether Carlton from Singleton this season to improve his chances of playing finals rugby.
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He didn’t expect to be awarded the Anderson Medal for the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union’s best and fairest along the way.

Ernst last night became the first No.9 to win the award since his former Singleton mentor Steve Merrick in 2000. Hamilton’s Tom Shannon was joint winner in 2009 but played some of the season at breakaway.

On Saturday Ernst hopes to add an elusive premiership medal to his collection when the Greens take on minor premiers Hamilton in the grand final at No.2 Sportsground.

Before this year, Ernst had played one finals match for Singleton, going down 26-21 to Hamilton in the 2006 elimination semi-final.

He was lured to Merewether by coach and former Bull Stacey Sykes and has proved the perfect replacement for Jay Strachan.

Boasting a bullet pass, good vision and a great rugby brain, Ernst has been a dominant figure at the base of the scrum since scoring a try on debut for the Greens in round one.

When voting went in camera after round 12, Ernst and Southern Beaches No.8 Bleddyn Gant were level on 15 points, two clear of Hamilton breakaway Steve Sione. Lake Macquarie No.8 Junior To’o was a point back.

By round 15, Ernst (19) had edged a point clear of Gant (18) and then stepped it up a gear, claiming maximum points in the last two rounds to finish on 25.

Gant didn’t earn another point and was second on 18, followed by Lake Macquarie captain Cal Menzies (16), To’o (15), Maitland’s Adam Perkins and Sione (both 14).

At last night’s awards dinner at Newcastle Panthers, NSW Country lock Nick Palmer was named the representative player of the year and Cal McDonald the most improved. Danny Maiava was named coach of the year after taking Lake Macquarie from the wooden spoon to a place in the preliminary final.

Veteran referee Mark Eades justified his decision to shelve semi-retirement when he received the Col King Medal for the premier whistleblower.

Hamilton hooker James Dyson took out the Jack Scott Medal for best colts player, Rowan Newton-Smith was named the best in first division and Paul Hughes was top of the pack in second division.

GARETH ERNST

Trapped whale is just the start

MORE whales are likely to meet the same fate as the humpback that was stranded in a shark net off Merewether Beach on the weekend, a senior fisheries researcher believes.
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The whale, which was seen in distress off the beach on Sunday, eventually broke the shark net from the ocean floor and continued on its way south. Authorities believe the net and one of its mooring anchors remains tangled around the whale.

“The nets used in NSW are quite light and we are hoping that it will slowly unravel as it goes along,” senior research scientist with the Department of Primary Industries Dr Vic Peddemors said.

It is thought the whale would have reached the NSW south coast by yesterday evening.

It is only the third time a whale has been reported tangled in a shark net off the NSW coastline since 1994.

Dr Peddemors said the east coast humpback whale population was growing at about 10 per cent per annum. As a result, the chances of whales getting tangled in nets and other fishing gear was also increasing.

“The whale watchers are reporting they are seeing more whales that have things like crab pots and long lines attached to them,” Dr Peddemors said.

Taronga Zoo, Macquarie University and the Office of Environment and Heritage are developing an alarm to steer whales away from potential traps.

The weekend’s incident follows the drowning of a four-metre great white shark in nets off Bar Beach last October. Dolphins, stingrays and turtles are among the other species that have been found drowned in the nets.

Surfrider Foundation of Australia Hunter branch president Chris Tola said more research into the alternatives to shark nets was needed.

“There are proven technologies, such as “pingers” [subsonic alarms] that can be used to deter sharks and keep our beaches safe,” he said.

“You have to accept that when you go into the ocean you are going into the sharks’ territory.”

A great white shark drowned in nets off Bar Beach last year.

OPINION: What do we know about our lord mayor

AS Jeff McCloy is now Newcastle’s lord mayor, his public statements need careful scrutiny, since he says he has no other policies.
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He’s right to claim that “our city is a great place to live”. But he lives in Lake Macquarie. People expect their local government representatives to live in their local government area. Loopholes, however, allow for non-residents to nominate as candidates as long as they pay rates on a property in the city or are nominated by a non-resident ratepayer, no matter where they live. This allows people like Mr McCloy to nominate for Newcastle City Council lord mayoralty.

Will he now commit to moving to the Newcastle council area?

Mr McCloy’s statements so far have been largely about “cleaning up Hunter Street” and speeding up the development approval process.

Given he’s a property developer and has significant assets in the CBD, this will probably present conflicts of interest. Will he identify his assets in the Newcastle area so that we can judge the extent of his pecuniary interest?

Many developers, after gaining approval, allow their properties to stagnate or on-sell; hence many of Hunter Street’s empty buildings and vacant lots.

Mr McCloy has done an excellent job recycling the former Hunter Water Board building; but what’s happening on his Lucky Country Hotel and Legacy House sites?

Many developers complain about delays in development assessment. Assessment of complex projects takes time. What they build will impact for generations and should require community input. Mr McCloy has said the word “community” makes him want to “throw up”.

Mr McCloy has had nothing to say about the many other issues affecting the 150,000 residents who live in Newcastle local government area, including its many suburbs.

Historically, mine subsidence problems, not the rail line, have been the main obstacle to developers who want to construct a high-rise city. Mr McCloy has expressed his determination to get rid of the rail, ignoring the 20-year community campaign to keep the rail, supported by expert opinion in transport planning and economics and international trends.

Mr McCloy has offered to donate his mayoral fee to charity. This fee is meant to compensate for the workload and to encourage people from all walks of life to stand for office. Will he be a full-time mayor, given his commitments?

He has said council meetings would last no more than an hour, showing a lack of understanding of the complexity of local government. Would the real debates take place at private meetings? Perhaps he should study the council’s code of meeting practice. Council is not like the board of a private company where owners or directors can throw their weight around.

Mr McCloy has run a successful personally-funded campaign. It’s time to consider a cap on candidates’ personal spending to level the playing field.

Margaret Henry is a former Greens councillor, deputy lord mayor and past member of the Labor Party.

JEFF McCLOY

OPINION: Punitive approach to drugs doesn’t work

GROUNDSWELL: Alex Wodak (third from left) at a Sydney forum in May on the decriminalisation of drugs. IN 1989, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority said: “Over the past two decades in Australia we have devoted increased resources to drug law enforcement, we have increased the penalties for drug trafficking and we have accepted increasing inroads on our civil liberties as part of the battle to curb the drug trade. All the evidence shows, however, not only that our law enforcement agencies have not succeeded in preventing the supply of illegal drugs to Australian markets but that it is unrealistic to expect them to do so.”
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Those unambiguous words were written 23 years ago by a committee with representatives of all major parties. In 2010 in Britain, The Observer commented: “If the purpose of drug policy is to make toxic substances available to anyone who wants them in a flourishing market economy controlled by murderous criminal gangs, the current arrangements are working well.”

The conclusion of the Australia 21 report launched in April was that drug policy heavily reliant on law enforcement was a miserable failure. That report provoked a vigorous national debate. Few rose to defend the effectiveness of drug law enforcement or contest our claim that it was accompanied by nasty unintended negative consequences.

To develop a second drugs report, we convened 20 experts from diverse backgrounds, examined a discussion paper about the drugs policy in four European countries, and spoke by phone to drug experts from three of these countries. Building on our first report, the second report asks: “If Plan A doesn’t work, what is going to be Australia’s Plan B?”

The Netherlands, Switzerland and Portugal have made major changes in their approach to drugs. These changes were not only within the international drug treaties that almost every country in the world has signed, they have been maintained for decades (with only minor adjustments). These countries increased the emphasis on health and social interventions, resulting in a decline in HIV infections and drug overdose deaths.

After Switzerland increased the emphasis on health and social response, deaths, disease and crime fell. In Zurich between 1990 and 2002, the number of new heroin users dropped from 850 to 150, and HIV infections, drug overdose deaths, crime and the quantity of heroin seized declined.

Sweden is one of few countries in Europe that still aims for a drug-free nation. It has harsh punishment for drug users, and only the two needle syringe programs established 25 years ago. Sweden is proud of the low levels of reported drug use among its young people but has the eighth highest drug induced death rate in the European Union, and the rate is increasing. Sweden now seems to be moving away slowly from its hardline position. Its approach to drugs is starting to look more like the rest of the EU.

But Sweden also has some positive lessons for Australia. Like the other three European countries, Sweden is committed to having an effective drug treatment system and is serious about trying to help the most disadvantaged.

We argue that redefining drugs as a health and social problem is the first step if we want to see better results from Australia’s approach to drugs. We want to see a reduction in heroin overdose deaths from the current 400 a year. We want fewer murders among drug traffickers (there were almost 40 murders of amphetamine traffickers in Melbourne in the past 10 years). We want to see fewer hepatitis C infections and less physical and mental illness in people who use drugs. We want to see people who use drugs helped to live a normal and useful life. We want to see a reduction in drug-related and prohibition-related crime, and less police corruption.

Modest changes are more likely to be achievable politically. But the situation demands more ambitious change. Ultimately, we will have to accept that as long as criminals and corrupt police are the major suppliers of drugs in Australia, we will struggle to reduce deaths, disease, crime and corruption.

We will have to replace the current unregulated supply with some form of regulated supply. This is not about the world some of us want to live in, but the world as it really is: a world where people use drugs and if these are not available from a regulated source, they will obtain them from criminals.

We reject the assumption that harsher policies reduce drug consumption and that less punitive approaches increase drug consumption. The evidence does not support that.

Dr Alex Wodak is the director of Australia 21 and president of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation.

Wests winger out of Real NRL decider

WESTERN Suburbs winger Justin Smith’s dreams of playing in the Newcastle Rugby League grand final on Sunday were crushed yesterday after X-rays revealed a badly broken big toe.
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Smith, who is arguably the quickest player in the competition, has been carrying the injury since the Country NSW tour of Samoa.

He played with a pain-killing injection in Sunday’s 36-6 preliminary final victory over Maitland, but failed to finish the game after aggravating the toe injury.

“We’ve bit the bullet and got scans and he’s now on crutches and he will need further whatever, whether it’s surgery, but his season’s finished,” Rosellas coach Craig Miller said.

Wests signed the 21-year-old Aberdeen junior from the Wests Tigers under-20 side at the start of the season.

In his first season of senior football Smith scored 12 tries for the Rosellas and was rewarded with selection in the Newcastle Rebels and Country teams.

“Unfortunately since Country he had to carry an injury and we’ve managed it the best we could. It’s shattering for him to miss the biggest day of his career so far,” Miller said.

“There’s a lot of disappointment for a player to get this far and have such a good year and get so close, but we’ll deal with that.”

Rosellas captain Jermaine Ale will shift from the second row to the wing for the grand final against Cessnock.

Mark Farrar will move into the pack and James Woolford comes onto the bench.

The Rosellas should know today if halfback Zac Walsh will be cleared to play in the decider.

Walsh was heavily concussed after a high tackle from Maitland halfback Jade Porter, but he has been cleared of any long-lasting effects.

The 18-year-old will have CAT scans today.

“He’ll be getting scans tomorrow so we can make a decision whether he can play,” Miller said. “Given it’s a head injury it will decide whether the decision is taken out of my hands or not,” Miller said yesterday.

JUSTIN SMITH

Paterson swings through Newcastle 

Cory Paterson and Anthony Mundine shape up.FORMER Knights and Cowboys forward Cory Paterson will make his professional boxing debut at Newcastle Panthers next month before continuing his rugby league career in England.
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Paterson will fight Samoan-born Sydney-based heavyweight Anton Tuilotolava on October 5 on the undercard to the rematch between Newcastle’s two-time former World Boxing Foundation welterweight champion Chad “Hollywood” Bennett and two-time former Commonwealth champion James Armah.

Paterson, a three-time Indigenous All Stars representative, insisted boxing was a pastime rather than a new profession, and he wanted to rekindle his league career under former Knights assistant coach Craig Sandercock at Super League club Hull Kingston Rovers next year.

“I spoke with Sandy about it and it’s all good,” Paterson said of his fight plan.

Apart from being coached by Sandercock, Paterson will join former Knights teammates Evarn Tuimavave, Shannon McDonnell and Con Mika at the Robins.

Paterson is training four days a week in Sydney with Anthony Mundine in preparation for his fight with Tuilotolava, who has lost all of his five professional bouts – four by knockout.

“It was mainly just to keep me fit during the off-season and stay active, then a chance came up for me,” Paterson said. “I always wanted to have a crack at it, so I’m going to give it a go.

“Obviously footy’s my heart and soul, so this is more just a hobby, really, and to keep fit.

“I’m not expecting or really wanting too much to come of it, it’s just a bit of fun, but I’ll train hard for it and hopefully I won’t get too bashed.”

Paterson said he felt indebted to his friend Mundine for showing him the ropes.

“He’s helping me out with the technical side, and I’m lucky that I’ve got a bit of a fitness base, because we only finished last week,” he said. “I’m just learning whatever I can off him, and whatever he says, I do, so I’m pretty lucky to have him around.”

Paterson played seven games for the Cowboys last year after being released by the Knights mid-season, but he managed only three NRL matches this season and the Cowboys released him from the final year of his contract so he could join Hull KR.

Unable to secure a regular spot in the Cowboys’ pack this year, he played most of the season for their Queensland Cup feeder team Northern Pride.

JOANNE McCARTHY: No, we’re not all OK

ON Sunday morning a Hunter man disclosed for the first time to his wife of 45 years that he had been sexually abused by a Marist Brother as a child.
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Last week another Hunter man told workmates he’d been sexually abused by an uncle after they discussed a Herald article about a paedophile priest.

A woman rang me on Saturday night to say she’d been locked in a priest’s room in 1986 and sexually assaulted. She was 43, married and had gone to the priest for help.

The diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has already paid compensation to another woman victim of that priest who is dead. The woman who rang me didn’t know that, because it’s been one of the church’s dark secrets. She had only ever told one other person, a priest, and it must be noted that he has repeatedly encouraged her to seek help.

She rang me again on Sunday night after the same awful images stopped her from sleeping the night before. It was of a mouse trapped in a cage with a snake. The terrified mouse ran around the cage but the snake took its time, she said.

It didn’t have to rush. It knew the mouse was trapped.

I received many emails on Saturday after the Herald printed a list of clergy and Catholic teachers who have abused children over 60 years.

I received many more after Sunday’s meeting in Newcastle, hosted by the newspaper, supporting victims of child sexual abuse and their families who want a royal commission.

I spoke on Sunday with many people and the message was the same. What we witnessed at Newcastle Panthers was people coming together for a common cause and talking about a difficult issue. Strangers cared enough to spend a few hours on a lovely Sunday to find out for themselves why people are talking about the need for a royal commission.

The phone calls and emails were about how media reports helped people talk to their families and friends about child sexual abuse, which is the whole point.

For too many years, for too many people, these secrets have damaged relationships. A child who has suffered sexual abuse feels isolated and alone, and that shapes the adult they become. Their trust in the world around them is shattered, and they’re often overwhelmed by powerlessness.

Politicians and churches love to talk about families. They love to tell us how families should live and operate, and what constitutes a family.

If politicians other than Greens MP David Shoebridge, and Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper, had been at Sunday’s meeting they would have heard, first hand, the impact of too many secrets on Hunter families. They could have talked with people, as hundreds did.

If clergy representatives other than priest Geoff Mulhearn had been there, they could have done the same, rather than preaching about how “good priests are hurting”.

I’m sure they are, but we’ve got enough victims in this crisis already. Could I suggest good priests should be challenging their own hierarchy from within. Or as good Catholics Lou Pirona and Tom Creigh prefer to say, the good priests should “man up”.

Last week there was publicity about “Are you OK?” day, on which people were encouraged to ask each other how they were going, and talk a little further if the answer wasn’t positive. It comes after years of campaigns about depression and the devastating impact it can have.

What we saw on Sunday was a collective expression of “Are you OK?”, and the church and government were notable absentees, unwilling to communicate.

What is clear is that a lot of people are not OK because of child sexual abuse, and there is no doubt it goes beyond the Catholic church.

What the government is missing here is the perception that it’s singing from the same song sheet as the church – and if you read comments from both, that’s not drawing too long a bow.

In refusing to engage in community discussion the government runs the risk of looking like it’s one powerful institution that won’t tolerate outspoken voices on this subject, lining up with another. And one of those powerful institutions has irrefutably committed crimes against children.

Child abuse is about secrets, silences and darkness. What we’re experiencing in the Hunter is simply a little light.

Help shine the light on this issue. Download and printthis petition, gather as many signatures as you can, and post it back to The Herald. We will help your voice be heard.

The Newcastle Herald’s campaign for a royal commission into church sex abuse.

EDITORIAL: The case for a higher GST

NSW premier Barry O’Farrell is right about the GST. A strong case exists to raise the rate of the federal goods and services tax from 10 per cent.
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Unless the federal system is reformed and the states are abolished, state governments must have more funding certainty.

There is a case to raise the GST.

Ever since they were forced to hand over the power to levy income taxes to the federal government, the states have struggled to balance their budgets. They are subject to demands from their constituents who naturally want ever-improving health and education systems, good roads and public transport, effective policing, dependable water and power and the myriad other services that states provide. But their income-raising powers are notoriously limited.

The states have their good years, of course. Real estate and mining booms, respectively, provide stamp duty and royalty windfalls that give them scope to spend. But when economic conditions contract, the states feel the squeeze in a very immediate and painful way.

The introduction of the GST was a big advance, providing a set pool of money for funding state activities. But the national slump in retail sales and consumption means that pool is smaller than before.

To make things worse, the real estate market is subdued and there are signs that the lucrative mining boom may at last have passed its peak.

Those factors provide the real background that explains most of the state government’s cost-cutting drive.

With revenue down, spending is hard to maintain without risking the state’s treasured AAA credit rating. The alternative to cutting spending is raising revenue but moves to lift the mining royalty rate have caused a political storm that will probably result in reduced federal grants to NSW.

Raising the GST would be politically difficult too, and neither the federal government nor opposition appears to have the courage to consider it. But if people don’t want their services cut, a higher GST makes sense.

Riding a drone wave

DRONES, it seems, are flavour of the month. And not just in the air.

The attraction of unmanned, remote-controlled aircraft and seaborne vessels are obvious, especially in the case of drone boats that are totally powered by renewable energy sources.

Such boats could stay at sea indefinitely, would require no crew and cost very little to operate and maintain.

Newcastle shipbuilding and engineering firm Forgacs is keen on the idea of building drone boats and no wonder. The defence-related applications of marine drones are almost as diverse as those of airborne versions. Surveillance is the most obvious job for delegation to drone boats, and the company promoting the vessels has suggested that a fleet of 300 could guard Australia’s northern shores better and more cheaply than conventional navy ships.

Drone proliferation is becoming a topic for wide debate, as defence forces, police services and even criminal networks are starting to find useful applications for these tireless, unsleeping sentinels.

Riewoldt overlooked for All-Australian honour

RICHMOND spearhead Jack Riewoldt has become just the second Coleman medallist in 13 seasons to miss out on All-Australian selection.
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Selectors decided that Riewoldt’s 65 goals – the lowest tally to win the goalkicking medal for 50 years – was not enough to earn a spot in the 2012 team of the year, with Hawthorn’s Lance Franklin (centre half-forward) and Geelong big man Tom Hawkins (full-forward) named in the two key forward posts.

The Riewoldt snub – the first of its kind since St Kilda’s Fraser Gehrig was overlooked in 2005 despite being that year’s Coleman medallist – was one of several surprise selections in the forward line.

Fremantle superstar Matthew Pavlich was also denied his seventh All-Australian honour, with the selection panel instead choosing to name a resting ruckman, West Coast’s Dean Cox; a resting midfielder, Adelaide’s Brownlow Medal fancy Patrick Dangerfield, and two small forwards, Hawthorn’s Cyril Rioli and St Kilda’s Stephen Milne, instead of three genuine key forwards, as has been the case in previous years.

That Cox was not the first-choice ruckman, and was upstaged by his own tag team partner Nic Naitanui, was another selection that has sparked debate.

Most media commentators had predicted Cox was a lock for the No. 1 ruck spot, believing it would then be a close call between Richmond’s boom recruit Ivan Maric and Adelaide big man Sam Jacobs for the No. 2 position.

Naitanui, who ranked fifth in the AFL for hitouts and averaged below Cox in almost every key category, was barely in the conversation.

Pavlich’s elevation to the group of seven-time stars – such as Wayne Carey, Nathan Buckley, Stephen Silvagni and Terry Daniher – was considered by some to be near automatic after the Dockers captain grabbed the competition by storm for an extended stretch mid-season.

The 30-year-old was the hottest player in the AFL between rounds 10 and 19 when he produced 44 goals in nine games, including match-winning bags of eight, seven and another two of six.

Several senior commentators even predicted Pavlich could be named All-Australian captain after leading the Dockers to the finals with a home-and-away season tally of 62 goals, which put him equal runner-up with Hawkins behind Riewoldt.

The honour of All-Australian captain instead went to West Coast key defender Darren Glass, who was named in the back pocket, while Gold Coast skipper Gary Ablett was voted vice-captain.

News of Pavlich’s non-selection leaked out early today after he revealed to media he had not been invited to the ceremony.

Pavlich, who will fly to Melbourne later in the week for hip surgery that will require 6-8 weeks’ recovery, said he was unconcerned by the eyebrow-raising selection, delivered by a panel made up of Kevin Bartlett, Gerard Healy, Leigh Matthews, Luke Darcy, Glen Jakovich, Mark Ricciuto, Danny Frawley and AFL officials Adrian Anderson and Andrew Demetriou, the non-voting chairman.

”Individual awards aren’t what you play footy for, it’s team success,” he said prior to the ceremony.

”I didn’t have the greatest start to the year but certainly felt like I really contributed towards the end of the year and impacted and influenced the games really strongly.”

However it wasn’t all bad news for Fremantle, with defender Luke McPharlin earning his first All-Australian jumper – one of 15 first-timers – which is the most in history since the then-VFL began picking a team of the year from 1982.

The other debutants included St Kilda defender Sean Dempster, Hawthorn pair Grant Birchall and Rioli, West Coast defender Beau Waters, Sydney duo Ted Richards and Josh Kennedy, Richmond midfield partners Trent Cotchin and Brett Deledio, Essendon captain Jobe Watson, Collingwood’s Dayne Beams, Adelaide tag team Scott Thompson and Dangerfield, as well as Hawkins and Naitanui.

The ruck pairing of Naitanui and Cox ensured the Eagles, which finished the season in fifth, provided the most players from one club with four, while Hawthorn and Collingwood each had three representatives, with the Pies’ star midfielders Dane Swan and Scott Pendlebury named on the bench.

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

Malthouse plans not by the book

MICK Malthouse’s football and literary commitments are on a collision course, with the publishers of a soon-to-be-released memoir about the controversial coach left frustrated and concerned the book could struggle for relevance given his decision to return to a senior position with Carlton.
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Malthouse: A Football Life, penned by Malthouse’s daughter Christi, is due for release next month but will not include any significant mention of the three-time premiership coach’s decision to end his one-year retirement, a source of disappointment to publisher Allen & Unwin, who paid the author a significant advance estimated at between $75,000 and $100,000.

And Allen & Unwin’s publisher, Foong Ling Kong, confirmed a proposed month-long promotional tour had been hastily rearranged to suit Malthouse’s new coaching commitments and the Blues’ high-altitude training camp in Arizona, which the coach insisted Carlton commit to before taking the job.

Allen & Unwin was forced to insert a one-page stop press in the memoir briefly outlining Malthouse’s decision to join Carlton, something both the coach and his daughter have insisted took place only after Brett Ratten was sacked. The Age understands the publisher has also been frustrated that continuing predictions Malthouse would take the job have been circulating for months and yet the book will have no mention of the fact except in the hastily arranged stop press.

”It’s untidy,” Kong said. ”There’s some parts of the book that are out of step with what has taken place, but I’m sure people will find it a fascinating story. The book is already printing, so all we could do was put in a one-page stop press with breaking news about Carlton.”

Publishing sources told The Age there were also commercial concerns given Malthouse’s fallout with Collingwood and his inflammatory comments in recent weeks regarding Carlton’s interest in Travis Cloke. Collingwood fans have bombarded social media, disenchanted with their former coach’s change of heart regarding his previous insistence he could not coach against his Magpie players. Given he has not yet been embraced by Carlton, he finds himself in limbo in terms of public interest towards the new book.

Malthouse: A Football Life was the second of a two-book deal with Allen & Unwin following last year’s The Ox is Slow but the Earth is Patient, written in conjunction with Malthouse’s former fitness lieutenant at Collingwood, David Buttifant.

With the new book scheduled to be launched on October 23, Malthouse will begin his promotional tour with Christi on October 24 but a lengthy series of engagements in Western Australia have been either cut or brought forward given the Blues’ Arizona trip.

Carlton had booked to return to train in the high altitude and heat of Qatar but changed that plan following talks with Malthouse, who had also previously stated his promotional book tour with his daughter was ”non-negotiable”.

Ratten commented in a radio interview three days ago that the Blues had suddenly found the significant extra money to fund Arizona, with the team departing along with the new coach on November 8.

Ratten also expressed on 3AW how disappointed he was at the club’s treatment of senior assistant Mark Riley, who has been offered a development role with the club after being a midfield assistant. Riley is understood to have taken sick leave while weighing up his future.

The club’s other midfield coach, Paul Williams, has been sacked.

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