Monthly Archives: September 2019

From Cats to Dogs

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Back on track: Matthew Scarlett and Cameron Mooney at Western Bulldogs training.COACH Brendan McCartney hopes the development of the Western Bulldogs’ novice forwards and defenders will be hastened by the recruitment of recently retired Geelong greats Matthew Scarlett and Cameron Mooney to his coaching panel.
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McCartney’s previous development role at the Cats was instrumental in persuading Scarlett and Mooney to commit to part-time specialist coaching roles at the Bulldogs in 2013.

On Wednesday, Scarlett and Mooney completed their maiden training sessions at Whitten Oval. They joined a panel that included not only McCartney but also former Cats teammate Steven King, the midfield and stoppages coach.

While McCartney regularly highlighted the Bulldogs’ lack of playing experience throughout his first year at the helm, he agreed that was most stark at either end of the ground, which was exacerbated by full-back Brian Lake’s trade to Hawthorn.

“We’re certainly building, at present, a new defensive group and a new forward-line group,” the coach said.

“Probably what’s been lost in the past 12 months [in the public analysis of the Bulldogs] has been Barry Hall’s retirement, injuries to really key players like [Dale] Morris and Tom Williams.

“The upside to that is we know we’re teaching them well and that we’re educating them the right way, so the end result will be favourable. The younger players, in particular, are so excited to have them [Scarlett and Mooney] here.”

McCartney said the limited coaching roles – each will spend one day a week at Whitten Oval – suited the club, as well as Scarlett and Mooney, and was not simply a compromise to get them on board in any capacity.

“The one thing you can’t have is too many good people in a footy club,” he said.

“Both Matt and Cam are good friends of mine . . . and are probably putting their toe in the water [to determine] if coaching interests them.

“It’s a good way to start, where you’re here one day a week and you’re not involved in that day-to-day grind of football.”

Mooney said he was confident that he would have a positive impact at the club, especially since he used to be a key forward and full-time Bulldogs forwards coach Shannon Grant was a smaller forward who relied more on pace and guile.

“It’s pretty good, every now and then, to hear another voice, to get some other ideas,” he said.

As part of the role, Mooney, who retired in 2011 and whose subsequent first year in the media was notable for his frank appraisal of players, has been assured he will not be expected to curtail his commentary on Bulldogs players.

“That’s why I was lucky to have a great mate [McCartney] who understood where I was heading with my career, and also understood I was keen to get my foot in the door as a coach,” he said.

While Scarlett was typically reluctant to discuss his new role – he last month eschewed a press conference when he ended his revered career after 279 matches – Mooney insisted the three-time premiership player would have no qualms conveying instructions and advice to the Bulldogs’ young defenders.

“You’re talking about one of the greatest full-backs to ever play and, without doubt, one of the smartest men I’ve ever come across on a football field with his direction and knowledge of the game,” Mooney said. “While he’s not a person to stand in front of 1000 people and give his overview of the game, one-on-one or in a small group of defenders he’s absolutely brilliant with what he says and how he says it.”

The Bulldogs’ defensive stocks have received a boost, with injury-plagued Morris this week completing a five-kilometre run and, significantly, pulling up well without any repercussions from the broken leg that sidelined him for the entire 2012 season.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs also announced that promising forward Zephaniah Skinner had quit the club and effectively retired after choosing to remain in Noonkanbah, a remote community east of Broome in Western Australia.

“We really didn’t want to lose Zephi as he is a well-liked person here, but we respect his decision to return home to his family,” list manager Jason McCartney said.

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

Masters of their domain

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Robert Allenby practising on Wednesday.AFTER Adam Scott held a four-shot lead with four holes to play at this year’s British Open, somehow blew his chance to win a first major, then handled the inquisitions about his game, and even his character, with almost unearthly calm and dignity … what happened next?
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No, says Scott, he did not sink a size 12 slipper into the family feline. He did not turn the offending clubs into expensive Frisbees. He did not howl at the moon or curse the game’s sadistic gods.

”Yes, I had moments in the days after when I started reflecting on it, but it wasn’t for very long,” he says. ”It wasn’t a good feeling to do it, so I tried not to.”

Such was Scott’s equanimity in the moments after he swallowed that most bitter pill, those of us at Royal Lytham were left wondering if he had taken the defeat too well. Whether his gracious response betrayed a sense of denial or even a lack of desire. But Scott insists it was merely his way of making the most of a bad situation.

”I just wanted to get on with it,” he says. ”I was just playing so good. I turned up there having not won a major. I left having not won a major. Status quo.”

Which is not to say Scott underestimates the opportunity that was lost. ”Yes, I should have [won]. But I just wanted to get to the US PGA and keep playing well. That was my mindset … that’s how I had to try and take it. Just think about how incredible I played that golf course pretty much the whole week. I wanted to leave with that confidence and not let it bring me down, and I think I did a good job of that, because I played pretty well at the PGA.”

But Scott did not get into a winning position at the PGA. You suspect the real test of whether he was enriched, or traumatised, by events at Royal Lytham will come when he is again in contention late on Sunday at a major.

”I think it is only going to affect me well ultimately,” he says, claiming, paradoxically, that the British Open was the highlight of his year.

”It is a hard lesson to learn, but if I get back into that situation again, I’ll know to do a couple of things differently and hopefully it will fall right into place.

”Some people are fortunate because they win the first time they are in that position. Others, like Phil Mickelson, didn’t. But he eventually did and then the floodgates opened As far as I look at it, I’ve only had a chance to win two majors. Charl Schwartzel kind of took one away from me [at last year’s US Masters], and I’ve given one away. Maybe the next time it falls into place.”

Scott’s appetite for success might be gauged by his performance in this week’s Australian Masters, and then the Australian Open. Some measure their performance by their bank balance. Scott is one of an elite few who measure it by victories, and he has not had one this year. So he has worked hard over the past weeks.

Success has not been far away. Yet, as always, putting was the main topic at his Masters press conference. How well was he using his belly putter and, as pertinently, whether it should be banned. Scott claims that if good putters have had their advantage diminished by long putters – and he believes there is no evidence they have – then his ball-striking advantage has been diminished by improved technology. Why are authorities not addressing that?

As you might expect, Scott makes his point without rancour. After all, if you can lose a British Open after leading by four shots and react as if you have misplaced your watch, you can endure most things fate throws your way.


THE FORECAST THURSDAY 20 degrees, shower or two developing FRIDAY18 degrees, shower or two clearing. SATURDAY19 degrees, partly cloudy. SUNDAY20 degrees, partly cloudy.

THE TOP CONTENDERS Adam Scott (QLD) $4 Ian Poulter (ENG) $4.50 Graeme McDowell (IRE) $8 Richard Green (VIC) $17 Stuart Appleby (VIC) $19 Robert Allenby (VIC) $26 Alistair Presnell (VIC) $26 Aaron Townsend (NSW) $41 Peter Senior (QLD) $51 Andre Stolz (NSW) $61

THE COURSEAdam Scott, current World No. 5: “The guys that are going to be up there are going to be the ones who putt well. It’s a course where you can make a lot of putts because the greens are pure.” Graeme McDowell, 2010 US Open Winner: “Tee shot placement is a huge key, especially on the front nine. You start missing fairways and you are in huge trouble. There is only about six holes for drivers on this golf course.” Robert Allenby, two-time Australian Masters Champion: “On this golf course, every hole could be a tough hole depending on the wind and obviously we’ve got strong winds, so it’s one of those courses where you’ve got to show a lot of respect to it.”

THE HISTORY BOOKS The past winners of the Australian Masters since 2000. 2011 Ian Poulter 2010 Stuart Appleby 2009 Tiger Woods 2008 Rod Pampling 2007 Aaron Baddeley 2006 Justin Rose 2005 Robert Allenby 2004 Richard Green 2003 Robert Allenby 2002 Peter Lonard 2001 Colin Montgomerie

TRIPLE THREAT Australia’s newest elevation to the US PGA Tour, Victorian Alistair Presnell, takes us through the three holes at Kingston Heath that will test the field the most. The 4th Par 4, 378 metres: “With the bunker in the middle of the fairway there, I think that is pretty strong, however it’s going to be down breeze so maybe a number of guys can take it on.” 15th Par 3, 141 metres: “Back up the hill, again it will be prevailing southerly down breeze, but it’s a real centre of the green kind of shot with some real penalising bunkers to play with.” 18th Par 4, 418 metres: “They have moved the tee back 25 metres to really make sure that the left bunker is in play and you certainly can’t leak the ball right because of the foliage.”

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

AUDIO, POLL: Council tensions boil over

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NEWCASTLE lord mayor Jeff McCloy said ongoing frustration with political opponents prompted a voicemail blast which accused a fellow councillor of acting like a ‘‘petty little schoolgirl’’.
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The message, left for Cr Jason Dunn last week and obtained by the Newcastle Herald, exposed a divided council chamber less than two months into its new term.

Cr Dunn has since lodged a code-of-conduct complaint.

He said in an email to councillors yesterday that the call was ‘‘threatening, intimidating and completely inappropriate’’.

Responding to questions about the voicemail, Cr McCloy released a statement last night that pointed the finger at opponents on the politically divided council.

“In the two months since winning office, it is clear to me there are councillors who are operating with a self-serving and petty political agenda, which, if allowed to go unchecked, will lead to the continued demise of our city,” the mayor said.

His voicemail message to Cr Dunn was left after the latter had twice questioned general manager Phil Pearce about the authority of Josh Hodges, the former Port Stephens councillor.

Mr Hodges had been working as the mayor’s chief of staff, though he was not yet employed in any official capacity by the council.

‘‘I’ve just seen with your note to Phil Pearce, you’ve had a second go at me now over something so petty I just can’t believe,’’ Cr McCloy said in the message.

‘‘You want to behave like a petty little schoolgirl, I’ll treat you like one. And I’m just about sick of it. Now I won’t miss you. So you keep it up Jason, and you’ll get what you deserve. I won’t talk to you about it again.’’

Cr Dunn emailed councillors yesterday morning with a copy of the recording and the details of his code-of-conduct complaint.

‘‘While I was not intending to circulate or discuss the message with you, it has come to my attention that the lord mayor has spoken to one or more councillors about my complaint,’’ he wrote.

‘‘As a result, and in the interests of fairness, I feel you should know exactly what was said.’’

When contacted by the Herald about the voicemail, Cr Dunn said the mayor should set a better example for the city.

‘‘Regardless of the issues involved, intimidating or threatening behaviour is totally and utterly unacceptable in any workplace,’’ he said.

Cr McCloy said he left the message out of frustration, having already tried to contact Cr Dunn several times and ‘‘because the council has enough problems working together without that sort of pettiness’’.

‘‘My time is being bogged down with entry to swimming pools when we’ve got a $20million deficit,’’ he said.

In his statement yesterday, the mayor said councillors must focus on the big picture.

“I didn’t stand for lord mayor for political glory, I stood to revitalise our city and its suburbs and for fiscal responsibility,’’ Cr McCloy said.

FRUSTRATED: Lord mayor Jeff McCloy has clashed with Cr Jason Dunn.

NOT HAPPY: Cr Jason Dunn has laid a complaint against the lord mayor.

Staff strike out on after-hours tipple

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CRACKDOWN: The Duke of Wellington hotel at New Lambton has been caught breaching trading hours.THE decades-long tradition of after-hours staff drinks appears to be over with Newcastle licensing police vowing to crack down on suburban pubs supplying alcohol outside of their trading hours.
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The Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing yesterday revealed that New Lambton’s Duke of Wellington Hotel was one of five venues across NSW to be listed on the “three strikes” public register for breaching its trading hours in August.

The pub now faces closer scrutiny, with further breaches potentially putting the business in danger, after it paid the $1100 fine.

It is understood the breach occurred when four staff and a handful of friends, who were waiting for a lift home, had remained inside the venue, some still drinking at 2.20am, as some staff continued to clean up following a busy Saturday night.

The release of the breach yesterday prompted licensing police to warn other licensees that they face action if they supply alcohol after their normal trading hours or if people other than employees remain on their premises more than 30 minutes after closing.

Sergeant Wayne Buck, of Newcastle licensing police, said the legislation stated that any alcohol being handed over, whether paid for or not, was deemed as supply and would be in breach.

“They have got to be aware that staff cannot drink in the bar area of the hotel after closing time,” Sergeant Buck said.

“It is fair to say we are now looking at the suburban hotels – the city hotels are now no longer our primary focus.”

The crackdown means that the traditional “staffy”, where staff sat around and had a drink while either cleaning up or debriefing after the night, would attract a breach under the legislation.

Australia Hotels Association Newcastle and Hunter president Rolly de With said a relatively minor breach attracting a strike could potentially put the future of the premises at risk.

“The three strikes policy was introduced to deal with rogue or recalcitrant offenders that continually failed to comply with liquor licensing requirements,” Mr de With said.

“It was not supposed to be the country or suburban pub that is consistently well behaved.”

The Duke of Wellington licensee did not wish to comment.

Obama plays tough on taxes

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US PRESIDENT Barack Obama will begin talks with congressional leaders on Friday with a plan to raise $US1.6 trillion in new tax revenue from the wealthy – making clear that, at least at the outset, a wide gulf remains between congressional Republicans and the White House on the most contentious point in the negotiations.
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While Mr Obama said last week he was not wedded to every detail of his proposals, the White House said it did not intend to provide any new plan or make any concessions before the start of negotiations.

Rather, Mr Obama will present his 2013 budget as his starting point, a plan aimed at reducing borrowing over the next 10 years by $US4 trillion.

”We know what a truly balanced approach to our fiscal challenges looks like,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

Mr Obama has said that the election validated his approach to tax policy.

His previous proposal called for raising $US1.6 trillion in new taxes on the wealthy by allowing tax rates to increase, imposing a new special tax on millionaires and limiting deductions for the wealthy.

He also proposed $US340 billion in healthcare and entitlement savings, continuing $US1.1 trillion in spending cuts already passed into law and generating another $US1 trillion in savings through the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

After the election, Republican House Speaker John Boehner signalled a fresh openness to raising taxes on the wealthy, though under what precise circumstances is not clear. He said he opposed raising tax rates, but has left open the possibility of increasing revenue by limiting deductions.

In last year’s budget negotiations, Mr Obama considered two major changes to entitlement programs, tentatively agreeing to raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 and to slow Social Security spending. While he may not be closed to the ideas in the coming negotiations, he is not opening the talks with such concessions.

”He does not believe that reducing deficits and debt are values unto themselves,” Mr Carney said. ”He believes that they are part of an approach that is driven by his No. 1 priority, which is economic growth and job creation.”


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