Archive for February 2019

Newcastle will not have former skipperGema Simon before round five but will be boosted by the return of three Young Matildas when they face Sydney FC on Saturday at McDonald Jones Stadium.
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STALWART: Newcastle foundation player Gema Simon is set to return for round five of the W-League. Picture: Peter Stoop

The Jets beat Western Sydney Wanderers 2-1 on Sunday at McDonald Jones Stadium to start their W-League campaign but they face a tougher task against the two-time premiers and champions in round two.

Matildas defenderSimonwas not expected back from overseas in time for the Sydney game and the scheduling of the Norway Cup final means she will miss the opening four rounds of the 12-game W-League season.

Simon is playing with Norwegian club Avaldsnes, who play their Cup final on November 19 against Valerenga –the same day Newcastle host Canberra in round four. The foundation Jet will likely be back for the away clash with Adelaide the following weekend.

Our girls started their Westfield W-League campaign on the right note. See all the highlights, including THAT goal from Jenna Kingsley! pic.twitter南京夜网/yxsIPz7PnB

— NEWCASTLE JETS FC ✈️ (@NewcastleJetsFC) October 30, 2017

Although yet to sign for Newcastle, coach Craig Deans said: “I can’t see there being too many problems.”

While Simon’s return has been delayed, Deans will welcome backSophie Nenadovic, Cortnee Vine and Clare Wheeler from China, where the Young Matildas fell at the final hurdle in the hunt for anUnder-20s Women’s World Cup berth. Australian lost 3-0 to China at theAFC Under-19 Women’s Championship on Saturday.

“We’ll probably have to pick them up a bit,” Deans said.

“It willbe disappointing for them but at least we’ll have three more players and they are quality players.”

The boost in stocks will help the Jets, whowent on the attack against Wanderers with a back-three formation. It meant the likes of former Wanderers player Nikola Orgill, American Arin Gilliland and midfield general Emily Van Egmond got through a mountain of work racing back in defence.

“The back three works,” Deans said.“We’ve got Arin, who can run all day, Nik Orgill is the same. [Gilliland]has just played 20-odd games in America, so she’s fit.Gema Simon is the same and hopefully she’ll come back in a couple of weeks.

“She and Sophie can play in that position, soI think the system works well for the players we have, because there’s people around the ball in the front third.

“But it will take a little bit of time. A back three is a little bit of extra work coaching-wise, but I think it suits our players. The style of play doesn’t change though.

“We finishedwith a 4-4-2 because it suited the game better and I think it’s nice to be flexible.”

The W-League Jets kick-off at 5pm Saturday in the second of five home double-headers with their A-League side.

Injury-riddled Collingwood defender Ben Sinclair has retired from AFL football, while teammates Adam Oxley and Jackson Ramsay have been delisted.
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Collingwood have committed to pick Oxley in the 2017 rookie draft should he be available for selection at the time of the Magpies’ pick.

Sinclair, 26, has battled a series of concussions and serious hamstring injuries since he was selected by the Magpies at pick No. 62 in the 2009 national draft.

The quick and tough-as-nails Oakleigh Chargers product, who played 63 games after making his debut in round 19, 2011, against Essendon, didn’t feature at all in 2017 after tearing his hamstring in a JLT Community Series match prior to the season.

Ramsay, 22, rated as a shut-down back pocket prospect by Collingwood, also struggled with injury during his career.

In 2015 he battled shin injuries while his 2016 was cut short due to a knee reconstruction.

Collingwood general manager of football Geoff Walsh said the attitude of the pair in the face of challenges was commendable.

“It says something about both men that they shared reasonably long careers with Collingwood despite their numerous setbacks,” Walsh said.

“Ben and Jackson were extremely popular teammates who leave us with a lot of friends and goodwill. The game is tough, it can be punishing and it isn’t always fair. Ben, who has had to retire from the game at 26 years of age due to his physical issues, and Jackson understand this as well as anyone.

“As I said, AFL football is a tough caper. We can only thank them for giving all they had to Collingwood in their time with us.”

Ramsay played 17 games after being selected at pick No.38 in the 2012 draft.

Oxley, a rebounding and intercept-marking defender from Queensland, has played 31 games since being selected by Collingwood at pick No.35 in the 2013 rookie draft.

He played 12 games in 2016 but couldn’t manage any in 2017, in a season that was interrupted by hip and groin complaints.

“Adam’s shown some promising signs over his career and unfortunately due to injury hasn’t always been able to play to the full potential we know he’s capable of,” Walsh said.

“We plan to have Adam remain part of the club by selecting him in the Rookie Draft should he still be available.”

Collingwood’s defensive stocks have been through plenty of changes in the past two seasons.

At the end of 2016 Nathan Brown (free agent), Jack Frost (trade), Tim Golds (delisted), Jonathon Marsh (retired), Alan Toovey (retired) and Marley Williams (trade) exited the club.

The Pies brought in Lynden Dunn and Henry Schade to fill that void in the 2016 off season but Schade was delisted at the end of the 2017 season. Another defender, Lachie Keeffe, was also delisted at the end of 2017 after he returned from a doping ban at the beginning of this year.

Schade revealed earlier this week that father-son young gun Darcy Moore may move to Collingwood’s back line for 2018 after playing predominantly as a forward since he was drafted in 2014.

It remains unclear whether 2011 All-Australian centre-half-back Ben Reid will play as a forward or defender in 2018. He switched between the forward line and defence for the Pies in 2017 but ended the season as a goal kicker.

During the trade period Collingwood brought in rookie defender Sam Murray from the Sydney Swans in a complicated deal that involved the Pies swapping a 2018 second round pick for Murray, pick 70 in 2017 and a future third-round pick.

Collingwood also lost forward Jesse White (retired) at the end of 2017.

Meanwhile Geelong announced on Monday that they had delisted Tom Ruggles and Matthew Hayball, however they will select Hayball in the rookie draft.

Adelaide announced they had delisted Jonathon Beech, while they also delisted Cam Ellis-Yoleman but have committed to selecting him in the rookie draft.

The Crows also committed to selecting potential father/son recruit Jackson Edwards, son of Tyson Edwards, in the rookie draft. Tyson played 321 games for the Crows.

“There are no guarantees for us or Jackson, but there is an ongoing commitment between the Club and the Edwards family that we will take Jackson in the Rookie Draft if he is available,” Crows list manager Justin Reid said.

Gold Coast Suns also announced the delistings of Daniel Currie, Trent McKenzie, Matt Shaw and Mackenzie Willis

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Less than half of those able to join the National Broadband Network have done so and those who have joined are accessing it at some of the lowest speeds available, a draft report released on Monday by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission shows.
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The NBN is available to 6.2 million Australian premises but only 3 million of those have migrated to an NBN plan, according to the ACCC.

According to the NBN Co, this number is misrepresentative of the uptake percentage, with 75 per cent of those connected to the NBN migrating to an NBN plan after 18 months.

The ACCC report said that another of the reasons behind the gap was that some providers were being incentivised to keep customers on the older network where they are able to earn better margins.

The poor retailer margins and low uptake of high-speed NBN plans could impact on NBN Co’s ability to recover its costs as most consumers opt for the cheaper plans.

While the NBN can achieve maximum speeds of up to 100 Mbps, just 16 per cent of those currently on the network are using it at speeds above 50 Mbps. It leaves the remaining 84 per cent using it at speeds comparable to those available on the copper wire network.

The low uptake was put down to consumers being satisfied with the current internet speeds and unwillingness to pay for higher speeds.

The report revealed there has been a 79 per cent increase in NBN-related complaints received by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) in the past year, even when adjusted for an increase in activations.

In 2016-17, the TIO received more than 27,000 complaints related to NBN services. While the increase in complaints was expected, the larger-than-anticipated rise was cause for concern, the TIO said.

Edgecliff resident Bernard Shirley said that intermittent failures on the network meant that he was often left unable to trade shares and send emails.

“You are paying for a service and your options are limited,” he said. “People like me cannot trade shares on the NBN. It’s not the end of the world but it means I can’t conduct my business.”

Mr Shirley said that his previous broadband service on the copper wire network was satisfactory to conduct business and didn’t experience failures with the same regularity as the NBN.

In its report the ACCC said the allocation of responsibilities in fixing service faults was an issue that was affecting consumers.

“The allocation of responsibility for connections and service faults between NBN Co and service providers is an issue that will affect consumer experiences, especially where consumers suffer detriment,” it said.

Many consumers reported an unsatisfactory experience with the NBN during the migration process from the copper wire network to the new network.

In submissions collected by the ACCC, there is also discontent with the speeds and costs associated with accessing the NBN.

A computer applications programmer living near Port Macquarie detailed the significant cost being placed on them because the NBN was not available at their home.

The person, whose details were redacted, said that they had to pay for a separate office space and internet connection, a half-hour drive away, costing $300 a week.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said that the report had given the commission a good idea of the problems consumers were facing.

“The study has highlighted a number of areas of consumer concerns which will benefit from some immediate actions,” he said.

The ACCC has said it will establish a Broadband Performance Monitoring and Reporting program in a bid to provide consumers with accurate information about broadband speeds.

Even at its highest speeds, Australia is trailing many other countries in the delivery of high speed broadband. In Japan, consumers can access an average download speed of 756 Mbps for an average price of $60.96 a month compared with Australia where an average download speed of 100 Mbps costs an average of $106.77 a month.

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Newcastle Grammar closes amid Supercars transport confusion Wharf Road grandstands
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Estabar in Shortland Esplanade

Shortland Esplanade

TweetFacebookNewcastle Heraldon Monday afternoon that school buses would run as usual that day.

The school closure highlights a breakdown in communication over transport plans for the race, which is 25 daysaway.

The Herald reported last week that Transport for NSW, Supercars and Keolis Downer hadnot publicly released a transport strategy for the race weekend, despite the challenge of moving anestimated 150,000 racegoers in and out of the CBD.

It is understood this plan will be released in the next week, but that will come too late for Newcastle Grammar.

“The biggest problem for us is that we have been told that school buses can’t get in and can’t get out on that day,” Mrs Thomas said.

“Darby Street’s closing on that Friday. A section of Darby Street, I believe, will be closed, and we have been told that on that day all the buses will terminate at Civic Park.”

Supercars said this was not correct and all traffic would be allowed as far east as Bolton Street.

The school’s website also says buses will terminate at Civic Park, staff may struggle to find parking spots on the street, and noise from the track will be “significant”.

“We have expressed our concerns to the Supercar organisers, council and our local member,” it says.

Mrs Thomas said she had been working “positively” with Supercarsand that the race would bring benefits to Newcastle.

But it had been “difficult” to make decisions about her school without access to information about student transport.

“That’s probably my problem, that we’re not 100 per cent sure,” Mrs Thomas said.“That is where it’s been tough for us, and I had to make a call.

“You don’t make this decision lightly. We have spent months doing research, trying to work out the best approach, and in the end I felt there was no other option other than to close the Hill campus.

“You can’t just make these sorts of decisions a week out or even two weeks out, because familieshave got to get time to prepare.”

The school’s Hill campus caters for 580 children from years 5to 12. Students from years 5 to 8 will have teacher supervision at Grammar’s Park campus at Cooks Hill on November 24 if required.

Newcastle East Public School, which is two blocks west, will stay open, although comparatively few of its students catch buses.

Mrs Thomas said some of her staff would be at the Hill campus during the race to judge if the school could open in future years.

“We’re well aware that this could go for five years;it could go for longer. My idea is not thatthe kids have a holiday every 24thof November,” she said.

“We’re less than about 200 metres from one of the points on the track, and it’s a practice day. We don’t know what the impactof noise will be and how possible it will be to run lessons.

“I’m not saying it’s an obvious issue, although obviously we’re concerned about that given our proximity to the track.”

Schools a similar distance to Supercars tracks at Adelaide, Melbourneand Winton remain open on race days, and race organisers use school ovals at Adelaide’s Christian Brothers College and Townsville State High for concerts and parking.

For the past two seasons Melbourne Victory’s women’s team has played second fiddle to the all-conquering Melbourne City.
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But on Friday night, when the clubs meet for the first W-League Melbourne derby of the season, Victory will run on to the pitch with a spring in their step, confident they can strike a blow against the back-to-back champions.

City’s title defence got off to an embarrassing start in Perth last weekend when they crashed 4-1 to a Sam Kerr-inspired Perth Glory, while Victory’s women pulled off something of an upset when they defeated highly-regarded Canberra United 2-1 in their season opener.

The win over City was the perfect grand final revenge for the Western Australians, who were beaten on their own turf by City in last season’s title decider after going into that match as favourites.

The scale of the defeat, in which City conceded three times in the last 15 minutes after getting back on level terms early in the second half, will be worrying for coach Patrick Kisnorbo and he can ill afford to have his team show such defensive frailty on Friday evening when Victory and City meet in the curtain raiser for the top of the table A-League clash between City and Sydney FC.

Victory have been in the doldrums in recent W-League seasons but Jeff Hopkins’ side could not have made a better start with their win over Canberra, a game that 15-year-old Kyra Cooney-Cross will never forget as she made her debut.

Natasha Dowie, the England international, made sure of the win after Kristen McNabb had given the Navy Blues an early lead.

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