Canberra and Wollongong back their own stand alone A-League bids

Canberra and Wollongong have ruled out combining their A-League expansion efforts to form a super-bid, with each party adamant their proposals are strong enough to stand alone.
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The groups said they would happily provide elite pathways for the other, but refused the idea of a joint venture with neither willing to compromise on having an A-League franchise in their city.

FFA have ruled out expansion for at least two years and boss David Gallop is wary of expanding into cities with under one million people after the North Queensland Fury and Gold Coast United survived just a handful of seasons before falling into financial ruin.

Canberra is currently the eighth largest city in Australia with 395,000 people but is expected to grow to half a million by 2034, while Wollongong sits in 10th at just under 300,000.

The numbers fall well short of Gallop’s benchmark, but when combined and with catchment areas included the figure would comfortably push past one million.

Wollongong Wolves president Chris Papakosmas has no concerns over Gallop’s comments and remains adamant an A-League team will be financially viable in Wollongong.

“Our position has never altered from the beginning, we’re putting in a completely stand alone bid with an Illawarra and South Coast presence, but that doesn’t mean we can’t develop partnerships with other clubs that benefits everyone,” Papakosmas said.

“If Canberra have a stand alone team then fantastic and if not we’re more than happy to provide them that representative pathways like we currently have with Belconnen United.

“If Canberra get a team then great and good luck, all the power to them, but our bid continues to grow and evolve and it was never dependent on Canberra.

“We have no issues or concerns about it not going our way, the bid we put together will be complete and holistic and eventually there will be a Wolves presence in the A-League, that is a fact.”

Jeff Williamson is leading up Canberra’s bid and said despite a failed previous bid, the number people wanting to support the venture is growing by the day.

“People have said to me they thought the bid was done and that they’re very happy to hear it’s back on the table. There is certainly a growing interest throughout the city,” Williamson said.

“Our preference is to have our own Canberra team and one of the distinctive things I want to do is make it a community effort because we’re going to need all the support we can get.”

A-League bosses walked out on a meeting with the FFA last week after the governing body offered the 10 teams a $3.25 million slice of the $57.6 million-a-year broadcast deal.

A-League sides currently receive the salary cap – $2.6 million – but with that set to increase to at least $2.92 million next season clubs were expecting closer to $4.5 million.

“We’re watching the current FFA process closely, it will be very interesting to see how this all plays out because if clubs ask and get too much money it could kill off expansion entirely,” Williamson said.

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Sio urges Brumbies to ‘stick together’ to beat form slump

Brumbies training 6th April 2017. Scott Sio. Photo by Karleen Minney. Photo: Karleen MinneyWallabies prop Scott Sio says he won’t sacrifice longevity to rush back from a knee injury to play for Australian in the mid-year Test series.
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But the ACT Brumbies leader has vowed to maintain an upbeat attitude to ensure he has a positive influence on the team’s bid to end a Super Rugby form slump.

Sio has started his rehabilitation program after damaging medial and patellar ligaments in his knee two weeks ago.

The injury means he is in danger of missing Australia’s Test series against Fiji, Scotland and Italy in June, but he is confident he can be on the field to boost the Brumbies’ finals hopes.

The 25-year-old has been cursed by injury woes in recent years, spending plenty of time on the sideline after elbow, ankle and hamstring problems.

But he is determined to not let his latest setback impact the Brumbies’ plans to turn their season around and end a three-match losing streak when they play the Johannesburg Lions next week.

“I know it’s not ideal, but everything happens for a reason,” Sio said.

“I knew for my career to keep moving forward, I had to attack my rehab hard so that I can come back as quickly as possible.

“I’ve got to keep tha positive outlook … It makes you really understand how much of a team sport rugby is and how the mood of an individual can affect everyone else’s performance.

“You can become a distraction if your mood isn’t right and that’s the last thing I want. So I have to stay positive, because if the boys are worrying about me then they’re worrying about the wrong things.”

Sio hopes to be fit to play again in six or eight weeks after his knee twisted awkwardly under the pressure of a scrum against the Wellington Hurricanes.

He has played just four games this season after a hamstring problem delayed his start to the year.

His absence has hit the Brumbies’ prop stocks, with New Zealand-born front-rower Nic Mayhew to take his chance to fill Sio’s hole. [email protected] working hard on his recovery in the Brumbies gym this morning. #Unbreakablepic.twitter南京夜网/vZoUbAzv93??? Brumbies (@BrumbiesRugby) May 4, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.


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Better Than Max has inside lane for mile

CHANCE: Newcastle Mile hopeful Better Than Max with Medowie trainer Darren Reay (third from left) after winning the $12,000 Tamworth City Cup in January. Picture: PeterMac PhotographyMedowie trainer Darren Reay reckons Newcastle Mile finalist Betther Than Max is just one of those horses.
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And the numbers back him up.

In 77 career starts the six-year-old bay gelding has placed 51 times, including 18 wins, for an overall top-three strike rate of 66 per cent.

“He’s always been a nice horse,” Reay said.

“Always thereabouts andalways consistent, so you go there and you know you’re going to run one to four. That’s the horse he is.”

Reay is now hopeful that Better Than Max can reproduce those performances and finish top of the podium in Saturday night’s $31,800 group 3 Ross Gigg Newcastle Mile.

It comes 24 years after Medowie Prince, owned and bred by Reay, won the time-honoured 1600 metre event at Newcastle International Paceway.

But at the time hisstable star was on lease to Maitland’s Keith McDeed whileChris Gleeson was the trainer-driver, so Reay still craves the silverware.

“Everyone around Newcastle wants to win it,” Reay said.

“Even to have a horse good enough to be in it is prestigious enough.”

The two-time Maitland Inter City Pace finalisthas drawnbarrier one with defending champion Bettor Bet Black slightlywider.

“It’s the perfect draw for him,” Reay said. “Bettor Bet Black is a very quick horse and out of three will just come across and go bang, straight in front before anyone knows.”

“If we can sit on the speed,hopefully we can get a run at the top of straight and then see what he can do.”

Reay, who recently joinedthe Newcastle Harness Racing Club board, said he was pleased to be contesting a race named after former chief executive officer Ross Gigg.

Elsewhere, Hunter trainer Sam Dimarco has Black Silhouette starting from barrier one in the group 1 Australian Pacing Gold final for two-year-old fillies at Melton on Saturday night.

NEWCASTLE MILE: 1 Better Than Max 2 Shannonsablast 3 Bettor Bet Black 4 Allblack Stride 5 Ultimate Art 6 My Chachingchaching 7 Change Of Mind 8 My Field Amrshal


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Trainer has soft spot for boom filly

CONFIDENT: Paul Messara is hoping for a soft track at Newcastle for well-bred filly Roseito. Picture: Vince CaligiuriSCONE trainer Paul Messara is hoping for soft conditions under foot for blueblood filly Roseito at Newcastle on Saturday.
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Roseito is a daughter of super sire Snitzel and New Zealand mare Bellini Rose and was impressive on debut in a 1280-metre Muswellbrook maiden on April 21, where she came from the tail of the 14-horse field to win by a neck.

The filly will appreciate the 1400mtrip and the spacious Newcastle track when she contests the class 1 handicap.

The three-year-old has an ideal draw and with Mitchell Bell, who rode her at Muswellbrook unavailable, Paul King will take the mount.

Messara, who is stud manager at the famous Arrowfield Stud owned by his father John, has 12horses in training.

“This filly is very smart but she needs a softish track to produce her best,” Messara said. “I was tossing up between the Newcastle race or a 1600 metre class 1 at next week’s Scone Carnival. Roseito will run at Newcastle if there is give in the track. I wasn’t that confident about her at Muswellbrook as she was underdone but her class got her home. The 1400mon the big track is ideal. Eventually Roseito will be a good 1600-2000mhorse.”

Messara will be on the Gold Coast on Saturday where he has promising two-year-old Lord Cecil.

“He is in the Ken Russell Classic and he won his only start at Muswellbrook the day Roseito won.” Messara said.

Godolphin trainer John O’Shea, a runaway leader in the 2016-17 Newcastle trainers’premiership, will send six gallopers up the freeway on Saturday.

O’Shea, who has announced that he is leaving Godolphin, has early favourities Birdsong and Evanesce in the 1400mmaiden.

In the 1200mmaiden, O’Shea will saddle up favourite Palomino and Belle Tournure.

The Godolphin colours will be carried in the final event – the 1400 metre Benchmark 70 – by import Beijing Board and Jamadar.

Birdsong, which resumes, was placed at Randwick, Warwick Farm and Canterbury earlier this year.

Palomino hasn’t raced for 13months but she has had two recent barrier trials.

The filly wasn’t far away in the Group 2 Sweet Embrace and Group 3 Percy Sykes last season. If fit enough she should be too classy.

An important gear change could pave the way for the Gai Waterhouse Adrian Bott-trained Emma Jane to notch her first win in the 1200mBenchmark 60 Handicap.

The filly was only beaten two lengths at Randwick last start. Two starts back she was placed behind subsequent Metropolitan winner White Moss at Wyong.

Meanwhile, Newcastle trainer Kris Lees will be chasing back-to-back wins when Slow Pace contests the $150,000 Lord Mayors Cup,2000m, at Rosehill on Saturday.


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Canberra regions could be the big winner from Barnaby’s bush push

Canberra and its surrounding country towns could be big winners from the National Party’s push to force public servants out of big cities, according to the boss of the capital’s airport.
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The Nationals’ radical plans to move swathes of the public service out of the cities and to the country has alarmed some Canberra business groups and local politicians.

But Canberra Airport chief executive Stephen Byron, says the policy being pushed by Nationals Leader Barnaby Joyce and his deputy Fiona Nash could be a boost for capital country and he has a cheeky guide to how the decentralisation program can make the most of the Canberra region.

Mr Joyce has been criticised for “pork barrelling” in the most controversial move, that of the pesticides authority to the heart of Mr Joyce’s electorate in northern NSW, and Mr Byron said there were plenty of opportunities for the Coalition to bolster its electoral fortunes, closer the the capital

“If they want a marginal seat campaign, they could put ASIC [Australian Securities and Investment Commission] in Cooma, put the Reserve Bank in Merimbula,” the airport executive told The Canberra Times.

“We could put Infrastructure Australia in Goulburn, they could work on the fast train, we could put the ACCC [Australian Competition and Consumer Commission] in Young and the NBN [National Broadband Network] in Yass.

“ASIC to Cooma would be fantastic, the white collar criminals would be just across the way in the jail.

“The RBA would have a wonderful view of the world from the beaches of merimbula and still be able to shuck those south coast oysters like I doubt they do in the CBD of Sydney.

“For Infrastructure Australia, there’s a logic to them being in Goulburn because they should be getting on with the fast rail.

“The ACCC in Young would be wonderful for Fiona Nash’s constituents and to have the NBN in Yass at a pivotal point between Sydney and Melbourne would be highly appropriate too.”

Mr Byron’s company is landlord to several large government departments and has just landed one of the biggest leasing deals in Commonwealth history with the Immigration Department set to move into the airport’s Brindabella business park and the businessman conceded he had a vested interest in agencies staying in and around the capital.

But Mr Byron said there were serious financial savings and productivity improvements available for agencies moving from Sydney or Melbourne to Canberra or the region

“They would save millions of dollars in rent,” he said.

“The rental in Sydney is anything from $800 to $1000 per square metre, the rental in Canberra is $350 to $400 per square metre,

“My estimate is that the Commonwealth pays about $150 million in rent annually in Sydney and that could be $50 million to $60 million a year in Canberra.

“The wages they have to pay their people in Sydney are inflated because of the high cost of living and housing there.

“The salary savings could be $250 million a year or more.”

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