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TOP GIG: Ball boy Sam Donnellan. Picture: Max Mason-HubersFOR a kid who loves his soccer, getting the best seat in the house at Monday night’s Asian Cup clash in Newcastle is a dream come true.
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Sam Donnellan, from Adamstown Heights, is among more than two dozen local soccer players who will act as ball boys and girls in the four Asian Cup matches being held locally.

“It’s going to be great fun,” the 13-year-old said.

“I’ve got the best seat in the house and Dad’s a bit jealous of me.”

Sam was playing for Adamstown Rosebuds until last year when he was selected to join the Emerging Jets squad, showing enough talent to ponder the possibility of one day playing in an Asian Cup match himself.

“That’s the dream,” he said. “I’d love to play in a big tournament like this one.”

Dad Pedr said the family was excited about the match and would be watching from the stands.

“Sam’s normally fairly quiet but he was buzzing when he got the [ball boy] job,” he said.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him so we’re all pretty excited about it.”

BALL season will kick off this year with the annual Mount Isa Ronald McDonald House NQ Charity Ball.
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SPONSORS: Ryan and Jo Mackenzie from Isadraulics who donate $10, 000 each year to Mount Isa Ronald McDonald House NQ Charity Ball.

Tickets go on sale Monday, January 19, from 6.30am to 10.30am at the McDonald’s in Mount Isa.

As in true tradition the theme of the night cannot be released, but the Mount Isa Ronald McDonald House NQ Charity Ball group promise a great night with a new catering team and entertainment to suit the theme of the night.

Mount Isa Ronald McDonald House NQ Charity Ball committee member Kirstin Westerman said they were excited about this year’s event at the civic centre.

“This year we have 16 sponsor tables which is the most we have ever had for the ball,” she said.

“Our theme is new and we have a different caterer this year; the meals are going to be fantastic and we have entertainment that is specific to our theme.

“We are pretty excited about supporting the Ronald McDonald House this year along with our local families so they know they have local support when they have sick families.

“Just having local support and being thought of can really push them through to look after their families in Townsville.”

Last year $70,000 was raised and given to the Townsville Ronald McDonald House.

Ms Westerman said people would love the event and that the group was very excited for this year’s ball.

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Making a move: Racing NSW boss Peter V’landys. Photo: Anthony Johnson Making a move: Racing NSW boss Peter V’landys. Photo: Anthony Johnson
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Making a move: Racing NSW boss Peter V’landys. Photo: Anthony Johnson

Making a move: Racing NSW boss Peter V’landys. Photo: Anthony Johnson

Racing NSW boss Peter V’landys has moved to protect Sydney’s autumn carnival exposure on free-to-air television, claiming the imminent demise of embattled broadcaster TVN won’t threaten racing’s broadcast on a commercial network.

As the NSW and Victorian shareholders of TVN prepare to meet this week for the first time since Christmas Eve to sort out the complexities of the split, Racing NSW may be faced with the prospect of drawing up a fresh agreement with Channel Seven.

TVN pays Seven about $2 million to showcase its vision from 28 meetings on one of its digital platforms. The contract for Sydney’s feature race dates is tied into a three-way agreement between TVN, Seven and Racing NSW.

But with TVN not around to sell on the rights to free-to-air broadcasters in future, V’landys said Seven would be given every opportunity to maintain its involvement with the Sydney autumn and spring carnivals, highlighted by the fast-approaching The Championships.

“We were always going to honour that contract,” V’landys said. “As we have said from day one in this amicable split, we don’t want any casualties and Channel Seven won’t be a casualty.

“As part of the split, we’re going to see how we’re going to honour the Channel Seven agreement. Even if we have to go and do the exact same agreement as separate parties, but we will certainly be talking to Channel Seven and making sure they’re comfortable with whatever the future is.

“There’s no problem for the next carnival, at the very minimum. Having said that we’ll certainly be meeting with Channel Seven to give them the comfort they need.”

Seven is set to maintain a permanent presence at this year’s autumn carnival, spanning the Randwick Guineas meeting on March 7 right through until the All Aged Stakes card on April 18.

Seven declined on Sunday to comment on whether it would directly negotiate a fresh deal with Racing NSW.

But it was understood Seven had expressed an interest in buying the rights to Victorian racing once the TVN board was dissolved as the three Melbourne race clubs and Country Racing Victoria sought to provide their vision across various platforms, including websites of corporate bookmakers.

On the contrary, the long-term rights to NSW racing would rest exclusively with the Tabcorp-owned Sky once the TVN board was dissolved.

Only last month, Racing Victoria chairman Rob Roulston told Fairfax Media any new deal signed for the rights to Victorian racing would also “include Sky” as they tried to preserve the primary revenue stream for the sport, the wagering dollar.

It was understood that would be a perfect scenario for Sky, which would hope to establish a boutique channel featuring extended coverage of racing’s two premier states and Queensland.

The coverage would mirror that offered to viewers on TVN – with the addition of Queensland races – with mounting yard analysis, pre and post-race interviews and various replays. It was also believed the channel would showcase feature meetings from Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania during their carnival periods.

Meanwhile, 1995 Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup hero Doriemus has been put down after a paddock accident at Living Legends on the outskirts of Melbourne. He was 24.

Lee Freedman’s champion stayer was just the ninth horse to complete the Caulfield-Melbourne cups double, which was subsequently achieved by Might And Power after he held off a fast-finishing Doriemus in the great race in 1997.

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Nicholas Moss (front), 8, has a front-row view of the Cockroach Valley train exhibition, much to the delight of (from left) Gary Taylor, Ethan McInerney, Kevin Bush and Dot Bush. Picture: ANGELA MILNEA CHANGE of venue hasn’t derailed crowd numbers for the annual Warrnambool Model Railway Club exhibition.
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Organisers estimated more than 3000 people visited the exhibition in its first year at St Joseph’s Primary School. They say the figure is comparable to last year’s event at the Archie Graham Centre.

Club treasurer Kevin McSween said between 1800 and 2000 visited on Saturday, with another 1500 filing though the doors yesterday.

He said there were 13 running model train layouts on display, as well as seven commercial exhibitors.

“The new venue meant we could get some larger layouts in,” he said.

“A lot of different people come through. There are the ones that come to learn because they want to do a layout themselves.

“Then there are the ones who already build their own layouts. There are a lot of families as well bringing in young kids who just love looking at the little trains working.”

Mr McSween said the feedback about the exhibition and the new location had been positive, although one person suggested on-site catering.

“We might look at getting one of the scout groups or someone along next year to have a barbecue,” he said.

Mr McSween said exhibition layouts could take anywhere between two and five years to build.

“Some of them are very intricate and people take great pride in their layouts,” he said.

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MOUNT Isa City Council is still pushing the government for another water supply in the North West so residents and authorities don’t have to see their quality of life die. With the possibility of water restrictions being relaxed, this is not a time for Mount Isa and the surrounding areas to go into a state of ease.
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Mayor Tony McGrady said even with the current water supply it was not a time to let up on the governments but it was the time to push even harder.

“We are looking now at what pressure we can put on governments to ensure they realise that simply because we had a good rainfall our problems are not over,” he said.

“All of our problems are not over and we have to keep on keeping on to force governments to provide an additional water supply for the North West.

“For too long governments of all political persuasion and individuals say Lake Julius is full and Lake Moondarra is 64 per cent [so] we can do what we want now.

“But I know and you know sooner or later we will be back in the same position we were in two weeks ago, where we are down to 20 per cent and that’s why as a community we have to put pressure on governments, state and federal, to provide another water supply for the North West.

“Yet if we don’t get another water supply say in four years’ time we could be back in the situation we just came out of and I never ever want to see that again.

“So pressure has got to be maintained, or ‘maintain the rage’, as Gough Whitlam said.”

Cr McGrady said over the past 12 months he had watched his city slowly die due to drought and water restrictions and he never wanted to see anyone else go through that.

“What worries me is that we will go into a state of ease and politicians will think we have got those people out of our hair for a few more years,” he said.

“But I never ever want to see a mayor of this city or the surrounding shires go through what I have been through in the last 12 months.

“Where you see your city dying, you see your sporting ovals dying, you see your trees dying you see people who have loved their gardens let them die.

“And I never want to witness any future mayor go through what I have been through and I say that because Mount Isa is really an oasis in the middle of the desert.

‘‘When people came here before the drought it was a sense of disbelief for many people.

“I have had to witness the city basically die over the past year and so now with the rain you see new life in the parks, people are out there mowing their lawns and there is a whole sense of pride returning to the city.”

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THEY may be four-time winners of the Asian Cup, but Japan won’t be taking footballing minnows Palestine lightly when they open their Cup campaign in Newcastle on Monday.
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Influential midfielder Keisuke Honda expects all the teams Japan face to be challenging and after what can only be considered a disastrous 2014 where the Samurai Blue fell out of the World Cup at the group stage and without a win, it is an attitude that needs to be in place.

‘‘We are expecting some very difficult games at the Asian Cup. All teams are strong. [Complacency] is the great enemy,’’ Honda said.

As one of Japan’s best players, the bleached-blond Milan midfielder will anchor the attack alongside Borussia Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa and in-form striker Shinji Okazaki.

Okazaki comes into the tournament on the back of hot form in the Bundesliga, having scored eight goals for Mainz 05 to be fifth in the league in goals scored.

The attacking trio will be carrying a lot of responsibility and expectation on their shoulders throughout the tournament, but at least the team will head into their opener in decent form.

Since the World Cup, Japan are 4-2 in international friendlies and, despite a resounding 4-0 loss to Brazil, have beaten Venezuela, Jamaica, Honduras and the Socceroos.

Their coach, Javier Aguirre, expects them to keep winning, too.

‘‘We are champions at the moment,’’ Aguirre said.

‘‘We are confident we will win. We respect the other teams but we are here to defend our title.

‘‘We play well together as a team helping each other.

‘‘The personalities of the individuals are excellent as well. The team spirit is very high at the moment.’’

World No.115 Palestine qualified by winning the AFC Challenge Cup in the Maldives but are rank outsiders for the tournament.

They are in winning form, though, with victory in four of their past seven matches, and they have the respect of Aguirre, who expects them to be fired up for their tournament opener.

‘‘It is the first time [at the Asian Cup] for the winners of the Challenge Cup, and we respect that,’’ he said. ‘‘They are hungry for success and quick on the counter-attack.’’

Palestine striker Ashraf Al Fawaghra said reaching the tournament was significant for the nation both on and off the pitch.

‘‘This is a historic occasion for us as it is our first Asian Cup,’’ he told FIFA’s website.

‘‘Our goal is to let the world know that the Palestinian national team are moving forward, despite the difficulties facing us. We want to convert the messages that the Palestinian players have the right to play and develop.’’

This match is the first meeting of the two sides and, while it is expected Japan will win and do so comfortably, the Palestine players have already made history.

Courtney Scott, winner of the women’s 6km race. 150111AM79 Picture: ANGELA MILNE
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Ballarat’s Jesse Fullerton on his way to Surf “T” Surf 6km run victory. Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

EUREKA Athletic Club secured a Surf ‘T’ Surf double yesterday.

Two of its promising teenage distance runners saluted in the Warrnambool fun run’s six-kilometre section.

Ballarat’s Jesse Fullerton made it back-to-back men’s wins and Courtney Scott claimed the women’s title in her first attempt.

Scott said Fullerton, who holidays in the south-west with his family each year, encouraged her to enter.

“He trains with me so I thought I would come down and give it a go,” she said.

Scott, 19, finished in 22 minutes and 16 seconds to edge out Naringal East’s Alicia Boyd (24.20) and Bridie Dalton (24.54).

“I was happy considering it was hilly,” she said.

“My PB 6km on flat is 21.50 so I wasn’t too far off that.

“It was a bit challenging in some spots with the hills but I enjoyed it.”

PHOTOS: Thousands pound the pavement in Surf “T” Surf 2015

Fullerton, who clocked 19.54, won from Warrnambool’s Dominic Moloney (20.45) and Dom Tieppo (22.39).

The victory complemented his efforts in the Warrnambool Athletic Club summer series’ opener last week.

“I did that race because I hadn’t had a run in a while, just to see how I was going,” he said of the five-kilometre Flagstaff Hill race.

“It was good to back up.”

Fullerton, 18, said the Surf ‘T’ Surf course was challenging.

“I have always underestimated it,” he said.

“It gets pretty tough halfway through.”

Late entry a Surf ‘T’ Surf winner for Brenton Rowe | VideoMoloney emulates McDowall with Surf ‘T’ Surf triumphBlood, Gleeson walk tall in Surf ‘T’ SurfFamily helps Ron to the Surf ‘T’ Surf finish lineThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

”We want him to play, he wants to play”: Michael Clarke at a press conference announcing Australia’s World Cup squad. Photo: James Alcock ”We want him to play, he wants to play”: Michael Clarke at a press conference announcing Australia’s World Cup squad. Photo: James Alcock
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”We want him to play, he wants to play”: Michael Clarke at a press conference announcing Australia’s World Cup squad. Photo: James Alcock

”We want him to play, he wants to play”: Michael Clarke at a press conference announcing Australia’s World Cup squad. Photo: James Alcock

Michael Clarke and selectors are headed for a spectacular showdown over the setting of a deadline for him to be fit for the World Cup, with an increasing belief that the injured Australian captain is being set up to fail.

National selector Rod Marsh on Sunday announced Clarke would be given until Australia’s second match of the tournament – against Bangladesh in Brisbane on February 21 – to prove his fitness after hamstring surgery or be withdrawn from the squad.

Having already ruled himself out of the first game against England seven days earlier, admitting he won’t be ready, Clarke will now be hard pressed to return in time. The edict comes after a major falling out between Clarke, selectors and members of senior management last November over how he should demonstrate his fitness ahead of the first Test against India.

The wounds from that behind-the-scenes bickering remain and confusion over the time limit set for Clarke will only serve to bring the disharmony bubbling to the surface again should the captain not make the World Cup.

It is believed Clarke thought he would be given until later in Australia’s pool games to return from injury. Their fourth match, against Afghanistan in Perth on March 4, looked an option, with Australia still having two more group games plus a possible quarter-final, semi-final and final after that date.

There was also uncertainty on Sunday about how the hardline position would apply to players other than Clarke. What, for instance, if Mitchell Johnson was injured against England and was unavailable for game two against Bangladesh? Would Johnson be out of the tournament and replaced, too? Yes, Marsh said, the same rule applied to everyone – “we want to be settled” – but Australia’s high-performance chief Pat Howard later said the “Bangladesh” ruling was only for players with “chronic injuries” such as Clarke’s.

“We fully expect there will be small, day-to-day injuries,” Howard said.

The selectors’ position also opens up the potentially embarrassing scenario of Australia’s highest-paid player instead playing in Sheffield Shield matches for NSW at Newcastle, Bankstown and the WACA, with all three of those games falling after February 21.

Asked what he thought about the limit set for him, Clarke said: “It’s really irrelevant what I think, to be honest. That’s what they’ve gone with, the selectors, that’s the system.”

Sitting next to Marsh as the 15-man squad was announced, Clarke acknowledged time was against him, and stringent fortnightly fitness tests could also trip him up on the way. George Bailey will captain Australia in the triangular series against England and India, and in the World Cup if Clarke is deemed unfit. Clarke is adamant, though, that he will do everything he can.

“I’ve obviously got my work cut out. I’ll do the work – it won’t be from lack of work that doesn’t get me there, that’s for sure,” he said.

“I’m not really focused too much on the Bangladesh date as Rod has just spoken about, that’s for the Australian medical staff to be really focused on. For me, I’m really focused on my rehab today, and then tomorrow I’ll be focused on that tomorrow.”

Should Clarke fail, the tension between him, selectors and management could come to a dramatic climax. Clarke, who hasn’t been a selector for 18 months, has struggled with the decrease in power at his disposal. Several notable run-ins with the panel, which includes coach Darren Lehmann, contributed to the increasing strain in relationships.

In Zimbabwe last year Clarke questioned publicly the omission of Steve Smith. In the United Arab Emirates he wanted Phillip Hughes in the Test line-up for Chris Rogers. And then there was the stand-off over what match practice Clarke should engage in before the first Test – selectors wanted him in Adelaide for a two-day tour game against India; he wanted to play the second day of a grade game for Sydney’s Western Suburbs. Clarke would eventually play in the first Test, delayed after the death of Hughes, tearing his hamstring.

He is intent on resuming as Australian captain, but after the rousing success of Steve Smith’s leadership in three Tests against India there are questions being asked over whether an unrealistic target has been set for Clarke in a bid to have him out the door.

Marsh denied that selectors didn’t want Clarke. “We want him there – don’t make any mistakes about that – because when we sat down to pick the team we looked at the best batsmen in the country, and Michael is certainly one of them,” he said. “There is no doubt about that. We want him to play, he wants to play. All he has got to do is get fit.

“We want to be settled. What we don’t want is talk about people’s fitness. The Bangladesh game is on the 21st and by the 21st of February we want to be completely settled. We had to draw the line somewhere.”

Marsh said Clarke could play in a warm-up game against the United Arab Emirates in Melbourne ahead of the tournament where there are relaxed rules, with teams able to shuffle players in and out during the match.

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Relaxing in the sun at Mallavale Farm are Burnie’s Kay Wright and Thea ArthurTHIS day is for motor neurone disease.
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Kirk Dicker’s mother and mother-in-law have found fruit in their differences and organised a fund-raiser for MND research.

An open garden was held yesterday at Mallavale Farm at Boat Harbour, with proceeds going to research into the disease.

Mr Dicker was diagnosed with MND last year.

“With the disease itself, we’ll still raise funds for cancer, we’ll still raise funds for Alzheimer’s but today it’s fund-raising for MND,” Kirk’s mother, Lorna Dicker said.

Jane Sharp, mother of Kirk’s wife, Jo, put the event together.

“I’ve got energy that I need to use and I like organising things,” she said.

“Luckily I’ve got a lot of acquaintances. I’ve lived in Wynyard a long time, 20 years or more.”

Mrs Dicker, also from Wynyard, refers to herself as the opposite. Rather she has offered herself up to Mrs Sharp’s errands.

“For me it’s helped me tremendously because I’m not an organiser, I hate organising things. I’m more of a gopher if someone asks me to help I can help and I can come up with ideas, but not an organiser. The fact that Jane has done this is brilliant,” she said.

Lorna Dicker with Jane Sharp. The pair worked together to organise the Mallavale farm open garden.

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BUNNINGS will show its support for Mount Isa volunteer emergency services by holding its annual Australia Day fund-raising sausage sizzle.
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HAPPY TO SERVE: Queensland State Emergency Services help communities all year round, so help them at the fund-raising sausage sizzle on January 24.

Residents can show their support at the sausage sizzle provided by the Bunnings Mount Isa team and emergency service volunteers at Bunnings.

The Aussie Day Weekend Fund-raiser barbecue is to help nationally and will help support Queensland State Emergency Services.

Bunnings Mount Isa store manager Dave Temple urged the community to help raise much-needed funds.

“We’d love everyone to come and enjoy a sausage sizzle and help raise vital funds for the great work done by local volunteer emergency services across the Australia Day weekend,” Mr Temple said.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Acting Deputy Commissioner Bryan Cifuentes said it was good to see the community recognise the hard work of emergency services by helping to raise funds. “QFES volunteers such as those from the Queensland State Emergency Service and the Rural Fire Service Queensland are dedicated members of the community who don’t mind pitching in when they’re needed – it is really great to see when the community return the favour by helping to fund-raise,” Mr Cifuentes said.

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