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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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Police have concern for the welfare of a missing Mount Waverley woman who suffers from a medical condition.
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Tamara Targo-Bailey was last seen at her Vasey Avenue residence about 11am on Sunday.

“Police are appealing for public assistance to help locate a missing Mount Waverley woman,” Victoria Police spokeswoman Clair White said.

“Police have concerns for her welfare given she suffers from a medical condition.”

Tamara is described as being of Caucasian appearance, about 175cm tall, slim build and having a shaved head.

She was last seen wearing grey tracksuit pants and a t-shirt with either green, grey or pink wide stripes.

Investigators have released an image of Tamara in the hope that someone may be able to provide information on her current whereabouts.

Anyone who sees her is urged to contact Triple Zero (000) immediately.

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BASS Liberal MHR Andrew Nikolic has thrown his support behind the state government’s plans to allow companies to sue individuals, despite it unravelling nationally uniform defamation laws.
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The state government is pushing ahead with plans to amend the Defamation Act 2005 to allow businesses to take legal action against groups or individuals that spread “false and misleading information”.

The reform is intended to target environment groups that damage the reputation of the forest industry, but the opposition fears that it could have wide-ranging effects on free speech.

Mr Nikolic said green groups should be responsible for any losses or damages caused by false claims.

“This is a particularly important issue for Tasmania, given it has suffered most from these false and damaging claims, which harm the reputation of law-abiding businesses and cost Tasmanian jobs,” he said.

The government has used protest action against former timber company Gunns and Ta Ann as examples of why the reform is needed.

Deputy Labor leader Michelle O’Byrne said it was another Liberal policy that was “rotten to the core”.

“Just like their draconian and poorly thought through anti-protest legislation, these changes to defamation laws are being widely condemned,” Ms O’Byrne said.

“All Tasmanians should be concerned about these laws, which could result in individuals being sued by corporations simply for commenting on web forums or writing a letter to the editor.”

Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin said the government would balance free speech with the potential for misleading claims to destroy jobs.

“This change gives a business with 10 employees the chance to do what a business with 9 can do – that is, challenge a false claim,” she said.

“These changes aren’t and won’t be aimed at the media. They are aimed at groups who deliberately spread misinformation about Tasmanian businesses, costing jobs.”

Franklin Labor MHR Julie Collins said: “This move by the government will not only depart from national uniformity championed by their own political party, it will turn Tasmania into a legal basket case.”

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ANIMAL Health Australia is encouraging producers across the country to reduce the potential impacts from diseases, pests and weeds by making it their New Year’s Resolution to undertake regular stock surveillance on their properties.
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AHA executive manager of Biosecurity Services Duncan Rowland said general stock surveillance was already a corebiosecurity practice for a number of producers, but more should be undertaking it in 2015 to protect their farm profits and stock trading options.

“The 2013 Farm Biosecurity Producer Survey showed that 33 per cent of livestock producers actively conducted routine stock monitoring as a biosecurity practice on their property and we would like to see that increase when we undertake the third biennial survey later this year,” he said.

Animal Health Australia conducts a number of programs and projects that support a nationally integrated surveillance system that underpins trade and supports the adoption of new and innovative technologies for data generation and information management systems. Information can be found on the AHA website at www.animal


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THE state government is being urged to follow New South Wales’ example and formally recognise miscarriages that occur before 20 weeks.
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As of this month, women in NSW will be able to obtain an optional “recognition of loss” certificate from the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

As it stands in Tasmania, the loss of a child during gestation is only recognised after five months, when it is categorised as a stillbirth.

“Up until 20 weeks gestation there is no recognition from our government that that baby has existed and that’s so isolating for parents because they know they’ve had a baby and I think it adds to the grief,” Tasmania Bears for Hope co-ordinator Maria Bond said.

“I just feel like this is an opportunity for Tasmania to make a profound difference to these grieving parents.”

Independent Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest said she supported recognising the loss of early term pregnancies.

However, Ms Forrest said it was important to keep recognition of loss separate to other legislation relating to unborn children, citing Zoe’s Law, a bill proposed in NSW which sought to identify foetuses as “legal persons”.

“It is important that these two matters are not confused or linked as the proposed changes in NSW, and if adopted in Tasmania would relate only to pregnancy loss prior to 20 weeks gestation where there is currently no formal recognition of loss,” she said.

“As a midwife I do support the recognition of pregnancy loss as it always has a significant impact on the lives of the family who lose an often very much wanted and loved baby.”

A government spokesperson said they were not currently considering recognition of loss legislation.

An opposition spokesperson said Labor will look at what is being proposed in NSW and whether it is appropriate in Tasmania.

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Virginia Moloney stretches out to win the women’s section of the 10km race. 150111AM36 Picture: ANGELA MILNE
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VIRGINIA Moloney spent her childhood watching the late Judy McDowall, one of the south-west’s prominent female athletes, run.

Yesterday the Garvoc export joined McDowall on the Surf ‘T’ Surf honour board.

Moloney, 24, entered the women’s 10-kilometre run for the first time, winning in 36 minutes and 17 seconds to receive a medal named in McDowall’s honour.

It was a special moment for Moloney and her extended family, there in their dozens to support the now Melbourne-based teacher.

“My cousins are her cousins,” she said of McDowall, a six-time Surf ‘T’ Surf winner.

“I knew Judy growing up so whenever I went to stay with them I watched her run up and down the roads.

“I am very proud to win a medal named after Judy McDowall.”

Moloney defeated reigning champion, Warrnambool’s Alison Wilson (38.35), and Bacchus Marsh’s Rhiannon White (39.17).

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

The Collingwood Athletics Club member said she was pleased with her performance.

“I didn’t turn around the whole race. I knew I had the lead cyclist with me,” Moloney said.

“I had a plan to hopefully get in a pack and stick behind the lead female and go off her but it turned out to be me.”

Moloney, a former Emmanuel College student, said her family, many of whom are holidaying at Lake Pertobe, encouraged her to enter.

She tested out the course in the lead-up.

“You always knew you were going to get the tailwind on the way home, which was nice,” she said.

“Nicholson Street, knowing that’s the last hill, if you power up that (it’s OK from there).

“Once I got over that I thought ‘righto we can power home now’.”

Moloney considers longer distances her forte.

She tackled the highly-rated Zatopek 10,000 in Melbourne last month “just for the experience”, finishing midfield in 35.40.

“It was great but 25 laps on the track was tough,” Moloney said.

“They flew over a couple of Africans and Jess Trengove and Eloise Wellings, she’s an Olympian, were in it.”

Late entry a Surf ‘T’ Surf winner for Brenton Rowe | VideoEureka! 6km run double in Surf ‘T’ SurfBlood, 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.