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Archive for January, 2019


   Jan 14

Matildas’ newbie Galabadaarachchi has bright future if she works hard

Her name – Jacynta Galabadaarachchi – might be too long for her shirt and hard to pronounce, but that will be the challenge for fans and commentators of women’s soccer after the 15-year-old Melbourne City midfielder was called into the Matildas’ camp in Canberra this week.
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The teenager, who had to overturn a ruling preventing her from playing in a boys’ team, has made an impact with the W-League title-winners this season and could become the next big thing – if she keeps her head down, works hard and makes the expected development.

Matildas boss Alan Stajcic saw enough this season to give her a taste of what it’s like to be involved with the national team.

City captain and coach Jess Fishlock agrees the sky could be the limit if Galabadaarachchi works hard.

“We just call her Jacynta although she has her full name on her shirt,” Fishlock said.

“She’s a good little player. She has huge potential to be a good player if she develops in the right way.

“There are a lot of positives to her game, but there are a lot of things she needs to learn and understand to make her attributes really hurt teams.

“She’s a good dribbler, but at the moment she struggles to figure out when to dribble, when not to dribble, when to pass, when to move and what to do in defending situations. She just wants to play and get on with it, in a freestyle manner, with no structure to it,”

Had City been coasting to the W-League finals, as they did last year, then the youngster might have had more game time. But few risks could be taken this season, Fishlock said.

“Because of the situation we were in and it was a fight to the very end, when you have someone who is such a good player but doesn’t quite understand it as of yet, it can be quite detrimental  to what you want to achieve.

“It was just her inexperience that kept her out really, I am very happy for her to be called up to the national team camp. It’s always an honour.”

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   Jan 14

James Pattinson forced to pull out of Prime Minister’s XI due to foot infection

James Pattinson is on the comeback trail from injury and is one of the best bowlers in . Photo Jay Cronan Photo: Jay CronanThe James Pattinson injury curse has struck again.
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Luckless n fast-bowler Pattinson has taken another injury hit and been forced to withdraw from the Prime Minister’s XI clash against Sri Lanka at Manuka Oval.

In a blow to one of the fixture’s marquee men, Pattinson has an infection in his left foot and will be replaced by NSW bowler Harry Conway.

Pattinson joins former n one-day international captain George Bailey on the high-profile withdrawal list for a match that doubles as Adam Voges’ farewell to international cricket.

It’s a fresh injury blow for Pattinson, who has been taking a long and slow road back to the top level as back, shin and hamstring injuries delayed his career.

The Victorian quick took 5-27 on debut for in 2011, claiming 70 scalps in 17 matches. But injuries have forced him to miss 40 Tests and he’s taken another hit in the PM’s XI match.

Pattinson concedes he has to prove himself again, but has put his faith in the selection process.

“I wanted to get a fair bit of first class cricket in before I play any Test cricket again,” Pattinson said.

“Obviously [I want to] try and put on some performances for the selectors to pick me. It’s about all the process.

“It’s been frustrating, but hopefully now I can just keep getting more cricket, and keep playing, getting that continuity and consistency into my game which I’ve obviously lacked over the last two or three years.

“Hopefully that can happen and take it game by game, and hopefully play a few more games.”

Pattinson was in Canberra on Tuesday and will watch the reformatted PM’s XI, which will be played as a Twenty20 match for the first time.

An ACT XI will play against Papua New Guinea in a curtain-raiser and Cricket ACT general manager of high performance Aiden Blizzard wants Canberra players to use it as a career launching pad.

“We’re really excited. I think it’s a great opportunity for the boys to get some experience against an international team, but also to kick off what an event it will be here at Manuka Oval for the PM’s XI,” Blizzard said.

“[Twenty20] cricket is going gangbusters at the moment, particularly the BBL so it’s a really good opportunity. Number one for our boys to get some experience, but number two to put their hand up and really work hard to get a BBL opportunity.”

Despite a long list of n players being unavailable for the PM’s XI match and three withdrawals, there is no Canberra player in the marquee match.

“Ideally we would have a Canberra guy in the XI, however we’re really happy with Matt Gilkes getting the opportunity to be 12th man,” Blizzard said.

“In an ideal world, yes [we’d like one in PM’s XI], but we’re really proud of being able to host this time and time again, and to be able to give players exposure to international teams and to push their case for the next level.”

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   Jan 14

Sweep or dance: Renshaw faces dilemma in India

The n Test side is shaping up for the toughest test in the modern game, playing India in India.
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The powerhouse from the sub-continent made short work of England late last year and have piled on the runs against Bangladesh.

Queenslanders Matt Renshaw and Usman Khawaja will be tasked with batting for long periods and scoring runs.

Renshaw starred for in his debut series, proving to be a savvy thinker of the game. But playing in India is a different beast.

In the lead-up to the tour, the Brisbane product has worked on National Centre of Excellence pitches that mimic the sharp turning spin of the sub-continent. He’s also picked the brains of England spinner Monty Panesar, showing a maturity we’re coming to expect from the 20-year-old.

Pundits have suggested his tactics should mimic Matthew Hayden’s method of playing across the line.

Hayden’s method has not been replicated by many n batsmen over the past 10 years as the sweep shot has slowly gone out of vogue. The Michael Clarke approach of batsmen using their feet and running down the wicket seems to be the “proper” way to play spin in modern cricket.

But is the sweep the best option for Renshaw? The tall left hander Renshaw has extraordinary reach with the bat, allowing him to easily hit balls off a good length. But is it the right method to lump a hyper aggressive unfamiliar tactic on one of ‘s newest players?

In a throwback to his country of birth, Renshaw should adopt the patient approach of England’s Alastair Cook.

This method of batting long periods of time with a low strike rate would of course trigger criticism from past players who feel the need to “take the game on”.

But Renshaw has proven he has a capacity to bat long periods of time and soak up balls. Why is there a call for him to go away from this game plan to start attacking bowlers in some of the most difficult conditions in the world? Why would you want the 20-year-old to move away from a plan that has brought him to the highest level of the game in such a short space of time?

In his first trip to India, surely it would make sense to see more Cook than Hayden in Renshaw’s style.

Khawaja has had a torrid relationship with the sub-continent, both on and off the pitch. ‘s number three has toured three times with an average less than 20. Off the field he was involved in the infamous “homeworkgate” situation under former coach Mickey Arthur, and most recently in 2016 when the team toured Sri Lanka he lashed out at selectors saying himself and Joe Burns were being made scapegoats after being dropped.

With the bat in hand, Khawaja has struggled against the moving ball. His performance over the summer scoring over 500 runs against South Africa and Pakistan might alleviate some of this concern but there is some belief he will struggle against a spinning, reverse-swinging ball.

Khawaja is described as a traditional player, but in this upcoming series success might be just around the corner if he is a little more “unconventional”. Due to the spinning nature of the pitches and the high caliber of the indian spinners, Khawaja will be surrounded by close in fielders around the bat.

These close catchers provide a worry for a traditional style players, who often play spin with bat and pad close together. Players like AB De Villiers and Kevin Pietersen has been successful in India against the spinning ball. Albeit in two different styles.

Pietersen’s aggression towards the spinners forced the Indians to remove catchers from around the bat in a bid to stop runs. Pietersen could then toy with the field without worrying about knicking a ball onto his pad.

De Villers had the same intent, a aggression of taking balls pitched outside off stump and hitting them through the legside. Plans like this, that might ruffle a few feathers of commentators, could be the answer for Khawaja’s success in  the subcontinent.

For Khawaja to get past the most difficult part of his innings, the start, he might need to change his plans and move away from the traditional methods.

India is a vastly different, alien place for an n cricketer. This is confirmed by performances over the past 10 years, India needs to be a place for players to try different things, a place for an individual to figure out what works for them – whether this is throwing the batting handbook out the window or sticking to it rigidly. It is going to be a tough test for these Queenslanders, but it sure will be exciting to see what they come up with.

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   Jan 14

Steel Horse limousine service founder Peter de Mey has had a mixed career but found his professional calling

Polished performer: Peter de Mey with one of his luxury Steel Horse vehicles. What was your first job?
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I had always been keen on drawing and designing things, so it was a natural progression for me to work in the graphic design/advertising area.

I remember at high school drawing caricatures of mates and teachers as ducks. They became so popular I had requests from other teachers. I had to tread a fine line there I can tell you.

What appealed to you about the sector, which obviously changed radically with computerisation?

Back in the Eighties, computer graphics came to with high resolution and great colour so I just had to be in on it.

I was the first Aussie to be trained in the new technology. Of course, today a simple desktop computer can doimmeasurably more than those computers which occupied a whole room and looked like a row of wardrobes

Why did you move into corporate hospitality and what was your role?

I needed the flexibility of time to spare for the project of first building then running the country retreat on the land I had bought up in Lambs Valley. I worked in a number of skyscraper offices in Sydney for major law firms, insurance companies and building and development companies which had their own commercial kitchens and client entertaining facilities. There I gained the experience of working with a lot of very high profile and influential business people.

When you have to be in the room where deals worth many millions of dollars are being brokered, you quickly learn when to be invisible and when to be friendly and personable.

It was great customer service experience.

What led you to build a luxury B&B in the Upper Hunter?

At the time it was my goal to set up and run a high quality country retreat. It was a lifestyle choice I guess.I found a 100-acre property in Lambs Valley in the northern Hunter and built an architect designed, three pavilion building with log fires, spa bathsand of course king-size beds and commanding spectacular valley views. I opened for business at the beginning of 200 to both local and overseas guests

What did you learn from running a B&B before selling it in 2006?

First and most importantly, by setting a goal and breaking it down into manageable pieces with a realistic time-frame, you can achieve anything you want.

Build a friendly rapport with customers and enjoy the satisfaction of providing them with a wonderful experience which they remember afterwards.

What led to you founding your limousine service in 2015?

When I arrived in Newcastle 10 years ago, I had a painful back injury which made most work options, once I recovered, out of the question. Driving a luxury car seemed fairly low impact so that’s how I got into the hire car industry. After a few years, I thought I should branch out on my own offering my own brand of customer service with a high-end luxury vehicle.

What is your point of difference in your competitive market?

Friendly, professional and attentive customer service coupled with a prestige limousine. Then, build in options and packages that the competition can’t or don’t want to provide.

My regular customers have become like friends to me.

What are the biggest challenges to your business at present?

Developing business and regular work in very uncertain financial times and of course the ever increasing cost of fuel.

What do you think the Hunter tourism industry needs to do to be more attractive to visitors from here and abroad?

Customer service is key to everything. For instance the wineries I take my customers to are the ones which provide a superior customer experience. Wines for the most part are good to excellent, so the experience of going there has to be special

Peter De Mey

You’ve had some famous clientele in your car. What have been the most interesting VIP journeys you have made?

Well, the prime minister’s car broke down on the RAAF runway while we were alongside the prime minister’s jet, so I stepped in to drive Mr Rudd on the first day of his second term as PM.

Also Peter Garrett (then Education Minister) sang for me as I drove him into Sydney.

What do you enjoy most about your current role?

Oh gee … lots of things. Not being in an office 9 to 5. Meeting lots of really interesting people. Everyone has a great story to tell.

Driving through the country at dawn … beautiful!

If you had your druthers, where would you live and work?

Oh that’s a hard one. I kinda like where I am at the moment.

If money wasn’t a consideration I would love to be living somewhere near the sea with plenty of nature around me for growing things and being able to share it with great people.

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   Jan 14

Cheers to beer revolution

It seems ns simply cannot satisfy their craving for craft beer, a growing number making it their drink of choice to wet their whistle, and microbreweries continuing topopup across the country.
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As executive officer at ’s CraftBeer Industry AssociationChris McNamara explains, the market has opened significantly and there’slots to look forward to this year when it comes to enjoying arefreshing bottle –or tinnie –of brew.

Is the popularity of craft beer in still on the rise?

Definitely. Based on n Taxation Office data, the independent craft beer industry has grown by more than 30 per centin each of the past two years and now accounts for more than fourper centof all beer produced in .

There is no single reason, but two important factors are a growing desire by consumers to support small businesses, especially in food and beverage, andns really wanting to continually find new flavours in a range of food and beverage products. The rise of artisan cheese and bread reflect this as well.

How has the market changed from its earliest days to now?

Craft beer has always had a diverse market.

The groundbreaking breweries in the 1980s were found in such diverse areas as Fremantle, Ballarat and Sydney’s inner city.

There was never one type of person that drank craft beer and that is still the same today. Depending on where you go, you may see a bar full of tradies, inner city types, or young families.

It appeals to all.

What are some current trends in ‘s craft beer scene?

Tinnies are definitely the biggest trend at the moment. The number of beers available in cans has exploded in the past year and shows no sign of slowing down. And why should it? They are lighter to transport, do a great job of protecting the beer and cool down quicker.

What can consumers expect this year from the industry?

Craft brewers by their very nature are adventurous innovators. That’s why so many of them turn their backs on comfortable corporate careers. They want to continually challenge the status quo.

has been at the forefront of new hop development in recent years.

This is set to continue so expect to find a whole new world of aromas and flavours appearing in beers.

Sour, or wild, beers is another area that’s developing. These beers use different yeast strains and the results range from wonderfully dry and refreshing through to mouth puckeringly challenging. They have great potential to deliver the ultimate refreshing low alcohol beer for a hot n summer.

What should people be looking for when buying/drinking a craft beer?

Look for freshness. The fresher the better. And the best way of doing that is to support the local breweries in your part of the world.

Where do you think is the perfect place to enjoy a craft beer this summer?

Anywhere that you can just sit down and enjoy the beer. Don’t try and overthink it. Just let every sip remind you how good life is.

CRAFTING REPUTATION: The number of varieties of craft beer available in is matched by the diversity of the people making it their drink of choice.

QUALITY ASSURED: Craft brewers are renowned for being innovators who strive to create the perfect brew, and often turn their backs on corporate careers to do so.

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