Monthly Archives: March 2019
BACK TO THE FUTURE: Andrew Goldman in goals for Charlestown against Weston in 2013. Picture: Peter StoopWESTON boss Steve Piggott may call on 39-year-old goalkeeping coach Andrew Goldman to play the opening Northern NSW National Premier League rounds after a fruitless search for a senior gloveman.
The Bears are preparing for the inaugural Heritage Cup this Friday, Saturday and Sunday before their season-opener against Lake Macquarie at Weston Park on Sunday, March 12.
Piggott has returned to Weston, the club who sacked him after their 2014 grand final loss, to take over from Trevor Morris following the Bears’ horror 2016 season which featured just one win.
However, goalkeeper Benn Kelly, who left Maitland during Piggott’s tenure there last year, has switched from Weston to Lake Macquarie.Piggott hoped to have Tim Pratt on board again but he has withdrawn because of work commitments.The coach said he had three young keepers who were not ready for first grade.
“We’ve been looking in Sydney, the Central Coast and further afieldbut nothing’s come to fruition yet,” Piggott said.“We may have to register Andrew Goldman, the goalkeeping coach, and start with him for a couple of weeks until we sort something out.But we’ve still got one iron in the fire and we’ll have to see how it pans out.”
While the Bears have gained the likes of Brock Oakley (Maitland) andJamie Byrnes (Lambton Jaffas), Zac Sneddon has linked with Valentine, where his father, Steve, is technical director.Hejoins Nathan Morris, Garry McDermott and Robbie Turnbull as losses for the Bears. Hopes of recruiting American forward Reed McKenna have also ended. Piggott was still looking to sign more young players but was “not panicking”.
GONE: Zac Sneddon, right, playing for Weston in 2014. The utility has made a late switch to Valentine for the 2017 season. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
“We’re young and inexperienced and we’ll take a few beatings and bounce back, and if we’re somewhere mid-table then I’ll be happy,” he said.“I’m happy where we are. There’s no relegation but you never want to finish at the back end, sothey are all hungry to prove themselves.”
In a strange twist to the Heritage Cup, Piggott is coach of two teams taking part. The tournamentfeatures seven first- or second-tier clubs, including Weston, whoare more than a century old. The eighth club are interdistrictside Maryland Fletcher, who are coached part-time by Piggott and representing the region’s first club, Minmi Rangers.
Weston play Cessnock City (Friday, 7.45pm), Wallsend (11am, Saturday) and Edgeworth (4pm, Saturday) in Pool A at Jack McLaughlan Oval. Adamstown, West Wallsend, Maryland Fletcher and Lake Macquarie are in Pool B at Adamstown Oval, where the decider between the pool winners will be held on Sunday at 10am.
Of the Heritage Cup, which consists of 60-minute games, Piggott said: “I like the concept but I think it should have been two or three weeks ago.
“That’s the only problem I’ve got. A week out, generally you don’t take a game or you just try to work on things you need to.
“I’ll use these games to work on some things but it’s not ideal when you are using 21 players in a weekend.
“We’re trying not to have any injuries, first and foremost, but I’ll give them all a chance to show a bit again andone final fitness test.
“I’ve used the pre-season as mainly fitness and conditioning. We’ve played better sides and they’ve all beaten us, but there’s no problems with that.
“We’ll play Edgeworth in one of the games and that will be a good yardstick for us becausewe played them five weeks ago and they beat us.
“You do your best on the day and see what comes out of it.”
POPULAR: Boxing Day sales at Charlestown Square and Westfield Kotara (pictured) have been allowed since 2015. Picture: Marina NeilLAKE Macquarie councillors have taken a stand against Boxing Day trade, voting this week tooppose shops openingon the public holiday.
Councillors voted nine to threein favour ofaplan –in its current form, largely symbolic –by Cr John Gilbertto“refer a notice of motion” to the Local Government NSW annual conference in December “to have Boxing Day retail trading ceased”.
It was a compromise of Cr Gilbert’s original proposal, that Lake Macquarie council “writes to every council in NSW” about lobbyingthe state governmentto end Boxing Day trade.
Cr Gilbert, of the Lake Mac Independents group, said the winat Monday’scouncil meetingwas a“first rung” in his plan to wind back Boxing Day rostering that is“smacking people everywhere”.
“At home I’ve got five teenage kids, and it just grabbed me that over Christmas they all seemed to be out working their tails off,” Cr Gilbert said.
“Once we drive this into Local Government NSW, we’re going to find out pretty quickly where the other councilsstand.”
OPPOSED: Lake Macquarie councillor John Gilbert. Picture: Marina Neil
Centres such as Westfield Kotara andCharlestown Square have openedon Boxing Daysince2015,whenthe government liftedrestrictions limitingtrade to tourist precincts and city centres.
Lake Macquarie can’treimpose those restrictions, but Cr Gilbert said enough councilsopposingBoxing Day tradewould “build momentum” to pressure state and federal legislators.
Liberal councillors voted against the Boxing Day motion, andCr Jason Pauling slammed the majority ofcouncillors for endorsing it.
“We haven’t consulted with the community at all. We haven’t spoken to anyone, let alone the thousands of people who went through Charlestown Square on Boxing Day,” Cr Pauling said.
“Council just woke up one day and decided we’re against Boxing Day trade.”
Without saying how many shoppers came to Charlestown Square last Boxing Day,a figure thought to be in the tens of thousands,general managerDwight Hodgetts said the centre“traded strongly”and set a new recordfor visitorsoverthe Christmas period.
“Shoppers in the Hunter Region have embraced the opportunity to shop at Charlestown Square on Boxing Day. It has also become a significant trading day for retailers,” Mr Hodgetts said.
“In 2016, the majority of stores were open…giving shoppers in the Hunter region the same opportunities to shop the sales as those in Sydney.”
You don’t have to actually work for Rupert Murdoch to make a fortune. Just ask News Corp’s exiting chief financial officer, Bedi Singh.
He will make $US10 million ($13 million) over the next three years from drawing his base salary and bonuses despite walking out the door for the last time this Wednesday.
Maybe people should have paid a little more attention when the media group announced last week that Singh will be “departing” with so little notice “to pursue new opportunities”.
These are terms used all too often when executives are being swept out the door. Not that Murdoch was sparing in his kind words for Singh.
“I asked Bedi to come back in 2012 to help get the new News Corp up and running, and he’s done a great job doing just that,” said Rupert.
And Murdoch does have a reputation for rewarding his loyal lieutenants. Rebekah Brooks’s pay-off from News Corp may have exceeded £16 million ($26 million) after she was forced to resign in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.
On Tuesday, News Corp announced that it will enter into a “separation agreement” with Singh “pursuant to which Mr Singh’s employment with the company was terminated without cause”.
He will continue to receive his $US1.3 million base salary, and $US2 million in bonuses, for each of the 2017, 2018 and 2019 financial years “payable at the conclusion of the relevant period.”
That does not include stock performance units, which unlike his bonus, appear to be “at risk” and hence, actually subject to the financial performance of News Corp.
He will also receive $US495,000 payable in instalments over the next three years in lieu of his participation in the company retirement scheme, and a modest monthly consulting fee of $US12,500 for a minimum of six months.
News Corp’s n number cruncher, Susan Panuccio, will be replacing Singh, with a base salary of $US1.1 million, and annual bonus of up to $US1.1 million which kicks in for the 2018 financial year.
For the record, News Corp reported a $US219 million loss for the December quarter – thanks largely to $US537 million of writedowns on its n assets.
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IN CONTROL: Tye Angland onboard Generalissimo, trained by Garry White, cruises home to an effortless win at Hawkesbury. Image by Bradley Photographers Hawkesbury trainer Garry White is confident of producing his first ever runner in the $400,000 Provincial Championships Final (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 1.
But first, his promising young galloper Generalissimo must qualify in Thursday’s $150,000 heat of the Provincial series.
By running in the first three, Generalissimo will gain his ticket to the ‘big dance’ and give White his first representative in the race.
Generalissimo has started on eight occasions for three wins and a placing with over $80,000 in prizemoney. Last start he was third to Man From Uncle and Guard of Honour in the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
White said Generalissimo jumped from barrier one which was a disadvantage: “We drew the fence when no-one wanted to be there as the going on the rails was not as good as two or three out and there was a bit of kick back. Under the circumstances it was a big run.
“He is a serious horse,” White said. “He doesn’t have an instant turn of foot but once he hits top speed he can maintain it for between 500m and 600m. Most other horses can sprint for only 250m to 300m.”
Generalissimo will be having his first attempt over 1400m but White believes the gelding will encounter few problems with the step up in journey.
“I trained many of the family and they are out and out sprinters but this bloke was strong at the line last start (1200m),” White said.
“I’ve always had in the back of my mind that he would be best up to 1400m and even 1600m and Tye agrees.”
Tye Angland has ridden the horse in five of his eight outings (for two wins) and will again partner Generalissimo on Thursday.
“He’s well weighted on 56 kilos for a class three horse with a benchmark of 75,” White observed.
Generalissimo was beaten at Hawkesbury when making his debut but has since won all three starts at the course.
“We have always believed he would be pretty good and he ran an excellent race in his first Stakes event when fifth (Guard of Honour) in the Heritage Stakes at Royal Randwick.
“He recorded the best sectional times in the race. Craig Williams rode him and gave us a great report after the race and said we have a very smart galloper.”
With the course likely to be rain-affected on raceday, White said Generalissimo won’t have any trouble with the going: “He is very fit and is adept in all going.
“I remember he bolted in with a barrier trial here before his debut and it was a bog track.”
White has also entered Every Chance in the Provincial Championships but is leaning to the Class 1 Handicap (1400m) on the same day.
Every Chance has won one of his seven starts, having broken through at Hawkesbury (1300m) two starts back: “He was a short-priced favourite when he won and did the job well.”
Last start Every Chance finished third to Hessdalen there over 1400m on February 21: “He had 12 days between runs and I didn’t do much with him so he may have just needed the run. He had quite a blow afterwards.
“He loves the sting out of the ground with his Hawkesbury win two starts back and his previous second at Royal Randwick both on soft going.”
This preview of the Championshipsis brought to you by Racing NSW. Mark Brassel writes for Racing NSW Magazine, racingnsw苏州夜总会招聘.au and thechampionships苏州夜总会招聘.au
BIG CHANCE: De La Hoya heading to the barriers in town – the chestnut is one of the prime candidates for the Country Championships Qualifier at Scone this weekend. Image by Bradley Photographers Tamworth trainer Mark Mason believes the cards are finally starting to fall the right way for his in-form galloper De La Hoya as he tackles Sunday’s $150,000 Country Championships Qualifier (1400m) at Scone.
De La Hoya is highly promising and naturally, is named after the former champion boxer Oscar De La Hoya, a gold medal Olympian and winner of 39 of his 45 career fights.
The horse, De La Hoya, had seven months off after an aborted campaign between March and May last year when he had three unplaced runs. This followed his previous campaign where he won two of his only three appearances with the other run being a nose defeat at Scone.
“It was just one of those preparations that nothing went right for him,” Mason recalled. “He kept drawing bad barriers (gate 10 twice and 11) and everything that could go wrong did.
“We pulled up stumps and sent him for a winter spell where he spent time in a paddock at Leon Cummins’s property in Barraba (75 minutes’ drive from Tamworth),” he said.
Cummins, a stock and station agent, is one of Mason’s main owners and doubles as president of Barraba Jockey Club for the past 22 years.
“I think the break did him the world of good. He was a little immature and needed time.”
De La Hoya has been a revelation this campaign, finishing second at Gunnedah (1000m) when first-up for 31 weeks before stringing together impressive back-to-back victories at Tamworth over 1000m and 1200m.
Last time out De La Hoya sizzled home with Robert Thompson aboard to defeat three-time winner Dan Roy by just under a length carrying the steadier of 59.5kg.
“My only query is the 1400m but Robert (Thompson) seems to think he’ll run the distance without a problem,” Mason said.
Mason will also be represented in Sunday’s Qualifier by seven-year-old Strictly Concert, a Sydney winner, and racing for the first time since last October.
The trainer had to tread a fine line with the horse due to eligibility rules: “He is close to being ineligible with 19 starts (maximum 20) so we’ve trialled him twice.
“He’s good when fresh and has won twice when first-up,” Mason said. “He has a very good finish and is strong on the line having won in the city over 1550m, so the 1400m will present no problems.”
Strictly Concert’s first trial at Tamworth over 1000m had to be seen to be believed. The gelding was giving the leader (Akeelah) a huge start coming to the bend and was still four lengths off the lead at the 200m before unwinding a big run to score.
He then ran sixth (of eight) in a Scone barrier trial (900m) but Mason said to overlook that effort: “It was a rainy day and he got well back in the field; they ran the last 600m in 32.67 seconds so he was never going to pick them up. We were still happy with his performance.”
This preview of The Championships is brought to you by Racing NSW. Mark Brassel writes for Racing NSW Magazine, racingnsw苏州夜总会招聘.au and thechampionships苏州夜总会招聘.au