Magpies end Tigers’ season

The Magpies’ win sets up a grand final against the Lake Cathie Raiders this Saturday.
Nanjing Night Net

The Tigers’ playmaker injured himself in the warm up forcing a reshuffle in the backline but more importantly Comboyne lost a vital cog in their attacking armoury.

The Lower Macleay Magpies took full advantage of a disjointed Tigers attack but not before the Tigers took a 6-0 lead on 20 minutes through a Thomas Latimore try and Shawn Madeley conversion.

The Magpies hit back when halfback Sam Drew found Luke Dufty with a great inside pass before the centre dived over the tryline. Despite missing the conversion, the Magpies were down 6-4 but looking the more composed side.

Comboyne did themselves no favours with too many errors early in the tackle count and poor sixth tackle options.

Magpies hooker Zac McKiernan exploited a yawning gap in the Tigers defence to grab the lead for his side and when Dufty converted from in front the Magpies went to the break 10-6 leaders.

Lower Macleay posted two tries in the opening 11 minutes of the second half through a great solo effort from five-eighth Joel McCafferty and centre Tom Stevenson to stretch their lead to 18-6 after Dufty booted one of the conversion attempts.

An angled run from Comboyne’s Thomas Latimore caught the Magpies defence flat-footed close to the line to bring his side back into the contest. The Tigers forward improved his position to give goalkicker Madeley and easier conversion. That left the score at 18-12 and the Tigers were, somehow, back into the contest.

But the comeback was short-lived. The Magpies peppered the Comboyne defence with a couple of stirring runs before Dufty wrongfooted a couple of Tigers defenders to score under the posts. The centre landed the conversion to stretch the Magpies’ lead to 24-12.

With the clock winding down, Paio scored off the back of a strong charge from Bevan Castles and with the conversion attempt waved away, the Magpies were 24-16 winners and through to Saturday’s grand final.

The Magpies were best served by McCafferty and McKiernan while the Tigers’ best included winger Lee O’Brien, lock Ben Wadwell and Blake Reis.

Tigers down: Sam Hensley and Luke Dufty … battle it out in the Hastings League finals last Saturday.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Cops and rockers: Police band together for community

On the beat: The police band entertains a crowd at Box Hill. The Victoria Police band continues to wow audiences. Picture: Darrian Traynor
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They’re police, but their mission is music and making people feel good, writes Loretta Hall.

It can be a glamorous life fronting a showband, but this is not one of those days.

The band’s equipment truck, emptied of trunks of brass instruments and sound gear, doubles as a hasty change room for Elise Beattie as she transforms from “worker ant” roadie to lead singer in a shopping mall in Melbourne’s east.

Long loose hair is secured in a no-nonsense plait, and casual clothing discarded for navy trousers, sensible flat black shoes and a crisp light-blue shirt with an epaulette and stripe on each shoulder.

Only the showbiz shades remain from her civilian guise as Beattie prepares to front the Victoria Police Showband with co-senior constable Daina Jowsey under the midday sun for the mostly unsuspecting shoppers and commuters.

Music director (and prominent Melbourne musician) Daryl McKenzie is absent, so Beattie and Jowsey consult over a whiteboard song list and a takeaway coffee while fellow band members set up 500 leads and an array of instruments for the gig.

They choose songs from hundreds of the band’s own arrangements, mixing swing with jazz, classical, musical theatre, rock and pop. Beattie is down for Adele’s Rolling in the Deep, Jowsey is opening with Dancing in the Street.

Some of the tracks they performed for the Showband’s Divas CD, sales of which aid the police force’s Blue Ribbon Foundation community program.

There are a few curious glances from passers-by as Beattie sets up the microphones. But once she re-emerges from the back of the truck an audience begins to gather and several shoppers question the diminutive but authoritative figure at the microphone stand.

“As soon as you are in uniform there’s a certain level of interest; people come up and ask what you are doing,” Beattie says. “We explain to them that what we are doing is a full-time job.”

When the police band originated 120 years ago it was formed by those on the beat who volunteered to play an instrument part-time. It became a full-time occupation in 1980s, when professional musicians were sworn in as police members

The Showband plays across Melbourne and regional Victoria in the community and schools and the public can check the police website for the showband’s calendar for a performance in their neighbourhood.

More glitzy gigs include charity nights, when Beattie frocks up out of uniform to perform at venues that have included Crown’s Palladium room, Hamer Hall and Melbourne’s World Congress Centre.

Beattie, 46, has been on patrol with the showband around Victoria for the past 11 years and previously sang with the Victoria Police’s rock band, Code One, for six years. Her role in the police force was recognised with a national award for “rockin’ it” in January.

She wears the stripe of a senior constable, “and we have full police powers of arrest”, but, as with the rest of the 24 showband members, isn’t operational as a police officer.

Band leader Sergeant Pat Hudson, who has in the past been in the back-row line-up on trombone, watches from beyond the police-taped stage edge as the party gets started.

Music spills into the mall and an audience builds. Most of the smoking section – a half-brick wall outside the supermarket – is full. Hudson says that at the height of the set about 200 people are toe-tapping to the tunes.

The youth that the showband is reaching out to largely respond to the offer of musical friendship, with most unplugging at least one earphone to catch a Lady Gaga or Beyoncé song.

An older fan, Robert Fraser, 59, dances through all three sets, oblivious to the fact he is mostly dancing solo on the pavement. A middle-aged woman kicks off her heels, dumps her handbag under the watchful gaze of the band’s brass section and joins him for a track. Towards the end of the last set a trio of teens lose their inhibitions and let their lanky limbs loose.

Collectively, the three bands perform about 500 gigs annually, and Hudson says these reach about 650,000 Victorians a year. In times of hardship and disaster, the Showband is dispatched to communities where an uplifting tune can bring some cheer or relief in tough times.

“When there were floods in country Victoria a year ago we had a week tour in those regions, and we based ourselves in Horsham. We were bussed out to country towns I had never heard of where all 50 people in the town came to see us. When we do a show for them it’s the only thing that has made them smile in a long time.”

Beattie says the performances are not all about the music, as she spends a lot of time talking to locals.

In addition to Cats, Beattie took lead roles in her school’s Gilbert and Sullivan productions before studying voice at Melba Conservatorium and primary teaching in music at Victoria College. She gained professional experience with Dame Joan Sutherland in Othello for the Australian Opera (now Opera Australia) and with the Wiggles in front of a crowd of 80,000.

“I still have singing lessons because it is important that our music is as high a standard as it can be,” Beattie says. “Being with the band involves a regimented lifestyle, especially for the singers to stay fit and healthy. In a 10-day fortnight we get four days off, and those 10 days can be at any time.

“We spend many hours travelling … being on tour with the band on the bus is like being in a sitcom. There are some incredibly funny personalities.”

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www.police.vic.gov.au

Mixed messages on Greenvale road route

HUME Council has sought to allay Aitken College fears over a Growth Areas Authority (GAA) plan to build a public road that would intersect the school in Greenvale.
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The school site, which faces Mickleham Road, is included in the GAA Greenvale Central Precinct Structure Plan (PSP), which was released this month.

Council’s city sustainability director, Kelvin Walsh, said last week: “It is council’s understanding the Minister for Planning [Matthew Guy] has directed that the GAA not propose a road extending through the school site – and there is currently no proposal to construct a road through the school”.

He said the decision for a road connection was at the discretion of the school.

His comments followed on college principal Josie Crisara urging parents to voice their concerns at the road plan.

Ms Crisara said the plan showed a road connection along the southern boundary of the school, running up to the northern boundary.

She said the road would pose a safety risk to students and impact on the school’s sustainability projects, including its wetlands.

She urged parents to fill out a submission objecting to the proposal, to be sent to the GAA.

“There have been suggestions that a public road could be built to cut through the school or provide an alternative access other than using Mickleham Road,” Ms Crisara said.

“Both of these propositions are unacceptable to the college. A road access point to the south or north of the college would only create more congestion and would be a costly exercise in the order of millions of dollars, which the college would most likely need to fund.”

The school site has also been labelled a ‘future urban area’ by the GAA.

Ms Crisara said this was unacceptable. The school, which opened in 1999, has 1260 students from prep to year 12.

Janelle Judge, whose son is in year8 at the college, said she would be putting in a submission to the GAA.

”It’s a prep-to-year 12 school so I was concerned about the students crossing that potential road,” she said.

“The safety of the children would be at risk.”

GAA chief executive Peter Seamer said there were no immediate plans to build a road through the school, but he added that it was a possibility.

“While the PSP shows a potential future connection, as requested by Hume City Council, the PSP is neutral on whether there should be a road connection through that site and quite certainly it does not require this [connection],” he said.

But the council said the concept of a road connection arose from recommendations of the GAA’s own traffic report.

Late last week, Mr Guy’s spokesman said: “The minister has no intention of directing the location of local roads; this is a matter that should be sensibly sorted out between the GAA and the Hume Council.”

Submissions on the PSP close on August 27.

Crime Watch

THIEVES raided the University of Queensland’s Moreton Bay Research Station on Monday, August 27, while research centre residents were asleep.
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Thieves entered the building through a sliding door between 10pm and 7am the following day and stole a mobile phone, wallet, laptop, television and its remote control.

Anyone who has any information about this or any of the crimes listed here is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or police at Capalaba on 3433 3333, Cleveland on 3824 9333, Redland Bay on 3829 4111, Dunwich on 3409 6020, Russell Island on 3409 1244 or Macleay Island on 3409 4722.

Alexandra Hills

A male student at the Alexandra Hills TAFE in Windemere Road was attacked by a man wearing a dark hoodie and dark sunglasses at noon on Monday, August 27. The student was walking in the TAFE grounds when the hooded man approached him and demanded his wallet. A police spokesperson said the hooded man then grabbed the student’s arm before a struggle broke out between them. The attacker left without the student’s wallet.

A car parked in Camira Street was broken into on Tuesday, August 28. A bag containing the owner’s wallet, medication and clothing was stolen. It is not known whether the car was locked.

Mount Cotton

A Holden utility stolen from a car park at a Capalaba mechanic’s workshop was found on Tuesday, August 28, on West Mount Cotton Road. Police said the car was seen in Logan several times before it was located at Mount Cotton.

Jewellery was stolen from a house in Spotted Gum Crescent during the early hours of Monday, August 27. It is unknown how the thieves entered the house.

Several hours later on Monday, August 27, thieves stole jewellery from a house in neighbouring Pendula Street. It is also unknown how the thieves entered the house.

Thornlands

An e-reader was stolen from a house in Kinross Road between 4am and 4.30am on Tuesday, August 28. It is unknown how the theives entered the house.

Burbank

A large amount of copper wire that was installed at a new set of traffic lights on Mount Cotton Road was stolen between 6.30pm and 7pm on Friday, August 24. Police said thieves isolated the power to the copper wire by removing several fuses. They then removed the copper wire by jemmying open several man holes.

Wakerley

A large number of tools and tyres were stolen from a tyre business in New Cleveland Road between 3pm and 7pm on Monday, August 27. The thieves jemmied open a door to steal the goods.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Physie girls show off fashions

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk at the weekend.
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Head teacher, Sam Biggs, said the night was wonderful.

“We sold about 100 tickets which was double what we thought,” she said.

There were four, local clothing stores selling and advertising their products with five stores’ clothing being modelled by the physie girls.

“Everyone was really surprised of the clothing that was modelled and it gave everyone a chance to see that Moree does have good shopping stores,” Miss Biggs said.

The money raised was higher than anticipated.

“Thank you to everyone who helped us have a good night,” she said.

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

MOREE Physical Culture strutted their stuff on the catwalk

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

SEABL: CJ Massingale reaches 200th game

CJ Massingale. Picture: Gary SissonsALL signs point to a big night at Knox Stadium when revered Knox Raiders import CJ Massingale celebrates his 200th game tomorrow (April 14) at 8pm.
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The Raiders will host Sandringham Sabres in the match which will see Massingale, who was named in the South East Australian Basketball League’s 30th anniversary side, reach a rare milestone for imported players.

It’s worth noting that Massingale hopes to soon lose his import title as he is heading towards Australian citizenship.

Massingale and the Raiders will come into the match hungry for a win after the Raiders dropped a special school holidays clash 87-84 against Dandenong Rangers at Dandenong Stadium last night.

After trailing 71-59 going into the final term, the Raiders fought back and took the lead behind the play of John Philip (20 points) and Lester Strong (18 points, nine rebounds, four blocks).

But just as the Raiders took the lead, the home side battled back with point guard Andrew Harms (23 points) making a tear-drop then some clutch free-throws to give his side a three-point lead with 11 seconds left.

As is so often the case, Massingale (19 points, nine rebounds), who had a quiet night, was left with the three-point shot which just missed handing the Rangers a surprising win.

Raiders coach Graham Longstaff said he expected a memorable performance from his star on such a big stage tomorrow night.

‘‘I’ve coached CJ for a long time now and I can’t remember him ever having two quiet games in a row,’’ Longstaff said.

‘‘His shots weren’t dropping tonight but he was playing good defence and passing the ball, that final shot wasn’t far off going in.’’

Longstaff also commended the Rangers on their defence which limited the usually potent Raiders offence.

‘‘We didn’t have a good night offensively,’’ Longstaff said.

‘‘But credit to Darren [Perry, Rangers coach] and his team, they played terrific defence and that was a factor.’’

Knox Raiders won their SEABL womens clash against Dandenong Rangers 65-54 last night.

New recruit Kelly Wilson, who plays for WNBL side Bendigo Spirit, continued her stellar start to the season with 30 points and nine rebounds while Odette Andrew added 11 points.

The Raiders women also play Sandringham Sabres before the men’s game tomorrow night with tip-off at 6pm.

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Take it to the limit

Top performer: Scoresby star Chris Hoegel will be joined by his brother Jayden this season. Picture: Wayne HawkinsKnox footy is going in hard. Roy Ward looks at the rise of professionalism in the leading clubs.
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OF ALL the examples of the countless hours football people spend on their suburban club, one of Knox Falcons coach Jon Knight’s weekly ritual stands out.

Every Wednesday night, after his children and wife head to bed, Knight watches a few hours of game video, assessing his players, their opposition and whatever else catches his eye.

He then presents each player with weekly feedback on their performance and conducts a team video session each Thursday as part of the club’s final training session of the week.

‘‘The video reinforces what I’ve been saying to the players,’’ he says. If they are not in right spot then you put it on the player to explain where they should be. Most of the time it’s a positive, a really good visual example.’’

The footballing bar is forever being raised in the Knox area. The leading clubs, based so close together, have been fighting a cold war of sorts to become the first club to snatch the Eastern Football League division 1 premiership.

Scoresby has twice gone close in the past two seasons, making the grand final before falling to two-time premier Noble Park.

The Falcons made big strides last season moving into the finals under Knight while Rowville has a burgeoning group of younger players on its senior list and rising from their junior ranks. Another division 2 powerhouse, Bayswater, has one of the best grounds in the league and continues to press for elevation to division 1.

The area’s quality was demonstrated by the drafting of former St Simon’s Knights junior Jonathon Patton going No.1 in the 2011 AFL draft. But the ambition in the area can’t be measured by one big talent — it’s shown by the results on and off the field in the Eastern Football League.

Anyone viewing a Scoresby or Falcons game can see some noticeable, elite-level touches with both sides employing very structured, systematic game plans.

The Magpies’ coach over the past two seasons was Dale Bower, respected across the league for his professional game plan and management of the club.

His replacement this season is former Victorian Football League assistant coach Scott Whyte, who has made it clear he will keep the club on a similar path, recruiting former VFL star Jayden Hoegel and Pakenham premiership captain Jared Goldsack, brother of Collingwood player Tyson.

Whyte arrives with an elite football background and strong commendations for his ability to analyse the game.

He has implemented a fitness program designed for Matt Hunter, who has done similar work with AFL cub Carlton.

Whyte says he is impressed with the hard work players put into their preparation and recovery.

‘‘Compared to the VFL it’s not that far off at all,’’ he says. ‘‘Most nights of the week the guys are doing something like seeing a physio or hitting the gym.

‘‘The difference comes during the season because a lot of players come down from the VFL as they don’t want to train three times a week, so I try to keep our training to two nights.’’

Knight believes the professionalism of the football clubs across the area is driven by a number of things but, when it comes down to it, the level of commitment is due to club and individual pride: wanting to be the best.

‘‘100 per cent, it is about pride,’’ he says. ‘‘Players know if they aren’t hitting the gym and doing the work then they won’t play senior footy. At Knox, they certainly won’t.

‘‘It is a pride thing because no one wants to do this training and then play in the reserves.

‘‘Footy is now a 12-month commitment. There are even certain players you ask to bulk up over the off-season and some of our players have done that.

‘‘At clubs like Noble Park or Vermont or East Ringwood it’s no different: every player is doing that level of work now.’’

Knight had to advance his young side during last season forcing the adjustment from a less sophisticated style of play.

After some tough losses at the start of the season his methods paid off. The Falcons stormed into the finals with a young side, often with veteran Paul Tredrea the only player aged over 24.

Knight says coaching a young group made it easier to teach his structured style of football.

‘‘I thought it was a pretty easy job when the team is so young and keen. The players were saying they never really had a structure to how they played.

‘‘The side was sold on it and brought into it. Once we beat Vermont in round 4 we kicked on from there. Each player needs to know our whole team structure. Some players will play four or five positions.’’

The Falcons not only train three nights a week, they are also expected to regularly do gym sessions and receive weekly video analysis from their coaches about the previous week’s game.

In Knight’s eyes, playing or coaching top-level suburban footy is a year-long commitment and only for those who truly love the game.

‘‘All coaches love footy. You have to, otherwise you wouldn’t be doing it.’’

Players across all division 1 clubs and many division 2 sides, put in a 12-month effort.

In the case of the Falcons, Knight expects his players to all be gym members and continue training outside the team’s weekly Monday, Tuesday and Thursday sessions.

‘‘Ideally, you would train every night but you can’t have players doing that when they work and study. But I would expect our players would do running or swimming or go to the gym on Wednesdays and Sundays.’’

Overall, the level of training has lifted the division 1 competition to higher levels and attracted more former AFL and VFL players into the league.

‘‘I reckon there is a big divide between second and first divisions,” Knight says.

‘‘Every division 1 side I saw last season was very organised and had a huge amount of support.

‘‘We are lucky at Knox in that way. When you see how many people stand out there each week and help the club, it’s a massive effort.’’

YVMDFL: Big names feature in recruiting wars

New season: Upwey-Tecoma will be out to defend its 2011 premiership this Saturday. Picture: Wayne HawkinsYARRA Valley Mountain District Football League opens its football and netball seasons this Saturday.
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Emerald will go in division 1 after winning the division 2 premiership in both football and netball.

Will they win only a handful of games, or will they creep into the top five? That question will only be answered in the season.

Wandin has recruited well with 33 new names arriving at the club. Belgrave and Emerald have also played a part in the recruiting game, gaining 24 and 22 new players respectively.

A few big names have left their respective clubs with Mt Evelyn losing stars Mark Martin, James Charge and Michael Smith to the Eastern Football League.

The likes of Dean Cleven (Monbulk), Wade Lees (Mount Evelyn) and Patrick Rosier (Olinda Ferny Creek) have all assumed prominent roles with Casey Scorpions.

With Damian Monkhorst stepping down as coach at Woori Yallock, Danny Ryan has taken his place for the 2012 season and there is no doubt he has big shoes to fill.

Belgrave’s new coach Ben Collins, from the Gippsland League, has already stamped his mark at the club, which is expected to be a strong force this season.

Mt Evelyn has recruited a few players, including Russell Cowan, who has won two league best and fairests for both Yarra Glen and Powelltown. Mt Evelyn has also picked up Regan Davis from the VAFA and Michael Paolini from the EFL.

Josh Wilson joins his brother at Powelltown, and Monbulk boys Jarrett Anderson and Dylan Werts return to their home club.

Belgrave looks to have recruited well, as have Kinglake, Yea and Alexandra. Upwey Tecoma looks to be an ominous force once again and their new coach Greg Spence will be keen to repeat last season’s success.

Netball has been growing at a phenomenal rate and this season brings the introduction of four grades for the first time. Not only have netball numbers grown, the skill level has also improved greatly.

The teams to beat in division 1 netball appear to be Wandin, Mount Evelyn and Upwey Tecoma.

Warburton Millgrove may also be ready to step up, and it will be interesting to see how Emerald will hold up after winning last season’s netball grand final in division 2.

Division 2 netball appears to be a fairly even contest, with no team really standing out.

EFL: Classy Demons up for challenge

New Demon: Former AFL and VFL star Brett Johnson will coach Montrose this season. Picture: Lucy Di PaoloWHAT DO YOU THINK? SCROLL TO BELOW THIS STORY TO POST A COMMENT.
Nanjing Night Net

The Eastern Football League division 2 season starts this Saturday. Roy Ward takes a look at what promises to be a tightly contested season.

Division 2

Bayswater

Coach: Neil Winterton

Ins: Neil Winterton (Mulgrave), Aaron Walton (Norwood), Jayden Murphy (Eastern Lions), Dave Burmeister (travel).

Outs: Bernie Dinneen (East Ringwood), Steve Newman (Mooroolbark), Adrian Gawne (Upper Ferntree Gully).

Chances: Former VFL and Mulgrave star Winterton will slip right into Dinneen’s shoes as playing coach, but the real question for the Waters will be whether their mid-level players are good enough to win matches. Walton, Murphy and Burmeister should all play key roles. It’s time for the Waters players to stand up to the rigours and challenges of senior football, and 2012 needs to be their year.

Montrose

Coach: Brett Johnson

Ins: Brett Johnson (VFL).

Outs: Troy Simmonds (break), Kayne Petifer (Northern FL).

Chances: Johnson joins a Montrose side that sits on the cusp of promotion to division 1 after its loss to Lilydale last year. The former AFL and VFL midfielder should add plenty of quality on the field and a practised, professional approach to the coaching staff, so expect big things from the Demons. The same younger stars who stepped up in the finals last year will need to stand up for the whole of 2012. The loss of Petifer’s quality and creativity in attack will hurt.

Rowville

Coach: Paul Mynott

Ins: Michael Bussey (TAC Cup), James Powell (Scoresby), Jake Ryall (Scoresby), Rudi Falovic (break).

Outs: Cody Morris (travel), Kris Barlow (Vermont), Darren Jeffries (Gippsland).

Chances: The Hawks are quietly confident they can go a step further in 2012 after a heartbreaking finals exit last season. The loss of Morris and Jeffries removes quality from the side but Bussey, Powell and Falovic, a towering ruckman, fill some significant holes in the line-up. The young Hawks are a year older, a year wiser and should be in contention right up until the end of the season, although whether this is their year is still to be seen.

Mooroolbark

Coach: Brett Fisher

Ins: Steve Newman (Bayswater), James Charge, Mark Martin and Michael Smith (all Mt Evelyn),

Outs: Darren Spence (YVMDFL).

Chances: The Mustangs had a horror start to 2011 and never recovered, but with a long off-season behind them expect to be a more dangerous side in 2012. Charge, Martin and Smith all starred in the Yarra Valley. Expect them to be equally effective in the EFL while Kire Talevski and Cameron Linford should again be leaders. Whether the Mustangs make finals will depend on their consistency.

Mulgrave

Coach: Ryan James

Ins: Craig Skicko (SFL), Andrew Perrin (Omeo),

Outs: Neil Winterton (Bayswater), Luke Ablett (VAFA), Mitch Collins (YVMDFL), Cohen Howell (Noble Park).

Chances: The Lions have lost some high-profile players and have turned their focus to their home-grown players. The drop from division 1 hurt the club but the lessons have been absorbed so expect a fitter and faster Lions. James is a club stalwart and provides great enthusiasm. Whether they are a finals side or simply a tough competitor is for debate, but don’t underestimate the Lions.

Upper Ferntree Gully

Coach: Andy Hayman

Ins: Adrian Gawne (Bayswater), Haytham Elnakadi (Mulgrave),

Outs: David Eddy (VFL).

Chances: The Uppers will be looking to continue the gains made under Hayman in 2011. Gawne and Elnakadi should improve the side while a number of younger Uppers should establish themselves in the seniors. Whether the Uppers are good enough to challenge the best in the division remains to be seen, but they will certainly give it their best.

Waverley Blues

Coach: Scott Hunter

Ins: Mitch Hayes (TAC Cup), Travis Allen (VAFA).

Outs: None.

Chances: The Blues shape as a much tougher proposition with a healthier list, and the inclusion of Hayes and Allen should boost the midfield. Hunter believes his side was unlucky with injuries last year so a full side could press the best sides. An in-form Blues would make life hard for any opposition.

Doncaster, Doncaster East and Donvale also play in this division.

EFL: Bulls shape up as benchmark

Flying Falcons: Knox Falcons are ready for a big year with midfielders like George Stuckey in good form. Picture: Sam StiglecWHAT DO YOU THINK? SCROLL TO BELOW THIS STORY TO POST A COMMENT.
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The Eastern Football League division 1 season kicks off on April 21. Roy Ward runs the rule over the competition.

Division 1

Croydon

Coach: Brett Chandler

Ins: Andrew Hughes (injury).

Outs: Jarrod Wright (Balwyn).

Chances: The Blues have turned their efforts within during the off-season with a major focus on preparing their younger players for senior football. Chandler believes a lighter Damien Cupido will again be a match-winner while the return of Hughes and emergence of several other Blues will make the side better. But their best endeavours could still see them short of the finals.

East Ringwood

Coach: Bernie Dinneen

Ins: Bernie Dinneen (Bayswater), Joel Perry (Echuca), Aaron Fiora (WBFL), David Bell and Cam Purdy (both VFL).

Outs: Andrew McGuiness (travel), Anthony Van Rooyen (SFL), Dylan Werts (YVMDFL).

Chances: Dinneen has the Roos firing on cylinders leading into 2012. After a winning start to 2011 the Roos fell back to the field but an inclusion of star recruits Perry, Bell and Purdy as well as former AFL player Fiora shape the Roos as a significant challenger to Noble Park’s crown. How quickly the Roos mesh together will decide how quickly they join the top echelon of the EFL.

Norwood

Coach: Kevin Tibaldi

Ins: Scott Day (Euroa), Patrick Jones (Gippsland), Justin Gould (East Gippsland).

Outs: Leigh Williams (AFL), Michael Costello (Heathmont).

Chances: At their best the Norsemen were a dangerous side last season but lacked enough wins to make a serious impact. They will miss Williams whose goal kicking was vital but the return of Day from Euroa will add to their midfield while the club’s younger, emerging players will need to take on more responsibility if the club is to rise into premiership contention.

Knox Falcons

Coach: Jon Knight

Ins:: Jacob Castricum (VFL), Myles Krakouer (West Adelaide), Tom Chisholm (Old Hailybury), Brendan Makea (travel).

Outs: Todd Daniher (Vermont), Jye Sigersma (Upper Ferntree Gully).

Chances: The Falcons want to progress deeper into the finals in 2012. After snaring a surprise berth in the finals last season, Knight wants his side to take the next step into the top three. Castricum made a few cameos with the Falcons last season and will add class while Krakouer and Chisholm shape as match-winners. The Falcons will have to work but they could well move into the top level this season.

Lilydale

Coach: Simon Rourke

Ins: Steve Wright (Emerald), Jarrad Barden (Mt. Evelyn), Robbie Allen (Woori Yallock).

Outs: Andrew Bawden (retired), Josh Barrett (North Ringwood), Marcus Baxter (Chirnside Park), Matt Lawrence (Coldstream).

Chances: Lilydale returns to division 1 with high hopes after a memorable division 2 premiership season. But they return to find the top division just as competitive as when they were relegated. The Falcons’ much-vaunted midfield will again need to fire and the club must take every win it can to avoid getting stuck in the relegation battle late in the season.

South Croydon

Coach: Ben Delarue

Ins: Steve Dinnell and Nick King (both VFL).

Outs: Dylan Troutman (VFL).

Chances: The Bulldogs will be back on Cheong Reserve this season and look forward to a more stable year after having to fight in plenty of matches last year. Dinnell and King will add plenty to the side while Troutman will be missed but could make a few appearances if not winning selection in the VFL. With a fully fit midfield the Bulldogs will challenge plenty of sides but once again consistency and fitness will determine the club’s finals hopes.

Noble Park

Coach: Mick Fogarty

Ins: Andrew McConnell (VFL), Cohen Howell (Mulgrave), Luke McLean (SANFL), Steve Tolongs (Myrtleford).

Outs: Peter O’Brien (retired), Kyle Martin (VFL), Lachie Delahunty (VFL), Beau Dowler (VFL), Jackson Sketcher (VFL).

Chances: The outs look ominous for Noble Park but the two-time premiers have made some wise signings while also retaining proven stars such as Craig Anderson, Stewart Kemperman and Ziggy Alwan. McLean and McConnell come with good reputations, so expect Fogarty’s Bulls to be the EFL benchmark once again.

Scoresby

Coach: Scott Whyte.

Ins: Jared Goldsack (Pakenham), Jayden Hoegal (VFL).

Outs: Steve Pimm (AFNL), Anthony Vanin (ROC).

Chances: Although two-time grand final coach Dale Bower has left the Magpies, the side remains full of talent with 18 players from their grand final side returning along with key signings Goldsack and Hoegal. New coach Whyte has his side focused and ready for the season ahead. Whether they remain as strong as improved sides like Vermont, East Ringwood and Knox will be a question answered in the opening rounds.

Balwyn, East Burwood and Vermont also play in this division.

Russell a driving force for the elderly

Helping hand: Russell Moore helps the elderly in Knox, including Valerie Winslade and Mario Mealing, by taking them to medical appointments. Picture: Ted KloszynskiWHEN Russell Moore found himself unemployed in his mid-50s, he decided not to waste away the days doing nothing.
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Instead, he kept busy by driving elderly Knox residents to social events and hospital appointments across the region as a volunteer for not-for-profit organisation Bridges.

Mr Moore used his own car before it “got a bit long in the tooth”, and he became a Bridges bus driver.

Bridges has recently widened the eligibility requirements to use its transport service and now urgently needs more volunteer bus drivers.

Previously, only pensioners who were permanently unable to drive could use the service, but now pensioners who require transport on a temporary basis or who only drive in their local area can also use it.

Bridges spokeswoman Alex Coubek said the significant change would assist more pensioners to attend medical appointments and reduce the risk of isolation.

Mr Moore said he took a 94-year-old woman to the Rowville Community Centre every Friday to play bingo. “It gives them a bit of enjoyment. They’re not just sitting there watching television – they’re getting out of the house.”

He has been volunteering with the organisation for almost five years and puts on the Bridges bus driver hat every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

While the pensioners are enjoying themselves at their various social activities, Mr Moore either has a coffee with them or does some shopping.

“It’s good just to give something back to the community. They’re nice people and most of them are still very sharp,” he said.

But there’s also a benefit for Mr Moore in the long term. “I’ll probably end up on the bus myself one day. Hopefully, they’ll give me a free ride when I’m not able to drive.”

Anyone wanting to volunteer can call Bridges on 9729 9499.

Headspace centre battle continues

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MAROONDAH Council has not given up hope on being nominated as the preferred location for a new youth mental health service, despite rumours Knox has already won the honour.

The municipalities have been battling to get the headspace youth mental health hub in their area, since the organisation last year announced its intention to open an outer east site.

Media reports have indicated a consortium of community health services has recommended the Knox Ozone site in Wantirna South over Maroondah’s offer in Ringwood. Official representatives have not confirmed this, and the final decision lies with headspace and the federal government.

Knox mayor Adam Gill said he knew one thing was certain – and that was the preferred location for the outer east hub was Knox Ozone.

He said there was already a mental health service in Maroondah, but not in Knox. Ringwood police, Maroondah mayor Rob Steane and Deakin MP Mike Symon met at the proposed Ringwood site at 120 Maroondah Highway last week to discuss their bid for the centre.

Cr Steane said Ringwood was the major transport hub connecting bus and train services in the outer east, Lilydale and Healesville. Mr Symon said he fully supported Maroondah Council’s bid to have the headspace site in Maroondah.

“It is laughable to suggest that that a young person without a car who is living in Mt Evelyn or Healesville could practically ever access a service based in Knox.”

But Youth Advocacy Group president Anthony Osborne said a survey of 120 young people showed 83 percent preferred Knox.

“Many of the respondents outlined that they felt unsafe at Ringwood station. Residents from Yarra Ranges also outlined that despite catching the Ringwood line for many years they still didn’t feel safe.”

A headspace spokeswoman said the organisation was unable to comment on the proceedings as it was confidential. A decision was expected by the end of the month.

A glimpse at our libraries of the future

Book lovers: Knox mayor Adam Gill, Joseph Cullen, the Ministerial Advisory Council on Public Libraries deputy chairwoman Joanna Duncan, MAC chairman David Morris and John Mortimore discuss the future of libraries in Knox. Picture: Wayne HawkinsWHAT DO YOU THINK? SCROLL TO BELOW THIS STORY TO POST A COMMENT.
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KNOX libraries of the future could feature cafes and colourful areas for children if the council’s dreams can be realised.

The ambitious plans, tabled at last month’s Knox Council meeting, might not be looked at for some years.

Eastern Regional Libraries chief executive officer Joseph Cullen said the roll-out of the plans would be a “question of priorities, funding and timing”.

ERL commissioned an architect to design appropriate physical facilities at each Knox branch, and the cost of each development could range from between $700,000 and $2 million.

The plans for Knox library, which is within Knox shopping centre, included new wet areas for activities and new furniture.

However, the lease for the site expires in 2017 and the plans would be reconsidered once there was more certainty for the branch.

Mr Cullen said the development of the children’s areas were necessary because the libraries needed something to attract young people.

The most costly proposed upgrade would be at Boronia library, which in June last year was estimated at $1.8 million.

The plan included turning the loading dock into office accommodation, expanding the multipurpose room and building a cafe. A cafe was also suggested for Ferntree Gully library.

“Cafes at libraries are something that are happening internationally. It makes it a destination and people stay a bit longer,” Mr Cullen said.

Last week, the bipartisan Ministerial Advisory Council on Public Libraries visited Knox library to consult with ERL staff and the council.

The advisory council is undertaking a review titled ‘Tomorrow’s Library’ which looks into the current and future roles of public libraries.

Although funding won’t officially be discussed until stage two of the review, it was still a topic many were keen to discuss at the meeting.

“Funding for libraries is an issue,” Cr John Mortimore said. “Libraries deserve a better share.”

Mr Cullen said the state government needed to look at its level of funding to public libraries, because the ratio of council to state funding had been decreasing since the 1970s.

To have your say on ERL’s future plans, go to tomorrowslibrary南京夜网.au.