Knox Tavern Cup: Belgrave 5-59 v Monbulk (abandoned).
Division 6: Mountain Gate 4-131 (Argus 44no, Adam 42no, Moulday 3-26) v Monbulk (abandoned).
Division 7: Aura Vale 3-56 v Ferntree Gully (abandoned).
B1: Wandin East 0-27 d Knox Boronia Churches 26.
U17(1): Eildon Park 6-122 v Knox Gardens 0-12 (abandoned). Johnson Park 6-138 (Dunstone 41, Hardy 30no, Donnelly 3-23) v Mountain Gate 3-50 (abandoned).
U17(2): Belgrave-Belgrave South 6-105 (Fidge 37no, Hutchinson 3-9) d Knoxfield 5-98 (Conway 26).
U15(1): Knox Gardens 1-22 v Lysterfield 5-98 (abandoned), Eildon Park Panthers 0-44 d Upper FTG 6-38, Mulgrave 2-180 d Eildon Park Wildcats 7-102.
U15(2): Knox Gardens 6-164 (Grimston 30no, Vasanth 30no) v Monbulk 1-37 (abandoned), Lysterfield 2-103 (Outhwaite 31no) drew with FTG Footballers-Rowville 5-103 (Hasan 30no, Stuart 29, Rossi 2-7), Eildon Park Cougars 5-158 (Dunkinson 32no, Jago 33no) d Belgrave-Mountain Gate 6-56 (Almond 3-16), Ferntree Gully 3-117 (Hartog-Burnett 31no, Hughes 30no) d The Basin 5-84 (Best 31no).
U13: Knoxfield 1-135 (Smyth 20no, Quigley 20no, Gregg 22no) d Lysterfield 8-71 (Treloar 22no, Perry 6-4), Johnson Park 5-95 (McDonald 23no) d Knox Gardens 3-83 (Marget 20no, Adcock 22no).
U13(2): Eildon Park Wildcats 6-144 (Shepperd 21no, Hart 21no) d Rowville 4-77.
U12: Eildon Park Panthers 3-91 (Pollard 27) d Upwey 4-71, Eildon Park Wildcats 4-100 (Fisher 20no) d Monbulk 3-57, Ferntree Gully Blue 0-103 (Bredin 23no, Martin 22no, Byrne 20no) d Johnson Park 6-73 (Hart 20no), Ferntree Gully White 3-50 d Lysterfield 5-47.
EASTERN DISTRICTS POOL LEAGUE:
Winter season, week 1:
Division 1: Ringwood RSL 24 drew with Matthew Flinders 24, Manhattan 28 d Roomers 20, Stamford Rams 23 lt Eastern Rangers 25.
Division 2: Fastbreak 25 d Ringwood RSL 23, Dorset 27 d Whitehorse 21, Croydon 1 bye, Village Green 22 lt Eastern Rangers 26, Potters 30 d Roomers 18, Manhattan 28 d Stamford Rams 20.
Division 3: Mountain View 14 lt Stamford Rams 22, Ringwood RSL 18 d Manhattan 15, Cutters 14 lt Fastbreak 22, Matthew Flinders 19 d Bayswater 17, Roomers 18 drew with Gully 18, Eastern Rangers 25 d Daisey’s 11.
Division 4: Whitehorse 20 d Dorset 16, Manhattan 25 d Mountain View 11, Stamford Rams 33 d Cutters 0.
TWO-time premiers Mooroolbark will have to do it the hard way but make no mistake, the Barkers are out for their third straight Lindsay Trollope Shield when the RDCA finals start this Saturday.
The Barkers finished the season in third place and will host surprise-packet Warranwood in the elimination final this Saturday and Sunday at Mooroolbark Heights Reserve.
Minor premier Wantirna South will host South Croydon in the qualifying final at Walker Reserve. The elimination final winner will face the loser of the qualifying final in the preliminary final the following weekend.
Barkers coach Darren Bersey said his side was under no illusions how difficult the finals campaign would be but remained confident it could become the first Barkers side to win three straight flags.
The Barkers’ only clash with Warranwood came in a one-day game this season that the Sharks won. So Bersey said his players would be watchful of their opponents.
“Warranwood has had a great year and been a real X-factor in the competition. When we played them we got ourselves in a good position to chase down their score and then folded. The boys will be keen to make up for it this weekend.”
Bersey has challenged his batsmen to lift their output during the post-season.
“Our batsmen need to make more runs so we can get a good score on the board. We have a strong bowling attack, we back ourselves with the ball so we need the runs as well.” The Barkers’ third side is also playing in the finals.
The qualifying final promises to be an intriguing match-up as former Ringwood quick Drew McKay leads his Wantirna South Devils against Josh Stewart’s South Croydon Bulldogs.
Both sides will enter in solid form and with several potential match-winners. The winning side will go straight into the grand final.
Heavy rain meant no results from the final round of RDCA matches, which were scheduled to be played on Saturday.
After finishing in bottom spot, Croydon Ranges has been relegated to Wilkins Cup for next season.
THE more things change the more they stay the same – Ferntree Gully District Cricket Association’s Knox Tavern Cup enters the semi-finals this Saturday and Sunday with exactly the same match-ups as last year.
Minor premiers Upwey-Tecoma will again face Ferntree Gully Footballers and reigning premiers Eildon Park battle Johnson Park. Last year, Footballers upset the highly-rated Tigers and Eildon Park beat the Sharks.
Eildon Park president Chris Noonan said his side were ready for a torrid test against the strong Johnson Park bowling attack.
The Panthers expect to field an unchanged side from past weeks which features nine of the 11 premiership players from last season.
While last season’s captain-coach Josh Dowling returned to the United Kingdom after the flag, Noonan said captain Cam Cosstick and playing coach Nathan McNally continued to lead the club well.
He also commended Aaron Powell for his return to the senior side this season and former North Dandenong player Adrian Baltruschaitis who had provided valuable efforts with bat and ball.
Noonan said the Panthers’ semi-final clash would come down to who batted better out of the two sides. “Johnson Park has a good bowling attack and our bowling attack is one of the best going around so it will come down to how well we bat.”
Rain forced play to be abandoned in the last round of Knox Tavern Cup games last Saturday.
Belgrave and Monbulk were fighting it out to avoid relegation, with Monbulk forcing the Magpies to 4-59 from 25 overs before rain ended any chance of play. The abandoned game meant Monbulk, which won the 2007-08 premiership, is relegated to De Coite Shield next season.
Opening batsman Jason Simmonds is the only current player from that premiership team.
De Coite Shield finals will see minor premiers and favourites Knox Gardens do battle with Mountain Gate and Lysterfield tackle Rowville at Lakesfield Reserve.
The semi-finals in both leagues will be played this Saturday and Sunday with play starting at 1pm each day and Monday being retained as a spare day in case play is lost on either day.
Knox Tavern Cup semi-finals
Upwey Tecoma v Footballers, Upwey Recreation Reserve. Eildon Park v Johnson Park, Eildon Park ground 1.
De Coite Shield semi-finals
Knox Gardens v Mt Gate, Argyle Reserve. Lysterfield v Rowville, Lakesfield Reserve.
On line: Bayswater will be asking big efforts from its bowlers, including Ben Jackson, when the Waters face Oakleigh this weekend. Picture: Sam StiglecBAYSWATER has returned to the Victorian Sub District Cricket Association south-east finals for the first time in almost a decade.
The Waters secured fifth place on the ladder after rain washed out all play in the VSDCA on Saturday and will play second-placed Oakleigh in a qualifying final at Warrawee Park, Oakleigh, this Saturday and Sunday. Three of the Waters four VSDCA sides have made finals in their respective grades.
Waters captain Sean Flynn said his side was looking forward to its first finals appearance since he had returned to the club. “Everyone around the club is really excited. Playing in big finals games is what we play all season for.”
The Oaks shape as a daunting test for the Waters after giving them a sound beating in their last clash in mid-December winning outright.
“That gave us a cricketing lesson in our last meeting,” Flynn said. “This time, we plan to put up a much better fight. We have certainly improved our form with each game and we have taken confidence from our last win.”
The VSDCA uses a top-six finals system so the three first-round winners will be joined by the highest place loser in the semi finals.
Flynn has made it clear his side had to win as it could not be the highest ranked loser. We have to win every match from here on in – we will get no second chances,” he said.
The Waters expect to field an unchanged side.
VSDCA South-East Qualifying-finals draw:
1st XI: Caulfield v Malvern, Caulfield Park; Oakleigh v Bayswater, Warrawee Park; Elsternwick v Box Hill, Elsternwick Park No.1.
2nd XI: Elsternwick v Oakleigh, Walter Galt Reserve; Brighton v Caulfield, Brighton Beach Oval; Noble Park v Malvern, Pat Wright Snr Oval.
3rd XI: Brighton v Malvern, McKenzies Reserve; Bayswater v Caulfield, Bayswater Oval; Oakleigh v Elsternwick, WA Scammell Reserve.
4th XI: Oakleigh v Bayswater, Bayswater Park No.2; Box Hill v Brighton, Sydney Pargeter Reserve; Caulfield v Malvern, Caulfield Park No.1.
Premier colours: Glen Waverley’s Peter Skapetis has signed with Queens Park Rangers.WHEN teenage soccer player Peter Skapetis moved from Glen Waverley to join English championship club Birmingham last year he was set on eventually playing in the English Premier League.
That dream is a step closer after the sure-footed striker earned a professional contract with Premier League newcomer Queens Park Rangers last month.
The 17-year-old former Rowville Sports Academy student joined Birmingham on a youth team contract last June but by the new year he had trialled with the Rangers and was offered a professional contract, which he quickly accepted.
The 18-month contract will see him play with the Rangers’ youth team and at times with the reserves, although good form could see him earn a place in the senior side.
Skapetis said the move was a major advancement for his career as he joins a Rangers club which is rapidly upgrading facilities and investing in its playing squad.
“It shows that hard work pays off,” he said. “I worked hard in those five or so months with Birmingham and got one start in their reserves side and some bench appearances.
“It will now be more challenging with QPR because they have a bigger squad but making it harder to play reserves or even senior football will give me something to work towards.”
Skapetis said the youth team and reserves players regularly mixed with the Rangers’ senior players in the gym and around the club.
Rangers feature several English stars including Joey Barton, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Anton Ferdinand. “It’s great to be around them every day, you see them around and they say hello to you,” he said.
Skapetis said he wanted to do his best as a striker for the Rangers’ youth side and hoped to break into the first team in the next year.
“In the short term I want to keep doing well and score goals,” he said. “I want to contribute as much as I can and hopefully make a first team appearance in the next six to 12 months.”
Skapetis will also continue his schooling through the club, with youth team players doing classes on Sunday afternoons and each Wednesday.
A BUNINYONG man has this morning launched his nation’s bid for gold at the 2012 London Paralympic Games by carrying the Australian flag at the opening ceremony.
National flag bearer and wheelchair rugby star Greg Smith led his team out during this morning’s opening ceremony, which began at 4.30am Ballarat time.
Just hours before the honour became a reality, Mr Smith told The Courier he would never forget the moment.
“I’m not that nervous really, just excited more than anything,” he said.
“It’s a great honour, it really is.”
Mr Smith said he had tried to focus on the task at hand, but couldn’t help getting slightly overwhelmed with the responsibility.
“Sometimes I put it to the back of my mind, then one of the rugby jokers will give me a bit of stick about it, so it is really starting to sink in,” he said.
“I’ve got lots of family back home, so I’m sure there’s going to be plenty of TVs switched on early in Buninyong and Ballarat.
“Hopefully I do a good job.”
The 45-year-old was left a quadriplegic after a 1986 car accident but went on to compete in wheelchair racing in Barcelona in 1992, Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000.
Winning three gold, three silver and two bronze medals, he later joined Australia’s silver medal-winning wheelchair rugby team for the Beijing 2008 games.
His stand-out performance in Sydney cemented his place as the world’s best wheelchair racer in his class, winning the 800, 1500 and 5000-metre races and collecting two world records.
He won the 2004 NSW state league Most Valuable Player Award and the National Wheelchair Rugby League Best New Talent award, and became assistant coach to Australia’s wheelchair rugby team, the Steelers.
Mr Smith retired after the Beijing games, before launching a comeback in 2010 and winning silver at the world championships.
But he said his only thoughts this morning would be his duties as Australian flag bearer.
“I’m not sure exactly how far I get to go – it could be 100 metres or it could be 400 metres,” he said.
“The whisper is the Queen will be there, so I’m sure there’s some etiquette I have to follow there.”
Mr Smith’s team doesn’t begin playing rugby until the second week of the games.
“It’s great for me because I get to focus on the flag, then we can focus on getting the real job done – which is winning the gold medal.”
Flying the flag: Greg Smith when he was announced as the Australian team’s Paralympics flag bearer.
Caring parents: Annette Niven and David Gilfillan are very happy with their decision to become foster carers. Picture: Ted KloszynskiWHEN Annette Niven met her partner David Gilfillan later in life, she was certain she still wanted to experience the joy of motherhood.
But as David already had two adult children, they needed a compromise – and became foster parents instead.
Since then, they’ve looked after two children, including a four-year-old boy every second weekend for the past three years.
“We’ve become a part of his extended family network,” Ms Niven said. “He has his own bedroom so he knows this is his home, and we even saw him take his first steps here.”
While this little boy has found a loving second home, some are not so fortunate. Anchor Foster Care has identified a serious shortage of fosters carers in the Knox area and has put out the call for more people like Annette and David.
“On any one night we have 42 children living with a family in Knox,” said Anchor child and family services manager Carmel Malone. “But we need even more.”
Ms Malone said foster carers must have generosity of spirit and an “ordinary life”.
The service does not discriminate – foster carers could be single, married, gay, and from any cultural or religious background.
Prospective foster carers must go through a number of steps including training programs, assessment processes and medical, police and reference checks.
Ms Malone said foster parenting was a two-way street because children and parents got something out of it.
“Parents get to see children [who come into their home] settle, live a normal life, go to school, learn new hobbies, and grow and develop along the way.”
Non-taxable government allowances and grants for foster carers are available and Anchor provides a support network.
For more details about becoming a foster parent, visit anchor南京夜网.au or call 9801 1999.
GOALS – Greenvale: J Gazzo 3, M Smith 2, R Nayna, T Wright, P Lenne, R Bloomfield, A Aloi. Strathmore: A Winter, M Silver 3, D Jones 2, DMay, M Stapleton, T Harvey, M Knight, TMendico, C Groth, K Staudt.
BEST – Greenvale: S Zumbo, E Kuret, P Lenne, R Nayna, J Gazzo, S Potter. Strathmore: J Wilton, C Groth, N Lyons, A Arrowsmith, MHeyne, D Jones.
GOALS – Craigieburn: B Brooks 4, J Davies, W Kelly, J Layley 2, R Hall, S Boyall, B Ethemi, BMall, A Loizou, S Eldridge. Avondale Heights: R Magin 4, C Johnson, J Grabowski 3, SLenehan, A Aparo 2, X Clarke, E Edis, D Disipio.
BEST – Craigieburn: B Brooks, J Davies, W Kelly, J Layley, S Kirby, R Hall. Avondale Heights: S Keenan, C Johnson, X Clarke, R Magin, J Grabowski, A Aparo.
Oak Park 10.3 (63) lt Maribyrnong Park 21.15(141)
GOALS – Oak Park: J Kennedy 3, MHooper, N Rudewych 2, C Murch, B Considine, AGleeson. Maribyrnong Park: J DeSousa, J Barling, B Holland, H Ayres 3, M Kaakour 2, T Miller, J Kotzur, J Philpot, B Hollow, S White, J Byrush, T Lee.
BEST – Oak Park: B Crosswell, M Hooper, JMcDonald, T German, J Kennedy, N Rudewych. Maribyrnong Park: J Barling, BHollow, JKotzur, M Boyd, T Miller, J Philpot.
Essendon Doutta Stars 9.7 (61) d Keilor 8.4 (52)
GOALS – EDS: D Lynch 2, M Jensen, C Atkinson, R Hicks, D Rayson, M Lynch, J Hodgkin, AVaughan. Keilor: J Garth, R Marcy 2, D Joyce, C Petrie, J Papalia, J Butty.
BEST – EDS: M Lynch, J Morris, J Gribben, JKahlefeldt, D Lynch, B Langtry. Keilor: J Papalia, B Fletcher, D Cooper, R Marcy, R Van Riet, D Westfield.
Pascoe Vale 16.13 (109) d Aberfeldie 16.4 (100)
GOALS – Pascoe Vale: D Nolan 4, J Bannister, SLeech 3, L Morgan, L Featherstone 2, D Tydell, D Couwenberg. Aberfeldie: H Skipworth 5, M Kennedy, D Borg, J Hislop, Z O’Brien, D Mangan 2, N Cattapan.
BEST – Pascoe Vale: M Mannix, L Featherstone, D McMeekin, M Perri, S Leech, D Couwenberg. Aberfeldie: X Norden, Z O’Brien, J Rush, D Borg, D Fanning, H Skipworth.
1 Strathmore (18-0) 178%
2 Greenvale (16-2) 174%
3 Aberfeldie (11-7) 127%
4 Maribyrnong Park (9-9) 98%
5 Pascoe Vale (8-10) 112%
6 Essendon Doutta Stars (8-10) 94%
7 Keilor (7-11) 94%
8 Oak Park (7-11) 77%
9 Avondale Heights (6-12) 77%
10 Craigieburn (0-18) 47%
Preliminary final – Hillside 10.6 (66) lt Moonee Valley 14.7 (91)
GOALS – Hillside: A Harvey 4, B Ferraro 2, L Skewes, A Farrar, D Mitchell, T Hamza. Moonee Valley: L Johnson 4, B Newell, J Covelli 3, R O’Brien, B Hickey, J Edwards, T Wilson.
BEST – Hillside: C Metcher, D Mitchell, B Ferraro, A Farrar, S Tiricola, T Stone. Moonee Valley: B Newell, D Brooks, M Bourke, J Lumsden, JNicholson, J O’Brien.
A refugee’s journey: Abdi Aden has laid bare his heart in detailing the dark days of fleeing war-torn Somalia and coming to Australia. Picture: Darren HoweA CRAIGIEBURN man forced to flee his home in war-torn Somalia in 1991 is about to tell Australia his story of survival and courage.
Abdi Aden will feature in the second series of the SBS documentary Go Back To Where You Came From, which airs tonight.
The documentary follows the journey of six prominent Australians – Angry Anderson, Peter Reith, Catherine Deveny, Imogen Bailey, Michael Smith and Allan Asher – to experience the reality of refugee life.
They were split into two groups, with one visiting Somalia, the other Kabul in Afghanistan.
Both groups visited refugee camps and local families and saw the squalor of everyday life.
They met men involved in people smuggling operations with Christmas Island as their destination.
Before they embarked on the three-week journey, three of the Australians were taken to Mr Aden’s house in Craigieburn to learn about his experience of coming to Australia.
Mr Aden told the Weekly last week it was a good opportunity to be a part of the television show and raise the profile of Somalia.
He recalls clearly the day in 1991 when bombs began to rain down around his home in Mogadishu, signalling the beginning of Somalia’s civil war.
Abdi fled at age 13 with 312 others and headed for Kenya. He was separated from his family, not knowing if they were alive or dead.
On the way to Kenya, Somalian death squads hunted them down. A group of teenage boys was caught and lined up to be executed.
Mr Aden says the bullets missed him but he fell to the ground and faked death to survive.
After three and a half months, only five of the 312 who had set out on the journey survived and reached Kenya.
“I remember feeling petrified. I thought my heart would stop when we were going from Somalia to Kenya,” he says.
“I said to myself that if I ever make it I’m going to be the best person and I’m going to appreciate everything.”
He was 15 when he arrived in Melbourne with fake documents.
Homeless for the first year, he slept in churches and mosques.
“I wanted people to know two things: one is that the general public needs to realise that refugees are not coming here for the sake of it,” he says.
“They’re coming here from war and violence.
“And the second thing is for Somalian people to basically stop thinking badly; Somalia needs them.
“When I was younger I had the best education in the best community. I had good parents who loved me and I was going to become a pilot or a teacher.
“I want the Australian community to know that refugees are the same as the rest of the community.”
Mr Aden says he thought his outspoken manner could have ruined the show, but he adds that he’s happy with the outcome.
“I didn’t realise how hard it was to do the show.
“I went through hell thinking about Somalia and how people are dying. A lot of people say I’m brave, but I think I have to do something,” he says.
“It was really a good opportunity to help [raise the profile of] Somalia, which has been in war the last 21 years.
“I decided that I was ready to do something, because before that I was young, but now I’m experienced and older and ready to help Somalia.
“You can’t run away from the country you’re born in. It’s time to turn around and do something about it.”
Mr Aden studied community development at Victoria University and has been a youth worker for the past 10 years. Last year at Melbourne University, he completed a postgraduate degree in adolescent mental health.
Mr Aden has lived in Craigieburn for 10 years with his wife and three sons. His mother, with whom he was reunited in 1996, also lives with his family.
To this day, he doesn’t know if his father is dead or alive.
Time to act: Yasir Mahmud has called for help to curb an increase in youth violence. Picture: Lucy AulichAN African community leader is not surprised at police statistics showing that young Africans are over-represented in Hume’s crime rate, but he has blamed a lack of strategies in tackling the problem.
Victoria Police figures, released last week, show Somalia and Sudan-born Victorians are five times more likely to commit offences than the broader population of the state.
Assistant Commissioner Steve Fontana said he was most worried about offences including assaults and street robberies in Broadmeadows and Fawkner.
“We do have other ethnic communities; I know some of the Islander youth are also over-represented,” he said.
“But when you look at the figures overall, it’s particularly some of the youth of Sudanese and Somali background, then you’ve got the Islanders.
”It’s not just these youth offending, but when you look at the overall population, it’s pretty high compared to the general population of Victoria.”
African community leader Yasir Mahmud said there weren’t enough strategies in place to curb this behaviour.
Mr Mahmud is the founder of Hume’s Youth in Progress program, which focuses on mentoring and coaching youth from an East African background.
Last week, at the Celebration of African Australian awards in Sydney, Mr Mahmud was named one of the 100 most influential African Australians.
“I’m not surprised if the result is correct, simply because there is no profound effective strategy to solve youth problems put forward by Victorian Police [and] federal and state governments,” he said.
“There may be programs or projects out there which run for a short time, but youth issues
are so complicated that a young person can be productive this week and you find this same young person destructive the next week.”
Mr Mahmud said some of the issues young African people faced were disengagement from families, leaving school early, drug and alcohol addiction and depression.
He said there needed to be more government funding for programs to support African youth and their parents.
“The first thing I could see as significantly important is for state and federal governments to fund [a] ‘parent teaching or training program’ in regards to how to handle behavioural changes or issues that arise from their own kids,” he said.
“At the same token, this training should be targeted to help minimise the gap in terms of the knowledge and social understanding between the African parents and their young kids.”