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Sydney’s public transport use soars, even as its buses run late

Patronage on Sydney’s train network grew by about 10 per cent last year Photo: Dominic LorrimerPublic transport use is soaring across Sydney, putting more pressure on crowded trains and buses.
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An annual snapshot by the NSW Audit Office shows patronage across the public transport network increased by 12 per cent last financial year.

But the Audit Office also highlighted the failure of buses, in particular, to run on time. The report said buses operated by private companies “almost never” met punctuality targets for the middle or the end of their trips, while the government-owned State Transit bus operator “did not meet any punctuality targets during the year”.

The Audit Office attributed the huge growth in passenger trips across Sydney – there were 72 million more public transport trips in 2015-16 compared to the year before – partly to the increased take-up of the Opal card.

Trips on the rail network increased 10.7 per cent last year, from 328 million to 363 million.

Trips on Sydney’s buses increased 12.8 per cent, from 257 million to 290 million. Trips on the light rail line increased by 66 per cent, from six million to 10 million, while ferry trips remained stable.

“The continuing rise in patronage increases pressure on public transport crowding, punctuality and capacity,” the report said.

In some areas, however, management systems used by transport authorities are failing to capture the strains on the system.

The Auditor-General, Margaret Crawford, who on Thursday released a scathing report into the management of Sydney’s central business district light rail project, drew attention to the failure to hold bus operators to punctuality targets.

Her report noted that private bus operators can only be fined if their buses do not start their trips on time; they cannot be fined if their buses run late after starting their trip. Most private and publicly run buses failed to run on time after they had started their trip.

“Because public transport services are crucial in getting customers to their destinations on time, TfNSW should consider including financial penalties for not meeting punctuality targets in future contracts with bus operators,” Ms Crawford said.

Transport Minister Andrew Constance said everyone wanted to see better on-time performance for government-operated buses.

“I expect [the State Transit Authority] to better the performance of the private sector, if they can,” he said. “We have invested, in the state budget, for around an additional 3800 weekly services when it comes to the bus network.”

But Mr Constance said one of the major challenges for STA-operated buses was that they operated in parts of Sydney where there was significant traffic congestion.

“There are no plans to franchise Sydney Buses at this stage,” he said.

The Auditor-General’s snapshot also highlights the crowding pressures on trains and buses. The number of train services above the benchmark for overcrowding increased from four per cent in September 2014 to 6 per cent in September 2015.

“The average load during the morning peak increased on 11 of 12 lines surveyed,” the report said.

“The Western Line had the largest increase in average load from 113 per cent to 134 per cent,” it said.

Also on Thursday, Mr Constance announced an extra four express services between Parramatta and central Sydney in both the morning and afternoon peak, as well as the purchase of another 24 Waratah-style trains.

Ms Crawford’s report showed that 94 per cent of peak period Sydney Trains services ran on-time, a slight improvement on the previous year.

And it highlighted problems with a $196 million internal computer system to be introduced across transport agencies. The majority of the budget for the Enterprise Resources Program system has been spent, and it has not yet been delivered to NSW Trains or Sydney Trains.

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

How to stay out of the emergency department this Christmas

A broken leg tangled in Christmas lights, a side serving of salmonella, an excreting toy battery and a partridge in a pear tree.
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These are the festive traditions we need to break.

Health authorities have released a list of the most common Christmas health risks in an effort to keep people with avoidable illnesses and injuries out of hospital over the holiday break.

As the smell of fruit mince pies and turkey roast rouses us from our working lives and we slip into holiday mode, a momentary lapse in concentration can land us in the emergency department, NSW Health has warned.

“During the festive season, people do more than they normally would, consume more than they normally would, and take more risks than they normally would,” NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said.

“A trip to the hospital emergency ward is not how anyone should spend Christmas.” Falls, pools and broken bones

A fall form a ladder while hanging decorations could lead to a devastating injury. Photo: Maarten Holl

Toppling off chairs and ladders while hanging Christmas decorations is one of the most common reasons many people wind up in hospital over Christmas.

A simple slip form a ladder while hanging Christmas lights could cause a devastating injury – even death – when families should be celebrating, Dr Chant said.

As the glorious summer weather coaxes revellers into the sun, falling off a dirt bike and accidents in swimming pools become more frequent.

Adults should also steer clear of riding children’s Christmas toys.

“If you don’t know how to ride a skateboard, it’s going to hurt when you hit the ground,” Dr Chant said.  Children choking on tiny toys

A children’s toy ring that falls apart very easily exposing the 3 batteries inside, a potential choking hazard. Photo: Stuart Ryan

Parents should keep an eye out for Christmas toys with small or easily broken parts that could be swallowed or stuffed up a child’s nasal passage by tiny fingers. Strings or cords attached to new toys can also pose a strangulation risk.

Loud toys blaring too close the delicate eardrums, and high-pressure water guns squirted at close range into children’s eyes were were also Christmas tidings to be avoided.

Liquid leaking from glow sticks could also damage little eyes.

“If you already have one the risk is best managed by putting it in the bin,” an ACCC spokesperson said. Poisonings

Salmonella, an unwanted dinner guest. Photo: Rocky Mountain Laboratories,NIAID,NIH

Unwanted Christmas dinner guests Salmonella and Campylobacter can be an issue if food isn’t frozen or refrigerated properly. Keep raw and cooked foods separate and make sure you wash your hands before and after handling food.

Parents should also watch out for small batteries and liquids leaking in toys. Animal bites

Spider bites were a common reason for a trip to the emergency department over the Christmas holidays. Photo: Rick Stevens

Be aware of children playing with pets, as even usually well-behaved pets may bite in situations they find overwhelming.

Insect, spider and snake bites were also common triggers for a holiday trip to the emergency department.  Alcohol mishaps

“Definitely don’t do anything that requires your full attention while you are under the influence of alcohol,” Dr Chant warned.

A few cold beers might be the difference between staying upright on that ladder or breaking a leg.

Watch you intake and drink plenty of water, NSW Health warned.  Burns

Stay focused around hot stove tops and ovens when cooking a Christmas feast. Photo: Supplied.

Pay attention while you are cooking and be aware when children are around. Don’t leave children unattended near hot stoves, grills, barbecues and cooking appliances.

Wear sunscreen, a hat and protective clothing, and stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day, and

Elderly relatives may also not cope well in the heat.  If you’re away over the break make sure someone can check in on them every now and again. Mental health check-in

Yes it’s a wonderful time of year but it can also be incredibly stressful. The pressures and worries of the holidays can trigger depression and an increased risk of self harm. Be kind to yourselves, and look after your loved ones.

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

Man who withdrew $2.1 million after bank error wins fraud appeal

Luke Brett Moore bought paintings, cars and a boat with the money he kept withdrawing from a St George bank account. Photo: Facebook Luke Brett Moore was sentenced to two years and three months jail but granted bail last September before his appeal. Photo: Facebook
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A bank account called “Complete Freedom” gave Luke Brett Moore a latitude he never expected.

Over the course of 50 transactions, the Goulburn man exploited a system error to withdraw $2.1 million, spending it on exotic cars, a power boat, paintings, jewellery and a framed Michael Jordan shirt.

Then Mr Moore’s freedom was taken away. He was jailed last year, convicted of fraud for having obtained financial benefit by deceiving his bank.

On Thursday morning, the NSW Criminal Court of Appeal found his conviction was a mistake and quashed it, finding no deception had taken place.

“Not guilty,” Mr Moore wrote in capitals on Facebook, following it up with a smiley face.

He had been 22 years old in 2010 when he signed up for a new bank account in a Goulburn branch of St George bank.

The first deposit was $441 from Centrelink but the account kept allowing withdrawals even when there was no money and by December Mr Moore owed $9000.

From there he accelerated.

The account headed further and further into negative territory and by August 2012 he owed more than $2 million.

When police raided Mr Moore’s home in December 2012, they found signed photographs of Bob Dylan, Usher, Guns N’ Roses and Led Zeppelin, as well as the keys to an Aston Martin DB7 Vantage coupe.

He had also bought a 2001 Maserati sedan and a Stessl aluminium 560 Sea Hawk power boat. Police recovered more than $1.1 million sitting in two bank accounts. A jury of 12 convicted him last February of both fraud and dealing with the proceeds of crime.

Mr Moore was obliged at all times to pay the money back.

“To be quite clear about it, the notion sourced in board games of a windfall ‘bank error in your favour’ is a very poor guide to the position at law,” Justice Mark Leeming noted in an appeal judgement supported by Justices Natalie Adams and Desmond Fagan.

Justice Leeming found Mr Moore acted “extremely foolishly” and dishonestly. He had known of the error and continued to borrow knowing he could not pay the money back.

But how had Mr Moore deceived the bank?

The Crown could point to nothing in the man’s behaviour that led the bank to continue to lend to him, the court found.

“The unusual aspect of Mr Moore’s conduct was that there was nothing covert about it,” Justice Leeming found. St George’s bank statements chronicled “with complete accuracy Mr Moore’s growing indebtedness.”

The overturning of the verdict came after he was sentenced to a minimum jail term of two years and three months by Judge Stephen Norrish last April.

“I must confess to some puzzlement at the apparent dismay of the prisoner and people who support him that he was found guilty,” Judge Norrish had said, describing the Crown case as “irresistible”.

Mr Moore spent five months in jail before he was granted bail last September, pending the appeal of what the Supreme Court described as an “almost unique” case.

Now his freedom is complete.

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

AACTA Awards shape as a big occasion for Mel Gibson and a little-known teenager

Miranda Otto .. impressive in The Daughter. Photo: Brendan Esposito Mel Gibson directs actor Vince Vaughn (right) on the set of Hacksaw Ridge. Photo: Summit Pictures/AP
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Hot contender for best actress: Odessa Young in .

Benedict Samuel and Sarah Snook in The Beautiful Lie, which is nominated for nine AACTA Awards.

Don’t be alarmed if you fail to recognise many of the films in contention for the country’s main film and television awards this year.

In a far cry from the box office hits in the running at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards last year – Mad Max: Fury Road, The Dressmaker, Last Cab To Darwin, Paper Planes and Oddball – this has been a quieter year for Australian films. The exception has been Hacksaw Ridge, Mel Gibson’s intense drama about a conscientious objector who becomes a hero during World War II.

You might not have seen – or even heard of – the other nominees for best film: the timber town drama The Daughter, the coming-of-age fantasy Girl Asleep, the Vanuatu tribal romance Tanna and the outback western Goldstone. But there are some strong films in there, even if they had only limited cinema seasons.

At least, as the sixth AACTA Awards take place, there are two likely hits heading for cinemas soon in the prequel Red Dog: True Blue and the emotional drama Lion. And on top of Mad Max: Fury Road winning six Oscars this year, there is a good chance Australia will have both Hacksaw Ridge and Lion in the running early next year.

The big question at the awards is whether Gibson’s return to directing will be the big winner 20 years after he collected best picture and director at the Oscars for Braveheart and 10 years after a drink-driving arrest sent his Hollywood career into a spiral. Hacksaw Ridge leads the film nominations with 13 followed by The Daughter with 10.

In the television categories, The Beautiful Lie leads the nominations with nine, followed by The Kettering Incident with eight. They are both up for best mini-series or telemovie against Barracuda and Molly, while The Code, Jack Irish, Rake and Wentworth are up for best television drama. Here’s a rundown of the main film awards …

Best original screenplay While Ivan Sen is a chance for Goldstone and Abe Forsythe for the Cronulla riots comedy Down Under – less so Damian Hill for the comic drama Pawno – the likely and deserving winners are Robert Schenkkan​ and Andrew Knight for Hacksaw Ridge.

Best adapted screenplay Of only two nominees Matthew Whittet​ is expected to win for adapting his own play for Girl Asleep from Simon Stone’s Ibsen adaptation The Daughter.

Best supporting actress With only a limited range of supporting roles for women this year, two nominees for The Daughter, Miranda Otto and Anna Torv​, are up against Kerry Armstrong (Pawno) and Rachel Griffiths (Hacksaw Ridge). Otto had the most complex and demanding role as a conflicted school teacher and nailed it. She should win ahead of Griffiths.

Best supporting actor With Alex Russell (Goldstone) and Luke Bracey​ (Hacksaw Ridge) both missing a deserved nomination, perennial awards favourite Hugo Weaving (Hacksaw Ridge) is up against Sam Neill (The Daughter), Damon Herriman (Down Under) and Mark Coles Smith (Pawno). Weaving won this award for The Dressmaker last year and for Oranges and Sunshine in 2012, in addition to his three best actor wins for Proof, The Interview and Little Fish. He deserves to win again for playing the traumatised father of a war hero.

Best actress In a year of too few strong leading roles for women in Australian film, little-known Maggie Naouri​ (murder drama Joe Cinque’s Consolation) and teenager Odessa Young (The Daughter) are up against established names Teresa Palmer (Hacksaw Ridge) and Maeve Dermody​ (Pawno). The award is likely to go to Young, who played a teenager struggling with a family crisis and is still young enough to be going to schoolies, just ahead of Palmer for Hacksaw Ridge, though both would be deserving winners.

Best actor With two strong performances surprisingly overlooked – Aaron Pedersen in Goldstone and Steve Le Marquand in the gambling addiction drama Broke – two nominees from Pawno, John Brumpton​ and Damian Hill, are up against the more favoured Ewen Leslie (The Daughter) and Spider-Man’s Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge). Leslie would be just as deserving but Garfield is the likely winner.

Best director Bentley Dean and Martin Butler collaborated impressively with a Vanuatu tribe for Tanna, Ivan Sen again proved his quality as a filmmaker exploring Indigenous themes with Goldstone and Rosemary Myers made a promising debut with the inventive Girl Asleep. But with his first film since Apocalypto a decade ago, Mel Gibson proved he is a world-class director with Hacksaw Ridge. He is both a likely and deserving winner.

Best film While Down Under deserved to be nominated, there are cases for Goldstone and Tanna to win – less so Girl Asleep and The Daughter – but the top award in Australian film should go to Hacksaw Ridge – an intense, violent and moving drama that looks much more impressive on screen than it should for its budget. After a Mad Max film dominated the awards last year, this should be the year of the actor who was the original Mad Max.

The film’s success should not stop there with Hacksaw Ridge also likely to win best cinematography, editing, sound, production design and possibly costume design.

With the craft awards on next Monday, the AACTA Awards are on Wednesday, broadcast on the Seven Network at 8.30pm.

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

Human headline explains rotten backpacker tax politics

Key crossbench Senator Derryn Hinch.VICTORIAN Senator Derryn Hinch faced media today, to answer questions about his shock support for a 13 per cent rate, shared with other crossbench Senators Jaqui Lambie and One Nation’s Rod Culleton.
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Senator Hinch startled the federal government yesterday when he voted with Labor and the Greens and other crossbenchers to block an anticipated 15pc tax rate compromise from passing parliament, sending shockwaves throughout the farming sector.

He voted with Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie and WA One Nation Senator Rod Culleton to support a 10.5pc rate sparking anger from farmers that had asked the matter to be resolved, following a year of intense lobbying to avoid a 32.5pc rate.

Today, Senator Hinch said he wanted to “dispel one myth that’s being on around here about why I reneged on the government”.

“I got into the chamber yesterday morning and realised that the 15pc could not pass, even with my vote because the 10.5ers, as I call them, they had Lambie, Culleton and to my surprise they had (NSW Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm),” he said.

“So suddenly my vote for the government wouldn’t happen.

“All I want to do is to get a deal done, at some figure.

“I didn’t care if it was 10 or if it was 15.

“I originally voted for the 19, and at The Lodge on the Sunday night I said to the Treasurer, ‘Hey, I think you may have to come down to 15 and I can go with that’ and he said, ‘No, it’s not possible – we can’t do that’.

“And while I’m giving a press conference on Monday saying I could go down to 15, he is giving a press conference saying that they had, so the 15 figure doesn’t fuss me.

“With Senator Culleton and now Senator Lambie – she he has come up heaps – we’ve come up 2.5 points – why can’t the government come down 2 points?”

Senator Hinch said the PM had asked, during talks after yesterday’s shock vote, if there was any negotiation on 15pc and told him, ‘No .13pc is it’.

He said he’d also put a proposition to the Treasurer last night to postpone the tax increase until August and then “come in with your gun’s blazing and try it again”.

“That way this season’s crop all gets picked and we all go home and have a good Christmas,” he said.

“Last night the Treasurer told me that was not on so we’ll just keep putting things on the table if that’s not on.”

Senator Hinch said with the “concurrence” of farmers, the government had happily postponed the tax increase for some months, at the federal election, and there was “no reason why they could not postpone it again”.

“We shook hands at the end of it and I wished him a merry Christmas,” he said.

Asked if all members of parliament would have rotten fruit on their hands, if the backpacker tax didn’t pass this week, forcing the rate to hit 32.5pc on January 1, he said, “Well, if that’s the thing, so be it”.

Senator Hinch the 13pc would not pass through parliament as the government and PM were, “very firm this morning; that’s the way it is”.

The government reached a deal late today, with the Greens, to pass the backpacker tax at 15pc with an added $100m for Landcare funding and changes to superannuation payments, which they say equates to an effective 13pc rate.

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

Christmas countdown

SHOPPING SEASON: Christmas shopping can be stressful, but with a little planning and organisation you can have it done without the hassle right here in town.Advertising feature
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It’s no surprise that shopping during the festive season can be a daunting and stressful experience. Here are some tips that require minimal effort for maximum results.

Make a list

Write down everyone you plan to buy a present for, including smaller presentssuch as the office Kris Kringle. Don’t forget Christmas is an opportune time to also thank invaluable people such as school teachers. Include ideas of what to give each person, along with the amount you’re willing to spend.

Researchideas online

If you know what you want to give someone but are unsure of specifics, head online for price comparisons and to read reviews. If the thought of facingcrowds is too much to bear, try some internet shopping. Many online retailers guarantee delivery up to a few days before December 25.

Shop solo

If you do decide to hit the shops, make sure you go alone. You’re on a mission here – get in, get the job done, and get out. While shopping with someone else might seem like fun, it’ll end up taking twice as long and you run the risk of being influenced by their purchases and straying from your own list.

Buy less expensive gifts first

When you shell out for something expensive, your brain loses perspective on what’s a bargain and what’s overpriced. Once you’ve spent $400 on a game console, paying $10 instead of $5 for stocking fillers may no longer alarm you. Avoid this trap.

Set a time limit

During the festive season, Christmas tunes, staff offering samples, and the sensory overload in general, can make you lose sense of time. Combat this by making plans immediately after your shopping trip, so you have to leave at a specific time.

Consider DIY

If itall becomestoo much and you have a knack for all things crafty and creative, why not make some of your gifts. You could try your hand at making bath salts or festive treats, and present them in a beautiful glass jar adorned with ribbon. This is a good idea for those teachers, or elderly relatives who often don’t care for more stuff, but love the thought that’s put intosomething handmade.

FFA Cup final win rich reward for John van ‘t Schip, a Melbourne Heart original

John van ‘t Schip was there at the beginning, so if anyone has earned the right to be there at the moment of Melbourne City’s greatest triumph, their FFA Cup final success, it is he.
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The Dutchman was there when City were Heart, when the team played in red, not sky blue and white, when they trained at far flung locations in the northern suburbs, when they used wheelie bins for ice baths and portakabins as a medical facility.

He was there when it was underfunded, under-appreciated and, for the most part, underwhelming.

The club’s inaugural coach, van ‘t Schip was brought in from The Netherlands after an impressive playing career, a coach with regal personal connections (he was a friend to the likes of Marco Van Basten and had been mentored by the legend that is Johan Cruyff) and a grounding in one of the best football production systems on the planet.

Hired in October 2009, van ‘t Schip’s appointment was designed to make a statement about the then new club, the team designed to become an A-League rival to powerhouse Melbourne Victory: his arrival heralded, so it was said, Heart’s philosophy. This was a club that was to be soaked in “European sophistication”, to play the game “the right way”, one that would appeal to football purists.

They did, sometimes. More often than not they didn’t, as their lack of success showed. Sure, they made the finals in their second season but they struggled for crowds, an identity and relevance as Victory continued to rule the roost.

Van ‘t Schip eventually departed at the end of the 2011-12 season, having taken Heart to the finals for the first time.

He was gone nearly two years, but answered an SOS call to return and stabilise the club after it had gone into a tailspin in the 2013-14 season, replacing his successor, John Aloisi, who was sacked at the end of 2013, midway through what to that point had been a disastrous campaign.

Van ‘t Schip’s return coincided with the takeover by the City Football Group, and like Heart, which morphed into City and grown and prospered since, the Dutchman’s record in Australia has improved dramatically.

City have made the A-League semi-finals in the past two seasons under his tutelage, and this year sit second on the table and have collected their first silverware in men’s football.

The coach has proved himself one of the more tactically adept in the A-League, developing a group of players who can adopt flexible tactical set-ups, play an attacking game at high tempo and press high up the field.

He has collated a versatile group and has created a buy-in mentality in a squad where there are some big names, such as Tim Cahill and Bruno Fornaroli, and some squad players who will all come in and do a job when asked.

“I am happy of course because it is the first trophy in the history of the club. Everybody has been waiting to get it done, so its important to win your first trophy,” he said after the final triumph.

“Everybody in the club … from the administration, to the players, the kitchen area, all the staff around the football team.

“Moments like this evening don’t come that often. Every time that you play a final its something very special. its the first prize we could win.”

In the immediate aftermath of the game, van ‘t Schip spared a thought for his mentor Cruyff, who died this year.

“I also think of Cruyff who passed away, his legacy and the football philosophy he left behind and I hope to contribute in the way he wanted to play football. I think we are making those steps here and the staff here are helping me. We have an incredible staff that are backing me. It’s a credit to the City Football Group that made these things happen.”

Van ‘t Schip’s contract expires at the end of this season, and who would bet against him finishing with the biggest trophy of them all, the A-League title.

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

If Tim Cahill didn’t exist, could anyone dare to invent him?

Tim Cahill celebrates after kicking a goal during the FFA Cup final. Photo: Daniel PockettIf he didn’t exist, could you even dare to invent him?
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Tim Cahill is a player so improbable that his achievements, especially on the big stage, seem scarcely believable.

He’s not the most skilful player in the world, nor is he the most technically adroit. He is not Australia’s greatest player by almost any measure, although he is its most recognisable, and certainly the greatest Socceroo.

But he has something more priceless than both those commodities: he has the knack of rising to the occasion, the bigger the stage, the more impact he has.

And he has the gift of timing, knowing where to be in the penalty box, knowing when to be there and knowing how to finish.

Cahill has scored so many vital goals for both club and country over the years that it sometimes is easy to forget his crucial interventions.

Yes, everyone knows about his goals against Japan in the World Cup in 2006, or his spectacular volley against the Netherlands in Porto Alegre in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

But there are countless others that have arrived in big games, in Liverpool v Everton derbies in the Premier League, for Millwall early in his career when he scored an FA Cup semi final winner against Sunderland that took them to Wembley, along with countless goals for the national team in various tournaments.

Now can be added his winner in the FFA Cup final, when he rose to head home Ivan Franjic’s cross to make the crucial difference on the night when Melbourne City beat Sydney FC and won their first ever men’s football trophy under the City Football Group ownership.

In the aftermath of his matchwinning performance for Melbourne City he declared the FFA Cup triumph as “right up there” with the biggest achievements of his career.

It was pure Cahill, a textbook header early in the second half, which brought City glory. All his classic aerial skills were on display: his ability to push off defenders, to find a half stride of space, to leap with perfect timing and to place, rather than thump, the ball wide of goalkeeper Danny Vukovic.

It was reminiscent of the goal he scored against Chile at the World Cup of 2014, a header which had also come from an Ivan Franjic​ cross.

It was a script that could have been written days before the game, so often does the Socceroo frontman provide a storyline that seems to defy logic and expectation. Except that had any journalist speculated on how the winning goal would come it would probably been spiked by an editor on the grounds that this sort of fairytale could not happen, especially not when the protagonist is a 37-year-old who nowadays struggles to see out 90 minutes.

But Cahill does what others don’t, and in the wake of helping City to win its most significant trophy so far, he said the playing group could now build on that achievement and use it as a springboard for greater things in the future.

“My feelings are pretty amazing. Everything we spoke about for the past nine months, leading into this campaign and the FFA Cup … the culture of the club, to bring a winning mentality and a group of guys together.

“Its up there with the proudest moments of my career. You can have your wildest dreams … this is nice, it’s in Australia, it’s where I am from.

“I said I would give it everything, regardless of what people were saying about my age and my body,” said Cahill, wearing a T-shirt proclaiming City’s Cup success and his winners medal round his neck.

He also revealed that he had been made angry and determined to do something by the Sydney fans, who just before he scored had been taunting him with chants that he was “only here for the money”.

“It was like Chile, but I didn’t jump as high. Cic’s cross, I was thinking did I have to go and meet the ball … I could see Vukovic’s body was open …

“Tonight was just special, just before the fans were singing negative things about me, then I thought this is my chance.

“It’s the story of my life. That’s why I play, for moments like that. My job is to be in the box and if I score great … It was beautiful, nice the way it hit my head and went in.”

One of the reason City signed Cahill was top tap into his experience and know how, the ability to mentally prepare for matches at the highest stage and in the most difficult of conditions.

He said he had spoken in a heartfelt fashion to his team-mates before the game, impressing on them how they had to seize this opportunity.

“Collectively as a group I said to the boys before we went out, you don’t get a lot of chances like this in your career. For one night only we will play our heart and souls out and give it everything, and when you are cooked put your hand up … I wanted to get the fire out of their bellies.”

Cahill paid tribute to the City Football Group and the attention to detail and commitment they had brought to turning a broken down Melbourne Heart into the powerhouse that is City, setting standards off the field for the rest of the A-League to match.

“This club is run like a Premier League club. I am there from 8am every morning to three in the afternoons … I am so impressed with what we do in the community and with the women’s team.”

“This football club, we have to win things. Now we have won something, we take this momentum, we regroup, we stay humble, and go again.

“There would have been a lot of people watching that game, praying we would lose. I hope the other codes take notice.”

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

Australia v New Zealand 2016: The innings that made one-day bolter Hilton Cartwright

Steve Smith last month demanded his team show more resilience and in Hilton Cartwright he has been given a player who fits that bill.
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The Zimbabwean-born West Australian all-rounder might not have the greatest set of numbers in the world to demand international selection but there can be no doubting his character.

Cartwright, who is poised to make his international debut in the Chappell-Hadlee series, left his state teammates and coaches in awe last year when he batted not once but twice after tearing a muscle off the bone to save a Sheffield Shield game against Victoria.

Facing a high-class attack including Test duo Peter Siddle and James Pattinson and ODI paceman Scott Boland, Cartwright batted for some 90 minutes to make an unbeaten 27 off 70 balls.

The injury required surgery and ruled him out for more than 10 weeks but won him rave reviews from the dressing room.

“He was very courageous. When you see someone do that, hobble on one leg, you know he has ability and he’s something special,” WA assistant coach and former Test vice-captain Geoff Marsh said.

“For any athlete you couldn’t get any higher praise than what he got after that game; that was a moment in his career we thought we had someone special, who crossed the line to do something for his team. He won’t leave anything out there.”

Despite his bravery, it’s unlikely Cartwright will be a familiar name to many cricket fans other than those who follow the state scene very closely. From 27 domestic one-dayers, Cartwright has not scored a ton or taken a five-wicket haul and averages 26.5 with the bat and 39 with the ball though clearly made a strong impression on selectors with a century for Australia A in September.

“He’s a beautiful player to watch, very elegant, plays all the shots, times the ball beautifully,” Marsh said. “He’s one of those players, you look at the scoreboard and he’s 20 before you know it.”

Ironically for Marsh, the player taking Cartwright’s position in the team is his son Mitchell Marsh. “They joke about it, they’re very similar players,” Marsh said.

Cartwright will be seen as a speculative selection though three years out from a World Cup is as good a time as any to take a punt.

Australian all-rounder James Faulkner did not train on Thursday due to illness.

The Black Caps’ 14-man squad contains only five players from last year’s World Cup final. Among those missing are former captains Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori, who have both retired, while star batsman Ross Taylor is injured.

Pace duo Trent Boult and Tim Southee are back, joined by uncapped quick Lockie Ferguson, who can nudge the 150 km/h barrier.​

“Lockie gives us that point of difference in our attack. He hasn’t played a huge amount up until the past two seasons where he’s got over a lot of injuries,” Black Caps coach Mike Hesson said. “He’s got to an age when those major issues tend to dissipate a bit, when you get to 24 or 25. He’s a strong bowler, he’s certainly quick and I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t play at some stage this series.”

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

Modest sales for Michael Clarke autobiography compared to Ricky Ponting book

Book business: Former Australian captain Michael Clarke with wife Kyly and daughter Kelsey Lee at his book launch. Photo: Ben RushtonIt made an almighty splash when it landed on shelves and you can barely walk past a book shop without seeing a promotional poster of it, but Michael Clarke’s autobiography hasn’t made the same impact when it comes to sales. Clarke pulled no punches in the book, and it’s an indisputably compelling read. Compared to Ricky Ponting’s autobiography of three years ago, or previous Australian captain Steve Waugh before that, though, sales have been modest. Clarke’s My Story, published by Macmillan Australia, had shifted a little more than 13,000 copies since its release on October 26 in figures provided to The Tonk on Thursday. Of course, the peak Christmas buying period is still to come but it would want to get a hurry along if it’s going to hold a candle to Ponting’s At the Close of Play, which hit the 100,000 mark in its first few months on sale at the end of 2013. Clarke, who is believed to have been paid an advance of close to $1 million, hasn’t been helped by a crowded market for cricket and sports books already this summer, with releases from Mitchell Johnson, Chris Rogers, Brad Haddin, Jim Maxwell, Dennis Lillee and Brad Hogg among others. (Johnson’s autobiography Resilient, by the way, has sold about 5700 copies, while Lillee’s has done essentially its entire print run of about 4800). The industry has also changed dramatically in recent years with stores closing down and readers turning to Kindle but for a recently retired former Test captain, Clarke’s numbers are underwhelming.
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Prolific Perry

While we’re talking numbers, there are few who can boast better than Ellyse Perry. The Southern Stars all-rounder’s one-day international average since her shift up to the top five in the batting line-up is now at a staggering 92.53 after her player-of-the-series performance against South Africa, which wound up in Coffs Harbour this week. It’s no small sample size either – she’s been in the top five now, mostly at four, for 25 innings dating back to the tail end of Australia’s tour of England in 2013 and scored 1388 runs. Perry, 26, made 334 runs between dismissals across the Stars’ series in Sri Lanka and at home against South Africa – the men’s record is 405 set by Mohammad Yousuf in a series against Zimbabwe in 2003-04 – but remains typically humble, crediting coaches. “Mixed in is a bit of luck,” she said this week. “Every cricketer needs luck at different points in time.”

Not-so-fast finish

This column is hearing James Faulkner wasn’t the most popular person with the NSW dressing room after this week’s shield game. Both sides can agree to end a game early from tea on the last day if there’s no prospect of a result but Faulkner chose to play on in pursuit of a maiden shield century. Given his reputation as the finisher in Australia’s one-day side, we can only surmise the pressure of the moment weighed heavily on Faulkner, who took 29 balls to get out of the 90s despite the Blues having the field up. Play was eventually called off once Faulkner reached three figures but not before NSW captain Moises Henriques injured his side, slamming the ball into the ground before storming off. Henriques may still play as a specialist batsman in the next round of the shield but cannot bowl.

Stumper’s revenge?

There will be a lot of talk with the Australia-Pakistan Test series coming up about Mickey Arthur taking on the team from which he was sacked as head coach. But an equally intriguing narrative is around Pakistan’s fielding coach, Steve Rixon. The former Test ‘keeper and Australian assistant coach was overlooked for the head coach’s job when it was given to Arthur in 2011 and we’re reliably informed doesn’t have a great deal of time for some senior figures in Australian cricket, the team performance manager Pat Howard among them. An old-school type who was very close with Michael Clarke and highly respected by others of that generation, Rixon had bid to be the next man in line after Tim Nielsen departed the post – which makes it interesting that Arthur then went on to hire him on his Pakistan staff – and will be eager to have some hand in a series upset against his former employer.

Cotton wool SOK

You can all but mark down Stephen O’Keefe for a ticket to India despite his recent calf injury. The left-arm spinner appears set to miss the next round of the shield but that should not be read as a blow to his Test chances – quite the opposite. The Tonk has been told Cricket Australia have demanded the Blues not pick O’Keefe to give him extra time to recover from a slight calf strain or risk their wrath if he plays and breaks down. With a Test to come on the spin-friendly SCG and a tour of India to follow, there’s plenty of chances yet for O’Keefe to add to his three appearances in the baggy green.

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