It’s a sell out! No tickets left for Canberra Big Bash game

SPORT: Sydney Sixers take on Perth Scorchers in the T20 Big Bash League at Manuka Oval in Canberra. Fireworks go off in the grandstand. 28th January 2015. Photo by Melissa Adams of The Canberra Times. NEWS: The crowd during the T20 Big Bash League at Manuka oval in Canberra where Sydney Sixers take on Perth Scorchers. 28th January 2015. Photo by Melissa Adams of. The Canberra Times.
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Canberra Big Bash bid officials hope a sell out crowd at Manuka Oval in January will be the perfect way to show Cricket Australia how serious the capital is about having its own team.

The Sydney Thunder clash against the Melbourne Renegades at a resurfaced Manuka Oval is officially sold out almost two months before the game.

It’s a major boost for Canberra’s hopes of impressing Cricket Australia officials after a group of business men and women launched a bid for a Big Bash licence.

The consortium hope the cricket community rallies behind their proposal and vote with their feet for the Thunder-Renegades men’s and women’s double header and Canberra’s first Test next year.

“The sell out demonstrates what we’ve said all along – there’s a strong appetite in Canberra for premium cricket content,” said bid leader Mark McConnell.

“In some ways, it doesn’t matter who’s playing. People just want to support more content in Canberra.

“Canberra is part of the Thunder territory, but we’re still keen to get our own team here and it bodes well for our bid that a team not even based here, people still come out and support it.

“The appetite is for the Big Bash first and the team second. People are wedded to the product and we think people will continue to support it.

“If you build it, they will come. If it’s good content with international players and a good team, people will come out in their droves to support the game.”

The only way to get a ticket to the game in Canberra is to sign up as a Thunder member after all public allocations were exhausted on Tuesday.

A limited number of tickets are expected to be released at a later date when sight screens and camera positions are finalised.

Cricket Australia is yet to detail expansion plans for the lucrative Twenty20 competition, but McConnell and co have set up an advisory group to be ready to pounce.

In the meantime, the Thunder are forging a relationship with Canberra and loom as the city’s best chance to have a Big Bash presence until expansion plans are put in place.

Manuka Oval will host a Test for the first time next year when Australia plays against Sri Lanka.

The Canberra bid has adjusted its membership program to garner support in the Canberra community, shifting to a pledge of support rather than asking for a financial commitment.

“Canberra gets criticised sometimes for disappearing over the Christmas holidays and not being able to support big fixture games, but this one is right in the middle and already sold out,” McConnell said.

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Prior says Australian sledging has been ‘personal’

Since Australia sledged England’s Jonny Bairstow at the Gabba over his headbutt greeting of Cameron Bancroft in a Perth boozer there have been rumours about what else has been said in an Ashes series not short on verbal exchanges.
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They haven’t been substantiated and the only thing that has been made public on the stump microphone was David Warner’s comment, to Jimmy Anderson in Brisbane, that the tourists “shouldn’t headbutt our mates”.

But former England wicketkeeper Matt Prior has thrown some fuel on the fire from afar, suggesting the Australians have got personal, although he declined to divulge what he claims has been said.

“There is a lot that’s gone on that I think the England players are quite upset about, and rightfully from what I’ve heard,” Prior told a BBC Five Live podcast.

“There has been a lot of chat on the pitch that hasn’t got anything to do with cricket and quite frankly shouldn’t be on a cricket pitch. Stuff that hasn’t come out for various reasons and whatever it may be. I know I’ve probably just thrown something out there and I’m not going to put any more colour into the picture.”

Australian captain Steve Smith was probed again about the sledging in Adelaide on the eve of the second Test and maintained his team had not crossed the line, as is the terminology these days for what is and what is not considered acceptable on-field banter.

Prior is not convinced. “I think the question was asked of Steve Smith a number of times in a press conference ‘did the Australian players cross that line? Did they go too far?'” he said.

“After he said ‘I, 100 per cent swear on my life they did not cross the line’, I think he was dragged out of that press conference pretty quickly because there are things that are going on.”

The former-Test wicketkeeper added: “Simple sledging doesn’t really work on these top international players. Alastair Cook is not going to be affected by sledging. Steve Smith, Warner, these guys have seen it, done it, so therefore you have to go deeper if you want to try and get a reaction, if you know what I mean.

“You have to say something that is going to be pretty fiery and potentially personal.”

Fun and gamesmanship

England also weren’t impressed about nightwatchman Nathan Lyon bunging on an injury and denying them one more over in the last session on Monday night. Joe Root and Peter Handscomb clashed on the way off the ground only moments later.

Lyon’s teammates, however, thought the time-wasting was a hoot.

“They were all laughing about my acting,” Lyon told ABC Grandstand on Tuesday.

Match-day blushes

Australia’s shock calls at selection caught us all on the hop, so too the publishers of the match-day program, it seems. They’ve done a big read on opener Matthew Renshaw, whose run of outs cost him a place in the Australian XI.

There’s also a section titled “Meet the team”, which does not include wicketkeeper Tim Paine, opener Cameron Bancroft or recalled No.6 Shaun Marsh. The deadline for the magazine, which The Tonk believes was before the shield season started, does not make things easy. Back then, Renshaw was considered a lock, Bancroft was not in the frame and Paine was no certainty to get a start for Tasmania.

Sweet and Starc

Fast bowlers these days are finely tuned athletes who are careful about what they eat. So you’ll be surprised to hear what Mitchell Starc puts down after a long day: ice cream. The left-arm speed demon finds it hard to keep weight on when he bowls, especially on away tours, and often does not have an appetite when he plays. So it only makes sense for Starc to help himself to a few scoops to refuel.

“I’ve done it a few times – quite a bit actually, after some heavy bowling loads,” Starc said in the match-day program. “Definitely, in Australia you can just go down to the convenience store and get a tub of ice cream.”

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David Duchovny takes Australian tour in his stride

David Duchovny takes Australian tour in his stride TweetFacebookThe X-Files, David Duchovny is a bit of an enigma.
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NEW ROLE: David Duchovny is about to release his second album and tour Australia with his band for the first time. He will perform in Newcastle in February.

He is quite comfortable, alone with his thoughts, outin left field. He backs himself but is also his harshest critic.

Why, people ask, is Duchovnymaking music and, heaven forbid, actually recording and touring it, when he is anaward-winning actor, filmmaker, director and New York Times best-selling author? Why would he bother?

The truth is, of course, always out there soWeekender asked the question and Duchovny’s answer was surprisingly simple.

Because he can.

He enjoys it. He finds it challenging. And he doesn’t need anyone’s approval to continue doing it.

Duchovny is, of course, best known for his roles in television series The X-Files, Aquarius, Californication and Twin Peaks. His film credits includeKalifornia, Zoolander, Evolution, House of D, Beethoven, The Rapture,The X-Files: I Want To Believeand Julia Has Two Lovers.

For fans of The X-Files, some good news. Season 11 of the hit series will returnin 2018 and star both Duchovny as Mulder and Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully.

But today, we’re talking music and his upcoming Australian tour, which includes a night in Newcastle.

Debut albumHell Or Highwaterwas a collection of Duchovny’s musings on pride, loss and remorse. If you haven’t heard it, it is a nod to his musical heroes:Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Leonard Cohenand R.E.M. His second album,Every Third Thought, is due for release in 2018.

Duchovnysupports theD’Addario Foundationand believes music education can change lives, especially those of disadvantaged children.

It has certainly changed his own.

“When it comes to music education, well,I didn’t really have any,” he says.

“But I do think that as I have learned a little about it, I can objectively and scientifically see how music education increases performance by students in all areas, not just in music. It’s an integral part of thebrain that needs to be fed. Now that’s a scientific fact.”

The only instrument he knew how to play“until about seven years ago” when he picked up aguitar was the humble recorder.

“I don’t know if you had that instrument in Australian schools but in the US it’s what theyused to make kids learn. And that was the extent of my music education,” he says.

“I liked itbut I didn’t go beyond the recorder, unfortunately, until I started learning the guitar.”

Recorder lessons were once common in NSW schools, I tell him, much to the despair of many a parent.

I also remind him of something he was once quoted as saying: “I may not ever be a good singer but I can sing.”

“That’s right. You don’t have to be born with a good voice to be a singer.

“There is so much about speaking out or singing out loud that is scary to people. People are afraid to be heard in that way if they’re not confident about being in tune or whatever.

“There is a lot of fear involved and there certainly was for me.

“Iwas lucky enough to find a guy who was a really great teacher of voice, Don Lawrence, and somehow from the first lesson he kind of liberated me and turned me around. I had to work at it though.”

And then there is the question of pitch. Good pitch. Duchovny says he is one of those people “born without it”.

“Some people are and they can just sing. Effortlessly. But if you’re not born with good pitch you can actually get better at it. It is like a muscle.

“And I don’t think I will ever have a kick-arse voice butI have got my voice.

“I’m not going to win any contests and I’m not going to go upthere without a microphonebut I’m pretty confident that I can learn my tunes and sing my melodies to within about 80 to 85 per cent accuracy.

“And for a live performance that’s fine. I’m not looking for 100 per cent.”

Duchovny is brutally honest when it comes to his musicianship, too.

“I’m never going to be even a good musician. I’ll be OK. I can play the guitar well enough to throw chords together to write rock ‘n’roll songs,” he says.

“But I’m not a composer. I’m not an educated musician. I’m humble enough, and been humbled enough, to have been around some amazing musicians and there is a huge difference between me and them. But what I do is, I throw chords togetherand I come up with melodies and I write lyrics and Ican write songs for some reason and I don’t know why.

“I certainly never could until about four or five years ago so I’m as surprised as anyone else that I can do it. But it doesn’t have anything to do with me being a good musician, which I’m not. It just happens.”

It is perhaps no coincidence that he started writing songsin the wake of his divorce from actor Tea Leoni. The couple share custody of their two children.

He is in two minds when asked if he feels vulnerable singing lyrics he has written to an audience. He feels the need todistance himself from his words.

“It isa vulnerable position but it’s still a performance,” he explains.

“Even when I write a song I don’t feel like it’s me writing the song. Yes, it’s my point of view, but it was mine on the day that I wrote the song. Which is not necessarily my point of viewnow.

“So for me,all the songs are kind of characters in a way, or all of the songs froman album are similar characters from a similar time.

“Idon’t feel like they are me –I feel that they were me when I wrote the song.”

He continues on the subject of lyrics, saying that it’s all up to the listener and how they interpret them. That’s what ultimately gives them meaning.

“I don’t think great lyrics are straight-up confessionals, like what I did today and what I’m feeling and these are my political views,” Duchovny says.

“But I think great lyrics aresomehowvery personal but also abstract and universal at the same time.

“It’s veryinteresting to go back and sing a song that you wrote a few years ago and try to inhabit it. That’s where singing on stage is a bit of an acting performance, when you want to convey the emotion of the song.

“In some ways I think that’s why covers are easier to do than your own songs because you’re not covering yourself. You can throw all your emotion into a cover because somebody else wrote it.”

When suggestedit takes guts to do what he’s doing because of his public profile, Duchovny agrees.

“People are going to take their shots and people are going to want to dismiss somebody doing something that they are not known for. That just seems to be the way it goes.

“You might buy my album or come to my concert because you like my work as an actor but that’s not going to make you like the music. Once you get in there, your ears don’t care what else I’ve done in my life. Your ears are your ears. You’re either going to like it or you’re not.

“All I want you to do is listen to the music. I don’t care why you’re at my show, I don’t care about your skepticism, I don’t care if you’re a fan or if you came to watch me fail or whatever, all those things are fine.But open up your ears and it is very possible that you’re going to like this stuff. That’s how I feel.”

So, can the Newcastle audience expect him to whip out the recorder during his set?

Duchovny laughs.

“Well, you know, maybe I should. We don’t have enough recorder solos in rock’n’roll. Maybe it’s time to change that.”

David Duchovny performs at NEX Wests City, Newcastle, on February 28. Tickets are on sale now.

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Vindication for Signature success

“Who me” was Signature Gardens Retirement Resort general manager Jo-Anne Dryden’s initial reaction after being namedBusiness Person of the Year 2017 at the Hunter Local Business Awards.
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WHO ME?: The moment when Jo-Anne Dryden reacts with joy after being named Business Person of the Year 2017 at Belmont 16s last Wednesday.

Up against a top class field of local business leaders, she gave herself little chance of winning.

HEART AND SOUL: Jo-Anne Dryden, general manager of Signature Gardens Retirement Resort, accepts her award for Business Person of the Year 2017.

“I felt overwhelmed with the thought that my peers felt this way about me and also I thought of how proud my parents would be for even being nominated,” Jo-Anne said.

Signature Gardens Retirement Resort is an over 55’s retirement village at Rutherford catering to singles and couples looking to downsize and enjoy the lifestyle and facilities the resort offers.

“I feel the entire team at Signature Gardens Retirement Resort contributed to me winning the award,” Jo-Anne said.“We are a team here and as Henry Ford said, ‘If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself’.

“Phillip Cater, the owner of Signature Gardens Retirement Resort has mentored me over the last 26 years, so in business I am what I am today due to his guidance and knowledge.”

Jo-Anne said it was an honour to be even nominated alongside such an incredible selection of business people.

“With so many well established nominees for the Business Person of the Year, I really did not think I would win,” she said.

“It is an incredible feeling and when I look at the award I still pinch myself.

“I have learnt so much over the past 26 years working/being mentored by Phillip Cater. This finally proves to me that following my heart and doing what I love and am passionate aboutis worth all the hard work.”

Jo-Anne said the award would enable her to connect with more people on a bigger scale and create positive change for her peers, the business and the employees.

Signature Gardens is a family-owned business without multi-level management. It has been in operation for six years.

“Our residents want to be part of a community that enhances their choice of independent living and who are able to live an active healthy life that offers safety, security and peace of mind,” Jo-Anne said.

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‘Chilling effect’: Charities slam foreign donations ban

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull addresses the media during a joint press conference with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Attorney-General George Brandis, at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday 5 December 2017. fedpol Photo: Alex EllinghausenHousehold-name charities receiving overseas funding would be prevented from advocating for social and environmental causes if their activity is deemed political, under a Turnbull government plan.
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The government on Tuesday announced a foreign influence and interference package to “strengthen our democracy and … ensure that decisions are made based on Australia’s national interest, not anyone else’s.”

The measures include a bill to ban foreign political donations to all political campaigners, including interest and advocacy groups that “spend millions of dollars each year to influence voters”.

The government will also seek to introduce a new class known as “political campaigners” into the Electoral Act. Such organisations would be forced to comply with the same disclosure and reporting requirements as a political party.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the changes would not prevent charities in Australia from receiving and using foreign donations for non-political activities.

The Australian Electoral Commission defines political expenditure as involving money spent on expressing views on a political party, candidate, MP or election issue.

It also includes the printing and distribution of certain material and conducting opinion polling or other research relating to a federal election or the voting intention of electors.

Communities Council for Australia chief executive David Crosbie said similar laws introduced in Britain had a “chilling effect” on the charity sector.

The council’s board includes the chief executives of World Vision, White Ribbon Australia, Save the Children, the RSPCA, the Smith Family and Wesley Mission. Some of the organisations receive overseas funding.

“All of a sudden any charity advocating for its cause, whether it be education, health, housing, the arts, welfare – is going to be deemed a political actor if they spend any significant resources on that,” he said.

Global Health Alliance executive director Misha Coleman said research for cures and treatment for diseases such as HIV and malaria was largely funded by European and American sources, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“It’s a subjective decision as to what constitutes raising awareness of [diseases] versus what is political campaigning,” Ms Coleman said.

Philanthropy Australia chief executive Sarah Davies said registered charities should be exempt from the foreign donations ban.

“Trusts and foundations based overseas often take a global approach to achieving change and tackling social and environmental issues, and this may involve funding advocacy by charities in Australia,” she said.

Political campaigners would be defined as an organisation that has incurred more than $100,000 worth of political expenditure in any of the previous four years, or which has incurred $50,000 or more in political expenditure where that represents at least half their annual budget.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said GetUp! was plainly “a political campaigning organisation”, which had a political expenditure of more than $10 million in the lead up to the last federal election.

Get Up! campaigning helped defeat conservatives such as the Tasmanian Liberal Andrew Nikolic in the 2016 election, and the group is planning a 10-fold increase in its electoral reach in a bid to unseat more conservatives at the next election. The group says just 0.5 per cent of its donations have come from overseas, and it voluntarily discloses more financial information than is required by law.

GetUp! national director Paul Oosting said the government’s legislation attacks those who speak out against its policies and “does nothing to address the influence big business has on our politicians”.

“The rivers of gold flowing from corporate donors like Adani, Exxon and Chevron stay open and industry bodies like the Minerals Council of Australia can continue to campaign unimpeded,” he said.

“In stark contrast, the government is trying to weaken organisations that represent and support everyday people.”

The Greens have pledged to move amendments to ensure charities and not-for-profit groups “can continue to advocate for policy outcomes, including those that receive international philanthropic donations”.

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Loyal no more: crew of InfoTrack say maxi can break record

The crew of Sydney to Hobart favourites InfoTrack are confident they can not only defend the title but break the race record this year.
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Tech entrepeneur Christian Beck bought 2016 line honours winner Perpetual Loyal this year and rebranded it after his software company.

Perpetual Loyal, skippered by celebrity accountant Anthony Bell, set a new race record of one day, 13 hours, 31 minutes and 20 seconds last year.

“We’d like to try to keep the record,” said Beck, the new owner and skipper of InfoTrack.

“If the conditions are right we’d like to try and hold on to that record. I think if it’s windy we have a chance of winning,” he said.

Beck is estimated to be worth more than $600 million and was named Ernst and Young entrepeneur of 2017 last month.

He hasn’t done offshore ocean racing before and admits it’s a “whole new world”.

“It’s all about the crew because I don’t know what I’m doing, so I really need a good crew,” Beck joked.

InfoTrack has assembled a star-studded crew with decades of Sydney to Hobart experience and Olympic medals.

Some of the crew were meeting Beck for the first time at Tuesday’s InfoTrack launch.

Crew member Iain Jensen won the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics and silver at the Rio Olympics in the 49er sailing event.

“I’ve always wanted to do the Hobart, it’s an iconic race in Australia,” Jensen said. “To come home with a Hobart win would be up there for sure.”

Jensen received a call from InfoTrack helmsman Ben Lamb asking him to join the crew.

“He sort of asked if I was interested in doing it. He told me who else was on board and which boat it was and it seemed like a really good opportunity,” Jensen said.

InfoTrack boat captain Ty Oxley will compete in his 15th Sydney to Hobart this year and is confident the 100-foot supermaxi can break the race record if the weather conditions suit.

“It took four hours 50 minutes off the record last year so anything’s possible.”

“It’s definitely capable of winning again and it’s definitely proved itself to be capable in those strong conditions,” Oxley said.

Beck isn’t concerned about being the new owner and skipper of last year’s winner.

“That doesn’t worry me because I don’t have a reputation in sailing. So I don’t really see that as a lot of pressure,” he said.

Beck is also keen to organise a weekly race between supermaxis in the style of the start of the Sydney to Hobart, where the yachts race to be first out of the Sydney heads.

InfoTrack, Comanche, Wild Oats XI and Black Jack are the four supermaxis in the 107-strong fleet.

“It’s going to be quite a competitive year this year. Comanche will be a hard boat to beat,” Jensen said.

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Stockton ferry’s potential as a harbour run

CITY-BOUND: A Stockton ferry heading towards Queens Wharf, Newcastle. Picture: Jonathan CarrollIN the years when the future of the Newcastle heavy rail line was still a subject of heated debate, there were parallel fears that a Sydney-centric state government was just waiting for an opportunity to save a bit more of its transport budget by axing the Stockton ferry.
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Thankfully, this didn’t happen, and the ferry continues to operate, run by theFrench/Australian joint-venture Keolis Downer, which is also operating the government’s Newcastle buses and will run the light rail once construction is completed.

Keolis Downer is promising to revolutionise the way the city’s public transport operates, and the early indications are that it plans to do this by increasing the number of services on offer, rather than cutting them. As things stand, it is running more than 40 ferry services in each direction on weekdays, based on a half-hour frequency but with slightly smaller gaps at the morning peak into Newcastle, and the afternoon peak backto Stockton.

Fears over the future of the ferry were fueled by falling patronage, with theNewcastle Herald reportinga dropof about 100,000 passengers between 2008 and 2011, when the number of annual ticketed boardings fell from 532,000 to 448,000.

The latest Opal card data shows the service is still carrying some 450,000 passengers a year, so in general terms, at least, it appears that the earlier decline in patronage has been stopped. This is good news, and an important consideration in a steadily growing push to have the Stockton ferry service expanded to includeat least one –and possibly more –extra stops. As things stand, the government has marked an expanded ferry service as worthy of investigating in the coming “10 to 20 years, subject to business case development”:in other words, it doesn’t see enough demand at present. This is disappointing, because if the government is serious about having thousands more people live and work in a public-transport-oriented CBD, then expanding the ferry run to at least include a stop within easy walking distance of the Wickham transport interchangewould seem to be a logical first step.

In its pitch to the government, and to the Hunter public, Keolis Downer made a lot of its commitment to creating seamless, multi-modal public transport systems. Finding a way to turn the Stockton ferry into a broader harbour service could be an early test of its abilities.

ISSUE: 38,667.

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Brumbies learn to cook before launching Super Rugby hopes

Peeling carrots and cooking chicken hardly sounds like a recipe for Super Rugby title success.
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But the ACT Brumbies hope teaching their young players how to cook and having them send photos of their meals to a nutritionist are the ingredients for something special.

Brumbies players have been spending time with AIS dietician Rebekah Alcock when they’re not at pre-season training to help them adjust to a professional environment.

The Canberra Raiders did something similar two years ago to rejuvenate their NRL side and make off-field preparation as important as on-field execution.

The Brumbies hope the results will deliver the fittest, strongest and best prepared side in Super Rugby as they attempt to end a 14-year championship drought.

Hooker Folau Faingaa moved away from his family in Sydney to chase his rugby dreams at the Brumbies, quitting his job as a concreter to launch his career.

“It was just about cooking for the week, meal preparation and how we could make cooking fun,” said Faingaa said.

“Robbie [Valenti] was pretty bad though. It just reinforces that you’ve got to have everything right off the field and that balance in your life as well. Boys are not just working hard on field to prep for next season…but also off field with [email protected] dietician [email protected] to ensure diet supports training goals…we’re eating for performance, not for body composition!!! pic.twitter南京夜网/4d96sxGvEW??? Ben Serpell (@BenSerpell1) December 4, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Mundine v Horn to become ‘biggest fight in Australia’

Anthony Mundine has described the prospect of taking on Jeff Horn as “the biggest fight in Australia” as the former footballer prepares to step into the ring for the first time since his controversial loss to Danny Green.
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Horn, struggling to make the weight for next week’s WBO welterweight world title defence against Brit Gary Corcoran in Brisbane, admits speculation over his next opponent is becoming a distraction. A win could give Horn a tilt at the likes of undefeated American Terence Crawford and ex-world champion Amir Khan, although few opponents would generate as much local hype as Mundine.

Mundine will return to the ring on January 17 in what will be his first fight in 11 months. The former footballer’s opponent is yet to be confirmed, with Renold Quinlan and Tommy Brown among the options being considered. Having given up on a third fight with Green, “The Man” views his next bout as a tune-up for potential mega-fights with the likes of Gennady Golovkin and Saul Alvarez. However, one of the match-ups he craves most is a shot at Horn.

“I think it’s the biggest fight in Australia,” Mundine said. “I would love that opportunity. That’s the fight, the old bull versus the young bull. I’m sure with my experience and seasoning, I’d be too much for him.

“People want to see it, so let’s get it done. I’m too much for him.

“I’m too big, I’m too fast, my feet are too good. People are gonna say, ‘Can he do it?’ and have question marks over my age. But I see good, I’m like fine wine, I’m getting better with age.

“I feel like I’m getting seasoned now as a professional, I’ve only been in the sport since I was 25.

“He’s got commitments with Top Rank and I want to stay active, stay busy. I’m looking to fight in the new year and keep active. I’ll fight anybody, I’ll take the old out and the new too.

“I feel I’ve still got the goods to mix it with the best in the world. Hopefully I’ve got the name and the runs on the board to lure an Alvarez or Golovkin. I want to go out fighting the best.”

Horn is currently tipping the scales at 73 kilograms and must lose seven before the December 13 encounter with Corcoran. Another issue is the constant speculation over his future opponents, a constant since he upset 11-time world champion Manny Pacquiao. Mundine is one of several big names wanting a chance for a big-money fight with “The Hornet”.

“It’s a distraction when you hear all these guys wanting to fight you, but it happens all the time,” Horn said..

“I will just get used to it, worry about Gary and whatever happens after that if I get past him.

“There’s been a lot of awards nights and functions that I have had to attend, but training always comes first and I am fit and ready for a hard 12-round fight.”

The Queenslander said making the weight for fights was getting more difficult the older he got.

“It’s coming down, but it is always a difficult task,” Horn said.

“Sometimes I feel it just doesn’t want to come off like I want it to. I am about to hit 30 and they say it sticks on you a bit more.

“Hopefully I feel good on fight day after I make the weight.”

Horn’s weight loss battle was music to the ears of Corcoran.

“Losing a bit of weight, no matter what you say, it will make you weak,” he said.

“It happens to everyone.

“[But] I am ready for a hard 12-rounder.”

With AAP

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Australian soccer in limbo as we await word from FIFA

Australian soccer remains in limbo as the embattled FFA chairman Steven Lowy and his board await word from FIFA as to their fate following the loss of a crucial vote at the annual general meeting last week.
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The A-League clubs, who are his chief opponents, are more determined than ever to create the conditions for an independent A-League, where they could capture more of the revenues generated by the competition to underwrite what have largely been loss-making investments for the past decade.

From their point of view, FIFA appointing a “normalisation committee” – an independent group of outsiders who would run the game in place of Lowy and his board, who would be sacked – is the policy most likely to deliver them their preferred outcome. For them, the sooner the FIFA decision makers act, the better.

But at no stage has Lowy indicated that he will surrender easily.

It is in his interests to convince FIFA that he and the board are still reaching out to the dissident factions to try to reach a consensus over the issues that divide them – even if the clubs show little sign of wanting to work with him in the future.

It is understood that earlier this week, despite the effective vote of no confidence last Thursday, Lowy wrote to the clubs seeking to re-open discussions on the new operating model for the A-League.

This was a concept that the FFA board and its chairman had floated earlier this year before relations between he and the clubs broke down so badly.

On the surface this looks like an olive branch, but the anti-Lowy brigade see it as an exercise designed merely to convince FIFA that he is still working hard and should therefore be allowed more time.

This is a difficult case for the game’s governing body. It was they who earlier in the year gave the FFA board a deadline of November 30 to sort out the problems associated with the Congress.

The board has failed to do that – in fact, for years now the board has failed to comply with FIFA’s demands that it broaden the representative base of its Congress, while it has also ignored the recommendations of previous federal government-sanctioned reports to set up an independent A-League.

Now FIFA must decide whether to use the broadsword of the normalisation committee, which would pave the way for a clean slate, or the rapier of some other approach to try and find a solution that could involve all parties but simultaneously end the increasingly bitter enmity.

Trying to square the circle might be an easier task given the breakdown in relations and the bad blood that now exists.

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

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