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Newcastle Knights veteran trio Willie Mason, Chris Houston and David Fa’alogo may be set free

Taking charge: Incoming Knights coach Rick Stone with chief executive Matt Gidley. Photo: Darren PatemanIncoming coach Rick Stone has indicated the Knights could struggle to retain all three off-contract senior forwards Willie Mason, Chris Houston and David Fa’alogo.
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The Knights confirmed on Monday that Stone would replace Wayne Bennett for the next two years, but Bennett will remain in charge for the rest of this season. Stone will concentrate on trying to win a premiership with the club’s NSW Cup squad before taking the reins from Bennett, but he wants to meet with Knights chief executive Matt Gidley as soon as possible to start planning for next year.

‘‘There’s a few things – staff and player roster are important – so myself and Matt have got to get on to that pretty much straight away,’’ Stone said. ‘‘That’s going to be an important one, particularly for the players and staff that are involved in that situation, so that’s something we’ve got to get cracking at straight away. I’m comfortable to keep my role in what I’ve been doing as assistant coach and NSW Cup coach for the rest of the year.

‘‘I’ve got four games to go in the NRL, and hopefully we’ve got a few more games at NYC and NSW Cup once the semi-finals roll around.

‘‘We’ll get a review process sorted out at the end of the year and we’ll start planning and putting some things together to get ourselves ready for the next off-season.’’

Stone said the Knights needed to bolster their front-row stocks for next year. Mason wants to continue playing next season, even if that is not in Newcastle, and his manager Sam Ayoub said he had been negotiating with two other NRL clubs on Mason’s behalf.

Houston and Fa’alogo are keen to stay but contract talks were put on hold while they waited for the club to announce Bennett’s successor. ‘‘They’re three senior players that are obviously unsigned, and they’re players that we need to talk about as a group and make some decisions on,’’ Stone said.

Meanwhile, NSW winger James McManus is unlikely to play again this season. He suffered a toe injury in the Blues’ 32-8 loss to Queensland in the third State of Origin game on July 9 then backed up in Newcastle’s 31-18 victory over Cronulla  days later but has not played since.Knights high-performance manager Jeremy Hickmans said  McManus would wear a protective CAM Boot for two or three weeks ‘‘so we’re not sure if he will return this season’’.

Hickmans said scans had cleared fullback Sione Mata’utia of a broken jaw.

The 18-year-old rookie was injured in a tackle by Storm prop Tim Glasby in the 43rd minute of Newcastle’s miraculous 32-30 victory over Melbourne at Hunter Stadium last Saturday night.

Glasby was charged with a grade-one careless high tackle but escaped suspension.

Whether Mata’utia plays against the Warriors at Hunter Stadium next Sunday could depend on the fitness of five-eighth Jarrod Mullen, who missed the Storm win due to a torn abdominal muscle.

If Mullen returns against the Warriors, as expected, captain Kurt Gidley is likely to replace Mata’utia at fullback, where he was originally selected for the Melbourne game.

Hickmans said Beau Scott should return after missing the Storm victory due to concussion but fellow back-rower Robbie Rochow will need to pass a CogSport test this week to be cleared to take his place against the Warriors.

Hickmans said Darius Boyd, who has not played since checking himself into a mental-health facility three weeks ago seeking treatment for depression, remained sidelined indefinitely.

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Newcastle Knights coach-in-waiting Rick Stone knows how to rebuild team

Former and future coach: Newcastle mentor Rick Stone. Photo: Darren PatemanWayne Bennett reckons it will take ‘‘four or five years’’ to rebuild the Knights. Rick Stone cannot afford to wait that long.
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Newcastle confirmed on Monday that Stone, who Bennett succeeded three years ago as part of Nathan Tinkler’s takeover, will  succeed the Brisbane-bound mentor as the Knights’  coach for the next two seasons.

The announcement ended weeks of speculation since Bennett said on July 10 that he would not be returning to coach the Knights for a fourth season next year, though Stone was always among the favourites to replace him and firmed to odds-on when Garth Brennan withdrew from the race.

Two weeks earlier, when he was still undecided about his  future, Bennett emerged from a planning meeting with Knights chief executive Matt Gidley and club adviser John Quayle and suggested transforming Newcastle into a super-power would require more than a ‘‘quick fix’’.

‘‘It’s going to take four or five years, I’ve got no doubt about that at all, to get it up to speed and where they want to take it, and they want to do it with a new board and a new direction – all those things that are important,’’ Bennett said. Stone is understandably more bullish about the Knights’ shorter-term future.

Sitting alongside Gidley at a news conference at the club’s Mayfield headquarters on Monday to announce the second coming of the Stone age, the 47-year-old father of three sons was asked if Bennett’s prediction of a five-year plan was too pessimistic. ‘‘I’d like to think so,’’ Stone said. ‘‘I’ve only got two, so I’ve got to get busy and see if we can make some inroads in the next two, which would be really important. I’m confident we can do it, and I’m looking forward to the challenge.’’

An assistant coach to Michael Hagan in 2006 and Brian Smith from 2007, Stone succeeded Smith with four rounds left in 2009 and coached the Knights in 54 NRL games until he stepped aside at the end of 2011 to make way for Bennett. The Lakes United product and former carpenter continued at the Knights as an assistant to Bennett and has been Newcastle’s NSW Cup coach for the past two seasons, taking the club’s second-tier squad within a game of last year’s grand final and back to the finals this season.

Stone coached the Knights to the 2009 and 2011 NRL finals in his first stint and, given the strength of the squad he will have at his disposal, believes that is an attainable goal next season. ‘‘Initially, you need to get yourself into the top eight obviously, and I think we’ve got a roster that’s capable of doing that, and I’m sure Wayne would be the first to admit there’s still a roster here that’s capable of doing that,’’ he said. ‘‘I think Penrith are a great example of making some decent recruitment decisions and working hard as a group – not a flashy playing staff – but they have really got themselves in a good position this year, and we could possibly model ourselves on something like that.

‘‘At different times this year, we have let ourselves down and we haven’t played as well as we need to. We need to get some consistency back. It’s funny, because when I finished the job [in 2011], we were just starting to get some consistency, and it took a couple of years to get there.  We’ve seen the same sort of thing probably rear its head in the last couple of years where the consistency hasn’t been good enough. It hasn’t been good enough for NRL standard, we got some at the back end of last year when we made a run for the semi-finals, but apart from then, it’s fair to say that we need to improve with that.’’

Gidley said the Newcastle players welcomed news of Stone’s appointment when told.

‘‘It’s clear we went through a thorough process. Rick was always going to be a very strong candidate for the job, but given how important the role is, we felt we needed to go through a thorough process before we came to this position,’’ Gidley said.

‘‘Last week we arrived at the position of Rick to be our head coach, and we’re very pleased to be able to announce that today.

‘‘One of the keys is Rick has been a part of this group for the last three years, and he’s been in a senior coaching role at our club since 2006, so he understands the type of club we are and the type of club we can be, so that’s really important.’’

Gidley said the club’s selection sub-committee of himself, Quayle and chairman Paul Harragon seriously considered the claims of six other candidates but Stone was a stand-out.

‘‘I think one of the really encouraging things to come out of the process was the calibre of coaches that were attracted to come to Newcastle,’’ Gidley said.

‘‘I was really pleased by that. Rick was always a strong contender but there was a number of other coaches that we carefully considered before we decided upon giving Rick the job.’’

Stone dismissed any suggestion he had been promised a second chance by Tinkler or Knights management as part of a gentlemen’s agreement or otherwise, saying ‘‘I don’t think there’s any real guarantees in the game of rugby league in this day and age’’.

‘‘You don’t get many chances to come back and coach at the same NRL club as head coach, so it’s a unique situation for myself,’’ Stone said.

‘‘I’d like to think I’ve been pretty patient over those three years, and learnt a lot, and understand a little bit about Newcastle from the juniors right through to the top grade, and I’m really excited about our future.’’

Stone, who steered Fiji to the World Cup semi-finals last year, believed he was inheriting a stronger roster than the one he took to the 2011 finals, and that he would be a better NRL coach second time around after three years working with Bennett.

‘‘I think you mature. Every year you’re involved in coaching, you mature and you learn a little bit more from the experiences you take out of it,’’ he said.

‘‘[I] learned plenty from Wayne. He handles things really professionally. He’s an experienced campaigner, he’s been around, he knows how to coach in big games and I learned plenty out of the semi-final series we played last year …

‘‘The last three years has been a great learning experience.’’

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Hayne Plane soaring higher than 2009

Jarryd Hayne says he is no superman, but the Parramatta fullback is on course to surpass the heroics of his incredible 2009 season.
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His grand-final teammate Eric Grothe says the Eels star is playing better football than when he led Parramatta to the premiership decider five years ago.

Questions over whether the Hayne Plane would ever soar at such heights have haunted the No.1 since he produced the type of football that left many wondering if they had just witnessed a once-in-a-generation phenomenon.

 

In just 17 games this season he has scored more tries (17) and produced more line-break assists (8) than he did in 26 games during Parramatta’s run to the 2009 grand final.

And Grothe says the maturity and leadership he has added to his game has made him an even more potent weapon than 2009.

“In ’09 I don’t think he was as mature considering his experience, but now he’s really taken on the leadership as well as his freakish brand of footy,” Grothe said on Monday.

“It all happened very quickly in ’09, and it went from really bad to really good very quickly. But this year Haynesy has been good all the way through, and so have Parramatta – that’s why he’s a better player today than he he was back then.

“He’s still relatively young [26], so it will be interesting to see how much better he gets. I think ’09 was one of the worst and best things that happened to him. Everything he did after that has been compared to that one year. That’s unfair because the whole team hasn’t gone well, and they’ve been expecting him to produce magic when they haven’t helped. He’s also a good organiser of his troops these days.”

While the Eels have struggled since that grand-final loss against Melbourne, Hayne insists the hype surrounding his performances did not get the better of him.

“I had my head screwed on right,” Hayne said last month.

“I knew why we were winning and for me it will always be about the team. The blokes that I played with were playing out of their skin and I was just the bloke that finished it off. I’ve always said when Parra is going well and when I’m going well it’s because of the blokes up front. You see that with any club. When you’ve got forwards who want to run hard and tackle hard, I do my thing on top of that. But if they don’t want to do that, I’m no superman.”

The common denominator in both of Hayne’s best seasons in the NRL is Daniel Anderson, the former Eels coach who rejoined the coaching staff as the club’s football manager this season.

“I always liked Daniel as a coach,” Hayne said.

“At the time the board didn’t like him, so that was disappointing. I found him a really good coach. He’s just straight up and honest. He’s a bit old school, too, so he’ll tell you how it is. Some blokes don’t like that. Especially the generation these days, you’ve got to cuddle them and rock them into first grade and you can’t be too harsh on them.

“For me, I thought he was great, although he doesn’t have anything to do with the stuff on the field these days. With Brad Arthur, I think Brad is the most ideal coach for the club at the moment. He’s a great coach. We couldn’t have got anyone better.”

Hayne’s former teammate Matt Keating, who came off the bench in the grand final, says Hayne is almost back to the form of 2009.

“He’s not far off,” Keating said. “I think he feels like it’s his team now. As soon as he got the co-captains role, you could see another person coming out in him. It’s taken him 12 to 18 months to finally realise what that confidence and responsibility can do for him, and that he can get back to where he was [in 2009].”

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Indigenous health a cause close to Inglis’ heart

Greg Inglis, second from left, has a passion to improve indigenous health Greg Inglis is in great form at the right end of the season
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For so long Greg Inglis was a reluctant skipper but after taking on the South Sydney captaincy for the first time, he has a more serious issue where he wants to show leadership.

Leading into the NRL’s Close The Gap Round, Inglis has spoken about his passion for indigenous health.  “By the time I leave this earth I want to see a big change in indigenous health and the communities around Australia,” Inglis said. “I am not afraid to voice my opinions about indigenous culture and the way it should be looked after. It’s vitally important to raise awareness and truly understand what close the gap is. It’s closing the gap between indigenous and the non-indigenous health and life expectancy.”

Inglis hasn’t always been comfortable speaking about issues close to his heart but now the 27-year-old said he was at ease being a figurehead.

“It changed when I had an understanding of how I stood in the game and how I stood in the public eye,” Inglis said. “It just came about. I couldn’t tell you when. I don’t know when I decided to wake up and become this. It’s something that just came upon me. It’s one of those things that just happened. You don’t go looking for it. It just happens.”

Inglis didn’t go searching for the club’s captaincy. It didn’t cross his mind that he would be handed the  job when regular South Sydney captain John Sutton was ruled out for six weeks with a knee injury two games ago.

“I don’t think I would have picked myself between 18 to 23, maybe 24, 25,” Inglis said.  It’s just understanding the players and understanding what needs to be done on the field. A captain isn’t always one that goes out and leads by example. It is someone who has that mutual respect and a very good understanding of the players. I am new to this.”

Souths have won their past two games with Inglis at the helm including their best performance of the season with a 23-4 win against Manly. Inglis needed little convincing when told of his appointment by coach Michael Maguire. “He told me and then two days later he rang me up and said ‘you’ll be right’,” Inglis said. “I said ‘yeah I’ll take it on’. It didn’t really hit me until the captain’s run. I didn’t change anything about me. It’s a great honour. I’m not one to show my emotions. I will sit down one day and reflect on all this.”

South Sydney have raced in 27 tries on their way to a four-game winning streak despite Newcastle coach Wayne Bennett  calling the Rabbitohspredictable. Inglis pointed to young outside backs including Dylan Walker, Kirisome Auva’a and Alex Johnston for giving his team some spark. “Even though Wayne came out and said it was predictable it’s been working for us especially this late in the season,” Inglis said. “Even though we have a simple game plan [his young teammates] can pull something out of their backside. Those guys wouldn’t be able to do that unless our forwards go forward. They do carry that X-Factor about them, it’s just how they play footy. We’ve put in good performances the past few weeks but we have to put it aside and focus on Thursday night.”

Like his teammates, Inglis is finding his best form. A serious post-Origin knee injury last year affected his form and without his attacking potency South Sydney struggled. “I feel fresh,” Inglis said. “This time last year I was held back because of knees and a couple of other things. Back end of the season this is where you want to be injury-free and fresh and free to move around the park. [My knee] was never really 100 per cent. It was something that I had to maintain early in the week and go out and put that aside and play the best you can.”

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Priest Peter Searson found guilty of child sex abuse in Catholic Church internal hearing

The Catholic Church found a Melbourne paedophile priest accused of interfering with young girls during confession guilty of child sex abuse, more than a decade before Cardinal George Pell denied a cover up, it has been revealed
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The ABC’s Four Corners program has obtained a confidential draft report that shows former Doveton parish priest, Father Peter Searson, was found guilty of sexual abuse by the church during an internal hearing in 1997.

That is despite the fact former Archbishop of Melbourne Cardinal Pell previously denied the church ignored complaints about Searson, in what victims described as an attitude of “hear no evil, see no evil, say nothing”.

“No conviction was recorded for Searson on sexual misbehaviour,” Cardinal Pell told the Victorian inquiry into child sexual abuse last year. “There might be victims. He was convicted for cruelty. But speaking more generally, I totally reject the suggestion.”

Yet a report by Peter O’Callaghan, the QC appointed to investigate the scandal, found that even before Father Searson arrived in Doveton he had “achieved a regrettable record of suspected sexual abuse of children and considerable financial misappropriations”.

Mr O’Callaghan recorded that he had found the priest “guilty of sexual abuse” during the internal hearing, according to the records obtained by Four Corners.

But Father Searson was able to successfully appeal to the Congregation in Rome that Mr O’Callaghan “did not have the appropriate jurisdiction or procedure” to make the findings.

Cardinal Pell was the Archbishop of Melbourne at the time the internal hearing allegedly took place. Father Searson died in 2009, before facing any child sex charges.

The Doveton parish, regarded as one of the most disadvantaged in Melbourne, endured a terrifying succussion of paedophile priests between 1972 and 1997, when Father Searson was finally suspended.

The former director of church’s pastoral response office, Helen Last, told Four Corners she was contacted in 1997 by worried parishioners in Doveton, but was told by Archbishop Pell in a letter that was situation was “under control” and “there remains no need for any pro-active measures from your office”.

Ms Last disobeyed the order and spent a day at Doveton. “One of the major things that they were grappling with was how could our church have known that this priest was a paedophile, Father Searson, and others before him, and not done anything to help us?”

She lost her job one month later.

In 1986, the former principal of Doveton’s Holy Family School, Graeme Sleeman, also resigned in an attempt to draw attention to the child abuse claims.

However he said his letter of resignation, that alleged Searson had interfered with young girls, terrorised boys and stolen money, was censored by the Catholic Education Office.

“You could almost call it a fetish that he had about having children go to confession to him and they’d have to sit by him and kneel at him,” Mr Sleeman said.

Mr Sleeman lost his successful career over the saga and has since received some compensation from the church. He said other priests and the Archbishop “knew lots but sat on their hands”.

Following Mr Sleeman’s resignation, a number of teachers from the school met with Cardinal Pell asking him to remove Father Searson, but again no immediate action was taken.

Last year Cardinal Pell said he was “sent back to Searson” who had denied “everything and anything”.

Former Holy Family School teacher Carmel Rafferty also resigned in 1993 after years of trying to get the church to respond to disturbing reports from children. “It came to a head when the priest was going into the boys’ toilet several times a day,” she said.

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Josh Hose shares in wheelchair rugby world championships glory

Josh Hose: world champion. JOSH Hose has etched his name into regional sporting history by helping Australia clinch the wheelchair rugby Paralympics-world championships double.
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The Camperdown-raised 27-year-old was part of the Steelers squad which beat Canada 67-56 in the world championships final at Odense, Denmark, yesterday.

The win meant the Brad Dubberley-coached side went unbeaten in seven matches and continues a power shift away from the northern hemisphere.

Australia has won the past two major accolades in wheelchair rugby: the 2014 world championships and 2012 London Paralympics.

Before that, the United States claimed three Paralympic titles and four world championships titles. Canada also has a world championships title to its name.

New Zealand, which won gold at the 2004 Paralympics, was the only southern hemisphere nation to taste success before the Steelers’ rise.

“I’m stoked to do the double — world championships and Paralympics. It’s a great thing to be part of Australia’s first world championships side,” Hose said.

“We knew it was going to be a tough match. All the teams here can take a game away from you if you’re not switched on.”

Hose said he was “somewhat” happy with his efforts. He didn’t feature in the gold-medal match but received game time in all the others.

He said he was keen to represent the Steelers at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. “(I want to) make the Rio team then take the gold.”

Australia had to fight hard in the gold medal match. Canada rushed to an early lead and scores were 15-all at quarter-time.

The Steelers edged ahead 32-27 by half-time before a match-defining burst late in the third term handed them a 48-40 advantage at the last break.

Steelers gun Ryley Batt scored 45 goals, capping off a sublime tournament, while Chris Bond (19) and Jayden Warn (three) also hit the scoreboard.

“World champions, Paralympic champions, this team just keeps getting better,” Dubberley told AAP.

“I’m so proud of our whole team. Not just the athletes but all the support staff. It’s a huge accomplishment.

“We’re really enjoying our success and we’re going to celebrate being world champions here.

“But as soon as we get home, it’s going to be all systems go for the Paralympics. I think there is still a lot of room for improvement before we get to Rio.”

Australia defeated Great Britain, Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Canada in its pool matches and accounted for Japan 60-49 in a semi-final.

Canada defeated USA in the other semi-final, winning 59-56 after extra time. But the USA bounced back to beat Japan 62-56 in the bronze medal match.

Hose, who became a C6-C7 paraplegic after an Australia Day car crash in 2005, is classed as a 3.0 player with the Steelers.

Players are classified based on their mobility, on a scale from 0.5 to 3.5. The four players on the court cannot have a mobility tally exceeding eight.

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Students plan ahead

FRESH OUTLOOK: Tenison Woods College student Chloe James (above) receives a free treatment in the beauty salon as part of Friday’s 2014 Rotary Careers Expo at TAFE SA.HUNDREDS of students from across the South East were given insight into their potential futures on Friday as part of the 2014 Limestone Coast Rotary Careers Expo.
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From business to beauty and health to hospitality, the annual event held at the TAFE SA campus attracted senior secondary students from as far as Bordertown and Keith with exhibitors reporting overwhelming response.

A host of displays, demonstrations and speakers educated and explored potential pathways.

Expo project manager Suzanne Waye hailed the event a success, estimating that over 1200 students visited across the six hours.

“We hope we have given the students an opportunity to look at their career choices,” Ms Waye said.

“All our speaker sessions were highly attended and the feedback from a lot of the exhibitors was that the students were really engaged.”

Ms Waye said the expo aimed to cover a broad range of careers, from service industries and higher study through to apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities.

Mount Gambier High School student Lewis Lane commended organisers of the event for the diverse schedule.

“I thought it was a great experience as it allows us to explore the different variety of work we could do in the future,” Lewis said.

“I think the hands-on exhibits were the way to go, they were really interesting.”

Meanwhile, fellow student Chris Fallas said the expo proved insightful.

“There were a few career paths I wanted to have a look at coming into today,” Chris said.

“It just gives students a good chance to have a more in-depth look at what job opportunities are out there.”

Carpark overhaul underway

FACELIFT: Evolve Hair and Beauty owner Sara Harfull welcomes the redevelopment of the Commerce Arcade carpark in Mount Gambier’s central business district. Picture: ALEX McGREGORA LONG-ANTICIPATED overhaul of the central Commerce Arcade carpark has begun with removal of trees from the site marking the beginning of the transformation.
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A facelift of the popular carpark will include landscaping and shaded parking spaces to add vibrancy to the city’s central business district.

Not only will drivers benefit from the upgrade, but business owners are also pleased about the project, although it is expected to create some challenges during various stages of completion.

Evolve Hair and Beauty owner Sara Harfull said the works at the carpark would be a “nightmare” for customers and retailers until the redevelopment was finished.

“It is like anything, we have to put up with the mess until the project is complete,” she said.

“Once the facelift is complete the community can enjoy the new facilities and we will experience the long-term benefits of what the council has done at the site.”

Ms Harfull said the carpark overhaul was well overdue as it was a heavily used space.

“The idea of having longer parking hours will allow my salon customers and other shoppers to spend more time in the central business district,” she said.

“People will be able to shop for longer and meet up for lunch more often.”

She said the trees were a lovely part of the carpark, but created problems.

“They used to drop nuts and debris on the cars and the roots protruded from the pavement, creating a potential tripping hazard,” she said.

“The site looks a lot more spacious and open now that the trees have been removed.”

Ms Harfull said she hoped a new surface would improve water run-off.

She also welcomed the installation of shaded areas and suggested that the outdated arcade could also be upgraded.

“Some of the paintwork is looking average and the skylights need a clean, but once that is done Mount Gambier would have a number one facility,” she said.

City of Mount Gambier engineering manager Daryl Morgan said trees had outgrown the space and had to be removed to enable works to proceed.

“We will continue to work at a stop and start level and refurbish the carpark area in two halves so there is minimal disruption to carpark users,” he said.

Mr Morgan said contractors could now prepare to design the shade sails, which would be one of the major upgrades to the area.

“At this stage it will most likely take four to five weeks for the sails to be designed and then foundations can be laid ready for installation,” he said.

In the meantime, the council will continue work at the site laying kerbing and preparing the area so that a new asphalt surface can be laid.

“We will ensure that the majority of the carpark is still in operation as council undertakes the work,” he said.

“I expect the site to be close to being finished by the end of November.”

After 166 AFL games, Brent Moloney wants to be remembered as an honest, loyal playerVideo

Brent Moloney considers his attacking options in an AFL pre-season cup game with Brisbane. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
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BRENT Moloney is not ruling out a return to his home club South Warrnambool after yesterday announcing his AFL retirement.

The 30-year-old will come home to see family and friends in Warrnambool today where he considers the next phase in his life.

Top of the discussion list will be whether he is interested in South Warrnambool’s soon-to-be vacant coaching job.

“I’ve had a chat to them,” Moloney said.

“I will have to work out a few things, whether it’s the right thing for me now.

“I will never say never to anything, I’ll wait and see what happens and weigh it up.”

What should dominate Moloney’s chats with family and friends is his decorated career at the highest level that stretched 166 games with three clubs over 12 seasons.

The uncompromising midfielder will be remembered for his bullocking work at stoppages and bullet-like kicking that helped him finish with 46 goals.

Moloney’s influence on matches was sometimes underrated because his tireless work in close at clearances went largely unnoticed, not that it bothered him.

“I don’t look at what people say about you and what they write. You are who you are. I wasn’t one to try and be in the media, I just wanted to focus on what I had to do.”

Like his South Warrnambool teammate Jonathan Brown, who also retired from the Lions this season, Moloney has always been keen to promote his home town and support the club where his career started.

“You have to remember where you have come from,” Moloney said.

“I hope I’ve done the South Warrnambool club proud. I have had great support from people in Warrnambool my whole career.”

Moloney had almost given up hope of an AFL career after shoulder injuries cruelled his 2002 season with TAC Cup side Geelong Falcons. But he got a surprise invitation to a state draft camp and then with pick four in the 2003 pre-season draft, Geelong gave him the opportunity he had craved as a schoolboy.

He played 23 matches with the Cats, including the only three finals games of his career, before being famously traded by Geelong to Melbourne in a deal that enabled Richmond big man Brad Otten’s move to Kardinia Park.

The deal was a win/win. Moloney joined the club he barracked for as a boy in 2005 and the Cats got the ruckman/forward they felt they needed to win a premiership.

Moloney played 122 games with the Demons, won the club’s 2011 best and fairest award, was runner-up in 2009 and was elevated to vice-captain.

But he became the AFL’s first free agent in 2012 and joined Brisbane last year, where he brought up his 150th senior AFL game. He was part of the Lions’ 2013 pre-season cup victory.

Moloney said he had fond memories of all three clubs.

“You play to win. The big games and the finals, they are the memories.

“The things I will miss most are running up the race with 21 of your best mates and that feeling of the unknown, that’s a feeling you can’t describe to people.

“And after the game, singing the song together.

“If you ask how I want to be remembered, I would say as an honest bloke and good teammate. I always put my teammates before myself and played my heart out.”

Moloney had no intentions of 2014 being his final year in the AFL. He had contemplated seeking a return to Melbourne at season’s end, but an Achilles injury changed his plans.

“In the end the body made the decision for me,” he said.

The injury restricted him in the pre-season. After 16 matches with the Lions in 2013, he managed just five this season.

“My form dropped off because of it and I found myself retiring prematurely but you can’t do anything about it. That’s footy.”

Moloney said he had reached the decision a week ago.

“It’s not a rash decision, it is something I have been thinking about for a while. Last Monday I was on the bike doing a bike session and about 20 minutes in I just had to jump off and go and tell the club I was retiring. It just sort of hit me.

“They said ‘have a think about it’. They said they were keen for me to get fit and have a farewell game but I tried to run last Thursday and I couldn’t. The body needs a big rest and in-season you don’t get time to rest. The Achilles was my Achilles heel.”

Moloney is keen to pursue a coaching career.

“I love seeing kids develop and turn into men and see them day-in, day-out and improve. I love working with people, I run a mentor program up here and I love coaching.”

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Talks on options for bus stops

FOUR proposed options to move Launceston’s central business district bus stops will be up for discussion tomorrow.
Nanjing Night Net

The Launceston City Council will hold a “pop-up” community consultation at 74-82 St John Street, from 1-5pm, to gauge the thoughts of bus commuters.

The consultation comes after a request by city businesses seeking the relocation of some stops.

Seven options were initially canvassed against a set criteria and four options are now being considered.

They include:

● Keep the current location but update the bus stops.

● Stay in St John Street between York and Paterson streets, but St John Street would become one-way with improved bus stops further away from businesses.

● Move the St John Street bus stop from opposite the Quadrant to outside the church between Paterson and Cameron streets.

● Paterson Street between Charles and St John streets would become two-way with bus stops on both sides of the street.

Council acting general manager Rod Sweetnam said the pop-up community consultation was a good opportunity for people to talk to council staff about the proposal.

He said the council had established a project team to look at moving the bus stops, made up of the State Growth Department, Metro, Cityprom and the Tasmanian Bus Association.

“Over a period of some months we have overseen a study into the CBD bus interchange, and this study has resulted in several potential options,” he said.

“The idea of moving the bus interchanges has also been a part of the City Heart consultation sessions, and we’ll be collating all the feedback on both these initiatives in coming weeks.”

In June, then Metro chief executive Heather Haselgrove said the company opposed such a move and warned it would be detrimental to commuters and may actually hurt businesses.

She said there was a need for broad consultation to hear the needs of everyone.

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