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Robertson to pull on footy boots after talk

BACK IN ACTION: Russell Robertson will line up for the Burnie Dockers this weekend. Picture: Getty Images.FORMER high-flying Melbourne forward, Russell Robertson will feature as a guest speaker at a luncheon leading up to Sunday’s big grand final rematch between Burnie and Launceston before taking to the field for the Dockers.
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Robertson will play his first-ever senior game at West Park Oval on Sunday after taking to the field for Burnie in both of its recent away games against Coastal rival Devonport.

Still heavily involved with the Melbourne Football Club in the communications department, Robertson said he enjoyed getting back to the Coast to speak to local footy fans.

“I’d like to impart as much as I can about what footy is like (in Melbourne),” Robertson said yesterday.

“The game has changed dramatically since I finished three years ago, but I still like to keep a toe in the water to make sure I’m up to speed with what is happening.”

As for whether cutting his preparation short to speak at the luncheon would hinder his game, Robertson was confident he would be ready and raring to go come 1pm.

“Preparing for a game is more a mental thing than a physical thing,” he said.

“You realise with age, you will play the same regardless of whether you put in one hour of preparation or two hours of preparation.

“But each to their own.”

The luncheon will start at 11am, with the game to start at 1pm.

Tickets are $50 each, which includes lunch, drinks and entry to the football.

For bookings, contact Barry Gaby on 0418339959.

TSL TEAMS, Page 65

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Home crowd may give Coastal boxers edge

PLENTY OF INCENTIVE: Jarrad Gale (left) and Paul Coppleman will headline a 15-fight card at the Devonport Basketball Stadium tomorrow night. Picture: Stuart Wilson.PAUL Coppleman and Jarrad Gale are itching to get back into the ring in front of their home crowd.
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The Coastal boxers, who are both now based interstate, will headline a 15-fight card at the Devonport Basketball Stadium tomorrow night.

Coppleman said his bout with Filipino Ariel Omongos, the only professional fight of the evening, would be a stern test but hoped the support of a vocal audience would help him over the line.

“I’ve never fought him before, but he will keep me on my toes because he is a knockout specialist,” Coppleman said.

“I’ll take the fight by feel and if I can get him out of there early I will.

“Hopefully there will be a good turnout.”

With the fight having been rescheduled, Coppleman admitted his 14-week preparation has been longer and less ideal than usual.

However, with the incentive of a title fight on the line, the now Melbourne- based gloveman is determined to leave nothing on the canvas.

“If I can get a win here I hope to be the challenger for the WBF Commonwealth title,” Coppleman said.

“I’m going to give it my all and hopefully get the result.”

Sunshine Coast-based Gale knows little about the way his Western Australian opponent Ben Page fights, but knows winning will be no easy task.

“I’m going in a bit blindfolded,” Gale admitted.

“I’m sure it’s going to be a tough fight, but I’ve been training pretty hard for it.

“I’m hoping it’s the home crowd which helps me get over the line.”

A premiership player with Ulverstone in the NTFL, Gale still plays football in Queensland, but admits the Sherrin has taken a back seat to sparring.

“I’m still playing footy, I’ll never give that away, but I’ve eased off it a bit to give boxing a good go,” he said.

“Turning professional could be on the cards if things go well.”

The event is being hosted by the North-West Boxing Club in conjunction with the Tasmanian Boxing League.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Walters a quiet achiever

NO FUSS: Burnie Dockers utility Harry Walters, who celebrated his 25th birthday yesterday. Walters was one of the Dockers’ shining lights in last year’s grand final against Launceston and is primed for Sunday’s rematch. Picture: Stuart Wilson.FROM picking up the small forwards to booting goals himself, Harry Walters has been somewhat of a quiet achiever for Burnie in recent years.
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The Dockers utility, who turned 25 yesterday, may not be a big personality off-field but he plays a big role on-field.

“I usually get the small, nippy forwards,” Walters said yesterday.

“I’ve been playing down back now for a few years and I definitely think it has helped me develop as a player.

“I’ve learned a lot from being in the back line, mostly about reading the play.”

Walters, who helped keep the Dockers in touch with Launceston in last year’s grand final with a late goal and assist in the third quarter, said he was primed and ready to go ahead of Sunday’s rematch.

“It’s always good to play against Launceston because it’s always a top game between the two sides,” he said.

“I’m not sure who I’ll (play on) yet, probably someone like Sonny Whiting if he plays.

“They have a strong forward line, so whoever I get will be a challenge.”

Walters said while last year’s grand final heartbreak would never be forgotten by the players, it was not something that had been spoken about in the lead-up to Sunday’s game.

“We’ll just take it as any other game,” he said.

“It’s a new year and there are new players on both sides, so you can’t really take much from last year’s grand final.”

One of the more senior players in the group this season, Walters believes the Dockers have the side to go one step better than last year.

“I think we have improved from last year,” he said.

“We’re linking up with the ball better and some of our younger players have stepped up.

“(Losing) does spur you on, so hopefully this is our year.”

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Thunder hoping for at least one win on the road

Phil ThomasTWO on the road with a winless record is a daunting task but Tall Timbers North West Thunder coach Phil Thomas believes his side is up to the challenge.
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The Thunder will take on Brisbane tonight in the round three rematch of the game Thomas labelled “absolutely pathetic” from his side’s perspective.

The Thunder lost by nine points in a game that was there for the taking.

“We will have to play with more vigour and when we have the ball, create more opportunities for each other,” Thomas said.

“We’ll have the inclusions of Lee McGaffin and Sam Harris this time around, which will add a bit more depth.

“That being said, they have included three new players since we last met, with Dean Brebner, (Thomas) Ammar and (Isaih) Tueta, who is a six foot three guard who returned from college.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see those three in their starting five, so it really brings it back to an even playing field.”

The Thunder will travel to Canberra tomorrow to take on the Gunners tomorrow night in Belconnen.

Canberra currently sits on the bottom of the eastern conference ladder with just one win.

“Put simply, this is a must-win game,” Thomas said.

“We’re a better side than them.”

Included in the Canberra side is former Sydney Kings player Alex Gynes, who was in talks to sign with the Thunder during the off season before committing to the Gunners.

Canberra has had an unsettled season with the recent resignation of coach Matthew Glasson and the appointment of long-serving assistant coach Cameron Barnes to the top job.

“(Barnes) will no doubt be trying to turn their program around and they should be fired up,” Thomas said.

“But there are no excuses with this one, if we can’t win this one, we’re in big trouble.”

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Perry has faith in team to hit back

LATROBE coach Dale Perry has shown faith in the side which lost to Penguin by 32 points last round.
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The Demons have made no changes for their away game against the undefeated Wynyard tomorrow.

“We thought we were OK last week, and had chances to win the game,” Perry said.

“I looked at the side and thought our best 22 last week is the same best 22 for this week.”

Perry is under no illusions about the quality of opposition his side will face.

After all, he selected 12 Cats in the NTFL representative squad earlier this week.

However, Perry said the reigning premier was focused on controlling what it could do right, not what the opposition could do wrong.

“Wynyard’s strength is their depth,” Perry said.

“You can’t focus on one or two of their players.

“What we have been doing is focusing on playing the way we want to play.”

Wynyard has made three changes to the side which defeated East Devonport by 41 points last weekend, with captain Daniel Franks, Craig Stretton and David Fitzpatrick set to further bolster the Cats.

Rhys Phillips will miss the game with work commitments, Tom Russell is out with an illness, while Caleb Alford will return to the under 19s.

In this weekend’s other game, Smithton will be looking to make it consecutive wins for the first time this season when it travels to meet East Devonport.

Luke Viney, a late withdrawal last week, returns to the Saints’ side for Josh Smith.

After impressive performances against Ulverstone last week, youngsters Mitch Kay and Aiden Coomb have retained their spots in Smithton’s 22.

East Devonport has been forced to find replacements for the injured Bradley French and Mark Marriott, while Brady Stubbs and Chris Poole have been omitted.

Michael Bloomfield, Rodney Coglan, Kurt Jeffrey and George McLachlan will all come into the Swans’ side.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Wootton rides into lead

SKILLED AND FAST: Devonport’s Brad Wootton is leading the Australian FX-Superbike B Grade Championship. Picture: Russell Colvin.DEVONPORT rider Brad Wootton currently leads the Australian FX- Superbike B Grade Championship after taking a class clean sweep of all three races at round two of the championship at Goulburns Wakefield Park Raceway.
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It was a bittersweet victory for Wootton, after the weekend got off to a disastrous start following a massive crash in practice that heavily damaged the Suzuki racer’s main North West Motorcycles GSX- R1000 FX-Superbike.

An over exuberant manoeuver by a competitor took both riders down.

Reverting to the spare Suzuki GSX-R1000 that was campaigned in the previous two seasons, the race crew worked tirelessly throughout Friday to salvage any possible components from the main bike and provide a competitive package for the weekend.

“I had expected us to be at the pointy end this weekend, especially at Wakefield Park because it’s a track I really click with and the Suzuki GSX- R1000 works well there,” Wootton said.

“But after Friday we weren’t sure what to expect, apart from being badly taken out and destroying the main race bike, we expected to be in damage control championship wise.”

The 32-year-old rode to 3-2-2 finishes and second overall in B grade in Saturday’s precursor FX- Nationals series behind championship rival Joel Muddle.

“After Saturday’s FX- nationals races we had the spare bike working really well, especially considering all we had was just standard front road bike suspension,” he said.

“Luckily I had no injury or soreness from Friday’s crash so we knew we could be in for a shot at the win Sunday.”

After qualifying as the first B grade rider and ninth overall in Sunday’s FX-Superbike Championship field, Wootton took three class victories from Sunday’s races and rounded out the weekend 10th overall, moving to an eight-point advantage in the B grade standings.

The 2012 Australian FX- Superbike Championship now moves to Queensland Raceway for round three on July 20-22.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Chamley is fulfilling competitive needs

NEW DIRECTION: Christina Chamley is trying outriggers after an injury in powerlifting. Picture: Stuart Wilson.CURRENT Australian powerlifting champion Christina Chamley, of Burnie, is working hard again this year preparing to compete at the National Championships, but not in powerlifting.
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Next month, Chamley will compete at the National Outrigger Marathon Championships in Mooloolaba, Queensland.

After sustaining an injury in powerlifting last year, ending her competitive lifting days, Chamley worked with local exercise physiologist Simon West to recover, and started looking towards another sport to fulfil her training and competition needs.

“Like most of us, I had seen those six-person outrigger canoes training in the bay off Burnie and Somerset,” Chamley said.

“I always thought they looked so good out there enjoying our beautiful Coastline, all paddling in unison.

“I wondered if this was a sport I could have a go at, but I had no prior experience with sea-based sports and neither was I that comfortable in the sea, plus I get seasick too,” she said.

With comprehensive coaching, Chamley was soon paddling confidently in a six-person crew.

“Then about 10 weeks ago I was delighted when they asked me to be part of their squad going to the National Marathon Championships.

“Talk about having motivation to train, I had never done anything like endurance or marathon training before,” she said.

“It is obviously a totally different type of training and sport from the short explosive movements of powerlifting that I am used to.”

The Cradle Coast Outrigger Canoe Club will send an 18-person squad to compete in various races at the championships including composite teams in the under 14 and under 16 divisions, male and female crews, two mixed senior crews, and an all-men’s senior crew.

The club heads to Mooloolaba next month coming off the back of a successful trip to the Sunshine Coast at the National Sprint Championships earlier this year where they won 41 medals.

Anyone interested in finding out more or trying outrigger canoeing should phone Leigh Paine on 0429093662 or visit www.cradlecoastoutrigger. com.au.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


Tough player stance

FOCUS: Forth’s Josh Kirkwood gets a kick in his side’s game against Wesley Vale. Picture: Katrina Dodd.AT A time when some clubs are stretched for players, Rosebery Toorak is in an encouraging position of having a good roll-up and is intent on building on the progress made last year when it narrowly missed out on a spot in the North Western Football Association finals.
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Playing coach Duncan Murfet said the club was in its best position for a while and the coaching staff have put players on notice that unless they are prepared to commit to training, there will be no guarantee of a game each week.

“Hopefully, this will convince the players they have to improve on an individual level to hold their spots in the team,” Murfet said.

Although Murfet is not expecting immediate results, Rosebery Toorak’s improvement will be assessed at Maidstone Park, tomorrow, against a Spreyton team that will be on the rebound from last Saturday’s 10-point loss to East Ulverstone.

That was East Ulverstone’s second win from as many games and the Crows will be keen to make the perfect start to the season under new coach Zane King against Wesley Vale.

Although Wesley Vale is yet to win a game, the Kangaroos have been competitive and, on their home ground tomorrow, will make East Ulverstone work hard for the points.

Sheffield stepped straight into third spot on the ladder after its season debut 107-point win over West Ulverstone, last Saturday, in what was a rehearsal for tomorrow’s match against ladder leader Motton Preston.

The inclusion of some of Mole Creek’s premiership players from last year, such as Shannon Mulvey and Michael Westbrook, has given some bite to a Robins team that on paper looks a finals prospect.

Motton Preston also seems likely to again be in the finals action in September and, in front of Sheffield’s home crowd, the contest should provide its share of highlights.

In the final match of the round at Turners Beach, Forth should be untroubled to take the points against a depleted Seagulls’ side, which was well beaten by Motton Preston last weekend.

Forth, on the other hand, had too many scoring options for Wesley Vale, to win by 38 points, and should confirm its growing status as a potential finals team.

West Ulverstone has the bye.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


High Flying Rulerproving a classy filly

CLASSY three-year-old Jet Laag filly High Flying Ruler is shaping up as one of the best of her age and sex to have graced the pacing arena in Tasmania in recent years.
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The winner of five of her six starts to date, including the 2012 Tasmanian Oaks, has taken all before her this campaign and is being compared by her trainer, Rohan Hillier, with the outstanding mare Shez Ryleymak.

The Beauty Point-based Hillier- prepared Shez Ryleymak to win a total of 23 races and stakes of more than $270,000 and is therefore well qualified to make the comparison.

“Rohan drove High Flying Ruler in her first official trial this preparation and said to me that if I gave her to him to train he would win the Oaks,” part-owner Larry Nichols said this week.

“He achieved that goal and several times since he has mentioned her in the same breath as Shez Ryleymak.”

Nichols races High Flying Ruler in partnership with his wife, Elizabeth, having bred her from his former smart race-mare Northern Ruler, the winner of 12 races.

By Northern Lights from the Windshield Wiper mare Lombo Boucheron, Northern Ruler was purchased as a rising-two-year old from an advertisement in a popular weekly harness racing publication.

Lombo Boucheron is a daughter of the outstanding Toliver Hanover mare Trunkey Gold, which was raced by a syndicate of Sydney racing journalists headed by Ken Harkness.

Northern Ruler’s first foal, by Time Stands Still, was very small and given away as a hack and she has also produced the winner Spirited Ruler and colts by Sutter Hanover and Real Desire.

Nichols has leased the Sutter Hanover to Devonport car salesman Eddie Murdoch and is currently educating the Real Desire colt, a rising two-year-old.

Contrary to earlier reports, High Flying Ruler will not compete in Victoria as a three-year- old, but may take on the best in the land next season.

“There are several very good races such as the Bouquet, the Bandbox and the Princess Of Pace yet to be decided here in Tasmania and if she contests all three she would probably be entitled to a spell,” Nichols said.

“We will let her mature a bit and then probably tackle the Victoria scene as a four-year-old with her.”

The filly’s win in the Tasmanian Oaks (2579m) conducted at Tattersalls Park on March 25 was sensational.

She displayed blistering speed to lead from the mobile and was never headed as a raging $1.50 favourite, eventually defeating Victorian filly Machabiba by a metre while rating 2.00.6 for the trip.

“Machabiba subsequently won a heat of the Victorian Oaks, so it was a wonderful win, probably the biggest thrill of our lives,” Nichols said.

Upcoming meetings – Harness: Tote Racing Centre, tonight; Devonport Raceway, Sunday (Raider Stakes and Granny Smith). Greyhounds: Tote Racing Centre; Monday; Devonport Raceway, Tuesday; Tattersalls Park, Thursday.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.


A warm place for City Kitchen users

A NEW BASE: Burnie City Kitchen coordinator Betty Hite (front) with volunteer Nicole Moorby and Emu Bay Lions Club member and driver Garry Love. Picture: Kate Prestt.WITH winter just around the corner, those using Burnie’s City Kitchen now don’t have to eat out in the weather.
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City Kitchen and the outreach service of City Mission served its first meal on June 8, 2009.

Now almost three years later, they have secured a new home forming a partnership with the Burnie Community House, Shorewell.

City Kitchen coordinator Betty Hite said it was a dream come true that those accessing the service on Mondays and Wednesdays would now not only be able to get their meal at all the usual places and at the car park at the former Acton school, but they would also be able to come inside and sit and eat at the community house or take their food home.

Burnie Community House coordinator Tracey Edington-Mackay said with a new kitchen, thanks to a Tasmanian Community Fund grant, it made sense to welcome Burnie City Kitchen volunteers to prepare the meals and those who access the service to have somewhere to eat.

“I see those who access the service out in the cold and the dark and it just seemed the logical thing to open the house up and have a partnership with City Kitchen,” Ms Edington- Mackay said.

Tomorrow there will be an open day for volunteers and those interested in learning what City Kitchen does to come and familiarise themselves with the house, kitchen and the frameworks they will work within.

Burnie City Kitchen may widen its service.

“We are in negotiations with other venues, one in Wynyard and another in Burnie, but it’s too early to give any details,” Mrs Hite said.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.