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Birds of a feather

Birds of a feather

first_imgBy sports editor Russell Bennett The boys at the Seagulls’ nest at Tooradin know they may not even get the chance to run out just after 2pm on a Saturday this season.They know that a call on whether or not there will even be a community footy season is out of their control.But last week their return to training wasn’t so much about preparing for a possible 2020 campaign.It was more about an incredibly tightknit group of mates banding together, once again, as a collective.Even standing out on the same field once again – albeit while practicing physical distancing – meant the world to them.“For us, we have no control over what happens – whether there’s a 2020 season or not,” Tooradin Dalmore senior football coach Lachie Gillespie told the Gazette.“The only thing we’ve got control over is providing somewhere for our players and the rest of our club people to come to.“As restrictions continue to gradually wind back, that’ll become easier.“At the moment it’s pretty strict, but even having smaller groups and allowing our footballers and netballers to catch up face-to-face again – that’s what we’re focusing on at the moment.“It’s super important for our people and their mental health that they can reconnect, and obviously maintaining physical health through exercise is important regardless of if we can actually play footy and netball this year or not.”Football and netball clubs mean so much more to their people, and their communities, than the few hours of play each Saturday.“For your grandparents, your husbands or wives, and even your kids who aren’t even playing football or netball yet – the connection a club like ours provides means everything,” Gillespie said.“It drives the community. We’ve always known that, but this situation we’ve all found ourselves in has delivered a real reminder of it.“What’s really hurt us is that we haven’t been able to be together over this really challenging period.”Tooradin-Dalmore is one of the tightest knit community sporting clubs anywhere in Gippsland, and its people just want to be able to wrap their arms around each other again – at least metaphorically, while physical distancing measures remain in place.“We’re training so we’re ready to go in case the season does start up, but it’s more about us being such a close group of mates and we just want to maintain that connection with each other,” Gillespie explained.“It’s good for our people, it’s good for our club, and it’s good for our community.”Moving forward, as the restrictions change and more information continues to come to hand, the Gulls will continue to adapt and roll with the punches.It’s all they can do.“If West Gippy shuts down for the season we’ll readjust, but at the moment we’re training two nights per week and we’ve got the flexibility to really turn this situation into a positive for us,” Gillespie said.“Personally, I’m looking for ways for us to continue to have that camaraderie and culture of togetherness whether we can return to the field and the court on the weekends or not.“Something that’s really held us together in recent times has been our character and grit in the face of some really difficult periods.“That’s toughened us up, and it’s almost helped form part of our DNA. People who come to our club really feel that connection to each other, and that buy-in that a lot of the really, really good clubs in our community have.“Seeing people’s faces and having a laugh has been great.“To be honest, we might just be one of the most ruthless clubs in West Gippy in terms of how we pay out on each other, but it’s great fun being back together again.”During the week, the Gulls reformed at both ‘The Nest’ at the Tooradin Recreation Reserve, and also just down the highway at Rutter Park.It was in smaller groups, but it was a start.“You play sport for that connection, ultimately,” Gillespie said.“It’s for connection, and for an outlet for those times each week that we’re together. It’s a release for all of us.“It could be four degrees outside and hailing down, but when you’re together you can look back on those times as some of the best you’ve had.”last_img read more

Dennis Street, Sophia Road reopens ahead of schedule

Dennis Street, Sophia Road reopens ahead of schedule

first_imgThe Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) advises the general public that Dennis Street and the Sophia Access Road between ‘A’ Field and Eastern Highway, Georgetown, is now reopened to vehicular traffic, days ahead of its scheduled completion.Construction works on this road began on April 4 and was slated to be completed by April 18. However, recognising that the closed area was an important one for residents and commuters in Sophia, general contractor Colin Talbot and his team worked harder to ensure the work was done before its deadline.The newly rehabilitated Sophia Access RoadThe road works saw the completion of approximately 300 metres of timber revetment along Dennis Street, Sophia. This construction included the installation of steel tie-rods and “dead man” structures.Besides Sophia, the MPI will be undertaking other major infrastructural works in Pattensen and Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, as part of its Urban Areas Development Plan for 2016.The MPI extended appreciation to the general public – and particularly the community of Sophia – for its patience and understanding during the construction period.last_img read more

Star Everton striker nears first team return, claims Martinez

Star Everton striker nears first team return, claims Martinez

first_img Romelu Lukaku in action for Everton Everton manager Roberto Martinez expects to have record signing Romelu Lukaku back in action in time for this weekend’s match with Burnley.The £28m striker has missed their last two fixtures with a hamstring injury but could be back for the visit from relegation strugglers on Saturday.“Rom is training today with the group and I would expect him to be fully fit for Saturday,” Martinez said.“Last Saturday he wanted to be involved but it was a real risk in terms of where the injury was. “But he’s been working really well with the medical department and probably now we’ve got the green light to allow him to join the group. “If he trains and doesn’t get any reaction over the next few days then clearly he will be fully fit and available for the next six games, which is exactly what we want.” 1last_img read more

Gianfranco Zola: Chelsea are not boring… they totally deserve to win the Premier League

Gianfranco Zola: Chelsea are not boring… they totally deserve to win the Premier League

first_imgGianfranco Zola has dismissed claims Chelsea are ‘boring’ and insisted his former club fully deserve to be crowned Premier League champions.Jose Mourinho’s side, ten points clear at the top of the table, have been criticised for a perceived negative style of play, but Zola insists the Blues should only be praised for their exploits this season.Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the Stamford Bridge legend said. “There has been a lot of talk about Chelsea, and how they have played, but I believe, in the first part of the season, they played brilliant football and they totally deserve this [title].“The last few weeks, probably the standard of football hasn’t been as good as before, but in a league like the Premier League, which is so draining, you cannot keep the same standards. Chelsea totally deserve it.”Zola has been most impressed by Eden Hazard this season, and believes the Belgian midfielder, the PFA Player of the Year, has taken his game on to another level under Mourinho.“He has been massive,” said the former Italy international. “He totally deserves it [the PFA award].“This year, compared to previous years, he has been more decisive. He is growing up and he is learning to use his qualities in an effective way.“A lof of this is down to him but also to Jose, who is probably teaching him to be more effective.”last_img read more

‘Old Trafford official attendance of 75,000: were 30,000 fans dressed as seats?’

‘Old Trafford official attendance of 75,000: were 30,000 fans dressed as seats?’

first_img Old Trafford was far from full for the visit of Crystal Palace 1 The official attendance at Old Trafford for Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace last night was given as 75,277.Pull the other one!In a stadium with a capacity of 75,635, there was certainly more than 358 empty seats.Not that Louis van Gaal would agree. “I have not seen a lot of empty seats,” claimed the Dutchman.“But you have seen it because you want to see it.”Or perhaps because our eyes work properly, LVG.Check out some of the chat on social media about United’s empty seats…last_img

Villaraigosa’s water saving plan fails to persuade residents

Villaraigosa’s water saving plan fails to persuade residents

first_imgCity records show that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s call six months ago for voluntary water conservation in a record dry year has failed to persuade Los Angeles residents and businesses to substantially rein in water use. Despite the mayor’s June 6 plea for a 10 percent reduction, water use in the city remained largely flat through October, compared with the same period last year, according to Department of Water and Power records. Some environmentalists now want the mayor to endorse mandatory restrictions, such as those that have reaped significant water savings this fall in Long Beach. Area environmental leaders who met privately with Villaraigosa on Tuesday said they asked him to declare a state of drought and impose restrictions, and he said he would if science supported it. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champ“… I want a commitment from the mayor to work toward a more sustainable future and to reduce water use in Los Angeles,” said Miriam Torres of the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, who was among those at the meeting. “People in Los Angeles have to think of water as a precious resource and not a commodity.” The mayor’s office confirmed the conversation occurred but had no details of what kind of scientific evidence the mayor had in mind. City water officials said Friday they planned to wait several more months to see if water supplies improve before resorting to harsher measures.last_img read more

Hull 2-2 Everton: Ross Barkley hits late equaliser to deny Tigers crucial win

Hull 2-2 Everton: Ross Barkley hits late equaliser to deny Tigers crucial win

first_imgHull City missed their chance to move off the bottom of the Premier League after drawing with Everton at the KCOM Stadium on Friday night.Robert Snodgrass looked to have secured all three points for the Tigers with a fine second half free-kick before Ross Barkley’s late header ensured the Toffees came away with a point.Michael Dawson gave the hosts a sixth minute lead before Everton levelled on the stroke of half time, following a defensive mix-up between goalkeeper David Marshall and striker Dieumerci Mbokani.The result guarantees Mike Phelan’s side will enter the New Year on the bottom of the table while Everton sit nine points off a Europa League qualifying position.Hull burst out of the blocks with Snodgrass curling a shot wide and Everton skipper Phil Jagielka turning Ahmed Elmohamady’s excellent ball over his own crossbar before Dawson gave his side a sixth-minute lead.Snodgrass’s corner was flicked on by Harry Maguire and the centre-half finished in style, burying a first-time shot inside Joel Robles’ left-hand post for his fourth goal of the season.The hosts’ deserved early breakthrough stung Everton into action. Kevin Mirallas’ shot was blocked by Marshall and Seamus Coleman headed Gareth Barry’s cross against the foot of a post.Everton warmed to the task in front of Southgate, threatening again through long-range efforts from Barkley and Barry.But the Tigers defended resolutely, determined not to let slip their advantage having conceded the first goal in 15 of their previous 18 league games this season.That was typified by Curtis Davies’ last-gasp tackle to deny Romelu Lukaku in the box – but then Everton were gifted an equaliser in first-half stoppage time.Mirallas swung over a corner and Marshall, under pressure at his near post, mistimed his punched clearance and the ball flew off the back of his fist and into his own net.The goalkeeper was quick to make amends at the start of the second half, pulling off a brilliant save to push Lukaku’s deflected shot on to the crossbar.Barkley fired straight at Marshall after racing on to Lukaku’s flick on, then Snodgrass curled a trademark free-kick against the crossbar with Robles beaten in the 55th minute.Robles then blocked Dawson’s shot and a finely-balanced game then turned in Hull’s favour thanks to another piece of dead-ball brilliance from Snodgrass 10 minutes later.Leighton Baines was penalised for his clumsy challenge on Maguire and from similar distance Snodgrass struck another beauty, this time inside Robles’ right-hand post to give Hull the lead.But as the home side appeared to be heading for a rare win, Everton refused to surrender. Baines found space on the left after another foray forward and his cross was headed emphatically home by Barkley at the far post.Dieumerci Mbokani fired wide in the closing stages for Hull, who are still waiting for a first league win since November 6. The unsettled midfielder rescued a point for Ronald Koeman’s side 1last_img read more

Tottenham 5-2 Southampton player ratings: Spurs stars rated and slated

Tottenham 5-2 Southampton player ratings: Spurs stars rated and slated

first_img Centre-back: Jan Vertonghen – 8/10 – One of the most reliable centre-backs in the division, he looked comfortable all afternoon as Spurs romped to victory and made a number of excellent defensive contributions, including one incredible goal-saving tackle. Tottenham Hotspur ended their 2017 in style with a thumping 5-2 over Southampton at Wembley.Harry Kane was, as per usual, the hero as he slammed in a hat-trick against the Saints, making him the top goalscorer in Europe this calendar year – beating Lionel Messi into second place.Spurs will be disappointed they allowed their opponents to score twice in the second half, but how did their individual players perform on Boxing Day?Click the right arrow above to see our player ratings for Tottenham… Centre-back: Davinson Sanchez – 7/10 – He showed a more progressive side to his game early on with a nice run and chipped pass to Dele Alli. He’s still got to work on his aerial game but dealt well with Southampton’s threat on the counter. 14 Striker: Harry Kane – 9/10 – It was inevitable the strike ace would beat Alan Shearer’s calendar year record but he went above and beyond at Wembley by smashing home a hat-trick. A header opened the scoring before he tapped home a second strike before the break. His third goal was an exceptional finish as he chipped the on-rushing Fraser Forster to end the calendar year with an astonishing 56 goals. Right-back: Serge Aurier – 6/10 – The Ivorian is still a little shaky in a positional sense but offers plenty going forward. He does need to work on his final ball, which continues to frustrate Harry Kane. 14 Left-back: Danny Rose – 7/10 – Did well to win the free-kick which led to Harry Kane’s opener but almost undid the good work when his header back to Hugo Lloris almost resulted in an own goal. A delicious cross-field ball almost resulted in a stunning Kane goal but the striker nudged the ball just wide. The left-back is finally getting near to his best after injury. 14 14 Central midfield: Eric Dier – 6/10 – He got further forward than usual in the opening stages and played well throughout but almost ruined it with a clumsy backpass which put Shane Long in on goal, he did fade as the game went on but wasn’t troubled too much thanks to Southampton’s insistence on shooting from range. 14 14 14 Attacking midfield: Heung-Min Son – 8/10 – South Korea star Son didn’t do much wrong but was very much on the periphery in the first period until he claimed a neat assist for Kane’s second goal. Come the second half, he sprang into life and, after passing to Alli for the third goal of the game, got a smart strike of his own to make it 4-0. His tireless running kept Spurs on the front foot even after Southampton’s consolation goal. 14 14 14 Substitute: Moussa Sissoko – 6/10 – The Frenchman replaced the injured Mousa Dembele and did okay without pulling up too many trees. He plays far better on the counter attack and looked shaky defensively. 14 14 Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris – 5/10 – Click the right arrow above to see our Tottenham player ratings for their 5-2 win over Southampton… – Shot-stopper Lloris showed his sweeping ability on a couple of occasions as Southampton looked to exploit Spurs’ defence with Shane Long’s pace. Lloris could, though, have done better with Sofiane Boufal’s consolation goal, as it beat him at the near post, and then got in a flap for Dusan Tadic’s goal. Central midfield: Mousa Dembele – 6/10 – Hasn’t been in the best of form this season and again his touch looked a little off, especially in tighter areas. He grew into the game but was then forced off with a knock. Attacking midfield: Dele Alli – 8/10 – After a run of below-par displays, Alli looked towards his best as he drifted into the spaces left by Southampton’s defence. He was heavily involved throughout and did well in the build up to Kane’s second goal of the game. His goal was superbly taken effort from the edge of the box and he then laid on another for Son as Spurs ran riot. He did, though, get wasteful towards the end of the match as complacency set in. Substitute: Erik Lamela – 6/10 – Still returning from injury, the Argentine showed moment of brilliance but isn’t quite on the same wavelength as some of his team-mates. Attacking midfield: Christian Eriksen – 7/10 – The Dane looked bright early on in as he drifted into central positions and got the assist for Tottenham’s first with a simple in-swinging free-kick. He wasn’t spectacular but did what was need of him to create chances at Wembley. 14 14 Substitute: Harry Winks – N/A – The midfielder didn’t have much time to make an impact in the match.last_img read more

New Restaurant Announced for Japan Pavilion at Epcot

New Restaurant Announced for Japan Pavilion at Epcot

first_imgShare This!This weekend, the Disney Parks Blog shared a brief little tidbit about a new restaurant coming to the Japan Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase.Now, not much is known about this upcoming dining option besides the fact that it will be a signature table service dining experience that is inspired by the natural beauty of Japan. According to the article, “the setting will draw from both nature and takumi, which means “artisan” in Japanese, and the relationship between Japanese craftsmanship and the natural world will be evident throughout the space.”This new restaurant will be operated by Mitsukoshi USA, which currently operates the merchandise, the current restaurants of Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining, as well as the various kiosks found in the Japan Pavilion.Stay tuned to the blog as I share more information with you about this upcoming new dining establishment.last_img read more