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No panic at Sydney FC despite slipping out of top six, says David Carney

Glass half full: David Carney of Sydney FC, left. Photo: Quinn Rooney
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A-League chief Damien de Bohun resigns from FFA

Sydney FC’s title challenge has diminished spectacularly over the past few months but David Carney believes the team is only a win or two away from getting their season back on track.

The Sky Blues play host to Wellington Phoenix at home on Saturday evening and with the New Zealand side one of two whose season is already over, Graham Arnold’s side cannot afford anything less than a resounding victory in the race to the finals.

Having gone winless in their past seven A-League games, Sydney have fallen into the bottom four for the first time this season, with the rampaging Perth Glory a point ahead in sixth following their win over the Newcastle Jets.

But Carney doesn’t feel there’s a mood of panic among the players despite recent results.

“We definitely need results, but what’s done is done,” the utility player said before training at Macquarie University on Thursday.

“The performances have been good, so there’s still a lot of positives with the players. Everyone backs everyone and we can beat anyone.

“We’re not nervous but we’ve just got to make sure we start delivering and take it game-by-game. We’ve got five games left, and like Graham Arnold said, it’s a mini-tournament for us now. We’ve got to make sure we win on Saturday and kick on from there.

“We’re at home. It’s a game that we must win, so basically all that [recent results] is out the window. When we play them we’ve just got to concentrate and we really need the points.”

The former Socceroo rejects the idea that Sydney are out of form, and reckons they should have beaten Melbourne City, despite losing 3-0 to their hosts.

“I wouldn’t say we’ve ‘struggled’ – we’ve just had a great win against the Asian champions [Guangzhou Evergande]. The performance against City was good but we just didn’t get that early goal that we deserved,” he said. “We’ve done our analysis of the last few games and there’s a lot to be positive about. We kept the ball really well from Melbourne City.

“We were just really unlucky to concede right at the end of the first half but if anyone deserved to win, looking at that performances, especially in the first half, I think it was us. But we just need to take our chances and hopefully we can do that this week.”

Carney said if there was anything that needed to be improved upon, it was converting early chances.

“Scoring an early goal would be nice, which would then give us the confidence for our performance [in terms of] keeping the ball and possession,” he said. “If you get an early goal, I think we’d win that game comfortably against Melbourne City, who are one of the best in the league. I think it’s just a confidence thing at the minute and a bit of luck. If we can have a bit more luck, we’ll be fine.

“But we showed character against Melbourne Victory in the game before. We were down to ten men and they probably should have won it, but we got a goal back, so that gave us a lift and then we went into the Champions League. Last week was obviously a bit of a hiccup result-wise but the performance was still there, so there’s definitely a lot of positives.”

The pressure is on Carney and the rest of the attacking quartet to find the back of the net having scored just 27 goals in 21 games, a figure even lower than this week’s opponents’ and only one ahead of wooden spooners-in-waiting, the Central Coast Mariners.

They’ll have to do it the hard way against Ernie Merrick’s team, with Matt Simon in doubt due to a rib injury and Alex Brosque out for at least another month with a recurring hamstring problem.

“It’s definitely hard losing those players. Matty Simon is a different player to Brosque, he gives us that physical presence, but we’ve got Shane Smeltz, who is class,” Carney said. “Losing ‘Brosquey’ is hard but hopefully we can get him back for the playoffs. I think any team would be upset at losing Brosque, he’s one of the best players in the A-League, but that’s part of football. We’ve just got to carry on and get in the finals and hopefully he’s back by then.”

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ASX locked in epic battle between bulls and bears

Volatility is being driven by a battle for supremacy between the market bulls and bears, both unsatisfied with a low growth paradigm, T Rowe Price’s David Eiswert says. Photo: Wayne TaylorGlobal sharemarkets are trapped in an epic battle between bulls and bears, both equally frustrated by the lack of justification for their views, creating the recent wild swings that are stunning investors.
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Global growth is slow, but not contracting; inflation is low, but deflation is kept at bay, and China’s landing, hard, soft or otherwise is unknown.

Every shred of economic data is being pounced on by both sides eager to add weight to their view of the world, resulting in volatility, David Eiswert, a US-based portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price told Fairfax Media on a visit to Melbourne.

“The world is not leveraging up and creating as much debt as it was prior to the global financial crisis, causing a very unsatisfactory paradigm of very low growth,” he said. “It’s not low enough for there to be a major crisis, and it’s not high enough to get people satisfied that it is breaking out.”

Investors have become used to six-monthly crises, a post-GFC phenomenon that has resulted in a short-term view on previously tightly held stocks, including financials.

The resulting volatility means investors hop from one stock to another, buying in dips and selling when they become overvalued on the recovery. Renting, not investing

“You’re renting things and you’re not really investing and it drives people really crazy,” Mr Eiswert, who manages T Rowe Price’s Global Focused Growth Equity fund, which holds about 70 stocks, said.

Those not wanting to play the game moved into “crowded” trades such as healthcare, industrial and technology stocks, which are anything but a value buy.

The Australian sharemarket is susceptible to these plays because is a highly concentrated index, he said.

The evidence can be seen in the high forward price-to-earnings ratios of the growth stocks including Domino’s Pizza Enterprises which is trading on a forward P/E ratio of up to 57-times versus the broader markets’ 16-times earnings. Local bulls, foreign bears

The ASX also may be caught in its own tug-of-war between bullish local investors and bearish overseas investors.

CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said the lower Australian dollar had attracted investors to short-sell the Australian market.

“If you are a US investor, if you sell the index at 5100, and the Australian dollar falls to US73¢ and it stays at 5100, you’ve got a profit anyway,” he said.

Australian investors, who have turned less pessimistic on their own market were being “pitted against” the bearish international investors, clashing in banking and mining stocks.

The resulting wild swings in the share prices of heavyweight miners such as BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group are evidence of this.

Fortescue’s share price rallied 24 per cent on Monday, the result of short-selling activity and a surge in iron ore future prices, the company said in a response to a ‘please explain’ from the Australian Securities Exchange. Lift in ore prices

Terry Campbell, chairman of the Australian Foundation Investment Company also said much of the pain endured by mining stocks was caused by international investors using them as a proxy for their bearish view on China. Short sellers target Australian stocks linked to China because it was a liquid and well-ordered market.

The materials sub index has risen 15 per cent since the market fell into bear territory in February, led in part by a lift in iron ore prices, which have posted a remarkable recovery.

On Monday the benchmark price of iron ore for delivery to Qingdao rose 19 per cent, however it swung back on Thursday, retreating 9 per cent.

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Litbits, March 9 2016

George Megalogeniswill be the guest at a Canberra Times/ANU event on March 22. Photo: ClemsonTHE 2016 JOLLEY PRIZE
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Entries are open for the 2016 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize with a first prize of $7000. Entries must be a single-authored short story of between 2000 and 5000 words, written in English. Stories must not have been previously published or be on offer to other prizes or publications for the duration of the Jolley Prize. Entries close at midnight on April 11. Website: australianbookreview南京夜网419论坛. What’s on

March 15: Join economists Tom Bentley and Stephen Koukoulas in conversation with Guardian Australia political editor Lenore Taylor as they discuss how and why Australia needs a new way to develop its competitive advantage in a globalised economy. Muse Canberra, 6pm. Tickets $10 includes a drink. Bookings: musecanberra南京夜网419论坛.

March 16-20: The Noted Writers Festival will take place in Canberra with authors, poets, journalists, publishers, editors and more. Website: notedfestival南京夜网.

March 17:Playing the game: The memoirs of Grand Chief Sir Julius Chan will be launched at 5.30pm in the Springbank Room, Level 1, J.G. Crawford Building, 132 Lennox Crossing, ANU. Registration at crawford.anu.edu419论坛/events. Phone 6125 7922.

March 17: At 6pm in the Theatre, lower ground 1, National Library of Australia, Dr Stephen Whiteman, lecturer in Asian Art at the University of Sydney, discusses the significance of printing and publishing in the articulation of Qing imperial authority. Tickets $15 includes refreshments. nla.gov419论坛.

March 18: 7.30am: At Smith’s Alternative, 76 Alinga Street, Canberra, join Noted for some intimate live poetry readings – grab a coffee and share a table to experience one-on-one and small-group performances. Until 9am.

March 18: At 7.30pm in the Main Hall, Gorman Arts Centre, 55 Ainslie Avenue, Braddon, The Salt Room is a showcase of writers and performers including The Fanciful Fiction Auxiliary, Jennifer Compton and the BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT! team.

March 19-20: In the weekend event at the National Library, Writing China, explore the impact of China on Australian writing. Some events free, some paid, 10am to 5pm daily. nla.gov419论坛.

March 20: At Muse Canberra, Taste Text at 3.30pm features Bryan Martin, Marion Halligan and Michelle Brotohusodo​ talking about food and writing in a panel talk moderated by Fergus McGhie. Tickets: $10 (includes a drink). musecanberra南京夜网419论坛.

March 21: At 6pm in the National Library Bookshop, The Gatekeepers of Australian Foreign Policy 1950-1966 by Adam Hughes Henry will be launched.Bookings: nla.gov419论坛.

March 21: In a Canberra Times/ANU event, Niki Savva​ will discuss her new book, The Road to Ruin. How Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin destroyed their own government, with Kerry-Anne Walsh at 6.30pm in Manning Clark lecture theatre 2, ANU. Free but bookings required at anu.edu419论坛/events or call 6125 8415.

March 22: In a Canberra Times/ANU event George Megalogenis will be in conversation with Laura Tingle on his new Quarterly Essay, Balancing Act: Australia between Recession and Renewal. 7pm. Manning Clark lecture theatre 2 ANU. Free but bookings required at anu.edu419论坛/events or call 6125 8415.

Contributions to Litbits are welcome. Please email [email protected]南京夜网419论坛 by COB on the Monday before publication. Publication is not guaranteed.

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Betting preview: Quarter of a century on and David Hayes eyes another Australian Cup

Rising Romance is no Better Loosen Up, let that be known. But she might not have to be. Not in this Australian Cup in particular.
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Twenty-five years after Hayes’ grand stayer added the Antipodean feature to his Japan Cup win the previous year, a slightly greyer version of the trainer – with a nephew as a training partner in tow too – will gang tackle the Australian Cup. Of 11 hopefuls this year the Hayes-Dabernig tag team has three at Flemington.

It only takes one to win though – although most agonised over which one long after stablemates Spillway and Extra Zero hit the line locked together in the group 1 last year – and it wouldn’t surprise to see Hayes add a fourth Australian Cup to the mantelpiece.

Sometimes the more things change the more they stay the same. Extra Zero ($41) is again the despised outsider. Happy Trails ($21) is back at his favourite hunting ground. An import who has already impressed in Australia is at the top of betting.

And maybe the winning trainer will be making a familiar walk to the winner’s stall.

Rising Romance was only fleetingly tested in the traditional Peter Young Stakes lead-up – won so impressively by Godolphin’s Bow Creek ($3.20) – but it was enough to suggest the Australian Cup should be her peak. Her closing sectionals when finally unfurled for a gap made impressive reading. The extra 200 metres and $8.50 make appeal, even allowing for the testing material in Bow Creek.

The Newmarket Handicap? No prizes for predicting Chautauqua, benefiting so much from the softly, softly methods of the Hawkes team, will add a fourth group 1 in Australia’s greatest sprinting handicap despite lumping the 58kg topweight – a winning handicap almost exclusively reserved for Black Caviar and her great sparring partner Hay List in the modern era.

At the $2.50 though it’s backers beware. Japonisme ($3.90) looks the obvious quinella candidate, but maybe ex-West Australian Black Heart Bart ($18) – with the magic touch of Darren Weir now – is worth an each-way nibble.

The Golden Slipper has usually been a Victorian vacuum in recent years. Success this time of year in Sydney is rare. But before Mick Price boasts the two favourites in the world’s richest two-year-old race next week, a couple of Price’s fellow Caulfield trainers will stand shoulder to shoulder with top Coolmore Classic hopes at Rosehill.

Perhaps Ciaron Maher’s Azkadellia ($5.50) is the way to go. Third-up and with her supporters still wondering how she made ground on Flemington’s conveyor belt on Derby Day last campaign, she is well worth entertaining with just the 53kg of Brett Prebble to carry.

Favourite Ghisoni ($4.60) will have to carry even less with another Asian-based ex-pat of Corey Brown steering, but perhaps the more seasoned mares – chief among them Lucia Valentina – should be given more respect in early markets despite the filly’s obvious class.

* Odds supplied by Ladbrokes

WEEKEND SELECTIONS

Flemington (race 6): Black Heart Bart ($4.30 place)

Flemington (race 7): Rising Romance ($8.50)

Rosehill (race 3): Calliope ($3.80)

Rosehill (race 7): Azkadellia ($5.50)

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Jon English honoured as ‘national treasure’

Missed: Jon English will be remembered at Beaumont Street Carnivale with one minute of silence. He last performed in the region in December 2015 at Wests.
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JON English has beenremembered across the world as a multi-talentedsinger-songwriter, actor and star of bothrock musicals and theatre.

But the many Hunter friends he made on regular trips to the region are also cherishing the off-stage memories they madewith their mate,whothey describe as warm, humble, generous andlarger than life.

“He was mymentor, friend, bandmate, inspiration and a really easy guy to get along with,” said Newcastle-based musician Amy Vee.“He had so many great stories to tell because he lived such a rich and wonderful life.”

The British-born Logie and ARIA winner, aged 66,died on Wednesday after post-operative complications. He had reportedly been taken toNewcastle’s John Hunter Hospital with broken ribs, but suffered anaortic aneurysm.

English was in the middle of an Australian tour andwas due to appear at the Beaumont Street Carnivale on Sunday, but announcedon Monday he had to cancel the show “on the advice of his doctors”.

He had also been planning to spend Saturday watching Amy Vee perform in the closing night ofEvitaat the Civic Theatre.The pair met when English saw Vee performinRentat The Playhouse.

Vee said theyhad been in close contact over the past week and she had brought him flowersin hospital.

“I commented when I saw him that he looked well, all things considered,” said Vee, who described herself as “utterly broken” by English’s death.

“We sat and chatted and he was in great spirits.

“He was scheduled to have surgery but it should have been pretty routine, so this is a shock to us all.”

English cast Vee in his 2009production Buskers and Angels.She has toured with him since 2011.

“I’ve got so much to thank him for and owe him so much,” she said.“He took me under his wing and I learned so much from him, it was a great opportunity to hone my craft.He’sa national treasure and made such a lasting impact on all the people who met him.”

Lizotte’s proprietor Brian Lizotte wasworking in catering onJesus Christ Superstar when he met English.

English, who started in the 1990s TV sitcom All Together Now,became a regular fixture over the past 12 yearson the Lizotte’scalendar and performed at the venues abouttwice a year.

“He became part of our family,” Lizotte said.“He loaded in his own gear and wasthe first one to get there and the last one to leave after meeting fans and having a few drinks with staff.”

English was one of the last musicians to perform at the now-closed Kincumber venue and spent an afternoon commiserating on the deck.

Rock City Event Marketing director Peter Anderson said his company had worked with English since about 1980 and booked performances in the region every 18 months to two years.

“Jon was a regular visitor to the Hunter and his death is a loss for the region,” Mr Anderson said.

“Most people over 35 would have seen a Jon English performance.”

Mr Anderson said English played at venues including theformerNewcastle Workers Club, WestsLeagues Club, in Muswellbrook, Cessnock and the Central Coast and in musicals at the Civic Theatre.He often stayed at the Boulevard On Beaumont.

“He had a very strong following here,” Mr Anderson said.“He had aunique voice, he does not sound like anyone else, he sounds like Jon English.

“He had a number of strong hits over the years that he mixed with more recent material and had quality musicians around him.He was just larger than life and absolutely able to engage with an audience and share his enthusiasm.”

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