Newcastle Jets’ wings clipped as Joey Champness goes down with injury TweetFacebookALREADY missing suspended striker Roy O’Donovan, the Jets will be without exciting winger Joey Champness for the start of the A-League season.
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Champness fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot at training on Tuesday and will be sidelined for up to 10 weeks.

The 21-year-old will consult an orthopaedic specialist in Sydney later this week, but coach Ernie Merrick does not expect him to be available until the round-two clash against Adelaide at Cooper’s Stadium.

“He got bumped by someone at training,” Merrick said. “It was completely innocuous and he tripped over himself and landed awkwardly with his foot turned inside underneath him.

Read more: Jets welcome FFA Cup date with Melbourne

He was taken away for scans which confirmed a fracture. It’s called a Jones fracture and haspoor blood supply.

They can be tricky. Sometimes they require surgery and sometimes they are best left. We will take him to a specialist in Sydney for further advice. He will be out for eight-to-ten weeks will we make him available for about round two, which is not too bad.”

Champness was arguablythe find of last season. He scored five goals in 27 appearances and was to be rewarded with a call up into the Olyroos for a camp next week.

Read more: Refuelingafter Spain camp ahead of FFA Cup mission

“He won’t be attending which is a big disappointment for everyone,” Merrick said.

Kiwi recruit Matt Ridenton appears the front runner to start on the left in the FFA Cup clash against Melbourne City at AAMI Park on August 29.

“We don’t have a lot of experience there at the moment,” Merrick said. “It has given others a chance to play in that role. Kosta Petratos has done quite well. Gus Thurgate has also really been showing.Matt Ridenton has played a similar role to Riley McGree [last season], starting on the wing and coming inside. There are other boys putting their hand up bit we will continue to keep an eye out for two attacking players and another goal keeper.”

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BREAK-OUT SEASON: Hannah Young, in action for the Hunters this year, hopes to lead Newcastle to a Waratah Basketball League championship this weekend. Picture: Darren PatemanHannah Young cannot wait to see where her debut WNBL seasontakes her.
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But first, the University of Canberra Capitals signinghopes to guide Newcastle to another women’s championship in the Waratah Basketball League.

The Hunters men and women are headed forsemi-final showdowns with Manly and Norths respectively at Hills District Basketball Stadium onSaturday. A win will secure a grand final appearance on Sunday.

Young, aHunters junior, returned to her home town in Marchafter a successful United States college career at Virginia Tech and a brief stint playing professionally in Romania.

Read more: Basketball’s rising star Cassidy McLean set for Bendigo deal

Newcastle women’s coach Shannon Seebohm described the 25-year-old forward as“integral” to his squadand was not surprised to see her earn a contract for the upcoming national league after a break-out season for the Hunters.

Young is averaging 14.3 points per game for Newcastle and is the team’s second-highest scorer behind Jasmin Howe.

“She brings a lot to the team, and not just scoring,” Seebohm said. “She’salso a great defender,a great rebounder and she’s fit in perfectly since day one.

“With her combination of size and athleticism and skill, she’s certainly got the potential to be a good player at the next level and I’m really excited to see where she goes from here and how she uses Newcastle as a springboard to set up the rest of her career.”

Young, whose American-born father Lewis wasa Harlem Globetrotter, was a fringe player with the Hunters when she left Newcastle bound for the US as a 19-year-old.

She returnedwith the goal of securing a WNBL contract.

“I’ve always had my eyes set on Europe … but I gave Europe a shot and, now I’ve got this opportunity, it’s going to help me for n basketball in the future,” Young said.

“If I want to make the Opals, playing in this league will open a lot of doors for me.”

In the nation’s capital, Young will be training and playing alongside n representative Kelsey Griffin.

“She’s an amazing player andI’ll be just so happy I get to train with her every day,” Young said.

“Ijust really want to see where my potential can go, and I want to reach that. There’s nothing worse than leaving a sport or career and you never reach yourpeak.”

The immediate focus, however, is on Waratah Basketball League minor premiers Norths. The two sides have split results in two encounters this season.

Hannah Young has been integral to the Hunters making the Waratah Basketball League finals this weekend. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

“Our season hasbeen up and down,” Young said.

“We didn’t start off too flash but wegot better as the season went on and I’m definitely glad I came back. Hopefully we win the whole thing.That would make it even better.”

Newcastle claimed the women’s Waratah Basketball League championship for the first time in 2016 but, despite the addition of three-time OlympianSuzy Batkovic last year, failed to make the finals in their title defence.

Meanwhile, Newcastle’s Isabel Palmer has been named in the n team for the FIBAUnder-18 Asia Championships in India starting October 28.

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YOUNG GUNS: Edgeworth’s Bailey Garland, Tyson Jackson, coach Damian Zane, Samuel Maxwell, Joshua Low and Will Bower. Picture: Marina NeilDamian Zane wasn’t sure he had the energy to coach the Eagles again after last season.
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And looking back, Zane believes he lost his identity as a coach in a third premiership-winning campaign, which ended with his first grand final loss in three tries.

But a renewed focus on youth development not only reinvigorated Zane but sparked what must be his, and perhaps the club’s, greatest victory.

After losing regular starters Keigo Moriyasu, Kieran Sanders, Brody Taylor, Keanu Moore andAyden Brice in the off-season, and Bren Hammel before that, the Eagles recruited ex-Jets Youth players Tyson Jackson and Mitch Dobson and striker Jamie Byrnes.They picked up Mariners veteran Josh Rose mid-season but also lost No.1 goalkeeper Nate Cavaliere to the Victorian NPL, where Taylor, Brice and Moore now play.

Many gave the Eagleslittle chance of another premiership. In the end, they wrapped it up with a round to spare and regardless of what happens this weekend, they will win the title by thebiggest margin of the Zane reign.

The rise of young players like Jackson, Adam Cawley, Samuel Maxwell, Bailey Garland, Will Bower and keeper Joshua Lowto fill the void has been Edgeworth’s key to success. Zane said that came from putting reward for hard workbefore reputations.

“It’s having faith and believing what your eyes do see,” Zane said.“For so many years you talk about this player or that player, but what do your eyes see?You see thoseyoung boys in training, but there’s a lack of faith in them.

“I set the tone for training early on, and I believe we train as hard as any team, and when the young boys do well at training,I’ve got every faith to give them a chance.

“If the intensity isn’t there at training, you are probably less inclined to give them a chance because you’re not sure how they’re going to go.

“It’s just an absolute faith in how we train, that’sthe big key.I have full belief the next guy is going to come in and do a job. Idon’t care what their name is.”

Zane was excited about where the Eagles’focuson youth over experienced recruits or importshad taken him and the club.

“I lost my own identity as a coach last year a bit and was man managing rather than improving young players,” he said. “Every coach is different, but that’s my identity as a coach.

“I think I needed that change. I probably learnt who I am as a coach. I enjoy having that core group with a blend of youth through it andI need to follow that path, and that’s where the club wants to go as well.

“Look at the guys we’ve passed on to better leagues, and a couple onto the Jets Youth. That’s exciting and maybe one day they will come back.

“I think our club has found a bit of an identity. This is the club we’re going to be.”

“We’re a growing area, Cameron Park is booming.”

“It’s just a special club and we’re on a really good path, so it’s a good place to be.”

He said his squad“just work their socks off and deserve everything they get”.

“I didn’t count us out of it, but I thought we’d have to start well and luckily enough we did,” he said of the premiership season.

“And to turn at the halfway point in front, I thought we might be able to hold on, but a few weeks out from the season we weren’t thinking about winning the premiership.

“But there’s no substitution for hard work. It’s an old school thought, but it’s still relevant in the modern game.

“And they play for 90 minutes and often it takes that win a game. It’s not luck. They are mentally tough.”

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Lake Macquarie City Council should reinstatea weekly kerbside collection ofgeneral waste from people’s homes, a councillor says.
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A new domestic wasteroutine was introduced atLake Macquarie late last monthas part of council’s‘Food+Garden=Green’initiative.

It meant red-lidded general waste bins and yellow-topped recycling bins would be emptied fortnightly andagreen waste collection, which included food scraps and otherorganic material,would take place weekly.

After the first fortnight,council has hailed the move a success, reporting a 14 per cent rise in green bin use andabout an extra1000 tonnes of organic matter beingdiverted from landfill.

Read more: Green bin change in Lake Macquarie and easy habit to instil

But CrKevin Baker said hereceived a“significant increase” in complaints aboutbins not being emptied during that time.

Cr Baker called for the weekly garbage collection to return and said he believed council“got the figures wrong”regardingthe amount of organic waste produced at the average Lake Macquarie home.He disputed council’s claim, reported by theNewcastle Heraldlast month, that food waste accounted for about a third of the contents of a household’s general waste bin.

“Based on my own experience and people I’ve spoken to, we aren’t seeing that,” he said.

“A lot of people are putting their green bin out with only a couple of small bags in the bottom.

Read more: Green thumbs up for Lake Macquarie’s new waste system

“If one third of a bin is potential organic waste, why have we only seen an increase of 14 per cent?I love the organics bit, but realistically I think we need to look at getting a weekly general waste service reintroduced.”

A council spokesperson said there had been 83 service requests for missedcollectionsin the past fortnight, but this represented a small fraction of the total86,494collections.

He said council received 22 complaints in that time, among 3909“enquiries” about the newarrangements.

“There has been a significant increase in the number of enquiries to council about the new service, which is expected with any change of this nature,” he said.

Eleebana resident Michelle Shetab said council had replaced seventeen 240L general waste bins with two 1100L bins at a groupof 17 town houses at Warners Bay, where she owns three investment properties.

Each home was given a small bin for food waste as part of the Food+Garden=Green initiative.

She said residents had filled the general waste bins by Monday, butthe greenbins had hardly been used.

“I really don’t think [council] hasthought this through,” she said.

“I’m honestly all for going green, I fully support it and think it’s a great idea, I just think it’s got to be implemented properly.

“If they try to train people to do itthat would be great, but to say‘we’re going to take a half empty binonce a week’when you’ve got afull [general waste]bin collected once a fortnight, that doesn’t teach people, itangers people.”

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Luckless defender Alex Johnson is determined to ensure his sixth knee reconstruction doesn’t distract Sydney from their push for an AFL premiership.
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Scans have confirmed that Johnson on Sunday ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his ‘good’ knee for the first time.

The 26-year-old’s left ACL has already been the subject of five reconstructions and serious infections that derailed his career.

Johnson is yet to decide whether he will attempt yet another comeback, having waited 2136 days after the 2012 grand final to make his AFL return in round 20 this season.

The club and Johnson, who has returned to Sydney, will consult knee specialists next week before mapping out a plan.

“I’ve spoken to him … the most important thing for Alex is to get around him, support him,” Swans coach John Longmire said.

“I’m sure he’ll be doing that to us as well, making sure we keep our minds on the task at hand.

“He’s always been good at that and was good at it on the weekend again.

“Sometimes professional sport isn’t fair. My 13-year-old son summed it up when I got home, he just said ‘Alex doesn’t deserve this, it’s just not fair, he’s a nice guy’.”

Johnson posted a message on social media on Tuesday night.

“Football can be a cruel game at times. The highs and lows in just a week. The support over the last week has been amazing. Thank you,” Johnson wrote.

Some teammates were in tears at the MCG on Sunday, when Johnson suffered his latest setback in innocuous fashion.

Sydney defeated Melbourne by nine points despite the emotional toll caused by Johnson’s agony, and the fact they played most of the game with two fit men on the bench.

Swans skipper Josh Kennedy insists his team will be fully focused on upsetting GWS in Saturday’s derby, in part because of the selfless Johnson.

“Having Alex at the club plays a big part in that. His positivity and just his presence around the team,” Kennedy said.

“He’ll be encouraging everyone.

“It shouldn’t be too hard to get back up and go again.”

Longmire noted it’s far too early to speculate about Johnson’s prospects of returning to the AFL.

“Let the dust settle, let everyone take a deep breath and let him have the operation and recover,” Longmire said.

“We all feel for him … the reality is none of us know what he’s going through.”

Sydney football manager Tom Harley admitted Johnson’s “devastating news” was “shattering for him and for us”.

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