Local News - Victoria

Tears of joy in the rush to reopen, but not everyone is happy

Frank Ciccone, owner of Hair By Ciccone in Macleod in Melbourne’s north-east, has more than 35 customers booked for Monday and is sifting through 300 phone messages.

He expects to be heavily booked until December 31, but is not fazed.

“It’s amazing. The pressure is off us,” he said.

However, Marnie Browne, owner of Fem Skin Therapy beauty salon in Lower Plenty, was “very upset” that beauticians must wait until November 2 to reopen.

She feels beauty salons are discriminated against despite strict social distancing and sanitising practices. From November 2 they can offer manicures, pedicures, body waxing, eyebrow waxing and tinting, but cannot do lip or chin waxing, facials or skin treatments, due to having to wear masks.

With the distance Melburnians can travel increasing from five kilometres to 25 kilometres, Harry and Letitia Tseng of Reservoir can now visit Harry’s father Frederick, 65, who lives in Box Hill, and his mother Monica, 66, who does not speak much English, in South Yarra.

Harry and Letitia Tseng and their children will soon see Harry's father Frederick in person, rather than via video calls.

Harry and Letitia Tseng and their children will soon see Harry’s father Frederick in person, rather than via video calls.Credit:Chris Hopkins

And the Tsengs’ two children, Lok, five, and Edith, two, can once again watch MasterChef with their “Mama” Monica, who cooks for them.

Letitia said Edith had started showing signs of being wary of other people, adding: “I’d hate for her to be that way with her grandparents.”

Tennis-mad Fitzroy North children Florian and Aurelie Kostov, aged 13 and 10, have spent months having to whack balls against a wall. They are thrilled that from Monday they can play on a court, with tennis courts, golf courses and skateboard parks reopening.

“I’m very excited,” said Florian, who is also happy he can now see friends who live more than five kilometres away.

Aurelie Kostov and brother Florian will be hitting the courts at Princes Hill tennis club.

Aurelie Kostov and brother Florian will be hitting the courts at Princes Hill tennis club.Credit:Wayne Taylor

Kew plastering business owner Brad Harrison is disappointed the state government did not lift restrictions on the number of workers – six – allowed on small-scale construction sites.

And he said the restrictions still ruled out clients who want non-essential work indoors.

“I’ve still got people who’ve texted me saying, ‘Can you come and replace the ceiling from 10 weeks ago,’ and I’ve said, ‘Look, we can’t come into your home.’ “

Single mother Ashlee Kelly, owner of Listen To Your Body fitness studio in Brunswick, was pleased at the increase in the maximum class size from two clients to 10 from November 2.

But she says not being able to open indoors is “not sustainable” due to weather fluctuations, equipment being damaged and working in the dark being unsafe for female trainers.

“The other morning we turned up in the park and there’d been a stabbing overnight,” she said.

She said people were getting sick of outdoor classes, as with online sessions.

“We need to open indoors, not just for ourselves and business but for the mental health of our members.”

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Australian News

Albany Sharks have won two football games in 10 years. Why are they so happy?

It has been a tough decade for the Albany Sharks Football Club, the senior squad having won just two games in Western Australia’s Great Southern Football League.

With such an appalling track record, many teams might hang up the boots.

Not the Sharks.

“We’ve got some very dedicated boys that have been around for a long time without very much success,” club president Tracy Blaszkow said.

“We all come into bat for the underdog.”

Albany Sharks FC president Tracy Blaszkow
Tracy Blaszkow says playing football is more than about winning.(ABC Great Southern: Tom Edwards)

Ms Blaszkow’s a faithful servant of the long-suffering squad.

She’s responsible for important day-to-day management — and resolving timeless amateur club issues, like helping players who’ve forgotten their gear.

She said she sometimes felt like mum to the club’s 130-plus boys and men, ranging in ages from kids to rusted-on seniors.

“We’ve certainly got a challenge on our hands, but we keep turning up week after week and we’ll see what we can do to make it a better place,” she said.

In 60th attempt, Sharks got a break

It took four years and 60 matches for the team to record its first win — and another three years to get their second.

League squad captain Tait McLean’s been with the squad since its earliest days.

He said players didn’t escape the team’s reputation after the siren, but he didn’t let it get him down.

“You do get a couple of sideways looks when you tell people who you play for, but I wouldn’t change it for the world,” he said.

“This is like a family.

“It just means a lot to me, especially seeing the reward when we do play a good game.”

Albany Sharks Football Club's Tait McLean
Tait McLean, captain of the Albany Sharks Football Club, says the long-suffering club is like a family to him.(Tom Edwards)

Mega celebrations after maiden win

McLean said the mood was “electric” when the first win came on a cold August afternoon in 2015.

“They had to hold [words of the] team song up when we sang, because that was the first time most of the boys had sung it,” he said.

“I had family members coming in and giving me a hug, we were taking photos — it was a massive deal.”

The Sharks won their first match after 60 attempts
Scenes like have only been seen twice in the team’s 10-year history.(Supplied: Albany Sharks Football Club)

But the big losses can be relentless, and defeats by more than 200 points aren’t unheard of.

In the penultimate round this season the team ended scoreless, as their rivals kicked 88 points.

Other than two surprise wins, the team’s not had much to celebrate.

Fans champion underdog story

Club canteen manager Sharon McLean — aka Mum — watched on from the tuck shop during the final game of the 2020 season.

It was the end of another winless year, and she said for those in the grandstands the losses could be as hard to take as they were for those on the field.

But to fans like her, the players had their respect by turning up each week.

She it was inspiring to see the players, inevitably facing bleak odds, putting on their boots and giving it another go every round.

“I just have so much respect for these boys that they can run out and do what they do every week and do it with a smile on their faces,” she said.

“You just put [losses] behind you and front up the next week.

“We are a very happy, hopeful club — and I think that keeps us going.”

Albany Sharks huddle in 2020
The Albany Sharks have the GSFL’s worst record.(ABC Great Southern: Tom Edwards)

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NSW government happy to help with crowd plans, says Kerry Chant

On Monday morning, NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant offered the help of the government to the NRL in its bid for crowds to return. However, Premier Gladys Berejiklian was not convinced.

‘‘We are not in that space yet,’’ Berejiklian said. ‘‘That’s up to organisations to consider their options, but certainly we are not in the space yet. We are working our way through the list and that’s not on the list as yet.’’

V’landys, though, remained optimistic. ‘‘Even though the Premier said all that, we are much less risk being an open-air venue then the venues being allowed to operate in the near future,’’ he said in regards to pubs and clubs being allowed 50 people from June 1.

‘‘I am very confident once they see our submission and our protocols that they will be satisfied.’’

The return-to-stadiums submission will be given the green light by the NRL’s biosecurity and pandemic experts, so long as infections rates continue to stay low amid the relaxing of coronavirus restrictions.

‘‘People thought our date for 28th of May was ambitious, I think the 1st of July is less ambitious. I think we can do it quite easily,’’ V’landys said.


Each venue across the NRL is currently preparing contingency plans, with one-way stickers being placed on floors, a bay-by-bay exit at the end of games and fans being sat household by household.

‘‘We are working on all that now, we need to discuss it with the stadiums, we need to discuss it with clubs, but in saying that we are very confident,’’ V’landys said.

When asked whether the July 1 date set by V’landys was possible in a press conference yesterday morning, Chant said the government was considering the needs of all organisations. ‘‘We’re happy to work with them on looking at how to create that COVID-safer environment,’’ she said.

Chant said there were a number of factors that would need to be considered before the green light would be given.

‘‘We do not want mingling of groups that generally don’t mingle,’’ she said. ‘‘That’s the reason there are all the considerations of limiting the bookings for a group of 10, so you don’t actually have larger-scale interactions.’’

The NRL will be one of the first major competitions in the world to restart. On May 28, it will become Australia’s first football code to return. Bankwest Stadium, Campbelltown Stadium, Central Coast Stadium, Suncorp Stadium, QCB Stadium and AAMI Park were announced last week as the venues for the first nine weeks of the returned competition.

“We’re on the moon,’’ V’landys told the Herald on Sunday. ‘‘We’re looking for Mars now.’’

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Australian News

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley not happy sharing training hub with Adelaide Crows as SA refuses to relax coronavirus restrictions

The AFL’s decision to put fierce foes Port Adelaide and Adelaide in the same hotel hub makes little sense, according to Power coach Ken Hinkley.

The South Australian clubs will both be housed at the same Gold Coast resort for at least seven weeks as the AFL resumes competition on June 11.

“We are archenemies … it doesn’t make a lot of sense to put them together,” Hinkley told reporters.


“I’m not sure about that. It just doesn’t quite feel right in Adelaide.”

Port and the Crows will depart for the Gold Coast on Sunday, ahead of clearance to resume full-contact training next Monday.

“Hopefully we’re not there for any longer than the six or seven weeks but we don’t know that,” Hinkley said.

“We can deal with it for a bit but there’s a tipping point.”

Hinkley suggested the protocol went too far in SA, which has no active coronavirus cases.

“We’re getting tested twice a week but I’m looking at the community, thinking ‘everyone else is having to live a pretty reasonable life’,” he said.

“We’re probably being shut down a little bit too far as far as what we can and can’t do.”

SA health authorities rejected appeals from the AFL clubs for exemptions which would have allowed contact training.

“We could potentially be here for another three weeks, wouldn’t that be fantastic, but it doesn’t look like we’re going to get that,” Hinkley said.

“I’m seeing a fair bit of community contact going on out there when I go to the supermarket … when I drive down the road.

“There’s a standard that we’re applying to the football clubs in South Australia, we get it, we’re above the (community) level.

“We’re happy to live above the standard. We want to be community leaders.”

Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks, in his first season at the helm of the Crows, had no problem with being housed with Port Adelaide.

“We cross the white line, then she’s on,” Nicks, a former Port assistant coach, said on Monday.

“But I know a lot of our (SA) guys, they know each other really well.

“Sharing a hotel with Port Adelaide, I have no issue. I know a lot of them well.

“(If) we play at that neutral venue … well, different story.”

SA health protocols bar contact training until June 8 — three days before the AFL season restarts — meaning both Port and the Crows were effectively forced into a Gold Coast hub.

Strategy important as teams begin group training

Right across the league, players began training in groups of eight on Monday, before a return to whole-group, full-contact training from Monday, May 25.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.
Gold Coast Suns resume training

Clubs were being strategic in compiling their groups as, if one player tests positive, the other seven players also have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew said the Suns had put together groups with a mix of experience and different positions to avoid a scenario where their best players — or for example, all their defenders — could be put into quarantine.

“We’ve done a bit of a mix of experience, bit of like-for-like stuff and also positional,” Dew told SEN radio.

“I think the theory behind it is if one group has to sit out for 14 days, obviously you don’t put all your best 22 in similar groups.

“Our boys have been pretty good and clearly everyone’s tested negative thus far but we’ve just got to be vigilant.”


There is a range of mechanisms in place targeted at avoiding a COVID-19 outbreak.

Players and officials have already undergone the first of what will soon be twice-weekly coronavirus tests and they also face daily health checks, while the return to training has come with strict restrictions.

Players cannot have unnecessary visitors in their homes, visit friends at their houses or go to cafes — beyond getting takeaway food or coffee.

They are also not allowed to play golf or go surfing.

“We’ve had a lot of instruction from the players’ association and the AFL and we’ve got to pretty much revert back to the restrictions that we just came out of (in Victoria),” Melbourne winger Adam Tomlinson told SEN.

“It’s just what we’ve got to do to get footy back on the park.

“It’s a little bit annoying but at the same time, we’d rather be out there training and playing footy and … we still get to go to the footy club and see all the boys so it’s not as if we’re still just training with a partner.

“So, pretty much you can only go outside your house for those four reasons of work, picking up kids, medical and to the supermarket to get food.”


Richmond AFL players do sprint and agility drills in group training after the coronavirus shutdown.
Last year’s premiers Richmond got back to business on Monday, with players training in groups as they prepare for a return to football.(AAP: Michael Dodge)

Players returned to their clubs, in many cases returning equipment they had been using while trying to keep fit in isolation.

In Melbourne, Richmond players like Bachar Houli, Tom Lynch, Daniel Rioli and Josh Caddy were among those bringing equipment such as weights and exercise bikes back to the Tigers’ centre at Punt Road Oval.

The Tigers went through their paces, as Damien Hardwick’s men began to ramp up their preparations to get back to football and push for a third flag in four seasons.


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Australian News

Kookaburras captain Aran Zalewski happy to shake off Nat Fyfe spotlight

By Bridget Lacy


April 18, 2020 09:58:00

He is co-captain of Australia’s men’s hockey team, an Olympian and one of Australia’s biggest hockey stars — but he is largely unrecognised.

And after being caught in a media storm involving friend and Fremantle Dockers captain Nat Fyfe last week, Aran Zalewski has never been more grateful for his anonymity.

The Kookaburras champion was surfing with dual Brownlow medallist Fyfe in Margaret River when they were spotted walking back from the beach, sparking concerns the Fremantle skipper was flouting regional travel bans.

Fyfe was cleared of any wrongdoing, but not before plenty of people around the state had their say.

Far fewer people asked about the bloke walking beside him — a point that was not lost on Zalewski, who could only feel for his former Aquinas College classmate.

So, what was Zalewski doing in the famous South West town?

The 29-year-old is back living in his home town of Margaret River with his parents, Cathy and Wally, for the first time since he left to go to boarding school at Aquinas.

Zalewski and his fiance Teagan decided to head south as soon as the national hockey training programs were shut down due to coronavirus.

Helping Mum and Dad around the house

The midfielder has found plenty of positives after more than a month back home.

“It’s nice,” Zalewski said.

“I’ve been away from home since I was about 13, so to spend some really good quality time with Mum and Dad is great.

“Getting into the kitchen with Mum, it’s pretty much been helping them with the gardening every day and they need a bit of muscle around the house, so it’s been good to give them a hand and help them out.”

There is plenty of space at the family home for Zalewski to keep fit, including a makeshift gym in the garage.

And he and his father have started a new morning routine at Gnarabup Beach, taking their daily workout to another level.

“I’ve just basically been heading down in the morning and swimming about a kilometre with the old man, just so we can spend a bit of time together, do a little bit of fitness together and it’s a pretty good way to start the day,” Zalewski said.

“I enjoy pushing and testing myself and I do enjoy the water, growing up in Margaret River, so we swim down, grab a rock and see kind of how far we can run under water with it.

“I couldn’t believe how heavy it was. If you pick up something underwater it’s obviously much lighter than it is out of the water.

“Every day it’s pushing the limits of how far you can go.”

Future hockey plans on ice

While athletes across the globe have been thrown by the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to 2021, Zalewski believes the mental and physical break could be an advantage for athletes like him as he searches for that elusive Olympic gold medal.

He is unsure whether there will be any more international games for the Kookaburras in 2020 and his plans to head to Amsterdam for an extended period later in the year to play there could well be on ice too.

But for now, he is enjoying his unexpected return home.

And he is hoping that one day, once travel restrictions are lifted, he’ll have an October free so he can go on one of those epic surfing trips his friend Fyfe usually takes in his off-season.










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Local News - Victoria

How to keep 11 kids happy in isolation? ‘Patience and chocolate’

‘‘It’s not too bad,’’ says Malinda, 36, (who is expecting her 12th baby) of hosting school from home.

‘‘It’s not ideal, obviously. As long as it doesn’t go on forever, I guess.’’ But she’s laughing as she says it.

All present: Erik and Malinda (and their 11 kids: Andrew (16) Kaitlyn (14) Stephen (12) Cooper (10) Lachlan (9) Tyler (8) Bella (6) Harry (5) Joel (4) Zoe (3) Malinda holding Nora, 2.

All present: Erik and Malinda (and their 11 kids: Andrew (16) Kaitlyn (14) Stephen (12) Cooper (10) Lachlan (9) Tyler (8) Bella (6) Harry (5) Joel (4) Zoe (3) Malinda holding Nora, 2.Credit:Simon Schluter

Her husband Erik, 35, says he feels better knowing his children won’t be exposed to coronavirus, especially son Tyler, 8, who suffers from severe asthma.

Erik said the hardest thing is not being able to drive to parks for a picnic or nature walk.

The children ‘‘haven’t had any extreme meltdowns yet, touch wood”, Erik said.

‘‘But we’re pretty easygoing and the kids are pretty easygoing and we’ve adapted to so many challenges together. We just make it work. We work well together.’’

Relationships Australia national executive officer Nick Tebbey said families were ‘‘facing a lot more pressure to manage and co-operate and co-exist in much more stressful situations than usual’’.

He said issues would be ‘‘only exacerbated the more children there are’’. He said parents should openly communicate with kids, set expectations and create routines.

Children might be were upset that they couldn’t visit friends or play sport but parents could emphasise activities still allowed, such as exercising in the park and making video calls to friends.

Erik said routines do help: for example, on school days, the kids will have dinner about 6pm, and have bed times staggered, according to age, from 7.30pm.

Erik said the kids’ two schools have sent links to their online classes, although the schools are still working out details.

‘‘We don’t know what it’s going to look like yet. Wednesday morning is going to be interesting.’’


In the house, the kids will each have a table and computer, and their own drawer to store school books. Erik says while their house is small, they do have a decent backyard.

Outside of school, the kids cook, play board games and do puzzles.

They help shoot the family’s vlog — called Yes, they are all ours — which has 21,000 subscribers on YouTube.

The segments’ titles range from “Isolation boredom busters” to “Freezer cooking day with a mum of 11 kids”.

Mr Tebbey said Relationships Australia was getting more calls from people related to stress and anxiety from the coronavirus.

Tips for maintaining healthy relationships can be found at the Relationships Australia website

Counselling is being done by phone and video calls instead of in person.

If you or anyone you know needs support call Lifeline on 131 114, or Beyond Blue’s coronavirus mental wellbeing support service on 1800 512 348.

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Local News - Victoria

Happy New Year! Charting a future after COVID-19

This correspondent will probably send off the old year in the usual way by attending an annual party hosted by a most generous judge. We are constantly amazed at how he overcame a serious medical condition to become a respected jurist.

He has a little-known affliction known as “Invitation Tourettes”, where he will walk up to near strangers and for no apparent reason blurt out “come to my place”, resulting in his New Year’s Bash being inhabited by various beach bums, backpackers and runaways. If Charles Manson had turned up, he’d have been put in charge of the carvery.

Premier Daniel Andrews. One of the politicians who has put politics to one side.

Premier Daniel Andrews. One of the politicians who has put politics to one side.Credit:AAP

We will give thanks to medical and hospital staff who put everything on the line for us. There are two types of heroes: the instinctive ones who respond to an immediate threat and the slow burners, where people get up and make conscious decisions to risk their lives.

Perhaps we should also reflect on our political leaders. For decades we have been frustrated by the self-interest and backbiting that infects our parliaments. For the record, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Premier Daniel Andrews have risen to the challenge magnificently.

As Morrison says: “There are no blue teams or red teams. There are no more unions or bosses. There are just Australians now.”

It is reasonable to anticipate the drugs market shrinking as disposable incomes dwindle.

It is reasonable to anticipate the drugs market shrinking as disposable incomes dwindle.Credit:iStock

It was just such a view that helped set up compulsory superannuation – the national nest egg that may save us – in 1983.

At the completion of the bleakest peacetime period in our history, where survival is a victory, what can we expect in the future?

Let’s look at crime. There will be a flood of applications to join the police force – in dire financial times the security of a guaranteed wage becomes the gold standard. History shows we often get our best police leaders from a depression.

Bikie gangs will also build numbers as some will look for a sense of belonging in troubled times. After all, the original gangs were formed directly after World War II.

At the same time the bikie gangs will suffer income challenges as money dries up across the legal and illegal markets. Expect violence as they fight over the shrinking pie.

Violent international terror groups will try to exploit the fertile recruiting ground of the unemployed and disenfranchised. Lunatic right and left-wing groups also gain traction in a depression.

Unemployment could lead to an increase in anger crimes – assaults and family violence.

Organised crime will take a hit. Traditionally these groups profit in bad times through vice and gambling but as such activities are legal these streams have dried up.

According to The New York Post, the Mafia has already lost money through the collapse of illegal sports betting and protection rackets on restaurants, garbage collection and the construction industry.

There have been many casualties from the coronavirus. Civil liberties should not be one of them.

There have been many casualties from the coronavirus. Civil liberties should not be one of them.Credit:Paul Rovere

Australia has historically paid the highest price for illicit drugs and has had a prodigious appetite for all mind-altering products. Around 16 per cent of Australians over the age of 14 take illicit drugs, with cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine and amphetamines the most popular. The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission found we spend more than $11 billion per year on hard drugs.

The vast majority of users are not addicts, therefore it is reasonable to anticipate the market shrinking as disposable incomes dwindle. There may be a spike in the use of heroin – the drug user’s hot water bottle.

The use of video links in courts and the deferment of non-urgent procedural hearings should be the new normal. Instead of having hundreds of inmates transferred to courts, it is cheaper, quicker and more efficient to have the hearings inside prison.

The judicial system is notoriously resistant to change and the face-to-face day in court is considered sacrosanct. Yet in his most interesting book Talking to Strangers, Malcolm Gladwell argues exactly the opposite. He quotes a New York computer study that reviewed 554,689 bail cases. It had a 25 per cent better record than the judges.

Plans to spend $1.8 billion on new prisons needs to be revisited.

Plans to spend $1.8 billion on new prisons needs to be revisited.Credit:Jason South

Gladwell suggests the behaviour of an accused in court, who is deliberately trying to present an image of innocence or contrition, can distract justice, pointing out that some orchestras now conduct blind auditions to avoid judging on appearances.

Magistrates’ committal hearings, used to test the evidence before a jury trial, may be scrapped.

Plans to spend $1.8 billion on new prisons needs to be revisited. Do we need to spend record amounts on jails when we are broke? Police were successful in enforcing home quarantine, so couldn’t we examine that as an alternative for non-violent offenders? If they can nab a learner driver in the rain, they can find a crook wearing an electronic ankle bracelet sneaking out of home.

We have a real chance to control the regrowth of our cities.

We have a real chance to control the regrowth of our cities.Credit:Luis Ascui

There is a time for tough-guy politics and a time to forget the rhetoric. Even the best boxers know sometimes you have to stop throwing punches and cover up.

Protective Services Officers have been relocated from quieter railway stations to more urgent duties. There will be no reason to go back to a system that was always flawed.

Some emergency measures must not become the new normal. Police have been given wartime powers to keep people in home detention, demand to know people’s movements and the capacity to clear public areas without question.

There have been many casualties from the coronavirus. Civil liberties should not be one of them.

For more than 70 years Australia has grown without a plan. Our cities became bigger, lives busier and consumer demands greater. Having pruned so heavily, we have a real chance to control the re-growth.

Work practices have changed, and many will not return to five days a week in a central office.
If that is controlled over the Monday to Friday working peak, there would be a drop in the traffic that strangles Melbourne.

We will go through the biggest workforce retool since the end of World War II, when hundreds of thousands of troops and armament workers needed to find new jobs.

The rebuild should not just be about employment but sustainable careers. If we could move away from a massive casual workforce to long-term positions, everyone would benefit.

The dislocation of this year’s VCE should give us a chance to restart. Year 12 should not be a ridiculous, punishing marathon that leaves students no better equipped to tackle a job or studies than previous generations.

It is a time for innovation not contemplation. Suspending HECS fees for science, nursing and teaching degrees would be a start.

In times of economic uncertainty sport proves a major relief. AFL will return but in a leaner form.

In times of economic uncertainty sport proves a major relief. AFL will return but in a leaner form.Credit:Getty Images

We have found that bored people with imaginations can be very funny. Taking out the rubbish can be fun, other people’s pets can make us laugh and mothers in dressing gowns can make TikTok rock.

In times of economic uncertainty sport proves a major relief. We need the contest, the passion, the sense of team and uncomplicated heroes. AFL will return but in a leaner form, wound back 30 years to when it was more a sport than an industry.

Perhaps, at least in the recovery period, each side may have 10 fully professional players who double as assistant on-field coaches. To reduce wages, the selected side may drop from 22 to 20.

The rest of the list will be part-timers spending the bulk of their time away from the club either studying or working.

As the clubs will be less inclined to invest in project players, the draft age should be lifted to 19, when more recruits will be match-ready. It will also allow them to complete their secondary education without the pressure of draft day.

For the first time in many decades we will wake on New Year’s Day to a new beginning. Let’s not waste it.

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Uranus has started leaking gas, NASA scientists confirm – Happy Mag

Highly detailed and scientific NASA research can confirmed that something massive is coming out of Uranus.

As if 2020 couldn’t get any more cursed, NASA scientists looking back through decades-old data from the Voyager 2 spacecraft have discovered a mysterious gas escaping from Uranus.
The data showed some mysterious force sucking the atmosphere straight out of the planet and into space.
Buried data reveals that when the spacecraft flew past the gas giant in 1986, it passed through something called a plasmoid that escaped and stole a big old cloud of the planets atmosphere along with it.
NASA have learnt from Voyager 2’s gassy expedition that the plasmoid itself was about 127,000 miles long and twice as wide. The data, first published in August in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, will be able to give NASA a much more detailed understanding of Uranus’ atmospheric composition, however won’t be able to tell them everything.
Imagine if one spacecraft just flew through this room and tried to characterise the entire Earth, NASA researcher Gina DiBraccio said in a new press release. Obviously its not going to show you anything about what the Sahara or Antarctica is like.
NASA researchers are hypothesising that a similar unexpected release of gas may explain how Mars ended up as barren and dry as it is. However for this to be known for sure, NASA would have to fly another spacecraft back to Uranus and have a good rummage around.
Its why I love planetary science, DiBraccio said. Youre always going somewhere you dont really know.

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