DRUMMER BOY: Newcastle’s Dom Borzestowski, centre, with his Gang Of Youths bandmates. Picture: Maclay HeriotGANG Of Youths’ second album Go Farther In Lightness has been universally praised since its release last week.
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A five-star reviewinRolling Stone, even in 2017, carries weight.

The album holds special importancefor Gang Of Youths’ Newcastle-bred drummer Dom Borzestowski. The former St Philips Christian College student joined the Sydney five-piece in late 2014 as they were putting the finishing touches to their hitdebut The Positions.

Borzestowski played on the tracks Restraint & Release and The Overpass, which were recorded in his Newcastle home studio, but every snare and tom tom is his on Go Farther In Lightness.

“This album is pretty significant for me as well personally, because it’s actually the first full album I’ve ever recorded with a band,” Borzestowski said.

“I’ve played on different songs and even the first album The Positions, Iplayed two songs, but I’ve neverrecorded a whole body of work with a band I’m in.”

Go Farther In Lightness is a boldstatement. A 77-minute and 16-track opus where lead singer and songwriter Dave Le’aupepe channels The National’sMatt Berninger and Bruce Springsteen in equal measure.

Gang Of Youths – The Deepest Sighs, the Frankest ShadowsIt’s an ambitious record from an unashamedly ambitious band.

In March Gang Of Youths followed the well-trodden path of many great Australian acts bymovingto London where they settled into a five-bedroom house together.

“We settled on London as the next step aswe wanted to be based in the northern hemisphere to make touring easier,” Borzestowski said.

“Australia is so faraway from the rest of the world and it’s quite expensive to fly us all over for tours, so the easiest thing at this point in time was to be based there. Because no one really knows who we are in Europe and the US and we wanted to chip away at those markets more and get our music out.”

Gang Of Youths already sound like a band born to play stadiums. Tracks like What Can I Do If The Fire Goes Out and Fear and Tremblingare hand-over-the-heart anthems asking to be belted outby thousands in unison.

FIVE-STAR RATING: Gang Of Youths on the cover of the September edition on the Australian Rolling Stone.

Borzestowski still remainsaNovocastrian kid whoenjoys banging the skins with old friends like Adam Miller at the Grand Hotel’s jazz nightswhen he’s home,but are stadiums the end goal?

“We’re definitely very ambitious with it, but we don’t want to cater our stuff for that end result,” he said.“Dave [Le’aupepe] just writes what he’s feeling and if that’s what comes out and that’s where it takes us, then that’s sweet.

“We do love playing smaller or medium-sized rooms as well and there’s more of an intimacy there, whereasyou might lose that in a stadium. It’s hard to say where it’ll take us, but my dream one day would be toplay in a stadium.”

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The NSWRL has moved to keep children in the sport by introducing 21 weight and age competitions across Sydney that will have major ramifications on participation levels in rugby league.
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The initiative has been backed by Penrith halfback Nathan Cleary, who recently told Fairfax Media he wouldn’t be playing the sport if it wasn’t for the weight and age competition he played while living in New Zealand as a teenager.

Debate over allowing smaller children on the same field as much bigger kids the same age has been rife over the past few years.

But over the next four months the NSWRL will run competitions in the Penrith, Parramatta, Manly, Balmain and Western Suburbs districts that will place emphasis on ensuring children aren’t lost to the sport because of a fear of getting hurt.

“After my first-ever match it was hard to even fathom playing footy because the skill aspect was out of the game,” Cleary said. “It was all about whoever could run the hardest and tackle the hardest. If you’re just getting smashed all the time it’s not much fun as a little bloke.”

The NSWRL has implemented a range of competitions that caters for children as young as 10, as well as an adults Friday night nine-a-side competition.

“We know that unevenness of competition and the time commitment of a long season are major factors why kids turn away from the game,” NSWRL football general manager BJ Mather said.

“The opportunity to play a casual game with your mates, feel like you’re able to compete in a weights program or just have some fun and sample the atmosphere at Friday Night 9s means that there’s always an option for you to play the game that you love.”

Cleary spent most of his junior sport days out on the soccer field while living in New Zealand when his father Ivan Cleary, now Wests Tigers coach, was in charge of the Warriors.

The first game of rugby league he played was an open age and open weight contest, an experience that almost saw him lost from the game completely.

“I’ll never forget it,” Cleary said. “I came from a soccer game to play an open weight game of footy. These kids … I just couldn’t believe it. We got flogged. I was 12. A real soccer skinny boy.

“These kids were huge. I mean, they had moustaches. I remember coming halfway through the game watching someone I knew getting carried off with a dislocated shoulder. I was like, ‘what have I gotten myself into’.”

That following year he moved into a weighted competition.

“If it wasn’t for that, there’s every chance he never would have played again,” Ivan Cleary said of the weight for age competitions.

“When you move house, or in our situation, move country after I left the Warriors, one of the things you have to do is sell it to the kids. That was one of the ones with Nat, telling him the footy is going to be totally different. It’s only luck he was playing at all.”

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Shares suffered a dour start to the trading week as BlueScope Steel became this earnings season’s latest victim, while selling in bluechips Telstra and CSL also weighed on the ASX.
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The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index fell 21 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 5726, after hovering near 5700 points and the bottom of a 100-point range that has held for some months.

Investors had hoped an upbeat earnings season would help lift the sharemarket, but “it has been an unambiguously disappointing run of results thus far,” JP Morgan equities strategist Jason Steed observed.

An ambiguous lead from Wall St leading into Monday’s open allowed investors to concentrate on another busy session of earnings releases and dramatic share price moves.

BlueScope, which had been one of the ASX’s top performers this year, tumbled 22 per cent after the steel manufacturer revealed its strongest profits since 2005 but warned of falling profit margins in its US business. That more downbeat management assessment for this financial year suggested a 20 per cent downgrade to consensus expectations, according to Citi analysts.

Vocus plunged 15 per cent after private equity players abandoned takeover bids and the telco simultaneously downgraded its earnings outlook.

Fortescue Metals revealed a bumper profit result and lifted its dividend, buoyed by continued strength in the iron ore price. The miner said fatter payments may follow.

The stock, which erased most of this year’s losses with an advance of 6.4 per cent, “remains acutely exposed to iron-ore price movements,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Paul Hissey wrote in a note to clients. Meanwhile, Citi analysts upgraded Fortescue to “neutral” from “sell”.

BHP Billiton shares advanced 1.2 per cent in anticipation of its annual earnings announcement on Tuesday in which the giant miner is expected to almost triple dividend payments, on Bloomberg forecasts.

G8 Education was the performing stock in the top 200, jumping 8.9 per cent despite saying the company telling investors that wages growth and the federal government’s cap on benefits have led to fewer children going to childcare centres. Alongside a half-year profits announcement, management talk of a change to the company’s dividend policy may have buoyed the stock.

Westpac’s quarterly trading update helped the bank eke out a 0.3 per cent gain on Monday, while fellow lender ANZ ended the day flat, NAB dropped 0.5 per cent and CBA fell 0.9 per cent. Telstra lost another 0.8 per cent while CSL slipped 1.5 per cent. Stock watchSpark New Zealand

As shareholders continue to flee Telstra after last week’s big dividend cut, Spark New Zealand is a good alternative for income-hungry investors, Morgan Stanley analysts believe. “Spark is our preferred dividend yield play in Australia and New Zealand telcos,” they wrote. “Continuing capital management was confirmed in the guidance [on Friday] for a FY18 dividend-per-share of 25??”. That payout estimate implies a dividend yield of 6.4 per cent, “the highest among peers in our coverage universe, for what we consider to be below-average risk”. The analysts expect “little or no” earnings growth over the year ahead, “but that’s OK, because Spark is not a growth story, it’s a dividend yield story, its shares trade like a bond proxy”. MARKET MOVERSIron ore

China’s iron ore futures rose for a third day on Monday, soaring close to 7 per cent, fuelled by concerns of shortages of high-grade iron ore and before curbs on futures purchases come into force. The Dalian Commodities Exchange on Friday said it will limit the daily purchases and sales of contracts for delivery in January and February to 6000 lots from Tuesday. Each lot is 100 tonnes of ore. The most-active iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodities Exchange climbed 6.8 percent to 597 yuan a tonne on Monday. Aussie dollar

News on Friday night that US president Donald Trump had sacked his controversial adviser Steve Bannon “lifted risk appetite on hopes that this could see efforts redirected back to a business???friendly economic agenda,” RBC Capital Markets currency strategist Sue Trinh said. The Aussie dollar, which had jumped back above 79 US cents in New York that night, eased lower on Monday, but still fetched US79.2?? in afternoon trade. Traders are overwhelmingly negative on the greenback’s short-term prospects.

Earnings scorecard

JP Morgan analysts noted that the proportion of companies “missing” with their earnings rose to 26 per cent last week, outweighing the number of companies beating expectations, which have come in at 20 per cent. “Across the market as a whole, earnings revision trends reflect the paucity of positive results,” they said. Only 8 per cent of the 86 companies that reported up to the end of last week had seen upgrades, they said. The result is a “painful” average downgrade to one-year forward earnings of 2 per cent.

Regional stocks

Asian stocks were mixed on Monday as investors monitored war drills scheduled for the Korean peninsula and prepared for a key meeting of global central bankers later this week. South Korea’s benchmark KOSPI index was 0.2 per cent lower in late trade. South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday warned North Korea not to use his nation’s latest round of annual military drills with the US as an excuse for any further provocations. Shares in Tokyo fell amid thin trading volumes, while they rose in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull flew in a CH-47 Chinook over Kabul, Afghanistan to meet Australian troops serving at Camp Qargha on Monday 24 April 2017. Pool Photo: Andrew Meares Afghanistan and defence experts say the new strategy US President Donald Trump will unveil on Tuesday to stabilise the war-torn country will have little effect unless neighbouring Pakistan can be persuaded to stop giving sanctuary to the Taliban.
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But one analyst, John Blaxland of the Australian National University, said such persuasion will be difficult and the “opportunity might already have passed” because Pakistan has grown closer to China in recent years and feels less obliged to listen to Washington than it did immediately post-September 11.

Mr Trump is set to deliver a major address late morning Australian time that will almost certainly involve an increase in US troop numbers and broader authority for military leaders. Australia has already committed an additional 30 military advisers, taking its total to about 300. Forty-one Australian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, and 261 injured.

Afghanistan is becoming more violent, with the Taliban retaking territory and other groups such as the so-called Islamic State also becoming active.

The Australian National University’s William Maley – regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts on Afghanistan – said the current security situation was “fairly alarming” and pointed to a United Nations report released on Sunday that found at least 36 civilians and pro-government fighters who had surrendered were executed earlier this month by a mix of Taliban and apparent Islamic State fighters.

“What this demonstrates is that the Afghan state is still not capable of providing ambient security for people whom the armed opposition might wish to attack,” he said.

This might cause them to lose faith in the government and further undermine its legitimacy in the eyes of the population, he said.

Mr Trump’s key challenge was to “affect the psychology of the situation in Afghanistan” by putting forward a credible strategy. In a country such as Afghanistan that has effectively been at war for decades, people tended to back “who they think will come out on top”, he said.

Ending Pakistan’s sanctuaries, to which the Taliban can retreat to regroup whenever they are under pressure, was the most important part of that, he said.

Importantly, Defence Secretary James Mattis said on Monday the plan was “a South Asia strategy … not just an Afghanistan strategy” – a possible reference to Pakistan.

Defence expert John Blaxland agreed the Pakistan sanctuaries needed to be shut down but added that ending corruption and opium poppy farming – which provides significant revenue to the Taliban – were also critical.

But he said that “US leverage is much less than it used to be” because Pakistan had grown closer to China.

On international troops’ presence, Professor Blaxland said Mr Trump needed to avoid predecessor Barack Obama’s mistake of signalling his 2009 troop increase was temporary, meaning the “Taliban could just wait it out”.

“It will be couched in terms of a similar posture to what the US has maintained in Japan, South Korea and during the cold war in Germany, a force that is maintained with no end state,” he said.

Various options have been under consideration for Afghanistan, including sending about 3,800 more troops to augment the 8,400 already there to train and assist local forces.

Another option Secretary Mattis has mentioned is to replace US troops with private contractors.

Mr Trump met at Camp David on Sunday with more than a dozen aides, including Secretary Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Vice President Mike Pence.

– with the Washington Post

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Lola Constance and Ross Madden, two of the 36 people with disability who live in specially-designed units at the Crowle Estate apartment complex in Ryde. Photo: Fiona MorrisA sun-filled, spacious apartment with a generous balcony overlooking a park is the dream of many Sydneysiders.
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The realisation of that dream is especially poignant for Ross Madden and Lola Constance, who moved into their new apartment eight months ago at the Crowle Estate residential development in Ryde.

“It’s quite good, isn’t it,” Mr Madden said. “It’s a lot better than the old house we used to live. I don’t miss it.”

A research project Crowle Estate: Beyond the Group Home, conducted by the University of Technology, Sydney, will test whether units equipped with innovative technology and built within apartment complexes represent a better solution for people with disability than group home accommodation.

Mr Madden and Ms Constance are two of 36 people with a disability living in 22 specialist disability accommodation units scattered among the complex of 490 apartments built on the grounds of the former Crowle Home – a large residential centre in Ryde that housed almost 50 people with disability until its closure in 2012.

They were both long-term residents of Crowle Home, which was set up by the Sub-Normal Children’s Welfare Association in Ryde in 1952 as a residential facility for children with intellectual disabilities.

Ross Madden and Lola Constance’s apartment will be equipped with technology tailored to their needs. Photo: Fiona Morris

The death and illness of some of the children’s parents meant they remained living at the site, which turned into a facility for adults run by disability services provider Achieve Australia.

Chief executive Anne Bryce said the home had reached the point where it did not comply with Australia’s international obligations and laws regarding the rights of people with disability.

The facility was located within fenced and gated grounds, cut off from its neighbourhood, while residents such as Mr Madden and Ms Constance were forced into regimented routines such as communal eating times, segregated male and female living and had limited privacy.

In contrast, Mr Madden can share a home with Ms Constance where they can cook and eat when they like and entertain friends.

Their new apartment has spacious rooms, and a hall and doorways wide enough to manouevre a wheelchair. Kitchen benches and light switches are also positioned to ensure ease of use.

The apartments, each worth about $900,000, were funded by the sale of the 4.5-hectare Crowle Home site for $32 million to a property developer.

Ms Bryce said the Crowle project is designed to provide a new option for people with disability to lead an ordinary life.

“At Crowle the people with disability we support have their own apartments,” she said.

Each apartment will be equipped with technology tailored to the needs of each resident.

Ms Bryce said this included seizure mats on beds that report to a support centre, sensors that recognise movements and can identify changed routines and emergencies and apps that allow residents to easily control the temperature and light of their home.

For Mr Madden, who needs assistance with personal care, showering and dressing, the large bathroom allows two carers to assist at the same time.

Ms Bryce said the cost of providing services around-the-clock in specialist disability accommodation ranges from $125,000 to $500,000 a year and is met by the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

“In Crowle we hope to prove that with the scale of the site we can deliver services with a similar cost to a group home,” Ms Bryce said.

Patricia O’Brien, a board director of Achieve Australia and professor of disability studies at the University of Sydney, said group home living tended to isolate people with disability from their surrounding community.

“People may be accommodated in the community but location, type and size of accommodation can run counter to facilitating social inclusion and the building of social connections with neighbours, making of new friends and strengthening of family connections,” she said.

The Crowle Estate model was designed to encourage social inclusion by giving people with intellectual disability the opportunity to live in the same residential estate as non-disabled peers, Professor O’Brien said.

“Spreading a number of such apartments across a commercial development ensures that people with disability can take their place in mainstream society as equal citizens with the same level of choice of where they wish to live.”

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TRAGIC LOSS: Orange bricklayer Max Summerfield lost his life on Monday morning.Four work mates from Orange travelled to Sydney on Friday for a night outin the western suburbs.
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It should have ended with a trip to a BP service station for late-night snacks, but instead, on Monday, it ended with one having his life support switched off in hospital and his close friend charged with offences relating to his death.

Max Summerfield, 21, died in Westmead Hospital on Monday morning from severe head and chest injuries sustained when he was run over by a car on Sunnyholt Road, Blacktown.

Friends paid tribute to the country bricklayeron his Facebook page on Monday, describing him as a “good bloke”who would be remembered for “the constant fun and foolish times”.

“What was a night with harmless intentions turned into your last. Easily proud to say you were one of my closest mates growing up man,” one friend posted.

His girlfriend of two years, Ebony, posted a photo of her holding his hand in hospital.

Police allege Mr Summerfield and his friends got into a heated argument outside the service station about 10.20pm on Friday.

CCTV shows the four men entering the service station together moment earlier; one headed for the ATM while the others bought snacks.

However, outside, an argument ensued and the men began pushing each other.

CCTV shows Mr Summerfieldrunning backwards past the petrol pumps while one of his friends pursues him with his fists up.

It’s believed he was pushed or fell onto the road and, seconds later, was hit by an oncoming car.

The 65-year-old male driver, who stopped to help, “has co-operated with police and undertaken mandatory tests at hospital”, a police statement said.

Mr Summerfield’s friend, Brandon Sullivan, 25, has been charged with affray and was granted conditional bail to appear in Blacktown Local Court on August 31.

Police allege he used “unlawful violence”towards Mr Summerfield in a way that “a person of reasonable firmness if present at the scene would have feared for their safety”.

He was filmed speaking to police immediately after the incident, with blood pouring out of his nose.

On Saturday, dressed in a forensic jumpsuit, he led police through a re-enactment at the crime scene.

Service station worker Robin Sanhu told Seven News: “I thought they were having fun because they were friends.”

He said he saw Mr Summerfield get hit by the car “on the upper part of his body to the head and the chest”.

Investigators are appealing for anyone who saw the incident, including any motorists who have dash cams in their vehicles, to call Blacktown police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

You can post your tributes to Max or condolences to his family below.

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THE University of Newcastle will introducea new degree from 2018to provide engineers with specialised medical skills.
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UON’s Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brett Ninness, said the Bachelor of Medical Engineering (Honours) will be the first degree of its kind available in NSW.

It will be launched at 5.30pm on Tuesday August 22 in the University Gallery on the Callaghan campus, where members of the public and prospective students can learn more about the four-year program.

Professor Ninness the ageing population and technological advances had driven a need for the degree.

“Our population is ageing and new technology is saving the lives of people with challenging illnesses or injuries who require sophisticated therapy and care,” Professor Ninness said.

“At the same time, technologies like virtual reality and artificial intelligence are rapidly changing the way we live and work.

“Students who choose to study Medical Engineering with us will be developing technology, from artificial organs and prosthetics to cloud storage of medical records, that can potentially benefit millions of people.

The degree will offer four majors; medical biomechanics;medical computing;medical devices andmedical signal analysis.

While the undergraduate degree is a new offering, students at the university are also doing medical engineering research.

Third year electrical engineering studentRebecca Sykestook part in a summer research project that focused on type 1 diabetes and ways to overcome the issue of blood glucose regulation.

“Combining engineering and medicine is exciting as it provides a new and unique perspective in the area of health,” she said.

“Through this project, I was able to gain a deeper understanding of how the human body works and apply engineering solutions to a current health issue.”

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The deed has been done but the full reasoning remain a mystery. Neil Henry has been sacked as coach of the Gold Coast Titans but the club refused to expand on the details behind the decision to relieve him of his post a year early.
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A week of intense speculation finally ended on Monday afternoon, with Titans chief executive Graham Annesley calling a press conference to confirm Henry’s immediate departure. Deputies Craig Hodges and Terry Matterson take charge of the team.

It all left more questions than answers as Annesley and Titans board member and benefactor Darryl Kelly bumbled through their explanation of the call, which came just hours after more senior players pleaded publicly for Henry to be granted a pardon.

This wasn’t simply about his relationship with Jarryd Hayne, Annesley said, but it was Hayne’s public grumbling that forced their hand before the end of the season. Kelly said Henry’s position wasn’t untenable by any stretch… but he had to go right away.

Annesley admitted Henry’s payout of $400k, compared to $1.2 million for Hayne, was a factor, but not the only consideration. Those will remain board business for now, with Annesley saying only there were “wider issues, many of which I can’t go into”.

“The people involved are polarising in some ways. Some of the issues are polarising as well. People will say it’s the wrong decision. But I come back to the fact that the board had to weigh up all of the information. And they are the only ones with all of the information,” Annesley said.

“It’s obviously difficult for him to take some of these messages on board. The timing was not of the board’s desire. We would love to have got through to round 26 and conducted and end-of-season review. Unfortunately the timing was taken out of the board’s hands a couple of weeks ago with the events that took place.

“There was a range of reasons. I know in the media it’s been focused on a head-to-head issue between Neil and Jarryd. That was really just a catalyst that brought the issues to the fore and meant that it needed to be addressed before the end of the season.

“There are wider issues, many of which I can’t go into. But other issues the board needed to consider, with the prime objective of giving the club the best chance of success in the future.”

Henry presided over the Titans’ defeat to the Eels last Thursday, a game that proved to be his last in charge. He had resolved to fight for his job despite reports of his sacking emerging from the leaky Gold Coast board an hour after they convened the previous Monday.

He had insisted he could work with Hayne, the high-priced, under-performing backline recruit, but reality dictated there was only room for one sheriff at Titans headquarters. It was the latter left standing when the guns were smoking.

Annesley took great pains to point out that if the move was player-driven, Henry would still have a job. Yet it was Hayne’s comments about Henry, in which he said the coach doesn’t speak to him, that backed them into a corner, prompting them to pull the trigger before the season was done.

“The events that followed took the timing out of the board’s hands and we couldn’t let it drag on unresolved,” Annesley said.

“What I’m trying to say is this is not a Neil-v-Jarryd issue solely. People will arrive at whatever conclusion they decide to draw. It’s not based on personalities or politics. It’s based on what they believe to be the right outcome for this club.

“There is a view that this is a player-driven outcome. If it was, then Neil would still be the coach. It has nothing to do with personalities. Time will tell.”

If reports were correct that Henry had told the Titans it was either him or Hayne, then he found himself on the wrong side of the call. As for Hayne, Annesley said they were not shopping him to other clubs and expected him on deck for the pre-season in November, by which time they also hope to have found a new coach.

“Jarryd is a contracted player and like all of our contracted players, we expect them to perform their contractual obligations. We’ll start the search for a new coach immediately. Want one in place for November.

“I’ve read in the media the club has been shopping Jarryd around. That’s untrue. He’s a contracted player. A new coach will expect nothing less.”

As for the payout figures playing a part in the NRL-owned club, Annesley said: “It’s a factor. And there were many factors. Of course it’s a factor. But it would be extremely wrong to portray it as a determining factor. That was one.”

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NEWCASTLE’SGarth Brennan said an invitation to work with New Zealand’s World Cup rugby league squad was an opportunity “too good to knock back”.
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OPPORTUNITY: Former Newcastle under-20s coach Garth Brennan will be an assistant with New Zealand during the World Cup. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Brennan, the former Knights’ National Youth Competitioncoach, still lives in Stockton but has spent the past six years coaching Penrith’s lower grades, firstly their under-20s and most recently their NSW Cup outfit, winning premierships with both.

He has been included as an assistant toKiwis’ head coach, David Kidwell, for the World Cup, while another Knights tactician, Brian Smith, has accepted the role of New Zealand’s technical advisor.

“I’ve known David Kidwell for a while, from coaching against him in the under-20s, and also me and Brian Smith go back a fair way, so I think he put my name forward,’’ Brennan said.

“Kiddy gave me a call and it went from there.’’

Another prominent Novocastrian, Michael Hagan, will be team manager of Mal Meninga’s Australian team.

Brennan said he had been looking forward to a family holiday at the end of the season but would instead be spending seven weeks in camp with the Kiwis.

“I’d had a bit of interest from other nations regarding the World Cup, and I didn’t really consider it,’’ Brennan said.

“But to be involved with a tier-one nation like New Zealandand get to work with the calibre of players they have available, it’s a great opportunity and my wife was very understanding.


“We agreed I had to go for it.”

Brennan said the experience ofworking with the Kiwis would only “benefit me as as a coach, and who knows where it will take me from there”.

His ultimate goal is to become a head coach in the NRL and there is speculation he will be on the shortlist for the position at Gold Coast, who controversially sacked Neil Henry on Monday.

Kidwell said”Brian’s record speaks for itself” and Brennan boasted an impressive CV in his own right.

He was the first coach to take Newcastle’s under-20team to the finals, in 2011, was named NYC coach of the year in 2012, won an NYC premiership in 2013 and then the NSW Cup grand final in 2014.

“Garth has been talked about for some years, but it’s tough for these guys to find a first-grade coaching spot, there is so much competition for places,’’ Kidwell said.

“Despite that, I know he will offer us a lot. He has proven over many years that he can relate to the young players to get the best out of them and I am confident that he will be an asset to our coaching group.”

The Kiwis’ campaign kicks off in Auckland on October 28 when they play Samoa.

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Nick Kyrgios’ return to form “couldn’t have come at a better time” and it’s sure to leave Australian Davis Cup coach Lleyton Hewitt smiling.
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A frustrated Kyrgios lost the Cincinnati Masters final to Grigor Dimitrov 6-3 7-5, unable to maintain the form that saw him beat world No.1 Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals.

But Kyrgios will jump from 23rd to 18th in the world rankings and injuries to a trio of big-name rivals mean the Canberran will receive a crucial top 16 seeding at the US Open.

Todd Woodbridge expects Hewitt will be licking his lips at the sight of a firing Kyrgios, who he believes has reaffirmed his standing as one of the best young players in world tennis.

“He makes me chuckle with the whole week this week,” Woodbridge said.

“When the stars align, it’s usually entertaining and there is the evidence of what he is capable of doing. I chuckle because it’s great to watch but it makes me nervous each week about what’s going to happen.

“This was important for him, this week, to have a week that turns it around and puts him back in the frame of that best group of upcoming players.

“He beat the new No. 1 in the world, and these are the milestones that really get back to showing him when things are in the right place and he keeps mentally sound, he’s capable of winning big tournaments.

“It couldn’t have come at a better time leading into the US Open. It will fill him with a lot more confidence, and not only that, straight after the US Open, Australia has a real chance to put themselves in a Davis Cup final.

“Lleyton Hewitt will be smiling after this week.”

Defending US Open champion Stan Wawrinka has had knee surgery, while three-time winner Novak Djokovic is battling a right elbow issue.

Kei Nishikori has also been ruled out the Open tournament after rupturing a tendon in his wrist, bringing his season to a premature end.

Woodbridge says having three of last year’s US Open semi-finalists ruled out makes this year’s tournament a “massive” chance for Kyrgios to make a statement.

“There’s going to be a lot of focus on him, because the US Open is one of those tournaments where if he can be himself, relaxed and play his tennis, they will love him in New York,” Woodbridge said.

“New York is made for him, it’s the type of tournament where he can actually get the fans to get behind him and help him.

“It’s important that he learns how to utilise that because that’s something that can be really useful to him throughout his career as it extends.”

Kyrgios capitulated in the Cincinnati Masters final with three double faults in the second set at 5-5 to hand Bulgarian Dimitrov a decisive break.

It was all world No. 11 Dimitrov required and he took the set to stamp his authority in the match.

Kyrgios hit 15 aces to six but was weaker on serve throughout, winning only 36 per cent of points on his second-serve in the second-set.

Dimitrov did not lose a set on the way to winning his first ATP Masters tournament, with Kygrios in full praise of his opponent’s fitness.

“I was struggling a couple of weeks ago and he got me out on the practice court. We practised for an hour-and-a-half and I was struggling and he was fresh,” Kyrgios said.

“You had me mentally today already. I was like, ‘I know this guy’s fitter than me’.” with AAP

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