Monthly Archives:April 2018

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Language that speaks volumes

April 30th, 2018 / / categories: 南京夜网419 /

Zadie Smith’s NW, her first novel in seven years, displays an extraordinary capacity to get inside language. She captures accents, patois and slang. She runs with the sometimes beautiful, sometimes hard rhythms they give us. Her dialogue wrings nuance from the most ordinary exchanges. The novel is, in some ways, a soundscape of north-west London but Smith is also preoccupied by the landscape of home and heart, a landscape hard to escape no matter how grim the home or broken the heart.
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Can we leave the place where we are born or do we carry it with us? This question is at the core of a novel that ranges across three distinct perspectives and four characters, all of whom were born on the Caldwell council estate and have since left.

The first section, ”Visitation”, is written from the perspective of Leah Hanwell, the second, ”Guest”, takes up Felix Cooper’s story and the third, ”Host”, unfolds Keisha/Natalie’s life over 185 moments, none of them more than a page or so long, many shorter. Moving like a shadow through their stories is Nathan, the (now homeless) boy they left behind.

Leah’s section is beautifully crafted with dense, nuggety prose that captures thoughts midstream – as if a sentence is a momentary snag – before releasing them. Descriptions float, more like concrete poetry than conventional dialogue or prose. The point of view is deeply internal and intense. There is a saying Leah repeats – ”I am the sole author” – but it seems writing her own life paralyses her. Leah has been lucky enough to find true love but doesn’t seem to realise how easily such love can be lost. Ambivalent about children, she has a passion for her small dog, Olive.

She maintains a friendship with her best friend, Keisha, who is, since becoming a barrister, known as Natalie. Leah’s world is small, complicated and delicate, and is, at the novel’s opening, invaded by a stranger who rattles her beyond reason.

Readers who loved Smith’s first novel, White Teeth, will read echoes of that novel in Felix’s story, which is really just one day in his life – a very important one, it turns out. His facility with language carries us for a superlative 60 pages or so. ”Listen: know what ‘Felix’ means? Happy. I bring happiness, innit?” He buys car parts from a brand consultant whom he insists on describing as ‘in advertising’, much to the man’s chagrin. He visits his former girlfriend, a woman who was once rich and is now feeding a massive drug habit. Felix has struggled with everything from addiction to delusional T-shirts-that-will-make-him-a-million-dollars schemes but he’s bounced back with the energy of a bright man who has the capacity to save himself. He’s funny, he’s gorgeous and he knows a wanker when he sees one. He’s a straight talker but not aggressive. He’s empathetic. He gets the best sex scene of the novel (there isn’t much sex in this book but those scenes are terrifically realised and speak to character in a powerful way). Felix is the jewel at NW’s centre.

Keisha/Natalie’s sequence is the longest and the least satisfying. Many fragments are fabulous: there are diary entries, computer chats, emails and the best ode to the vibrator I’ve read. There is no doubt Smith knows the power of a good list (likes ”Cameo, Culture Club, Bob Marley”, would ”rather have money” than fame and wants ”world peace in South Africa”). Nonetheless, I wasn’t always convinced by her and while that was, to some extent, Smith’s point – that in leaving her background behind Natalie becomes a kind of wraith – there are moments when Natalie teeters on cliche and the key symptom of her dissociation, when it is revealed, didn’t quite work for me. That said, the moment when Natalie reaches her lowest point and walks the night with Nathan, that other wraith, is an extraordinary moment in a very good novel.

Lovers of language and character will revel in the glories of this work but those who enjoy some of the conventions of plot may curse.

While I couldn’t put NW down, there is no doubt it is frustrating at times. The different stylistic approaches and fragmenting point of view lead inevitably to a lack of cohesion – as was, perhaps, intended. How do we make sense of lives, and deaths, that make no sense? How do we find beauty in the smallest of moments, day to day?

NW

Zadie Smith

Hamish Hamilton,

295pp, $29.99

 

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Illuminating a dark dystopia

April 30th, 2018 / / categories: 南京夜网419 /

Exactly why the end of the world is back in vogue is an interesting question. Presumably, it’s because of the growing respectability of science fiction, and also the way science fiction has changed in recent years, the way the vistas of deep space have given way to the possibilities of our increasingly science-fictional present.
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But the rise of the apocalypse is also the expression of a deeper anxiety about what lies ahead, and our powerlessness to control it. Certainly, it’s not coincidental that so many contemporary dystopias are the result of environmental degradation or pandemics.

Peter Heller’s debut novel, The Dog Stars, gives you both for the price of one.

Set in the aftermath of an epidemic that has wiped out more than 99 per cent of the population and left the rest at the mercy of a rapidly warming climate, it focuses on a man called Hig, who has managed to survive in the backblocks of North America.

As the novel opens, almost a decade has passed since the flu, years that Hig has spent holed up in an old airport with his dog, Jasper, and Bangley, a prickly survivalist with an often-vital taste for guns.

Although they’re alone, Hig, Jasper and Bangley don’t have it so bad. Using materials from the abandoned McMansions beside the airport, Hig has cobbled together a system of gardens and, while many of the animals have disappeared as the summers have warmed, presumably killed off by a lack of water, there are enough left to supply meat and fish.

Thanks to Bangley’s guns and strategies, they are comparatively safe from intermittent attacks by other survivors, many of whom are, as Hig puts it, ”mostly not nice”.

And although Hig knows that it will not last forever, there is enough fuel for him to occasionally fly his beloved Cessna.

Yet while he is alive, Hig – a man still riven by the loss of his wife and unborn child – is not really living, something that becomes painfully clear when a crisis convinces him to abandon his refuge and set off in search of the origin of a mysterious radio message.

It’s not the most original set-up, but The Dog Stars has a clarity and force that many novels like it lack. Partly, this is about the integrity of the detail: Heller is an experienced outdoors journalist and it shows in the way he understands both the terrain and the equipment.

It’s also about the writing. Despite his roughness, Hig is, or was, a poet, a man fascinated by the poetry of Li Po and Li Shang-yin, and the prose of the novel reflects that, capturing in its broken rhythms not just something of the spareness and clarity of Chinese poetry but the quality of Hig’s attention to his surroundings and his barely sublimated grief.

These qualities, and the novel’s occasional hints at the degree to which events have altered Hig – not always for the better – mean The Dog Stars is, despite occasional implausibilities and overly familiar devices, never less than affecting, and occasionally deeply moving.

Yet, it’s difficult not to wonder whether it isn’t a little too consoling. There is more than a whiff of the cosy catastrophe about The Dog Stars, in particular the intimation of hope that comes in its final pages. More deeply, though, it – like many contemporary dystopias – seems more interested in romanticising our powerlessness in the face of a changing climate than trying to imagine our way past it.

THE DOG STARS

Peter Heller

Headline, 320pp, $29.99

 

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Council of despair

April 30th, 2018 / / categories: 南京夜网419 /

Review of the week
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When the voice of a boy soprano begins to break, there are a few ways the situation can go. He must manage the change, whether he does so well or badly. He should face the possibility of a public disaster in the middle of a performance. He can work cautiously through the transition and discover that he has, or does not have, a good tenor, baritone or bass. Or he can give up singing altogether.

This analogy for the situation in which JK Rowling finds herself is not without its flaws. For one thing, boy sopranos have no choice in the matter. But the management of a major shift in your voice – its range, its pitch, its target audience – is a tricky and complex thing, whether you have chosen it or not, for all new registers require new techniques. And if you are a writer whose books for children have earned you fame beyond the dreams of narcissism and wealth beyond the dreams of avarice, and who then decides to shift into an ”adult” register, you have to manage that shift in the fierce and blinding spotlight of public attention.

Early reviews of this novel have concentrated on its material, many expressing disquiet that Rowling should have traded in the matter of Potter for a story involving drug addiction, self-mutilation, rape and suicide. These people seem to have forgotten that one of the main characters in the Potter books is the embodiment of evil itself. It isn’t too difficult to write about bad things; the real difficulty for a writer is to manage the changes in the storytelling voice.

Warm, familiar, easy and clear, Rowling’s voice in the Potter books is like an extra character, using the same kind of language that the characters and their readers use, and making the same kinds of observations about them that they make about each other. But at its most successful, the narrative voice of The Casual Vacancy is quite different. Detached, mature and sophisticated, given to abstraction and reflection, this is the traditional omniscient narrator of realist fiction. The new voice wavers and wobbles sometimes, especially in the early chapters, where Rowling reverts from time to time to the treble regions of her Potter mode.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it’s easy to forget how funny she can be: ”Krystal’s slow passage up the school had resembled the passage of a goat through the body of a boa constrictor, being highly visible and uncomfortable for both parties concerned.” But after 100 pages or so, the new voice is settled, steady and full of confidence; one character, we are told, ”had a habit of making sweeping judgments based on first impressions, on single actions. He never seemed to grasp the immense mutability of human nature, nor to appreciate that behind every nondescript face lay a wild and unique hinterland like his own.”

The casual vacancy of the title is a position on the Pagford parish council that goes up for grabs when a much-loved local dynamo, the allegorically named Barry Fairbrother, drops dead in the golf club car park.

The competition over the vacancy is one of several things that give this story its strong forward movement, as is the fight over whether Pagford will retain responsibility for ”the Fields”, the problem-riddled council housing estate on its outskirts, or whether they will hand it back to the bigger district council.

The structure of village life in Pagford is a faint, distorted and rather pathetic echo of feudal England, from the richest family in the biggest house down to the desperate inhabitants of the Fields, who live in the contemporary equivalent of mediaeval peasant squalor.

Rowling is clear about where her political sympathies lie, and her satirical treatment of middle-class, English village gentility is unrelenting. Nor, however, does she shrink from describing the sheer physical awfulness of life in the Fields: ”Kay noticed a used condom glistening in the grass beside her feet, like the gossamer cocoon of some huge grub.”

Rowling’s highly cinematic imagination provides any number of set-pieces over which any director might salivate, dreaming of the screen. There’s the fastidious female Sikh doctor being obliged to examine the skinfold rash under the vast belly of the repulsive Howard; the three vulnerable teenagers bonding in the kitchen during the saturnalia that is Howard’s birthday party; the terrible 10 minutes along the river bank, during which the characters converge and the plot plunges into tragedy.

As with the Potter books, the carefully structured plot is enacted by a cast of memorable and highly individuated characters, seen in sharp focus. Rowling is particularly good with adolescents, of whom there are several: their alliances, their enmities, their insecurities and the often strange logic of their thinking are all treated with an insight and empathy that stop well short of optimism, much less sentimentality. The adult characters are drawn with broader strokes; most of them are somewhere between fairly awful and completely frightful. The only wholly loveable adult in this novel is Fairbrother, who has been dead since page three. And despite its incidental humour and its selective tenderness for a few of its characters, the novel’s ending has been described, with justice, as ”howlingly bleak”.

But some of the public fretting about keeping this book away from children seems unnecessary. Children are gifted self-censors and most will not persevere with a book beyond their reach; any child interested enough to keep reading after 10 pages or so is probably ready to do so. Besides, the central message of this novel is that we are indeed our brothers’ keepers: we should take better care of each other than we do. And that, surely, is a lesson any parents worth the name would be glad to have their children learn.

THE CASUAL VACANCY

JK Rowling

Little, Brown,

503pp, $39.99

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A tale of two Tonys at loggerheads

April 30th, 2018 / / categories: 南京夜网419 /

Flip-flopper or Christian warrior? … Tony Abbott.If you want to hit a man where it hurts, hit him in the groin. David Marr doesn’t miss in his Quarterly Essay profile Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott. Mocks Marr, of the Liberal leader’s profile in Speedos and lycra cycling knicks: ”Never in the political annals of this country have so many seen so much of so little.”
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The only surprise is that Marr waits until page 14 to emasculate him. What took him so long? After all, he declares on page one that: ”Australia doesn’t want Tony Abbott. We never have.” Readers know what they’re getting from the outset and Quarterly Essay’s audience will enjoy every word.

The trouble is that contending with Marr’s figurative emasculation of the federal Opposition Leader is his portrayal of him as the thuggish, marauding destroyer of the peace and dreams of a long list of people, from student politicians, gays and lesbians, republicans, refugees and Laborites in all their forms. So which is he: the man who underwhelms in lycra or the big swinging dick of religiously motivated conservative politics in Australia? Marr, surely, can’t have it both ways.

He does, in fact, try by bifurcating Tony into ”Politics Abbott” and ”Values Abbott” for the purposes of his essay. ”Politics Abbott” is the one who witnessed firsthand John Hewson get crucified on his own Fightback! reform agenda in the 1993 election, learning that voters go cold on bold policy gambits vulnerable to a good old-fashioned scare campaign.

”Politics Abbott” is a hypocritical policy flip-flopper squarely in the tradition of pragmatic whatever-it-takes politics (see carbon pricing).

”Values Abbott”, conversely, is the Christian warrior who wants to defeat sin broadly defined (essentially abortion and homosexuality), including via public policy when the chance presents itself (such as his attempt as health minister to ban the ”abortion pill” RU486, defeated by the bipartisan efforts of women MPs to block the move).

The thesis is that an Abbott prime ministership would see the Two Tonys in perpetual struggle with unpredictable consequences. Across politics, most players – probably even Abbott, privately – would consider that a fair assessment. Marr captures Abbott’s physical presence well. ”He walks as though he has to will each leg forward …” he writes. ”His face is skin and bone. He smiles but his eyes are hooded. The overall effect is faintly menacing, as if he’s about to climb into the ring.”

Nor is Marr so jaundiced that he can’t acknowledge his subject is ”pithy, funny and illuminating” in the off-the-record interview Abbott gives him for the essay.

There are parts of Political Animal where the raw material begs the author to go off the usual trail and pursue new ones but it largely doesn’t happen.

One is that Abbott’s DNA is, like Marr’s, that of a crusading journalist. Abbott arrives at Sydney University and immediately ”thousands of words of campaigning journalism poured out of him”; he was a card-carrying member of the Australian Journalists Association as a journalist at The Bulletin, Marr recounts, where ”he led a little strike” but opposed another after he moved to The Australian; and as a cabinet minister Abbott often frustrated staff by shutting his door to write op-eds rather than engage with ministerial matters. The role of journalists as politicians in Australia is too little examined.

Another is the crucial difference Marr identifies between Abbott’s view of the role of government (he endorses an active one, true to his DLP roots) compared with those of most Liberal colleagues who at least at the level of rhetoric consider it a dead weight on society.

Just as commentators underestimated how successful Abbott would be as a disciplined wrecking ball of an opposition leader, neglect of this point could equally lead to his likely longevity in office being underestimated should he get to The Lodge.

A third is the striking fact that of the most recent six Liberal leaders, four – including Abbott – have either been members of (Brendan Nelson), sought preselection from (Malcolm Turnbull), flirted with (John Hewson) or been the target of recruitment efforts by (Abbott was approached, Marr tells us, by Bob Carr) the Australian Labor Party. Perhaps this wasn’t the place but it would be interesting to see Marr or another writer pursue it.

Some historical housekeeping is done in passing on an earlier Marr book – Dark Victory, written with Marian Wilkinson – when he quotes Philip Ruddock’s accurate statement that ”it was Labor that insisted during the Tampa crisis that fundamental human rights be incorporated in the Pacific Solution”. You’d never know it from reading Dark Victory and it’s good that Marr acknowledges it here.

POLITICAL ANIMAL

David Marr

Quarterly Essay,

140pp, $19.95

 

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

THIS week I have been amazed at some respected football identities and commentators bemoaning the opening of this week’s inaugural free agency period as a sad time in our game. Their sentiments have been that we have somehow lost a sense of loyalty and hope that underpins the very fabric of the competition.
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Why does this amaze me? Because any sophisticated analysis of the AFL free agency system, along with those in the broader sporting world, suggests exactly the opposite is true. This week marks a significant step forward for our game that will support its continued growth and success for all stakeholders – the players, the clubs and the fans.

Fans of international team sport will be familiar with the concept of free agency, but might not have stopped to consider the difference in how our model has come about when compared to those in overseas competitions.

In the US, following baseballer Curt Flood’s ultimately unsuccessful attempt to challenge baseball’s transfer rule in the Supreme Court, other baseballers took up the challenge, which eventually resulted in arbitration that secured the introduction of a free agency model. In 1993, the NFL and its players finally agreed to introduce free agency after years of labour unrest, strikes and litigation. Are you a European soccer fan? Think Jean-Marc Bosman and the abolition of the transfer system.

Even in the NRL here in Australia, the existence of a completely open free agent market can be traced back to Balmain player Dennis Tutty’s successful High Court challenge.

In AFL, free agency has been introduced by the players, the AFL and the clubs all coming together to agree on a system without the heartache, trial and agony that has happened around the world. All parties have recognised each other’s interests, and come up with a strong system that will work for our fans, clubs, players and, most importantly, our game.

This week we’ve heard the chimes of ”the poor/lower ladder clubs will never get anyone”. But this is simply untrue.

Supporters of these clubs can be really excited about the opportunities ahead of them – for the first time in the history of the national competition, they have the ability to quickly rejuvenate their list without reliance on other clubs consenting to a trade. I haven’t heard any Essendon fans upset at Brendon Goddard arriving at Windy Hill, but I have spoken with many Demons fans who are looking forward to Shannon Byrnes bringing some of his premiership experience to a young team.

As footy fans we ought not accept that the only way to the top is to bottom out, go back to the well and rely upon a succession of top-round draft picks maturing over several years before it’s our team’s turn to have another crack at the top four.

For the players, the benefits are clear.

As a player you don’t get to choose where you start your career, but for some players they now more genuinely have the capacity to choose where they finish it.

For the clubs, the benefits are no less obvious. The success of the Swans last Saturday demonstrates what can be achieved by identifying specific roles for specific players and recruiting accordingly. Think of Richards, Shaw, Mumford, Mattner, Kennedy, McGlynn and Morton. These players were never stars nor household names at their former clubs, but they have combined to form a premiership combination for the Swans.

And all of us live in hope that our team might emulate such success.

Matt Finnis is the chief executive officer of the AFL Players Association.

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Beams now top of tree

April 30th, 2018 / / categories: 南京夜网419 /

DAYNE Beams has sealed a breakout season, winning the Copeland Trophy for Collingwood’s best and fairest.
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The midfielder won his first Copeland by 35 votes over last year’s winner, Scott Pendlebury, and 58 votes clear of three-time club champion Dane Swan.

It caps a stellar season for the Queenslander, who also earned his first All-Australian guernsey.

But his improvement wasn’t easy. He missed last year’s grand final through injury and round one this season because of another injury.

But as the weeks turned into months, he became a key part of the Pies’ midfield and was elevated to the leadership group.

“I was pretty stoked about it, and pretty humbled by it,” he told The Age last month. “It’s something I’m really enjoying.”

Pendlebury led the count after 11 rounds, but Beams, who had answered the call to move into the middle after the season-ending knee injury to Luke Ball, was clear with six matches to play and was not headed.

He gathered 741 possessions across 24 matches at an average of 30.9. He finished equal second on the Collingwood goalkicking list with 28 goals and also averaged of 4.2 tackles a match.

Drafted in 2008, Beams was part of Collingwood’s 2010 premiership.

He said he was surprised how quickly he had found his feet in the midfield maelstrom. “I’ve never really had any doubts in my ability as a footballer, but I suppose you don’t have expectations when you go into the midfield permanently,” he said.

“I suppose I’ve surprised myself a little bit in how quickly I’ve come to be consistent. I haven’t really been consistent in previous years.”

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Kennedy top Swan

April 30th, 2018 / / categories: 南京夜网419 /

IT WAS not as though he needed any more validation, but Josh Kennedy’s decision to move from Hawthorn — a club steeped in his family’s history — to Sydney in 2010, received another tick last night when he won the Bob Skilton Medal as the Swans’ best and fairest in their premiership season.
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Kennedy continued his progression up the best-and-fairest ladder with a runaway win of the medal at last night’s club champion dinner in Darling Harbour. In his first season at Sydney he finished third behind Kieren Jack and Shane Mumford, then last year was tied for second with Rhyce Shaw, behind Adam Goodes.

By the time all the votes were tallied last night, Kennedy had polled a stunning 877, an amazing 172 ahead of second placegetter Ted Richards, with last Saturday’s Norm Smith Medal winner Ryan O’Keefe in third place with 701 votes.

Votes are awarded by coach John Longmire and four of his assistants after each game, with coaches able to give a player up to 10 votes for his performance, and they can allocate votes to as many or as few players as they deem appropriate.

Kennedy polled in every game and his season total is the highest in the history of the award.

Kennedy also took out the prestigious Paul Kelly players’ player award, based on votes cast by all 22 members of the senior team after each match.

Dual premiership winner Jude Bolton confirmed yesterday he had met the coach and chief executive of the club to discus his future and will now take “a couple of weeks” to contemplate whether his 301-game career comes to an end with the grand final win, or goes on.

“I’m really privileged they have said just take your time, make a decision not just for 12 months, but a life decision,” he said.

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Trials of life

April 30th, 2018 / / categories: 南京夜网419 /

Jed Anderson at the AFL draft combine this week.JED Anderson was upstairs, sleeping. It was one o’clock on a Wednesday morning when his brother burst through his bedroom door telling him to get downstairs, quickly. It’s hard for him to remember what happened next but as he rushed into the kitchen the teenager saw his father lying on the floor, his mother standing on one side and his brother on the other. They had no idea what to do and Jed wasn’t sure either. Then he brushed by them and tried to save his dad’s life.
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”I felt so scared. I remember my mum being on the phone and my brother just standing there, in shock. I was yelling at him: ‘do CPR, do CPR,’ but he couldn’t move. So I ran in there and did it, sort of pushed my brother away and tried to save him,” said Anderson, who did what he could, wondering how this could have happened when he had been sitting, talking and laughing with his father only a few hours earlier. An ambulance arrived before too long and Jed was waiting at the hospital with his mother, brothers and sisters when they were told David hadn’t made it, that he had suffered a major heart attack.

”I broke down when we were told that he had passed. I sort of lost it at the hospital, I didn’t know what to do and I broke down for a long time. It was pretty overwhelming but later on I thought maybe it was a good reaction, that I did something to help him. It sort of gave me some belief in myself, that I did everything I could think of.”

It isn’t easy to get drafted. All sorts of challenges fall into the path of the AFL’s potential players: injuries, expectations, the pressure that comes with being so closely scrutinised. Anderson is talented, and ambitious. He doesn’t simply want to become a professional footballer, he wants to do great things. He is ferocious and determined, with a touch of class, and a leader, the boy Northern Territory talent manager Wally Gallio knows can quieten a room of boisterous teammates with a small nod of his head. He was interviewed by 11 clubs at this week’s draft combine but may find a home before next month’s national draft, with Greater Western Sydney able to trade him to another team as one of the Territory zone players it’s able to pre-list.

His has been a more trying path than most, since long before he lost his father two months ago. When he was 16, Anderson moved to western Sydney to spend a season playing for the club’s TAC Cup team. He really wanted to go, until a day or two before he actually had to leave, and while he loved the sort of football he got to play he struggled to settle into his new school, where playing Australian rules wasn’t the bridge-builder it always had been, and where he would sit – thinking – in the boarding house. ”You’d go to school, go to training, then go home on your own and think about things you don’t want to think about. It gets to you, in the end.”

He went home at the end of the season, wanting to be back with his parents and seven siblings. He then withdrew from the AIS-AFL Academy, prompting some clubs to question his commitment. It was a fair question, too. Anderson was deeply affected when his brother, Joe, was delisted by Carlton at the end of 2010. It hurt to see Joe lose his sense of purpose, and Jed started wondering why it was even worth starting if that was how it would end.

”I saw what happened to my brother and I had some doubts if footy was what I wanted to do,” he said. ”He was only just getting into his career. When he got delisted he had to change everything and he struggled at first to find something new to do and I think telling the family was one of the hardest things for him. He found himself a new challenge in the end, but the thought of getting there and having everything thrown back in your face scared me a bit. To go back to Darwin and have nothing, I thought that would be really hard.”

There was much more than that going on, though. Around the same time, two of Jed’s close friends took their lives. One, he had grown up with in Katherine, the pair born just a handful of days apart. The other, a friend of his older brother, used to give him lollies and play-fight with him. Within six months another two friends had attempted to do the same thing, and Anderson recovered, struggled, recovered and then struggled: would it happen again? Why? When? And who would it be next?

”With my friend, we’d be talking and he was going through a hard time. He was really depressed and I said ‘if you need anything just call me’,” he said. ”I constantly messaged him and he didn’t really speak about it. I kept saying to him, ‘don’t do it, just don’t do it,’ and then it happened. And you go back to that conversation all the time and think, ‘what did I say wrong?’

”I kept thinking someone else close to me would do it again. I thought: ‘who’s going to be around? Who am I going to see? Who am I going to be saying goodbye to?’ You start thinking about all your friends, you see them write stuff on Facebook and the first reaction is, ‘what are they going to do? Are they going to do this too? What are they going through that’s so bad?’

”It’s all in the moment, I think. I think they would regret it, if they had got another chance. I think they took the easy way out rather than going to speak to someone. There’s always a second option and a second way to go about it and I think that’s what needs to be put across to everyone, that you don’t have to make that decision, you just have to get through that moment. Now, with my friends, we try and talk and get stuff out of everyone. Even when I have tough times I go and talk to them because I think the littlest thing you say could maybe help change somebody’s mind.”

Anderson isn’t the same kid who needed to go home two years ago. He feels less shy, less laidback, more comfortable. He started a traineeship with Workboats Northern Australia this year and feels like he has some ambition outside football, too.

He is tougher in more ways the one; last year Anderson injured his hamstring in the first five minutes of the NT Thunder’s grand final, didn’t want to tell anyone and got through the game. Three days after he lost his father he lined up for his team, kicking the first goal and playing perhaps his best game for the season. He knew his dad was waiting for the letter inviting him to the combine this week to arrive; he died only a few days before it arrived in the Anderson’s letter box. ”He was the person who never pressured me,” said Jed, ”but I remember when I made the All-Australian team last year, it was the first time I ever saw him cry in front of my eyes. It made me proud, that I’d made my dad feel that way.”

Now, he stresses less about the things that could go wrong. ”It sits in the back of your mind sometimes but you can’t wait for that and think bad things will happen. I never want to think ‘I wish I did this.’ If I make the wrong decisions I could be sitting back one day telling my kids ‘I could have been there, I could have been playing and I could have been one of the all-time great players.’ I might as well find out. I really want to find out.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Hinkley the man at Port

April 30th, 2018 / / categories: 南京夜网419 /

PORT Adelaide finally got its man yesterday. Former Geelong star Ken Hinkley will be introduced as its new coach on Monday.
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Port will also name Alan Richardson as the club’s first director of coaching, and the return of Darren Burgess as fitness coach after a stint at English Premier League club Liverpool.

The appointments, which were reported in The Age earlier this week, were confirmed yesterday.

Hinkley and Hawthorn assistant Leon Cameron were first choices on the list of current assistant coaches, but when Cameron pulled out of the race by joining Greater Western Sydney, Port poured all of its efforts into securing Hinkley. The only doubt was whether he would be prepared to uproot his family again after moving to the Gold Coast as an assistant to Guy McKenna two years ago.

Hinkley, 46, will be perceived by some as the only man prepared to coach Port, but the club could not be happier and he joins it with an impressive background as a quality player with Fitzroy and Geelong, and assistant coaching roles at St Kilda, Geelong, Collingwood and Gold Coast.

The appointment of Richardson and tangible resources for its football department should give Port a good chance of developing a squad that will be far more competitive at AFL level.

Richardson, who missed playing in Collingwood’s 1990 premiership side because of injury, has a wealth of coaching experience at VFA level with Coburg, and as an assistant in the AFL with the Western Bulldogs, Collingwood, Essendon and Carlton.

Hinkley was also strongly considered by Adelaide before it appointed Brenton Sanderson and he joins Port with a glowing endorsement from Gold Coast board member and coaching director Malcolm Blight.

Given Port’s plight in recent years, replacing Mark Williams and Matthew Primus as coaches, dismal form, off-field dramas, financial problems and the tragic death of John McCarthy, Hinkley is taking on arguably the toughest coaching challenge in the AFL.

It is believed Hinkley has the football knowledge and coaching ability to lift Port, and also the character to help its players move forward.

He will be the first non-Port person to be appointed as coach of the club.

The fresh approach is sure to be widely accepted and coincides with Port resolving many of its financial problems, the appointment of a new chief executive, Keith Thomas, who has handled the recent crises well, the shake-up of the board with David Koch as new chairman, and the lead-up to the move to the Adelaide Oval, which many predict will secure Port’s long-term future.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Swans firm for Tippett: rivals

April 30th, 2018 / / categories: 南京夜网419 /

SYDNEY has emerged as a serious player for Kurt Tippett, with rival clubs suggesting that the Swans are the front-runners for the Adelaide forward’s services.
Nanjing Night Net

Tippett is expected to announce today where he wants to play next season. It is understood that the Brisbane Lions have offered a lucrative five-year deal, while Gold Coast and Sydney have also offered long-term contracts.

While still hopeful about Brisbane’s chances, Lions football manager Rob Kerr said yesterday the Swans had emerged as a serious destination for a man who originally wanted to return to Queensland. ”They have put together a pretty attractive offer, dare I say,” he said. ”I expect we will find out [on Saturday] morning.”

Tippett did not make an announcement yesterday because he did not want it to overshadow the Crows’ best and fairest function, held last night.

Tippett’s manager, Peter Blucher, said the player’s preference was for a decision to be revealed today. ”Wherever he goes, he will be happy,” he said.

Rival clubs have questioned how the Swans would fit him under the salary cap, but they have extra concessions. If successful, they may also have to trade players.

The Suns are understood to believe that Tippett, who was born in Sydney, favours the Swans, a decision that would be received badly in Adelaide by some teammates and supporters, and has already attracted some ugly abuse in social media.

Adelaide’s football operations manager, Phil Harper, said no agreement existed that would allow Tippett to be traded for a second- and third-round selection.

Tippett’s decision will have ramifications on other potential deals.

The Lions are set to turn their attention to a midfielder if they fail to lure the power forward.

Clinton Young, Hawthorn’s unrestricted free agent, would add to the Lions’ run and carry.

It’s understood Young is not happy with the offer he has received from the Hawks.

Former Melbourne hardnut Brent Moloney is also firmly in Brisbane’s thoughts.

Geelong has completed a medical examination of North Melbourne ruckman Hamish McIntosh and also has some interest in North defender Luke Delaney.

The medical prognosis on McIntosh is understood to be relatively positive, given that the ruckman has had Achilles injuries and had LARS surgery to his posterior cruciate ligament.

If the Cats were to acquire Delaney – who plays as a tall back – along with McIntosh, it would make it less likely that they would pursue Melbourne free agent Jared Rivers, who wants to play for a Victorian club.

McIntosh is due to be paid more than $400,000 next year and is interested in a move because the Roos have shown a penchant for rucking only Todd Goldstein, with Drew Petrie or other tall forwards providing the back-up.

Delaney, whose brother Cameron is also on the North list, is from Geelong club Grovedale.

The Cats have been active in the post-season, with most clubs believing they are in pole position for Gold Coast’s Josh Caddy, who is also being pursued by St Kilda.

The Saints want West Coast’s Mitch Brown to fill a key defensive spot, but the Eagles have indicated that they won’t trade Brown, who is contracted for next year.

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire says a deal to trade Sharrod Wellingham to West Coast is far from done.

Wellingham, off contract with the Magpies, has nominated the Eagles as his preferred home. A deal will need to be done during the trade period, which starts on Monday.

The Eagles’ first pick in the draft is No. 17. Koby Stevens, who has told the Eagles he wants out, could also be part of a deal.

Wellingham’s manager, Carlos Da Costa, says fair compensation for the Magpies would be a second- or third-round selection.

The Magpies will also need to broker a deal with Melbourne if Chris Dawes is to join the Demons.

Dawes, under contract, could remain a Magpie if they are not offered an adequate pick.

The Pies have decided against nominating James Stewart, son of former Magpie Craig Stewart, as a father-son selection.

Carlton is confident of retaining Tom Bell, but his management is arguing he deserves a place on the senior list, while the Blues want him to remain on the rookie list.

Richmond has signed small forward Gideon Simon from Papua New Guinea as an international rookie.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.