Captain’s knock in country opener

Captain’s knock in country opener TON: Newcastle captain Mark Littlewood (second from right) made a century in round one of the NSW Country Championships at Inverell on Friday. Picture: Heidi Gibson
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TweetFacebook NSW Country Championships – day 1Pictures by Heidi GibsonA captain’s knock from Mark Littlewood has put Newcastle on the front foot after the opening day of the NSW Country Championships in Inverell.

Littlewood made an unbeaten 116 from 124 balls, hitting six fours and five sixes along the way, in guiding Newcastle to a 59-run victory over Central North at Varley Oval on Friday.

Batting at No.3 the Belmont all-rounderput on a 142-run second-wicket stand with opener and Wallsend marquee Nathan Price, who struck 13 boundaries in his 87 from 100 deliveries.

“They both batted really well and set it up nicely for us,” Newcastle representative coach Shane Burley said.

Newcastle’s 50-over total of 8-274 eventually proved too much for Central North, who were restricted to 7-215 with Simon Norvill (55), former University batsman Aaron Mahony (52) and Hamilton-Wickham skipper Josh Trappel (42)the best in a beaten side.

Pat Darwen, named in the Australian Country XI last season, claimedtwo wickets for Newcastle while Central North’sLincoln Mills and Daniel Willis shared four between them.

“Our bowlers managed a lot of dots which helped us,” Burley said.“We picked up the bonus point as well, which is really important.”

Newcastle now meets first round losers North Coast in Saturday’s second round fixture at the same venue while Central North tackle Western at McCosker Park No.1.

Western (9-243) beat North Coast (134) on Friday.

Mace calls for change of bonus point set-up

SHOT: Charlestown captain Steve Mace out in the middle last weekend. Picture: Marina NeilCharlestown captain Steve Mace has called for a rethink of the bonus point system in one-day matches.
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The inaugural early-season, five-game, 40-over, pink-ball trial finished last weekend with Charlestown narrowly missing top spot in Pool B on quotient to Wests and consequently a Tom Locker Cup final berth.

Charlestown won four times to Wests’ three during the same period but the Rosellas collected six bonus pointsto the Magpies’ two.

Mace believes this anomaly on the Newcastle District Cricket Association first grade competition ladder needs to be addressed, especially considering the points allocated intwo-day matches which start on Saturday.

“The bonus points are too heavily weighted,” Mace said.

“If you play a two-day game over say 180 overs and have a close, hard-fought win after slogging your guts out for 12 hours you getsix points.

“In a one-day game most teams receive eight points for about 50 of 60 overs of work.

“It doesn’t seem right.”

Currently six points are allocated for a win and two for a loss in these limited overs fixtures.

Bonus points come into play, both added and deducted, depending on the severity of the result.

They are based on percentages of the first innings total–either chasing down in quick time or restricting an opposition in reply.

One if the job’s completed between60 and 80 percent and two if under 60 percent.

It meansteams can walk away with six, seven or eight points for a win and two, one or even nonefor a loss.

“It’s not necessarily the team that gets the bonus point has played really well, it’s more often than notthe team that lost it has played really poorly,” Mace said.

“I likethe bonus point because it creates a bit of interest and there’s no perfect system, but it shouldn’t be that way.Maybe one bonus point at about 65 percent. That waythere’s only one bonus point rather than two.”

Bonus point dramasaside, Charlestown sitin a three-way share of second position on the overall standings.

“You’d take that in any five-game period throughout the season let along the start,” Mace said.“It’s a good place to be and hopefully we can go on with it now the two-dayers are here.”

Charlestown host Belmont at Kahibah Oval.

Elsewhere in round six encounters winless Toronto are at home to Wests, ladder-leaders Merewether travel to meet last-placed Cardiff-Boolaroo, defending champions Hamilton-Wickham give up another home game to Wallsend, Waratah-Mayfield play Stockton-Raymond Terraceand University clash with Newcastle City.

Play starts at 11am.

Meanwhile, eight teams have entered the second season ofthe Newcastle-based Sixers Social Women’s Cricket competition which starts at Smith Park on Sunday (4:30pm-6pm).

Weeding out weaklings in pot stock sector

Australia’s cannabis companies may have exploded onto the ASX in recent years, generating bemused interest and bad media puns, but their struggle to crack overseas markets means their performance has been decidedly patchy.
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Since the federal government opened up the market for scientific and medical marijuana cultivation in February last year, at least 17 companies have popped up on the local exchange. The most recent was Cannpal, which hit the boards in October.

And despite the government legalising medicinal consumption, in November share price performance of the various “pot stocks” has been mixed.

The likes of Cann Group have done eye-wateringly well; the stock is up 200 per cent since listing at 30?? in May.

Both Zelda Therapeutics and Creso Pharma have also enjoyed solid investor attention, up 87 per cent and 138 per cent year-to-date respectively.

The sector has easily outperformed the Small Ordinaries Index, which is up 10 per cent so far this year.

But other marijuana plays are not riding the hype; Perth-based Chapmans is languishing below half a cent. Capital Mining, previously linked to Chapmans, has been stuck in a trading halt so has yet to outline how its cannabis foray is materialising.

“The volatility in the share price movements are indicative of this kind of fledgling industry,” says Matthijs Smith, senior life sciences analyst at Canaccord Genuity and recent author of a well-read report on the industry.

“They’ve been waxing and waning as attitudes are moving around, but overall people are beginning to cotton on that the most widely abused recreational drug is shifting towards genuine medical status.”

Licensing is still the most critical element in the industry, and while it’s fairly simple to get a medicinal or R&D licence from the Office of Drug Control, manufacturing entitlements are more difficult.

“The ODC is wary of any product disappearing,” says Mr Smith.

So far, eight licences have been issued for the cultivation and production of medicinal cannabis, five for cultivation and production for research purposes and four to actually manufacture cannabis products.

The market’s heavyweights, AusCann and Cann Group, have both been granted manufacturing and medicinal licences, while the Hydroponics Company (with its memorable THC ticker) also has a research licence.

MMJ Phytotech, Medlab Clinical, and Creso Pharma have import licences.

“But it’s the lack of export capability that’s really holding these companies back; it’s the next step,” says Mr Smith, pointing out that growing a full plant only takes between three and four months.

“So Australian companies could very quickly serve a global market at scale and at high quality.”

The export infrastructure is already in place, says Mr Smith, given Australia already supplies half the world’s legal poppy feedstock for opioid manufacturing.

If the Australian market mimics that of the exploding North American one, Cannacord says the wholesale value of Australian cannabis could quickly become $400 million a year.

In the US and Canada about 1.2 per cent of people use cannabis for medical purposes, which would translate to around 300,000 people in Australia.

“The economic activity that will unfold from this industry is really rich,” says Mr Smith.”It just doesn’t exist today and there are investors everywhere slowly tuning into this potential.”

A global trend unfolding across markets in Europe and South America as well, medical cannabis is big business.

Just this week, global beverage company Constellation Brands acquired a 9.9 per cent stake – worth $US191 million – in Canopy Growth, the world’s largest publicly traded cannabis company.

The premise of cannibanoid drinks has analysts around the world talking, however Australia is still yet to catch up to the edibles market.

“Once edibles infiltrate Australia, I expect we’ll see local companies go into overdrive,” says Mr Smith.

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Suu Kyi visits Rakhine, reduces Rohingya crisis to a ‘quarrel’

Bangkok: Ten weeks after Myanmar’s army embarked on a ruthless crackdown that has driven more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims from their homes, the country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi finally visited the scene, telling people not to “quarrel”.
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From her helicopter, she would have been able to see scores of incinerated villages, but the military has insisted that Rohingya burnt their own villages as they fled. Burmese state media has accused them of fleeing to Bangladesh to tarnish Myanmar’s reputation.

“I hope everything will go fine as local villagers handle the rebuilding process,” Ms Suu Kyi told the residents of Pan Taw Pyin village, according to the New York Times. “We all have to try our best to live peacefully.”

The scolding from the Nobel laureate known as The Lady, came as powerful US lawmakers proposed targeted sanctions and travel restrictions on Myanmar military officers accused of orchestrating atrocities that human rights group say amount to crimes against humanity.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced he plans to visit Myanmar in mid-November when he is expected to intensify pressure on the military and Ms Suu Kyi’s government to end the violence and allow the Rohingya to return home.

“What’s most important to us is that the world can’t stand idly by and be witness to the atrocities that are being reported in the area,” Mr Tillerson said before announcing the trip.

The sanctions proposed by a bipartisan group of senators, including Republican John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, will intensify pressure on the Turnbull government to cut Australia’s military ties with Myanmar.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has said Australia is “deeply concerned” about the violence that has sparked a humanitarian emergency in refugee camps in Bangladesh but has refused to directly condemn either the military or Ms Suu Kyi’s government, which claims the military has been responding to attacks by Muslim insurgents.

Senator McCain said the “systematic human rights abuses” committed against Rohingya in Myanmar’s Rakhine State demanded a strong response from the international community.

“Our legislation would hold accountable the senior military officials responsible for the slaughter and displacement of innocent men, women and children in Burma [Myanmar], and make clear the United States will not stand for these atrocities,” Senator McCain said.

Democrat Senator Ben Cardin said “never again” is happening again in Myanmar under the watch of the international community.

“This bill will allow Congress to strengthen the President’s [Donald Trump] hand by making clear to Burmese officials that there will be consequences for their crimes against humanity,” Senator Cardin said.

Xenophobic and superstitious generals ruled the south-east Asia nation with an iron-fist for half a century before allowing economic and other reforms in 2011. But the military still wields enormous powers and controls much of the country’s businesses through crony-run corporations.

Ms Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy won a landslide election in 2015, has refused to publicly criticise the military, prompting widespread criticism and the withdrawal of some of her international awards.

During her visit to Rakhine on Thursday, Ms Suu Kyi met religious leaders in Maungdaw, one of the districts worst hit by the violence, according to Chris Lewa from the Arakan Project monitoring group.

“She only said three things to the people – they should live peacefully, the government is there to help them and they should not quarrel among each other,” Ms Lewa said.

– With agencies

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New NRMA chair named at first AGM held in Newcastle in a decade

Changeover: Outgoing NRMA chairman Kyle Loades with incoming NRMA chairman Tim Trumper. Picture: Max Mason-HubersNRMA has posted a record profit of more than $100 millionfor the 2016/17 financial year, members and shareholders were told at the motoring body’s annual general meeting on Friday.
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The AGM, which was held in Newcastle for the first time in a decade, was the last hurrahfor outgoing Hunter-based chairman Kyle Loades.

Mr Loades will step down on December 3after 12 years on the NRMA board –three as chairman.

His successor, Sydney-based Tim Trumper, was announced at the meeting.

“Tim is an outstanding individual,” Mr Loades told the AGM. “He has great vision of where this organisation is going.”

The meeting heard about the organisation’s focus on the future and its efforts to embrace electric vehicles and driverless cars.

Mr Loades said the key piece of feedback from members was the need for improved public transport.

“In Newcastle, we know you can complete every road but you still need public transport,” he said.

“The light rail will be outstanding here in the Hunter.

“In terms of the future, NRMA will continue to lobby for improvements to that light rail.

“We’d like to see it extended to many other suburbs, so you’ll be able to hop onto the light rail out in the suburbs, head into the city and not have to deal with any form of congestion or looking around for a park.

“It’s important that the NRMA isn’t just Sydney-centric, that we get around to regions.”

Mr Trumper’s background is in analytics, technology, the internet, financial services and media.

“I firmly believe the NRMA has a rare opportunity to deliver services to meet the individual needs of our members and customers around transport and tourism, and to continue to expand our legendary service beyond simply roadside assistance,” he said.

“Great change is coming in mobility over the next few years.

“I believe the NRMA must play a leadership role in bringing the community with us on the journey and ensuring they benefit from these changes.”

Dawson in for Kookaburras

HECTIC: Australian representative Matt Dawson, playing for Norths earlier this year, has ongoing commitments with the Kookaburras including the International Festival of Hockey in Victoria from Sunday. Picture: Jonathan CarrollNext year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Gamesremainthe dangling “carrot” for Norths hockey product Matt Dawson, but right now he finds himself in the midst of a busyblock with the Kookaburras
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Fresh from his secondOceania Cup success last month Dawson is also eyeing off Hockey World League finals in India next month, but in the middle will be the International Festival of Hockeyin Victoria.

That tournament, the second of its kind, starts on Sunday with the Australian men’s team having travelledto Bendigo on Friday.

The Kookaburras play New Zealand twice on back-to-back days before moving to Melbourne and tackling Pakistan (November 8), the Kiwis again (November 9) and Japan (November 11). Play-offs are next Sunday (November 12).

“The last three months of the year were always going to be big,” Dawson said.

“But I guess it’s exciting times with a major tournament to finish …and in the back of my mind is always Commonwealth Games at the start of next year as well.

“It’s always nice to represent Australia but being Commonwealth Games and being on the Gold Coast would be pretty special.”

And in the absence of a few senior squad membersnext week the 23-year-old defender, who has 79 caps next to his name since debuting in 2014, wants to step up.

“We’ve probably lost a little bit of experience from the team for the end of the year,” he said.

“I think it’s a bit of my time to step up and take control a little bit.”

Meanwhile, Teralba’s Mariah Williams wasn’t named in the Hockeyroos squad for the International Festival of Hockey in Victoria, butinstead returns from injury fora three-Test series against Japan in Adelaide from November 15 to 18.

Glittering skyscraper plans fall over, buyers refunded

At least 581 apartment buyers have been left in the lurch after a Singaporean developer pulled the plug on a glittering 71 storey Melbourne tower following a long and bitter legal battle that undermined the project.
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Developer CEL Australia, a subsidiary of Singapore-listed construction giant Chip Eng Seng, will be forced to refund an estimated $50 million in buyer deposits after cancelling its Tower Melbourne project.

Tower Melbourne’s failure is the first breakdown of a major city project in years.

The tower designed by architects Elenberg Fraser was set rise 220 metres on the corner of Bourke and Queen streets.

Apartments in the project were controversially sold to buyers in 2013 before CEL had received planning approval after it was advertised as “an iconic place to live in the world’s most livable city.”

In a major upset, CEL’s glittering tower plans clashed with another project proposed by a deep-pocketed neighbour – a company controlled by the wealthy Singaporean Chow family – who launched vigorous legal action.

The subsequent clash turned Tower Melbourne into one of the city’s longest running and most litigious real estate disputes.

The rivals launched half a dozen cases – two Supreme Court appearances, a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal case, several Building Appeal Board (BAB) sittings and a formal complaint to Victoria’s ombudsman.

“Over the course of the past four years, CEL Australia has faced significant delays in the construction of its Tower Melbourne project, due to numerous legal disputes with an adjoining landowner,” CEL said Friday.

The numerous delays has pushed the prospect of building Tower Melbourne beyond the date of registration in buyers’ contracts, forcing the company to abort the project.

“CEL Australia has concluded that regrettably, Tower Melbourne in its current form is no longer viable for the company to develop,” it said.

“As a result, CEL Australia is left with no choice but to cancel all the outstanding purchaser contracts.”

CEL said it was informing purchasers about the cancellation and would pay back buyers’ deposits in full with any interest they had accrued.

“As at the date of this announcement, there are 556 sale contracts,” the group said. Buyers of the remaining units had already requested their contracts be terminated, it said. iFrameResize({resizedCallback : function(messageData){}},”#pez_iframe_tipstar_630″);

The legal battle that engulfed the project is still ongoing.

CEL’s plot at 160 Queen Street has sat silent for years, wrapped in scaffolding and screens with an idle crane perched on top and the company said it was now considering other options for the land including selling it.

The failure of the tower would not have a “significant impact on the net tangible assets and earnings per share” of the compnay this year. CEL said.

The developer’s other projects, Williamsons Estate Townhouses and Willow Apartments in Doncaster, were not affected.

It has recently acquired additional sites both in Melbourne and other Australian states on which it will launch projects in the second quarter of next year.

Are you a buyer or do you know more? Email [email protected]南京夜网419论坛

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Locke takes bedroom dreams to Universe

LONG WAIT: Jess Locke’s second album Universe features songs written over the past five years by the Central Coast indie-folk musician.
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THERE were days when Jess Locke punched out songs in her bedroom and simply uploaded them to music sharing sites.

It provided instant gratification, and most importantly, taught the Avoca Beach-raised indie-folk musician how to write songs.

That was 2009. Fast forward to a month ago and the Melbourne-based Locke releasedher secondalbum, Universe, and her first on the Smith Street Band’s label Pool House Records.

“I used to just record things on my laptop mike,” Locke said.“It was about having the need to put something down and out into the world, maybe a few people would hear it.

“It was a start, now it’s a much more organised process, rather than recording a song and posting it on the internet that night. There’s a year recording and mixing and planning a promo.

“It’s a longer process, but a broader reach and hopefully I’ll have more people hear it. Obviously I have more people involved. It’s not me in my bedroom anymore.”

While Universe is Locke’s second album, following 2015’sWords That Seem to Slip Away, it feels like a debut.

Jess Locke – Drive To DrinkWith the backing of a band, the record is morerealised and has already taken Locke’s vulnerable and conversational tunes to a greater audience.

“We’ve been playing them together for three years, some of the songs anyway, so it’s doesn’t feel too sudden for me,” Locke said.

“But in terms of releasing, if you look at the last release, it’s definitely a big step.

“My head has been in the process for a few years, but stepping back it’s bit of a marker and a pretty big development.”

There’s a beautiful contrast on Universe. Locke’s sweet vocals are reminiscent on The Howling Bells’ Juanita Stein, while musically there’s touches of Courtney Barnett and Angel Olsen.

Musically the arrangements are simplistic and almost poppy, but there’s a darkness permeating in the lyrics.

Particularly on the domestic violence-themed Violent Turn and rehashed opener Drive To Drink.

The latter originally appeared on Locke’s 2011 EP Skins, but is given the full band treatment on Universe.

“Honestly it was one of those things where my drummer suggested it,” she said of revisiting DriveTo Drink.

“We had a jam of it and it just worked. I felt like there was something, as we played it as a band, that felt new and made it a different song in a way. In that format it hadn’t been realised.

“After a few years it’s been given a new life.”

Universe had a lengthy gestation period. The majority of the album was written across five years before it wasrecorded in the bandroom of the Reverence Hotel in Footscray and inSmith Street Band bassistMichael Fitzgerald’s parent’s house.

Finally free of this batch, Locke plans to beginwriting the next album.

“This one has been such a slow build from over the years, it’s been awhile since I sat down and wrote,” Locke said.“I’m actually excited about that.”

Jess Locke plays at the Lass O’Gowrie Hotel on Thursday.

Five highlights in your travel week5 Nov

Scenic Helicopters … offering a range of Margaret River tours, from winery-hoppers to heli-fishing adventures. Scenic Helicopter owner/pilot Jackson McLeod has used his local knowledge of Western Australia’s Margaret River region to create a range of tours, from winery-hoppers to heli-fishing adventures.
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Get a bird’s eye view of the stunning Capes coastline, arrange a surprise romantic flight and picnic at a secret beach location, or spend time tasting and lunching at your favourite wineries.

While the Margaret River region isn’t necessarily as well known for its fishing as it is for wine, food and surf, Scenic’s ‘Helifishing Down South’ tour is growing in popularity as people discover the great ocean fishing there.

The Margaret River heli-tour season runs from late October to April and prices start from $100 per person.

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Peppers Soul … high-rise luxury of the Gold Coast.

Mantra Hotels is offering price cuts on stays at more than 20 Gold Coast properties, valid for bookings made by November 13 and for stays until March 31.

Stay, for instance, at Peppers Soul for a minimum three nights from $329 per night in a one-bedroom ocean-view apartment.

Other special rates include BreakFree Moroccan, which is priced from $126 per night in a one-bedroom apartment for a minimum five-night stay, and $156 per night for a minimum three-night stay at Mantra Crown Towers.

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Mercure Perth … a new room design reflects the city’s vibrant centre.

Mercure Perth has bid farewell to its former colour schemes and embraced a colourful new design following a $1 million refurbishment.

The hotel has transformed the look and feel of its guestroom interiors with bright, energetic and relaxed decor to reflect the hotel’s location in the heart of Perth’s vibrant city centre.

The program includes a makeover of 239 guestrooms and suites as well as the hotel’s rooftop leisure playground with heated swimming pool, sun deck and hot tub.

To celebrate, it is offering $1 breakfast on selected rates this summer, valid for bookings made till February 28 and for stays until March 31.

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In the heart of Darling Harbour action … Sydney’s Metro Apartments Darling Harbour.

Sydney’s Metro Apartments Darling Harbour is offering a Sydney attractions package priced at $269 per night Sunday to Thursday, and $369 per night on Fridays and Saturdays.

Kids under-12 stay free in a one-bedroom apartment, with free wi-fi and kids’ goodies pack on arrival.

Each family gets an attractions pass valid for two adults and two children, with choice of entry to two attractions, including Sydney Tower Eye, Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, Madame Tussauds, Wild Life Sydney Zoo and Manly Sea Life Sanctuary.

The offer is valid until the end of summer, and for bookings of two nights or longer.

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Truffle Lodge … luxurious glamping accommodation beside the Derwent.

It’s a case of the Australian bush camp meets Arabian nights.

Nestled on the banks of Tasmania’s Derwent River, just 45 minutes from Hobart’s city centre, in one of Australia’s first truffle orchards, Truffle Lodge offers a luxury glamping experience.

Activities include kayaking, biking, fly-fishing, walks through the truffle orchard and wildlife spotting.

Accommodation is in private, spacious African-safari-style tents, each equipped with king beds, lounges, heating and cooling, minibar, refrigerators, coffee machines, as well as its own bathroom inside a converted water tank.

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Former Jet returns in Sydney FC colours

Coming back to Newcastle on Saturday will not be easy for Chloe Logarzo.
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The 22-year-old Matildas midfielder began her W-League career with Sydney FC but joined the Jets in 2015 in a move she hoped would reignite her football career.

It worked. Logarzo found more game time with the Jets and earned a Matildas recall before playing at the Rio Olympic Games and establishing herselfin the national team.

But she was forced to watch from the sidelines last W-League season after sustaining an ankle injury while playing for Eskilstuna United in Norway.

Logarzo was expected back in Jets colours for 2017-18 but made a last-minute decision to sign withSydney.

It was a decision she did not made lightly and returning to play the Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday will be tough.

“It’s going to be hard.It’s going to be so weird being on the other side,” Logarzo said.

NEW CHAPTER: Chloe Logarzo is grateful for her time in Newcastle. Picture: Simone De Peak

“Stepping away from Sydney was probably the best decision I made for my career and especially stepping into the path of Deansy [Jets coach Craig Deans].

“I commend everything he’s done for me, getting me back into the Matildas team and always being a support for me when I didn’t really have anyone. He’s not just a coach, he’s a mate of mine now andI really appreciate everything he did for me.”

After a character-building year overcoming a string of injuries Logarzo said being closer to family in Sydney ultimately proved the deciding factor.

“It was really hard; it took me a lot longer than I thought to get back onto my feet,”she said.

“One injury led to another, which was heart-breaking for me but it’s good to finally be back on the pitch and it’s nice to be back at home surrounded by my family. Coming back to Sydney has made me realise how much I have matured as a player.”

Logarzo said the Sky Blues expected a tough battle in Newcastle and needed a more “unified” performance after losing 3-1 to Brisbane in round one.

“Obviously they had their first win on the weekend and they did well,” she said.

“Deansy isa great coach so he’s going to get the best out of all of them.”