Territory Stories

Sunday Territorian 4 Apr 2010



Sunday Territorian 4 Apr 2010


Sunday Territorian; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited

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38 Sunday Territorian, Sunday, April 4, 2010 www.sundayterritorian.com.au P U B : N T N E W S D A T E : 4 -A P R -2 0 1 0 P A G E : 3 8 C O L O R : C M Y K WHAT I did was silly and I want to apologise for it. Formula One driver LEWIS HAMILTON after he was caught by police doing a burnout outside the Albert Park circuit last weekend. Who said what .... Mark Webber Roger Federer ASK Shane Bond to come back and play. Australian cricket captain RICKY PONTINGS advice for New Zealand after his team completed a 2-0 Test series whitewash. I honestly believe he can win the Masters, no doubt. Its just the script that was written for him. ADAM SCOTT says this weeks Masters is tailormade for another Tiger Woods miracle. People yell things out at me, like Hey, Tiger, how about all those blondes. Tiger Woods impersonator CANH OXELSON on how things have changed. We dont go to the MCG on the weekend and pull down the Jim Stynes Room and call it the Eddie McGuire Room. Collingwood president EDDIE McGUIRE on Essendons plan to temporarily rename the Coventry end of Etihad Stadium the Lloyd end today. I see a different face and the eyes of Casey have changed. Ducati boss VITTORIANO GUARESCHI predicts good things for Casey Stoner in this years MotoGP championship after his health issues in 2009. Hes got a lot more skills than me. Hes bigger, stronger and he can kick a lot further. Im a dinosaur compared to him. worlds most capped rugby player GEORGE GREGAN on current Wallabies and Queensland Reds halfback Will Genia. It pisses me off coming back here, to be honest. Its a great country but weve got to be responsible for our actions and its certainly a bloody nanny state when it comes to what we can do. Australian F1 driver MARK WEBBER following Hamiltons run-in with the law. My game has issues at the moment. It fuels my desire to go to the practice courts because I dont like to lose these type of matches. ROGER FEDERER warns rivals better days are ahead after his shock loss to Tomas Berdych in the Miami Open. REAL Madrid winger Cristiano Ronaldo says he cant bear to watch the Champions League since his side was eliminated from the competition at the last 16 stage for the sixth successive season. I dont like to watch the Champions League matches because it leaves me a bit annoyed because I know that our team was good enough to remain in the competition and we are not because of our own fault, he said during an interview with public television TVE. MICHAEL Sim says the injury that prompted him to withdraw from next weeks US Masters should be healed within a month. Sim has not played in three weeks because of a damaged tendon in his right shoulder, an injury he deemed severe enough to pull out of what would have been his Masters debut. Obviously, Im quite disappointed to miss playing in my first Masters, Sim said. If I was physically able to play I would be there. Unfortunately, the injury is such that I cannot compete. WAYNE Rooney will be back in action within two to three weeks after suffering ankle ligament damage, according to Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Rooney sustained the injury late in Uniteds Champions League quarterfinal first leg defeat at Bayern Munich on Tuesday, sparking fears the England forward could miss the rest of the season and the World Cup. But scans showed the problem is not as bad as first thought and Ferguson said: The nation can breathe again. Were relieved. It could have been worse. There is no bone damage or serious ligament damage. The nation can stop praying. AFTER Caster Semenyas lawyers announced they will take legal action to allow her to run, Athletics South Africa said the 800m world champion, who is at the centre of a gender dispute, could race next week if she talks to the right people. Semenya, who has not run since she won the world title in August because she is waiting for the results of her gender verification tests, was denied a chance to run on Tuesday at a meet in Stellenbosch. Theres a process, ASA acting head Ray Mali said about Semenyas chances of competing next week. If she would like to run she has to talk to the right people. CAMBRIDGE was determined to avenge last years defeat to Oxford when the rival crews took to the River Thames in the 156th University Boat Race overnight. The Light Blues lost the worldfamous annual duel between Englands oldest universities last time out but their eight oarsmen particularly their three veterans from 2009 were determined to recapture the trophy. Ottens' sights on third flag REFRESHED: Champion Geelong ruckman Brad Ottens ... a third flag in four years could earn him and senior teammates a long summer break O N the Saturday after last years AFL Grand Final, Brad Ottens stepped on to a plane to Europe and forgot about football for five weeks. It was the perfect full stop to one of the most challenging seasons of his career, seven days after he had played in the most emotionally draining match of his life. The reward from Geelongs pulsating 2009 premiership win over St Kilda was tangible. It came in the form of a premiership medal to sit alongside Ottens 2007 version. It also served as a form of redemption from the pain of missing out 12 months earlier in a grand final the club was expected to win. But the reward that Cats coach Mark Thompson gave some of the more senior Cats after the success was an added bonus three months off. For Ottens, a player who had battled a knee injury all season, it was just what he needed. Thompson could sense the older members, many of whom had been up since 2005, were spent and needed time to not only recuperate physically, but also psychologically. Ottens, and others, were given the best part of 12 weeks away from the club in a strategy designed to keep them sharp and better equipped to challenge for a third flag. He travelled through England, France, Italy and Spain with his now fiancee Sarah Wynn, before doing a personalised training program in December. He didnt have to front at the club until January 4 and he arrived in the perfect frame of mind to chase more flags. Clubs are so eager to get back to training earlier and earlier and sometimes each year rolls into the next, Ottens said. As a young bloke, you dont think too much about it. But once you have done it for 10 or 12 years in a row, you sort of hang out for a bit of time off. Its not the physical side or the training over summer that weighs you down. It is the mental side of football that so often gets overlooked. Thompsons decision to extend the break for the veterans providing them with their own training programs they needed to adhere to has been criticised by some as potentially hindering the Cats flag hopes. Ottens, 30, strongly disagreed with the criticism. In fact, he said it would steel this group and perhaps even extend their premiership window beyond this season. Its a bit of an experiment because no one has done it before, he said. But I think it is going to be a positive for us, and a real way for the future. Bomber (Thompson) has been keen to try a few different things to extend guys careers. He knows by keeping the guys keen and hungry that it can benefit the club. For Ottens, that motivation has not simply been about the long break over summer. It also has to do with the fact that he played so little in 2009, before turning a year that could so easily have been one to forget into one of the most satisfying of his career. Thats why he rates the 2009 flag as more important to him than the 2007 one. Last year was a really trying year for me personally, Ottens revealed. The heartbreak of losing the 2008 grand final as well as missing a lot of footy last year was tough. Ottens managed only six games after injury derailed his season and threatened to do the same to his flag dream. What looked like a routine medial ligament strain suffered in the Round 2 clash with his old side Richmond, turned into a year-long battle to win his spot back. I was thinking after the operation that it would be six or eight weeks and I would be back playing, he said. I had a complication after the operation that really slowed things right down. I think it was a compilation of a few things. Then the leg wasted away and the muscle wasted away a bit, and it took me all that time to get it right again. Ottens said he was constantly asked when he would be right to resume. The standard answer was two weeks. It became a bit of a running joke, Ottens said. But it was no laughing matter. Through the long rehabilitation, the Cats played themselves into a position to challenge for another flag, to make amends for the one they let slip to Hawthorn in 2008. Mark Blake and Shane Mumford were holding down the ruck slots in his absence, though Thompson desperately wanted his best ruckman back in time for the finals. I knew we were a massive chance and I was potentially going to miss out, he said. I kept saying two weeks because that was what I really believed. I just kept thinking I was not that far off. But the reality of getting back in time was slipping away. In the end, Ottens decided to roll the dice with the clubs VFL side just before the finals. Playing in the VFL when I did was probably do or die, he said. I was still hobbling around a bit. A low point came when he was playing out at Cramer Reserve in Preston for Geelongs VFL side. I really struggled that day, he said. It felt as if I had taken a step backwards. I thought that might have been it (for the year). But just when the doubts that had nagged away at him resurfaced, the tide turned for him and for Geelong. A strong VFL game the following week convinced Ottens and Thompson that he should resume in the Round 22 clash with Fremantle his first senior game in 147 days. I had to play in Round 22 as there was no way I would have been picked cold (for a final), he explained. That was the reality. Blakey was doing well, and Shane Mumford was not doing a bad job. I had to try and win my spot back or I was going to miss out. While still not at his peak fitness, Ottens was structurally so important to the Cats as they ticked off wins over the Bulldogs in the qualifying final and Collingwood in the preliminary final. Likewise, in the drama-packed Grand Final, he turned in a gritty performance, winning a game-high 25 hit-outs, despite the fact that his limited game time hindered his match fitness. I was probably a little bit away from being (100 per cent), he said. I had had so much time out of footy, that it left me a little underdone. If I had been able to have another two or three games, I would not have been too far away (from peak fitness). But I was just happy to do my bit for the team. He has never been more exhausted than on grand final day. It was a gruelling sort of day. It was by far the most intense game I have played in by a long way. Such was Ottens importance around the club in 2009 that, despite his own personal battles, he was presented with the best clubman award. That was a huge honour for me, he said. I love Geelong and I love being a part of the club. I would say that even without the two premierships. The ominous thing for rival AFL clubs is that the ruckman believes the streak of success is not over. He maintains the club is in a great position to challenge, despite the supposed distractions of Mathew Stokes club-imposed suspension and Gary Abletts will-he-or-wonthe-go to the Gold Coast saga. We are not finished yet, he insisted. We want to get as much (success) out of this group as we can. We are as hungry as ever. A third premiership in four years might just earn Ottens and the Cats another long break next pre-season.