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Football star Ben Cousins is to visit Perth.                                                                                                  article-cousins-420x0                       

Cousins will talk to Adrian Barich about his rise, fall and resurgence during the AFL Greats Luncheon.

AFL legend Kevin Sheedy will also be appearing.
AFL Greats Luncheon
Ben Cousins and Kevin Sheedy
Perth Convention Centre
12.30pm Sunday 30th August 2009

For further details Brad Hopes on 9243 4457 or 9243 5794
E-mail
sales@bhpromotions.com.au  

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Socceroos star Tim Cahill relived his 2006 World Cup heroics with two second half goals against Japan to ensure Australia ended their qualifying campaign for South Africa 2010 in triumph. 

Australia won 2-1 at the MCG on Wednesday night, meaning they went unbeaten through the eight games of their final phase of qualifying and stayed ahead of Japan at the top of their group to earn Asian bragging rights.

Cahill, who scored the first two goals in Australia’s World Cup history to spark a famous 3-1 comeback victory over Japan in Germany in 2006, was again the shining light for the Socceroos against the Blue Samurai.

While both sides were already guaranteed World Cup qualification before Wednesday night’s match, Cahill’s second half heroics at least gave an MCG crowd of 69,238 plenty to cheer about.

There had been precious few moments for the green and gold army to get excited about before the break, as Australia continued the effective but unadventurous style that had served them well previously in the campaign.

Their one real chance of the first half came in the 10th minute, when Cahill ran onto a long ball in the box.

His left foot shot was not hit with enough venom to trouble goalkeeper Seigo Narazaki, who blocked it away.

But the rebound ended up with Mile Sterjovski, whose much more powerful shot required a brilliant reflex move by the `keeper to deflect it over the crossbar.

Cahill had another chance from the resultant corner, with a header from the box, but was wide of the target.

Japan did most of most of the attacking for the rest of the half and eventually opened the scoring through Tulio Tanaka in the 40th minute.

Tanaka made a well-timed run into the middle of the box from a corner kick and leapt over Cahill to head it home.

It broke a seven-game streak of clean sheets for Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who had spent his previous 710 minutes in goal without conceding.

But the rare blot on their defensive copybook stirred the Socceroos into life after break and they attacked constantly in the opening stages of the second half.

It took a brilliant Cahill header to level the scores in the 59th minute.

He produced a huge leap above two Japanese defenders at the left side of the box to connect with a long-range Vince Grella free kick and head it into the right side of the net.

The goal seemed to inspire Cahill to press even harder for the winner, getting onto the end of several promising attacking moves in the following minutes.

He eventually gave the Socceroos the lead in the 76th minute, when a Nicky Carle corner kick from the right side floated over a pack of players in the box.

Cahill, lurking at the back, got enough of his right leg to the ball to send it home and lift the crowd to their feet.

It was his 16th goal in 33 internationals and he was later given a huge ovation as he walked to the bench in the 86th minute, having once again lifted Australia to a comeback victory over Japan.

But, asked after the match about his scoring record against Japan, Cahill would only speak about the Melbourne crowd, a possible snub to the media who have criticised the Socceroos’ playing style.

“I’d just like to thank the crowd, the lads, a great turnout in Melbourne, I’m so proud to be here, so proud to play tonight so I think the credit just goes to the crowd, you were brilliant,” he said.

“This is a step forward for us, it’s great to finish top of the group.”

Source  :  www.thewest.com.au

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SYDNEY (AFP) — Prime Minister Kevin Rudd officially launched Australia’s bid to host the football World Cup in 2018 or 2022.

Rudd told an official ceremony at Parliament House in the national capital Canberra that Football Federation Australia (FFA) had the full backing of the government to bid for the showpiece event.

“The sheer odds are tough against Australia, eight other countries, but the reason the government had got behind the bid is that we as a nation can rise behind this great bid,” Rudd said.aus_worldcup

The premier said the chance to host a World Cup was a great opportunity for the nation.                               

“The challenges are great, but the prize is much greater,” he said.

“I salute those who have had the courage and the initiative and creativity to bring forth this idea.”

English Premier League stars, national skipper Lucas Neill and goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, also spoke at the launch, urging Australians to throw their support behind the World Cup bid.

FFA chairman Frank Lowy said it would be an “unparalleled opportunity” for Australia to earn official acceptance as a World Cup host.

“On the world stage, there is no event with the same level of global appeal or audience reach as the FIFA World Cup,” the property billionaire said in a statement.

Lowy said Australia?s “secret weapon” for winning the World Cup bid was the Australian people, and Australia’s desirability as a travel destination.

“People from all over the world want to visit our country and thanks to the performance of the Socceroos at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, as well as the many thousands of Australian fans who followed them, the rest of the world has a very positive view of us.”

Lowy also pointed to Australia’s record of hosting successful major sports events such as the 1956 and 2000 Olympic Games.

Australia are among nine bidders, along with Belgium-Netherlands, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Portugal-Spain, Russia and the United States, for the 2018 World Cup.

The same nine bidders are also in the running for the 2022 World Cup, along with Qatar and South Korea.

World football governing body FIFA will announce both the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts in December 2010.

Australia have already qualified to play in next year’s World Cup in South Africa.

Source  :  www.google.com

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Socceroos qualify for 2010 World Cup

AUSTRALIA have booked a ticket to the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa with a scoreless draw against a determined Qatar at the Al Sadd Club in Doha.

Needing only a point to officially seal qualification, the Socceroos got the job done against a youthful Qatar side to ensure back-to-back World Cup appearances for the first time.

The home side proved tougher opposition than they had in three previous losses, but Australia could feel unlucky not to have won after Tim Cahill struck the post with a spectacular bicycle kick in the first half and Qatari keeper Qasem Burhan made several brilliant saves in the second.                                      world cup 2010
 
The win means the Socceroos cannot finish any lower than second in Asia’s Group A, with the top two teams earning qualification.

They joined Asian rivals Japan as the first two sides to qualify for next year’s tournament, after the Blue Samurai sealed their spot with a 1-0 win over Uzbekistan earlier on Saturday.

Hosts South Africa are exempt from qualifying.

Both sides made a tentative start in front of a small but vocal  Doha crowd, with the Socceroos content to keep possession in the hot and humid conditions.

Qatar’s star striker Sebastian Soria Quintana looked dangerous early on and had the first real chance of the half after getting in behind Chris Coyne, but he flashed his shot across the face of goal.

The Socceroos muscled their way back into the game before Cahill was denied one of the great goals by the woodwork in the 27th minute.

Josh Kennedy, who impressed up front, flicked on a Mark Bresciano free kick with his head, before Cahill found himself in space, controlled with his chest and drilled an overhead kick into the right upright.

Harry Kewell became increasingly menacing after switching to the right win, going close to scoring himself before creating another move which led to Vince Grella firing a volley just over the bar in the 33rd minute.

Qatar had two chances late in the half with Cahill blocking Quintana’s effort and Mark Schwarzer punching away an ambitions long shot from Ahmed Faris.

Australia stepped up their game early in the second half with a flash of chances within a 10-minute period.

The first came to an unlikely source in defender Chris Coyne, who had his shot cleared off the line after attempting to turn in a headed Cahill effort.

The impressive Everton midfielder was again another stunner when his powerful drive was brilliantly saved in the 57th minute by Burhan.

Burhan was called into action again to tip over a Kennedy shot from out wide and once more in the 63rd minute when Kewell collected a brilliant Grella ball, cut inside Ibrahim Majed and forced another great save by Burhan with his right foot.

Continued to threaten and fired across the face of goal in the 80th and although they didn’t get the goal they perhaps deserved, it meant little when the whistle blew to ensure another historic World Cup appearance.

The Socceroos now have matches against Bahrain and Japan at home to celebrate.

Source www.news.com.au

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BLUE and white blood runs in their _42945611_wembley416veins. They eat, breathe and sleep blue and white, and bleed blue and white blood.            

Who are they?

They are the Perth Chelsea Football Club Supporters Group, and they might be coming to a pub near you.

About 70 people, some from the northern suburbs, make up the blue and white army, a small but dedicated band of followers whose mission it is to support and celebrate, lose and lament with the team from their Perth base.

Their fearless leader, president Steve Van Doorn, from Butler, co-ordinates the group’s activity, which mainly consist of late-nights and early mornings in various pubs or supporters’ houses to catch live telecasts of each game in the October to March season.

“The northern suburbs have a strong contingent of more than 35 members who have been meeting regularly in Butler, Quinns, Kinross, Banksia Grove or Landsdale for the last six years,” he said.

Mr Van Doorn said the group ranged in age, from the four- and five-year-old children of members, to men and women in their 60s, some London ex-pats whose passion for the round ball game followed them across the ocean.

FA Cup fever has gripped the group, with a Chelsea versus Everton final on Saturday, May 30.

“It’s a 10pm kick-off, which is really an early night for us considering the telecasts of most games start about 2.45am here,” he said.

“One of our members wore a ‘The Who’ T-shirt to a game we won so now he can’t take it off until we’ve won the final – it’s just a superstition but he wears that shirt like a badge of pride.”

Source   www.inmycommunity.com.au

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SOCCEROOS coach Pim Verbeek looks to have secured the services of promising Perth-born Middlesborough defender Rhys Williams.

The youngster turned down Wales to pledge his international future to Australia. pim-verbeek
The 20-year-old, who has a Welsh grandfather, has played 10 times for the Wales under-21 side but is yet to kick a ball for the senior line-up despite being called into the squad several times.

Williams had recently threatened to commit to Wales after being overlooked for the Socceroos but Verbeek, who is in Europe keeping tabs on Australia’s overseas-based players, has convinced the versatile defender to pursue his dream of playing for Australia.

Williams’ fate now lies with FIFA’s transfer committee but if he gets the rubber stamp he could be eligible to be selected for Australia’s World Cup qualifier in Qatar on June 6.

“Rhys has informed us that he wants now to play for Australia,” Wales spokesman Ceri Stennett said of Williams, who can play in central defence or at right back.

“The wheels are now in motion, and a decision will be made by FIFA’s transfer committee.

“But it looks like a fait accompli now.”

Williams, who left Australia at 16 to become a trainee at Middlesborough, made a name for himself this season on loan at promotion-chasing Championship club Burnley.

He impressed in 17 appearances with the club before being forced to return to Middlesborough before the promotion playoffs after failing to have his loan deal extended.

Burnley will face Reading on Wednesday morning (AEST) for a place in the promotion playoff final against Sheffield United.

Williams was not in Middlesbrough’s squad for Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to Newcastle, which consigned them to almost certain relegation, but he could feature in their final two games of the season.

His displays for the Middlesbrough reserves prior to joining Burnley earned him a contract extension with the club until June 2011 and also attracted the attention of Welsh under 21s coach Brian Flynn.

Williams first forced himself into the senior Wales set-up for last September’s qualifier against Azerbaijan but was yet to make his senior debut which, under FIFA regulations, would have meant he could not play for Australia.

His manager Gary Williams said in March the player saw his future with Wales because he had not had contact from anyone else, but hinted he was still interested in playing for Australia.

Wales said they would not be hurried into giving him a cap just to ensure he he was tied to them and, with his 21st birthday looming, Verbeek has now convinced Williams he has a future with the Socceroos.

www.news.com.au


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Entertainment

Entertainment

The sun shone. The beer flowed. The Four’n Twenty meat pies were a hit. The Aussies thrashed the Poms. The Americans were largely clueless about what they were watching.

That sums up the second annual Westfield Hollywood Ashes cricket match held on the picturesque Woodley Park cricket field in Los Angeles on Saturday, with retired Australian paceman victory.

leading a team of Australian celebrities and ring-ins to a 29 run victory.

England were the favourites for the Twenty 20 contest.

At last year’s inaugural Hollywood Ashes, England scored a one run upset victory over an Australian team led by one of the all-time greats, Steve Waugh.

With lanky 65 test veteran Graham Hick at the helm this year, the English team also included actor Julian Sands, a star of the action TV series 24, and 65-year-old UK and US Dancing with the Stars judge Len Goodman.

England also had plenty of celebrities in the VIP tent, including Monty Python funnyman Eric Idle and comedienne Tracey Ullman, the game’s official “coin tosser”.

“It is one of the greatest wins of my entire cricket career,” Kasprowicz, a 38 test and 43 one day international veteran for Australia, said with tongue firmly implanted in cheek.

“Nineteen years of first class cricket, so yeah, as you can see it is a big moment.

“I’m glowing.”

Australia batted first and set the healthy target of 153, with Kasprowicz the top scorer with 29 not out off 17 balls, and former Perfect Match host Cameron Daddo drawing on his high school cricket days to add a quick fire 23 off 17 balls.

England managed just 135, with Hick scoring 20 not out.

Jessie Spencer , a star on the TV series House, and celebrity chef Curtis Stone, were late scratchings from the Australian team but former Calvin Klein underwear model model Travis Fimmel was a favourite among the female fans in the 800 or so strong crowd.

Fimmel, however, was limp with the bat, scoring a duck.

Kasprowicz gave a one word answer when asked after the victory if any members of his team may be good enough to sneak a spot in Australia’s test or one day team.

“No,” Kasprowicz replied.

Daddo was not so sure.

“I disagree with that,” LA-based Daddo, 44, who has appeared in numerous US TV series including 24, Without a Trace and Boston Legal, said.

“I think Travis has a good shot and I think I can carry the drinks for the test team.”

The biggest laugh came when an American spectator watching her first cricket game asked why it was called “The Ashes”.

“Who died?” she asked.

http://www.thewest.com.au

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