Monthly Archives: July 2019

Marking the A-League’s greatest ever goalscorer on debut would seem a baptism of fire for most defenders, however Sydney FC’s new Dutch centre-back wasn’t overly impressed by Besart Berisha, suggesting the Melbourne Victory striker was “nothing special”.
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The 28-year-old Jordy Buijs played his first competitive game in more than four months in Thursday night’s 2-1 win over the Sky Blues’ oldest rivals – and it took little time for him to spark a feud with this season’s top marksman.

It began with a ninth minute shoving incident that triggered a heated response from the Albanian forward, who spent the remaining 81 minutes largely isolated at the arrowhead of Victory’s attack.

The former Eredivisie regular was part of a central defensive pairing given the task of nullifying the threat of Berisha. Having man-marked him for 90 minutes, Buijs revealed the performance of his opponent didn’t meet the hype.

“I think he is one of 11 players so he is nothing special, I think,” Buijs said.

“The only thing that he has is a great name here in Australia and I think we [refuted] this. How do I say this, we got him out of the game. This was a priority for me and Wilkie – my friend next to me – so he did nothing today.”

Instead, it was the mobility of Victory’s wingers and attacking midfielders that caused Sydney FC the most problems on Thursday night.

Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Marco Rojas and James Troisi combined for the first goal with a slick passing move and continued to threaten, forcing the Sky Blues to alter their gameplan after the half-hour mark.

Right back Aaron Calver was deployed deeper and instructed not to support in attack, allowing him to focus on limiting the threat of Khalfallah.

“They put some good pressure in the beginning in the first part of the first half and we had a little problem there, that’s why the goal was coming in the first part of the first half.

“After that we needed to change something, we had to stick a plan and after this goal we got the control again and we made it. We had one chance, one goal,” Buijs said.

The former NAC Breda and De Graafschap defender was forced to play a far more physical match than in the Dutch Eredivisie in a contest his coach described as a “dog fight”.

“Here we are fighting more and I like to fight so for me it’s not a problem,” Buijs said.

“Next week we can play more football because we have the team to play good football and today we had something different from the game. First we need to fight and after this we can play football after the game.”

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Mirka Federer watches the semi final match between her husband Roger Stan Wawrinka. Photo: Quinn RooneyIf Kim Kardashian’s plastic, see-through, thigh-high boots cemented last year’s place as the year of the “ugly” shoe, then Mirka Federer, wife of tennis champion Roger Federer, may have kicked off the year of the “ugly” jumper.
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During Federer’s five-set take down of Swiss compatriot Stan Wawrinka in Thursday night’s semi-final, the Fed’s player’s box included a noteworthy distraction in the form of Mrs Federer’s $1975 Gucci jumper.

The bright pink and green sweater, from the pre-fall 2016 collection, features an applique tiger and the words L’aveugle par amour, translating to “blind love”, or “blinded by love”, a phrase of questionable tact when your beloved is the one on centre court.

It’s fair to say social media was abuzz with talk about the jumper during the match, which lasted three hours and five minutes.

As for the pink and green combo, it’s got a long history and was reportedly popular in kitchens in the 1970s.

Gucci has used it in subsequent collections but other designers are also declaring gaudy is the new black. Prada is doing it in a handbag, while Giuseppe Zanotti and Salvatore Ferragamo are doing it in footwear.

Celebrities spotted in pink and green include Kate Waterhouse, who wore a Gucci dress on Cup Day 2016, and even Queen Elizabeth II, although her outfit was not made by the Italian fashion house.

But back to the jumper.

Gucci designer Alessandro Michele, since taking the reins in 2015, has successfully rebooted the brand’s cult status through his hefty injection of logomania and his “bohemian luxe” approach to dressing, including a massive injection of colour that others have rushed to emulate.

The clashing colours and bold prints, while not to everyone’s taste, mean that to fashion observers the item is instantly recognisable as Gucci, which translates to branding gold.

The jumper in question, featuring the tiger that has become one of Gucci’s latest totems, which also include a snake and a graffiti motif, harks back to the “ugly jumper” trend of the 1980s, which is having a strong influence on international fashion at the moment.

If you’re hunting for local examples of the origin of the trend, you only have to look back to Jenny Kee and Coogi, both cult labels in the 1980s, for plenty of references.

Whether the tiger jumper is worth nearly $2000 is a matter of personal taste but rest assured, if Gucci is doing it now, the high street stores will follow in due course.

And if you really can’t stomach the ugly jumper trend, hang tight. Like all trends, this too shall pass.

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The heat hasn’t stopped them, nor rain. They come with guitars, harmonicas, double basses and microphones. Some are first timers, others have been lugging in their gearfor a quarter century or more.
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Looking for fame (and a few tips): Jacob Ridgeway, from Newcastle, drew big crowds when he busked in Peel St. He also played a few indoor gigs, such as Teamo Teahouse, above, during festival. Picture: Peter Hardin 260117PHA054

They all have one thing in common –busking on Tamworth’s “Boulevard of Dreams” with the hope of being discovered and making it big in country music.

For the past week The Leader has been asking its readers to vote in a people’s choice poll for the best buskers this year via our website.

These are the ones you voted for as winners so far.

There’s plenty more out there, though –350 plus buskers actually –so get along to Peel Street and judge for yourself before the festival ends onSunday.


The accomplished guitarist and vocalist had a crowd around him from day one and has plucked his way into a few walk-up finals around town. You can catch him outside Perfect Pieces in Peel St when he not gigging with some admirers. Blake won the senior section in the Junior Battle of the Young Stars.


Three boys from Gulgong who showed us all how to play a box. Yes a box. From a charity store. Big. Green. Loud. As a drum. There were a few guitars and some great singing too. They had a rollicking good time and so did the crowd.



After a hiatus this ensemble is backand those who find them playing at the boutique end of Peel Streetare in for a treat. It’s a big band with a big sound.


He’s a bit shy, but boy can he play and sing. Izak has been setting up shop outside Illegal Lengthsand has been drawing in quite a fewmusic lovers with his skill on the guitar.


Do you want to learn how to yodel? Taylor can teach you …she sang it to us. It may not be the most popular of styles these days but with her banjo and her vocal gymnastics she sure is one to listen to. You’ll find her inPeel St near the sushi shop. On Saturday, Taylor took out the junior section in the Battle of the Bluegrass competition.


This Novacastrian has played at a number of spots around town, from the street to the back of tearooms, stages to walk-ups. His is a mix of modern pop and country, with a big voice and a rockingheart.


A trio of dynamic young performers who havelined up gigs around town. Their close harmonies and sweet voices still manage to cut through the din of the Boulevard of Dreams. Oh, and their drummer’s pretty laid back too. On Saturday, the Dennis Sisters took out the Battle of the Bands competition.


The finger picking goodness of Reid, from Adelaide, made me stop and do a double-take. He was playing a surfing classic, without a capo, and his fingers were like lightening. He’s been playing for, ooh, a good 18years and he’s only 23. Watch out for him. He’ll be back playing on the streettoday.

Boulevard of dreams: Buskers come lugging guitars, sound equipment and hopes to Tamworth each year. Photo: Gareth Gardner 200117GGC07


The official final judging of the Toyota Country Music Busking Competitionwill be at tonight’s concert in Bicentennial Park from 7pm. Entry to the competition, where the Top10 finalists will perform, is free.

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IT’S 2017 and yet sometimes it feels as though we are still in the dark ages.
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On Friday, there was an article on an Australian news website that was purely dedicated to what Roger Federer’s wife was wearing while he played in the Australian Open men’s semi-final.

Yes, Federer made it through to the final in a five-set match against Stan Wawrinka, but it was his wife Mirka that was instead the focus.

Mrs Federer had dared to wear a bright pink Gucci jumper that had an image of a tiger on it along with the words“L’ Aveugle Par Amour”, which is French for Blinded by Love.

And a big “whoopdy do” to that.

Sure, pan the camera and maybe take notice of what she’s wearing, it was bright and colourful after all, but to devote an entire article to it –please.

Of course this isn’t the first or the last time this has happened.

It seems to be something of a common occurrence in mainstream media, but it’s certainly a running commentary everyone could do without.

Who cares what Mrs Federer is wearing?

It’s her body, so it’s her choice.

Of course everyone would remember the days Australia had its first female Prime Minister in Julia Gillard.

Ms Gillard was constantly scrutinized for what she was wearing, how she spoke, her earlobes were “too long” and her hair was “too red”, according to some.

I’m not saying someone like Tony Abbott didn’t also draw attention for his appearance –how many times did we need to see the image of him in budgie smugglers?

Of course again it is his body, so his choice.

It’s just not something the media needs to focus on, particularly in this day and age.

Surely, focusing on someone’s achievements rather than how they look or what they wear would be far more scintillating.

Of course, the media isn’t all to blame.

The lounge chair critics were at it on Thursday night during the match, bashing Mrs Federer for her outfit.

The issue is this treatment does seem reserved just for women.

This has already been proven when KarlStefanovic wore the same suit on air on his morning television show for a year.

No one noticed.Imagine the outcry if a woman did the same thing.That’s the point –there shouldn’t be outcry and it needs to change. Pronto.

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STAR IN THE MAKING: Jimboomba-based tennis player, Joshua Irwin, aims to improve his Tennis Australia ranking in 2017. Photo: Louise Starkey
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Joshua Irwin is living proof hard work and dedication pays off.

The 16-year-old has trained with theFuture Pros TennisAcademy for over a decade, and has only just started to make his mark, climbing the tennis playing ladder, in the past 12 months.

Joshua excelledat theGold CoastCircuit of theJunior Development Series–winning the under 17s boys division–last year, and went on to scorefourth place at theHead QLD State Age competition in Rockhampton.

Now, the enthusiastic athlete said his eyes were set on becoming the best.

Joshua’s new yearresolution will be to improve his technique and mindset on the court, as well as his Tennis Australia ranking.

“I’m currently sitting around the 1600 mark and that’s up against the big guys like Nick Kyrgios, who is number one at the moment,” he said.

“I’m aiming to get to around the 1000 mark in the next 12 months or even 800 if I smash it.”

Future Pros TennisAcademy coaches Kiel Lindnerand AJ Thompson said Joshua had “huge potential” if the athletecontinued to train hard.

“Josh’s head space is probably his biggest downfall at the moment,” Kiel said.

“We need to get him focused and up his training, from three to seven hours on to about 15 hours training each week.

“He’s got what it takes and if he keeps going, pushing through the early mornings and not passing up training because he wants to sleep, there will be no stopping him.

“The talent is there and his skill set is second to none, and we’re really hoping to see him on the international circuit in the next few years.”

AJ said another goal on Joshua’s list will be to train for the 2017 Australian Money Tournamentseries–an array of semi-professional tournaments.

“He’ll start out training for, and doing, the Junior Tour and will go on to the Australian Money Tournament,” she said.

“Josh will also be looking to ramp up his school grades so he can look into the option of attending a tennis college, in America, after school.”

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