Troisi move to Victory vindicated, World Cup next stop

Twelve months ago James Troisi’s career was going nowhere. But things are certainly looking up now. Photo: Getty ImagesTwelve months ago James Troisi’s career was going nowhere. Yes, the 25-year-old attacker might have been on the books of joint owners Juventus and Atalanta, but that was a technicality.
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He wasn’t playing, there was little interest and he knew that his hopes of cracking a place in the World Cup squad were non existent in those circumstances.

So when then Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou asked him to consider joining the A-League club on a season-long loan deal, the Adelaide born Troisi decided to heed the request.

It isn’t easy for players in his situation – mid 20s, having played for the national team and been in Europe most of their professional careers – to return and play in domestic competition.

Some might see it as a step back, some might feel their pride dented, while others would regard it as a failure.

Not so Troisi. Even if he might have had doubts he impressed right from the start during his time with Victory, initially under Postecoglou, then under Kevin Muscat.

There was a moment or two when things could have turned out differently for Troisi in Muscat’s early days as a coach, when he publicly upbraided Troisi when the player seemed to be heading straight for the dressing room having been substituted for tactical reasons in the first half against Adelaide United at Etihad Stadium. Muscat made his player return to the bench and watch the rest of the half from the pine.

To his credit he knuckled down and made himself an indispensable part of Victory’s midfield and attack, eventually finishing the season as runner-up in the Johnny Warren medal behind German import Thomas Broich.

His form also put him right in the frame for a World Cup place, something he acknowledges would not have happened had he stayed in Europe. His presence in Brazil is vindication of his decision to come back, reload, and then go again.

”Ange gave me a phone call overseas and told me to come back but obviously I still have a lot to do. I have had a very successful season and want to continue that. I am here today for what I have been doing,” he said.

”Everyone is anxious and trying very hard, everyone wants to be in the final 23 or even the 11. We are all working hard, but unfortunately that’s how it is in football, some people have to miss out.”

Not that he believes he will.

“I think I have done enough to get into that final cut. I will continue to work hard in training and I am feeling good about it,” he said after another intense training session when Postecoglou called his players together on several occasions to talk as he watched them competing in a small-sided game.

Numerous players were missing good opportunities, but Troisi said the coach wasn’t talking to them about their profligacy in front of goal in a training game.

”No, it was towards the end, and everyone was pretty tired, but it was quite a conditioning session today and one of the last ones we will have leading up to the game on Monday (against a Brazilian club side)”, Troisi added.

For so many players the World Cup is a shop window, and Troisi is no different. He is hoping to relaunch his career in Europe, but says the focus has to be on the task ahead first. Like his teammates he, too, is happy that the public, and perhaps even the opposition, have written off Australia’s chances before a ball has been kicked.

”I am still contracted in Italy for two more years, after this I will sit down and see what options I have.”

Told by a journalist that the Chilean team had made a TV commercial to motivate their players which focused on their group but didn’t mention Australia, Troisi shrugs.

”I haven’t seen it, but for us it doesn’t really matter, we are going to focus on the three games and do the best we can. In a way, maybe it’s good. No-one thinks we are going to be successful, so we want to show them differently.”

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Tony Abbott says Malcolm Turnbull isn’t after his job

Turnbull Abbott “Not my job to impugn the integrity of people”: Tony Abbott. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
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Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull had dinner with Clive Palmer. Photo: Rob Homer

Clive Palmer says he will block legislation until he gets more staff. Photo: Andrew Meares

Tony Abbott has dismissed the idea that Malcolm Turnbull is going after his job, saying it is “perfectly reasonable” that senior Coalition MPs meet with members of the crossbench following Mr Turnbull’s dinner with Clive Palmer last week.

In a sign of the delicate relationship between Mr Abbott and Mr Palmer, the Prime Minister would also not be drawn on whether he thought the Palmer United Party leader was honest.

“It’s not my job to give a character reference for my political competitors,” he told Channel Ten. “But on the other hand, it’s also not my job to impugn the integrity of people who may well be our negotiating partners.”

The Coalition faces a tough battle to get key budget measures through the Senate, such as the GP co-payment and changes to pensions, Newstart and university fees. Labor, the Greens and the Palmer United Party have all expressed opposition to the plans.

Mr Abbott has begun talks with incoming senators Bob Day and David Leyonhjelm but so far Mr Palmer has warned he will hold the government’s legislative agenda to ransom until he gets more staff.

Last Wednesday night, Mr Palmer had dinner with Mr Turnbull in a Canberra restaurant in a move that sparked fears among Coalition MPs that it was an attempt to destabilise Mr Abbott’s leadership, according to reports.

The Prime Minister on Sunday dismissed any suggestion about an attack on his leadership.

“I think it’s perfectly reasonable for senior members of the Coalition to talk with independent and minor party senators because … we have a budget to get through the Parliament.”

Mr Abbott added that there was “nothing wrong” with Mr Palmer having a relationship with the Communications Minister and others.

“Over time, I’m confident that he will have a constructive relationship with the government.”

Mr Abbott also hit back at opposition to the Coalition’s first budget from other parties.

“Whether it’s Bill Shorten, whether it’s the Greens, whether it’s others – it’s one long chorus of complaint. And in the end, what the public wants is a government that knows where it wants to go,” he said.

“The man with the plan has an extraordinary advantage over the person who has just got the complaint.”

Mr Abbott said that he was currently talking to “various minor party and independent senators”.

“They’re really courtesy calls as much as anything,” he said.

He conceded that it would not be easy to negotiate the budget through the Senate but appeared to take heart from history, noting that it was unusual for governments to have an upper house majority.

“And yet, almost no government has failed to get the major elements of its budget through.”

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Raped 15 years ago, Claire McFarlane readies for her final fight

Claire McFarlane Final fight: Claire McFarlane. Photo: Kate Geraghty
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Seeing it through: Claire McFarlane must travel to Paris to appear in court as she seek compensation. “It is such a struggle.” Photo: Kate Geraghty

When Claire McFarlane boards her flight to France on Monday, she won’t be looking forward to strolling the Champs-Élysées or soaking up the Parisian sun as so many of her fellow passengers will.

Instead, Ms McFarlane will be mentally preparing herself for the final step of a 15-year battle for justice from the French legal system.

In July 1999, the then-21-year-old aspiring artist was dragged into a lane near the fifth arondissement bar where she worked and was bashed, raped and left for dead.

After spending weeks in hospital, and incurring thousands of dollars in medical bills, Claire returned home to Australia and tried to rebuild her life. In Paris, police archived the case.

Almost a decade later, and just two weeks shy of the expiration of the 10-year statute of limitations, a DNA match identified Cameroonian-born French citizen Eric Priso-Nseke Mouelle as Ms McFarlane’s attacker.

Police told her to fly to Paris straight away to participate in a line-up.What seemed to be a resolution to her ordeal turned out to be the start of a new nightmare as she struggled to negotiate the complex and costly French legal system.

She had to engage her own lawyer and estimates she spent about $30,000 on legal fees and associated expenses leading up to and during the two and a half year-long criminal procedings.

Mouelle, it transpired, had sexually assaulted another young woman in the same location weeks prior to his attack on Ms McFarlane, but police had not made it public. In November 2011 he was sentenced to 12 years jail with a non-parole period of five years for both offences.

McFarlane received a small amount of money in victim’s compensation, which went towards paying off her medical debts.

But in October 2013, her request to recoup her legal expenses was rejected by French authorities.

On advice of her lawyer, Ms McFarlane decided to appeal, only to be told she would have to appear in court to give evidence.

“Having to relive the trauma and intensity of the attack over and over again for the past five years has almost destroyed me,” she said.

“But I thought I’ve come so far I need to see this through to the end.”

Ms McFarlane’s case will be heard on Thursday. She estimates it will cost her another $5000 in legal fees, plus airfares and accommodation expenses.

“I feel I have completed a civil duty by taking an extremely violent man off the streets of Paris so that he does not hurt any more women. It is such a struggle to come to terms with the fact that I may never be reimbursed by the French government for doing so,” she said.

Ms McFarlane, who runs her own business from her home in Byron Bay, has launched an appeal via crowdfunding website gofundme to help cover her expenses.

Ms McFarlane says Thursday’s hearing will be her last fight with the French criminal justice system.

“Next week no matter what happens this will be the end for me. I’m done.”

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James Holland dares to dream

Australia midfielder James Holland. Photo: Getty ImagesAustralia midfielder James Holland says Monday’s match against Clube Parana, a Brazilian second division side, will form a key part of the Socceroos preparation for their opening World Cup clash with Chile.
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“It’s really important,” he said. “I think [coach] Ange [Postecoglou] is still trying to instilhis philosophy and how he wants to play. The fact that we all play at different clubs we need that game time to help instilthat philosophy in our game. This game is important for sure.”

Holland, 25, is hopeful he will make the cut for the 23-man squad, saying there’s no point in being in Brazil if you don’t think you can.

“I think every player has to believe in themselves, that’s natural,” he said. “If you don’t believe in yourself you won’t get very far, I think that’s important.”

Holland’s move to Austria, Vienna has developed his game – he has played Champions League soccer this season – and given him the chance to stake his claim on the international stage. But, he believes, there is more to come.

“I hope there’s a long way to go,” he said. “That’s the plan. You always want to improve. I’m lucky enough to get my opportunity over the last 18 months and I took it and hopefully I can keep riding that wave and keep on improving.”

“I think in football your whole world can change in 24 hours and I think the World Cup is an opportunity for everyone, but at the same time we’re here for Australia and we’re here for the team. If you focus on that everything else will fall into place.”

He argues that Australia’s inexperience and rawness can work in its favour.

“I think when you have a young team you have an ambitious and a hungry team so I think that can be the the difference,” he said. “I’m not sure if experience matters. If you’re good enough you’re old enough. It doesn’t matter how old you are.

“So I think that’s what we have. Every player wants to win, every player wants to work for each other and I think that will be the difference. As a group we focus on what we want to achieve and to be honest Ange has mentioned that we don’t want to put limits on what we can do.

“Anything’s possible and that’s the mindset we want to go in with.”

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Google receives 12,000 requests to be ‘forgotten’ on first day

Google is fielding thousands of applications to change their search results.Over 12,000 people have lodged requests to be “forgotten” by Google on the first day the search giant offered the service.
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The deluge of requests comes after a ruling in early May by the European Court of Justice that gave individuals the right to have outdated or inaccurate articles or links removed from search results.

Google has previously labelled the court’s finding disappointing.

“The court’s ruling requires Google to make difficult judgments about an individual’s right to be forgotten and the public’s right to know,” said a Google spokesman in a statement.

Grounds for removal include “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed”.

The service is only available to European citizens. If they are successful, the links will only be removed from European search findings.

Google has so far declined to indicate how quickly the links will be removed. The forms will be fielded by Google staff rather than software.

But the results don’t disappear completely, as a message will be displayed with the findings to note the results have been modified to comply with legal requirements.

Applicants must include an explanation of why the information should be removed and digital copies of photo identification.

Google is setting up an advisory committee to guide the process.

The group will include former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and Oxford Internet Institute ethics professor Luciano Floridi.

In a written statement, Mr Floridi said the committee would require some hard and rather philosophical thinking.

“I’m delighted to join the international advisory committee established by Google to evaluate the ethical and legal challenges posed by the Internet,” he wrote.

The successful court case that necessitated Google’s action was brought by a Spanish man, Mario Costeja Gonzalez, who successfully fought the tech giant to have 16-year old articles about his home being repossessed removed from search results.

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