Demon Cross calls time on AFL career

Melbourne veteran Daniel Cross will play his last AFL game when the Demons host Greater Western Sydney at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.


Cross has featured regularly at senior level in his two seasons at the rebuilding club but was informed this week that he would not be offered another contract.

He joined the Demons ahead of the 2014 season after finishing at the Western Bulldogs and will end his career with a tally of 249 games.

“Crossy has been an important person in our club’s rebuild and we hope this continues with a role he has been offered in the football department,” football manager Josh Mahoney told the club’s website.

“When we first spoke to Crossy, we saw his role at the club as two-fold. Firstly, he could play a role on field and just as important he could play a major role off field working with our players, showing them how to prepare as an AFL footballer.

“He has performed both roles extremely well over two years. His performance last weekend highlighted his character and competitiveness, where he only knows one way to play and that is by giving everything you have and never giving up.

“Right to the end, he wanted to keep playing.”

Cross, renowned for his impeccable work ethic, was rated the Demons’ best player after his 39-possession performance in their heavy loss to Fremantle last week.

In an emotional farewell speech, he urged his teammates to leave no stone unturned as they go about trying to climb back up the ladder.

“It is a privileged existence that we live as footballers and athletes and certainly not one I’ve taken for granted in my 15 years of playing,” Cross said, via the club’s website.

“I was never the most talented or fast player to have ever graced this wonderful game that we play but I wanted to make sure that every single day of every single week that I wasn’t satisfied until I improved myself as a player and was on the right path to help my team succeed.

“Unfortunately fairytales don’t happen that often in this game but I’m very proud of the story that I’ve written.”

Cross, a best and fairest winner at the Bulldogs in 2008, debuted in round 10 of the 2002 season and went on to play 210 games for the Dogs.


Geelong Grammar ‘wanted to avoid scandal’

Geelong Grammar School wanted abuse complaints to vanish, and one boarder resorted to rigging up a warning system in an attempt to stop the sexual assaults, an inquiry has heard.


The prestigious school was only interested in avoiding a scandal when former student BKO reported being abused during a hypnosis session with a chaplain, the child abuse royal commission heard.

BKO said the boys pretended to be hypnotised as they were scared of Rev John Davison, who fondled them during the sessions.

BKO told his maths teacher Jonathan Harvey – later convicted for abusing a student himself – and found the process very threatening.

“I know the school was only concerned about avoiding a scandal,” BKO said on Wednesday.

BKO said when he returned to school in 1972 after summer holidays he was told by a staff member: “We were going to expel you because we didn’t believe you but he confessed”.

BKO said he was upset with the way the school handled the incident, adding no one had acknowledged that what Mr Davison did was wrong or that they were sorry.

“I was made to feel that I was wrong.

“It was very clinical, it was very cold, and even though he went and I stayed, I always had a bit of a sense that it was partly my fault.

“I got the impression that the school simply wanted the issue to vanish. They were not comfortable dealing with it at all.”

Another former student BIZ said he awoke to find live-in boarding house assistant Philippe Trutmann – dubbed “filthy Phil” by some students – fondling him and pretended to be asleep as he was scared.

BIZ said he reported the 1985 or 1986 abuse to the matron Jenny Davis, the closest thing he had to a friend in the boarding house, but she dismissed it.

“I said: ‘Mr Trutmann has been coming into my room and playing with me in my bed’,” BIZ said in a statement read out by counsel assisting the commission David Lloyd.

“She said: ‘He must have been looking for the cat’.

“I am sure it was pretty clear to her what I meant when I said ‘playing with me in my bed’.”

BIZ said the abuse continued and he rigged up a warning system by tying knitting wool around his door handle, a towel rail on the wardrobe, a chair and to his toe, so he would wake up if his bedroom door opened.

“The system worked just as I hoped it would and it woke me up,” he said.

BIZ said he thought Trutmann had stopped but he then continued to abuse him.

Trutmann was later jailed for six and a half years for abusing 40 boys at Geelong Grammar between 1985 and 1995.

A woman who was part of the first group of girls to attend Geelong Grammar said her music teacher Max Guzelian abused her for three years, from when she was aged 10 until 13, in the 1970s.

BKL told the commission music department head Malcolm John told her the abuse was partly her fault.

“As a result, I was told that I was not permitted to play in the band of any orchestra. I was to be excluded from all concert activities.”

Mr John denies knowing about the abuse, having the conversation or excluding the girl from activities due to the abuse disclosure.

BKL said she was also repeatedly sexually abused by another teacher in year 12 in 1980.

“The only reason the abuse stopped was because I finished school and left it,” she said.

Mr Lloyd said Mr Guzelian, now deceased, was not charged.


GGS victim has no memory of being abused

A former student has no memory of being sexually abused up to 40 times by a Geelong Grammar School staff member, who pointed out yearbook photos of his victims to police.


Luke Benson said police told him in 2005 that Highton House live-in boarding house assistant Philippe Trutmann had admitted sexually abusing him 30 to 40 times over a two-year period.

“This news changed my life,” Mr Benson told the child abuse royal commission.

“I have no memory of this happening and I inquired whether it was a mistake.

“The police told me that Trutmann had reviewed school yearbooks and identified from photographs the boys he had abused.

“I think this was the worst day of my life.”

Some other boarders called Trutmann “filthy Phil”, as he often lingered around the shower area and regularly went into boys’ rooms as they slept and sexually abused them.

Mr Benson did not remember hearing anything like that.

He started at Geelong Grammar as an 11-year-old boarder in 1988 and recalled Trutmann being intimate by giving him back rubs but was not alarmed by that human contact.

“I saw Trutmann as a father figure,” he said.

Mr Benson now realises that Trutmann groomed him.

“But how I was abused is still a total mystery to me,” he said.

Mr Benson, who settled civil action against the school for $26,000, said he has received no support from Geelong Grammar.

“I want the opportunity to talk to someone at the school who I can trust.

“I need to know how the school can rationalise the abuse I experienced with the positive education environment that they now promote.”

The commission has heard Trutmann regularly abused boys during his time at Highton House from 1985 to 1996, despite the school being told as early as 1985 or 1986 and again in 1992.

He was jailed in 2005 for six and a half years for sexually abusing 40 students.


McEnroe blasts ‘bonehead’ Kyrgios

John McEnroe lashed Nick Kyrgios’ “bonehead” behaviour as tennis’ most polarising personality made a tough first-round exit from the US Open in New York.


McEnroe was left flabbergasted by Kyrgios’ audacious shot selection during his 7-5 6-3 4-6 6-1 loss to Scottish third seed Andy Murray at Flushing Meadows.

A huge admirer of Kyrgios, McEnroe had applauded the 20-year-old pre-match for his decision to turn to Lleyton Hewitt as a mentor.

McEnroe, though, said Hewitt ought to have walked out from his courtside box after Kyrgios fluffed a high-risk between-the-legs half-volley when pushing to break Murray’s serve midway through the second set.

“An absolute brain freeze. Absolute stupidity. He could have volleyed that away for another break-point chance,” McEnroe said on ESPN.

McEnroe lauded Kyrgios for his “top-five skills” but warned “time is slipping away” for the two-time quarter-finalist to capitalise on his “unbelievable opportunity” to challenge for grand slam crowns.

“I hope he learns from these bonehead moves. He should be a seed already, at least 20,” said tennis’ original superbrat.

“You don’t want to be remembered as a clown. You want to be remembered as a player.

“So he better step up. Otherwise he won’t be talked about too much.

“He thinks he’s a Vaudeville entertainer. I don’t know what’s going on here.”

All eyes were on Kyrgios in his first match since being placed on a four-week suspended ban last week for his sledging of French Open champion Stan Wawrinka.

It didn’t take long for the young hot-head to set social media alight as tennis types took to Twitter to retweet his early blow-up in the opening set.

After breaking Murray for a 2-1 lead in the third game, Kyrgios was livid at dropping serve the very next game.

He protested to chair umpire Carlos Ramos after fans were allowed to file into Arthur Ashe Stadium during his service game, when it’s customary in tennis for spectators only to be admitted into matches during changeovers.

“What the hell were they doing letting people in in that game?” he protested.

Kyrgios continued his rant as he dropped serve again to concede the first set.

“Middle of the game. Unreal. Such bulls… F…ing bulls…,” he fumed.

Kyrgios’ expletive-laden tirade might have constituted verbal abuse, a no-no that would ordinarily trigger a ban.

But while he’s on probation with the ATP, the sanctions don’t apply at the grand slams, which are governed by the ITF.

An exasperated Kyrgios also received an audible obscenity after dropping his opening game of the fourth set.

Kyrgios’ antics overshadowed an otherwise decent performance from the world No.37.

It was the first time in four meetings that he’d won a set against Murray and he may well have won more – and even the match – had he been able to convert any more than three of his break-point chances.


‘No distance’ between Hastie and PM

The Liberal candidate for Canning Andrew Hastie has responded sharply to suggestions a by-election loss could spell the end of Tony Abbott’s leadership, saying he doesn’t have time for the “east coast Twitterati”.


The pair were full of mutual admiration as they stood side-by-side during a visit to the West Australian electorate on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek accused Mr Hastie of trying to distance himself from the prime minister.

She claimed the former SAS captain was “trying to make out that he’s running to be the president of the Republic of Canning, that he’s going to have nothing to do with Tony Abbott and his team in Canberra”.

But Mr Hastie showed loyalty to his Liberal leader while fighting off challenges to his suitability to represent Canning, previously held by the late Liberal MP Don Randall.

“I will be a thorn in the flesh to federal ministers and the state government when I represent the people of Canning,” he said.

“Mission failure is not an option.”

Mr Abbott said he looked forward to Mr Hastie, 32, offering “a lifetime of duty and service” in the federal parliament.

He believes the by-election campaign was going well, although he’s not taking anything for granted.

Mr Abbott described the dad, who recently moved from defence housing to a home in Canning, as “a bit of a mould-breaker” who “wasn’t a political staffer, wasn’t a union official … wasn’t someone who spent years and years beavering away in a party branch”.

“Just a fine Australian citizen.

“I’m very proud to be standing shoulder to shoulder with Andrew Hastie.”

When Mr Abbott was asked about the implications of the by-election result on his future as prime minister, he replied: “I’m not going to get into the entrails of gossip in Canberra”.

He was swiftly defended by the first-time candidate.

“I’m very busy on the ground – I don’t have time to take counsel from the east coast Twitterati,” Mr Hastie interjected.

“There’s a significant disconnect between what people are saying over east and what’s happening here in Canning.”

Mr Abbott said he was “very happy” to have Mr Hastie “chime in” and on what he described as “Canberra games”.

When Mr Hastie recounted a meeting with WA Transport Minister Dean Nalder to discuss road projects related to Canning, such as including extending the Tonkin Highway south and congestion on Armadale Road, he was interrupted.

A journalist who suggested Mr Hastie wasn’t “local” enough was sharply told: “Just let me finish”.

“I was a member of defence for 13 years and no one in defence is a local anywhere,” Mr Hastie said.

“I’ve gotten to know the electorate well over the past few weeks and I’m confident I’m across the issues that people of Canning are concerned about.”

The prime minister said he expected “an absolute blitz” from the Labor party and its candidate Matt Keogh as the campaign progressed.

The race for Canning looks tight, 16 days out from polling day on September 19.


Aust rape suspects could return to Manus

The family of an alleged rape victim claims the operator of the Manus Island immigration detention centre has promised three former guards will be flown back from Australia to face questioning by Papua New Guinea police.


The father of the woman and community supporters, armed with machetes, hijacked a 25-seater bus and a three tonne truck belonging to the centre on Monday, out of anger that the three men had not faced justice.

The detention centre guards, who were stood down and sent back to Australia after the alleged incident in mid-July, faced a possible death sentence if convicted in PNG.

Manus MP Ron Knight, who’s in touch with the woman’s family, said the father and community leaders met on Tuesday with the management of Transfield Services, which operates the centre.

He said the company had promised to fly the guards back to Manus by next week and that the woman’s supporters had released the vehicles.

“They released the vehicles on the understanding that the three would be brought back on a charter flight to face the music,” he told AAP on Wednesday.

But Mr Knight said the woman’s family did not have this in writing and he was doubtful it would happen.

“It could just be a delaying tactic,” he said.

Australia’s Immigration Department said vehicle incident was a local matter.

“This incident is a matter for the Manus provincial police,” a spokesman said in a statement.

Port Moresby officially took over the investigation into the alleged rape after Manus Island police threatened to storm the detention centre and arrest managers for perverting the course of justice unless the trio was returned.

Further comment is being sought from Transfield, Wilson Security and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s office.

A spokesperson for the immigration department said the Australian government was co-operating fully with local authorities on the matter and would continue to do so.


Bernard Tomic mans up for poor behaviour

Bernard Tomic has manned up and admitted he and Nick Kyrgios are giving Australian tennis an image problem.


In a frank and candid interview after he set up a second-round US Open showdown with Lleyton Hewitt, Tomic has taken accountability for his actions ahead of his looming court date in Miami for a wild house party.

The Monte Carlo-based Australian No.1, who shares a passion for fast cars and the night life, says earning millions of dollars at such a young age hasn’t helped.

But Tomic is promising to try to lift his act and says it’s important for the country’s young stars to heed the sage advice of the Aussie tennis legends like Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, John Newcombe and Tony Roche.

“For sure, we’re not perfect,” Tomic said.

“I experienced a little bit more when I was younger – 18, 19 – but Nick’s obviously in the rollercoaster that I am so he has to handle it as best as he can. Only he can handle it the right way.

“Obviously I had what I had, but I think on court I’ve improved a lot the last few years and mentally I’m pretty good on court whereas I think Nick on court struggles a little bit.

“But he’s getting better – he just needs time, he’s a good bloke and I really wish the best for him.”

Tomic accepted he and Kyrgios weren’t giving Australian tennis a good look and hoped he could restore his reputation, but he said tennis fans were undoubtedly in for a rollercoaster ride over the next decade.

“We’re our own individuals and we’re always going to have this. The next 10 years, it’s going to be like that for sure,” he said.

“It’s not going to be all good, that’s for sure.

“We have to work on it as best we can – everyone is different. Nick has a different personality to me. I have a different one to him.

“Can we be very good the next 10, 12 years? I cannot guarantee this.

“On court, I think I’m very good but off court there’s some problems and he’s the opposite way around. He creates problems on court.

“But it’s our personality, our character. Obviously it’s not the best thing but we have to work on this for sure. We have to improve.

“It can be tough to control but our personalities, the pressure around us, but we always can sometimes explode on the side.”

Tomic, 22, hopes he and 20-year-old Kyrgios will mature as they grow older.

“Maturity is the biggest key, also having a lot to do with money coming in; it is different,” he said.

“At our age, having that stuff around, it is tough to control and I found myself very good last year.

“I am working as hard as I can. I am putting the main thing in front of me and that is tennis, to be the best that I can.

“I started the year at 70, 75, but I am getting closer. I am coming 16, 17 in the race. It is my best year.

“I have the opportunity to finish the year strong, but it is up to us, we have to change it, to turn it around.”


Tomic books US Open showdown with Hewitt

Lleyton Hewitt can’t get excited, but Bernard Tomic will cherish his once-in-a-lifetime US Open clash with the retiring Australian tennis “legend” on Thursday.


Generations will collide at Flushing Meadows after Hewitt and Tomic set up an enthralling first-time meeting with contrasting first-round victories on a sweltering day in New York.

Hewitt, the 2001 Open champion, advanced to the second round for the 13th time when Kazakh Aleksandr Nedovyesov quit with a right shoulder injury while trailing 6-0 7-6 (7-2) 1-0.

Tomic confirmed his appointment with his Davis Cup teammate and mentor with a fighting 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 6-3 victory over Bosnian Damir Dzumhur.

“It’s not going to be easy for me. I look up to him a lot,” Tomic said.

“He is a legend to me, to a lot of people around the world and it is a shame that maybe, in the next month or so, he might stop.

“But it is an opportunity. I have never played him and it could be fun.

“We have played so many times in practice and it is fun always to play Lleyton. It is an opportunity for me to make my first third round in the US Open.”

Tomic and Hewitt have come full circle after Team Tomic famously snubbed the former world No.1 and dual grand slam champion when sounded out for a practise session at Wimbledon in 2009.

Six years on and Tomic said he feared he’d never get the chance to play Hewitt before he officially retires after a record 20th straight Australian Open tilt in January.

“It was almost a sign for us to never play, that is how I saw it, with the draws and stuff,” Tomic said.

“But we have to play once. Win or lose, we have to have fun, go for it.

“He has nothing to lose. He is going to be going for it so, for me, it is going to be more tough.”

Hewitt doesn’t share the same enthusiasm for the all-Australian showdown.

“It’s just awkward. That’s the only thing to summarise that,” the 34-year-old said.

“I get along great with Bernie. Helped him out a lot. Hit with him this week. Yeah, just awkward. I don’t like playing any of the Aussies.

“I had to play (Thanasi) Kokkinakis last year in Brisbane. I played `Grothy’ (Sam Groth) in Brisbane this year. I had to play J.P. Smith only a couple of weeks ago.

“For me, in the position that I’m in now, trying to help these guys especially with Davis Cup and the rest of it, it’s tough.”

If he topples Tomic, Hewitt at least won’t have to play Kokkinakis again, or Nick Kyrgios, after the Special Ks were both eliminated on Tuesday.

Kokkinakis was on track to pull off a major upset until cramping after he took a two-sets-to-one lead over Wimbledon semi-finalist Richard Gasquet and was reduced to under-arm serving at one point as he struggled to move.

The score was locked at two sets apiece – 4-6 6-1 4-6 6-3 – when the 19-year-old was forced to call it a day after dropping serve to trail 2-0 in the deciding set.

In the night session Kyrgios took his first set in four meetings with Andy Murray, but was unable to spring another grand slam boilover, falling 7-5 6-3 4-6 6-1 loss to Scottish third seed in the feature night match at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Smith was gallant in a 6-1 3-6 7-5 7-6 (7-4) loss to experienced Russian Mikhail Youzhny, while Korean teenage sensation Hyeon Chung routed James Duckworth 6-3 6-1 6-2.

Former champion Samantha Stosur made a bright start to her campaign with a 6-3 6-4 win over Hungarian Timea Babos, but Ajla Tomljanovic and Jarmila Gajdosova both suffered tough three-set defeats.

Tomljanovic went down 6-7 (1-7) 6-2 6-4 to Karin Knapp while another Italian, 26th seed Flavia Pennetta, ousted Gajdosova 6-1 3-6 6-1.


Journalist follows Syrian refugee’s journey through Europe

Twenty-year old Nour told the BBC she was forced to leave her home town after it was bombed, paying smugglers for a dangerous voyage across the sea to Greece.


She then continued on foot, by car and by train, with the goal of eventually reaching Sweden, where she planned to apply for asylum.

During her 3,000 kilometre journey through nine countries, Nour said she had to constantly avoid being caught by authorities, and was forced to leave her elderley mother behind in Turkey.

Nour began her journey in Greece, where she fought with thousands of other asylum seekers to get a coveted seat on a bus to Macedonia.

A week into the journey, she said she was exhausted.

“Actually, we sleep on the streets you know,” she said.

“We slept on the streets for like three or four days with no bathroom. It’s very bad.”

Finally, after days of waiting, Nour finally managed to secure a seat on the bus, making the journey north, arriving at a town bordering with Serbia.

“We slept on the streets for like three or four days with no bathroom. It’s very bad.”

“We are very tired, very sick because yesterday it was very cold,” she said after getting off the bus.

Nour avoided the queues for travel papers, saying she did not want to be found before arriving in Sweden.

Under current European Union regulations, asylum seekers must remain in the first European country they enter while their protection applications are being assessed.

Germany is pushing for all EU countries to accept Syrian refugees.

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said quotas must be established to ensure a fair distribution of asylum seekers across Europe.

“This should apply in every country of the European Union. We are, of course, following the rules, but we are seeing every day how these rules are not put into practice in the same way everywhere.”

But Nour only wanted to be registered in Sweden.

After avoiding the queue for registration, she boarded the bus bound for Belgrade, Serbia.

In Serbia, she found a secret place to stay for the night.

Her next destination is Hungary, the main entry point to the European Union.

“Tomorrow we go to Hungary. If we’re passing safe, that’s fantastic.”

Nour then receives a car lift 10 kilometres from the Hungarian border, crossing into Hungary after several hours of walking.

She stayed in a home, but was found by police, who she paid a bribe of $80AUD not to be taken in.

She eventually arrived in Vienna, and made a final train journey into Gothenburg, Sweden.

“It’s just like a dream you know, all the way when I look into the window on the train I say where am I? Is it true that I’m going to Sweden?”

Finally after two weeks, Nour reached her final destination, to begin a new life.


Australia coach backtracks in pay dispute row

The Asian Cup-winning coach had initially refused to take sides in the battle and fumed at both parties after the row disrupted his preparations for Thursday’s World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh and next Tuesday’s fixture in Tajikistan.


But in a FFA statement issued on Wednesday, Postecoglou retracted his views.

“As a senior employee of Football Federation Australia I understand that my comments were inappropriate,” the 50-year-old Greek-born coach said.

“I appreciate that I need to take sides on this issue. The commercial performance of the Socceroos brand directly affects the amount of investment in the match schedule, technical developments and sports science staff.

“In this case, the commercial boycotts imposed by Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) will directly affect commercial partners and will inevitably hurt the Socceroos programme.

“I made comments yesterday out of frustration. I acknowledge that the PFA initiated the regrettable situation that has distracted us in Perth. I understand that FFA was compelled to respond in order to explain its position to the game’s stakeholders.

“I call on the PFA to undertake that no future Socceroo camp will be targeted in this way.”

The tone was in stark contrast with Postecoglou’s initial view of the impasse.

The strong-willed Australian said he was “not happy” the row had been played out in camp, and added he wanted to be talking instead “about selection, team tactics.

“If we think it’s OK during the World Cup qualifiers to play out this scenario then I’m out of whack with everyone else because I think while the camp is on… lay down your guns and pick them up as soon as it’s over, and go as hard as you want,” he said.

“It’s not good enough.”

(Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; Editing by John O’Brien)