Thomas Tuchel admits seeking Jurgen Klopp advice before Blues move ahead of reunion


Thomas Tuchel has revealed that he sought advice from Jurgen Klopp before making the move to the Premier League.

The Chelsea boss succeeded his compatriot at Borussia Dortmund back in 2015.

He and Klopp have since met on several occasions in European competitions.

They will now meet in England’s top flight for the first time with Tuchel admitting he discussed the league with Klopp and Pep Guardiola.

That meant that when Chelsea came calling he was primed and ready to take up their offer.

Klopp and Guardiola have won the league during their time in England and the Blues boss believes their teams are “the benchmark”.



Thomas Tuchel and Jurgen Klopp will renew acquaintances on Thursday

Chelsea and Liverpool are embroiled in a battle for the top four this term and a win for the Blues would see them move four points clear of the outgoing champions.

“No, it was pretty clear what I expected from the Premier League,” he said.

“I mean, I was talking to him and talking to Pep regularly and got their feelings about it when we would meet when I was the coach in Dortmund and in Paris and we’d meet in the Champions League or at [Uefa] coach’s meetings.

“The feedback was always pretty clear and so I stepped into this adventure without his advice.



The now Chelsea boss and Pep Guardiola were in the Bundesliga together
The now Chelsea boss and Pep Guardiola were in the Bundesliga together

“If I called him I hoped he would have called me back, because he does not want to play against me but I’m not sure! No, I’m just joking!

“It’s nice to meet him, it’s always nice to meet him. It’s super hard to play against him and his teams.

“For me Liverpool with Jurgen and Manchester City with Pep are the two teams who are the benchmark, the teams we have to close the gap to.

“This is our target and we are fighting hard for this. And I don’t feel like I fight alone. I have a strong club behind me, and a strong team at my side, so it feels good.”



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Parton changes Jolene words ahead of jab


Dolly Parton has written hundreds of songs over her decades-long career and it turns out her tune Jolene is the just right one for getting her COVID-19 vaccine.

“I even changed one of my songs to fit the occasion. It goes, ‘Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, I’m begging of you please don’t hesitate,'” the actor, singer and humanitarian sang in a social media post on Tuesday, just before receiving her shot.

The Grammy-winning legend turned 75 this year. In 2020, she donated $US1 million ($A1.28 million) to Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in Nashville, Tennessee, for coronavirus research.

Parton had earlier told The Associated Press that she was going to wait until it became more widely available because she didn’t want to look like she was jumping the line.

Parton wore a purple shirt with shoulder cutouts just for the occasion and a matching purple mask. She put on a typical show, laughing, cracking jokes with the doctor and making sure her hair was looking good.

“That didn’t hurt. Just stung a little bit,” she said afterward. Then she smiled at the camera saying, “I did it! I did it!”



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Zoom revenue soared 326% in 2020. Can it stay ahead this year? –


  • in 2020, Zoom recorded a quadrupled revenue of US$2.65 billion.
  • Its fourth-quarter revenue alone soared by 369%.
  • The video conferencing company’s revenue this year is expected to rise more than 41% to between US$900 million and US$905 million.

Being the perfect product available at the idea time, 2020 was indeed a banner year for Zoom Video Communications Inc. The pandemic-influenced gains made Zoom a household name among users and investors, pushing its revenue up by four-fold to US$2.65 billion in the fiscal year ended in January. Assuming that working from home is no longer a staple for millions of people towards the end of 2020 as to how it was at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Zoom’s revenue still soared by 369% in the last quarter to US$882.5 million, bigger than the entire financial year of 2020. As a result, its market cap increased five-fold to US$100 billion.

However, worries about what Zoom’s business will look like once the pandemic ebbs are still hanging over the company of late. While the pandemic has made for trying business circumstances, Zoom Chief Executive Eric Yuan said it has made it “one of the most popular apps of the year”. He also said the fourth quarter marked a strong finish to an unprecedented year for Zoom. “As the world emerges from the pandemic, our work has only begun,” he added.

The company’s customer base also increased that too by 470% YoY to 467,100 on the back of more than 10 employees. Of those, 1,644 contributed more than US$100,000 in trailing 12 months revenue, up 156%. It also reported a trailing 12-month net dollar expansion rate in customers with more than 10 employees of 130%. Overall, these customers accounted for about 80% of its incremental revenue, up from 59% one year ago. 

How will 2021 fare for Zoom?

The nine-year-old company has become synonymous with video conferencing during the pandemic and despite the talks surrounding ‘Zoom fatigue’, Covid-19 is continuing to spread and traditional office life is still on hold for many.

Zoom is expecting sales to rise more than 40% this year, reaching more than US$3.7 billion and although it did not expect growth to continue at the pace it enjoyed last year, the company said so far business remains strong. The company also expects the shift to continue well into 2021 with revenue in the first three months of this year is expected to be between US$900 million and US$905 million, well above analysts’ estimates.

On where the future growth will come from, Zoom stressed the potential of its two-year-old Zoom Phone product, which is a simple and straightforward cloud-calling service without video calls. It was pointed out that Zoom Phone was the company’s fastest-growing product on a quarter-over-quarter basis in Q4. They said it ended the year with 10,700 Zoom Phone customers with more than 10 employees, up 269% YoY.

The company may also have other options to grow its business though, as it’s rumored to be trying to expand its presence in the overall productivity market such as a web-based email service to compete with Gmail and Outlook, as well as a Calendar service. The company may also be able to extract some revenue from a new product called OnZoom that debuted in October.

Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Street said, Zoom’s fate would depend on how it manages to compete against firms such as Microsoft and Google, which have introduced similar features. “Although it stole an early march on other players in the first few months of the crisis, it does now have much stiffer competition from the likes of Microsoft and Google who have significantly upped their game,” she wrote in a research note.

“It may be that we have become so used to pandemic habits that we will stick with our virtual social lives, particularly for long-distance friendships and work relationships. But just how large a slice of the live video pie Zoom manages to hang on to will depend on how it matches up to its powerful rivals,” she added.

 



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Super Rugby: Waratahs injury crisis ahead of Brumbies game as captain Jake Gordon to miss up to eight weeks


The Waratahs’ gravest fears have been realised: an injury crisis at the start of the year.

Having said goodbye to their six most experienced players last year — Wallabies captain Michael Hooper (sabbatical, Japan), Waratahs captain Rob Simmons (England), Kurtley Beale (France), Damien Fitzpatrick (retired), Ned Hanigan (Japan) and Tom Robertson (Force) — the Waratahs’ depth was always going to be stretched.

But they will now be without their new captain Jake Gordon, who will miss up to eight weeks after coming off midway through his side’s record 41-7 defeat to the Reds to open the new season last Friday night in Brisbane.

The Waratahs confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that Gordon had syndesmosis to his left foot.

It’s a crushing blow for the Wallabies halfback, whose tryscoring ability and experience was imperative for the Waratahs to stay afloat in their second rebuilding year under Rob Penney.

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Tigers whittle down train-on list ahead of deadline


Eggmolesse-Smith, 22, was delisted by the Tigers at the end of last season despite playing six AFL games in 2020 and even polling in the Brownlow Medal. He was given the chance to earn a reprieve by impressing over the summer and remains in contention to stay at the club.

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The younger brother of Greater Western Sydney young gun Tom Green, Josh Green is also the grandson of Richmond premiership player Michael Green. From Canberra, he was bypassed by the Giants in last year’s draft despite being a member of the club’s academy.

A first-round draft pick in 2016, Gallucci played 27 games in four years for Adelaide before delisted. Having struggled with injury last year, he will play for Williamstown in the new-look VFL this year if not picked up by the Tigers.

Richmond have already filled one of their two rookie list vacancies, signing Tasmanian defender Rhyan Mansell, who had also been training with the club in a bid to get a list spot.

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QAFL fixture unveiled ahead of 2021 season


A stand-alone marquee game on the Easter long weekend will launch the 2021 Queensland Australian Football League (QAFL) competition, with Noosa hosting Wilston Grange at Rococo Oval on April 3rd.

The Tigers’ claws will be out from the get-go, the newly promoted club eager to show their might against the other premier men’s clubs in South East Queensland.

Queensland State Leagues Competition Manager, Matt Bialkowski, said 2021 would see 11 teams vie for the Premiership in what was shaping up to be the biggest year yet for the state’s top competition.

“It’s a great achievement for Noosa to be elevated into the QAFL after coming off the back of consecutive Division 1 Hart Sport Cup Grand Finals in 2019 and 2020,” he said.

“With the QAFL now expanding to 11 teams, it’s going to be very exciting to see the depth of our competition with such a significant geographical spread of our clubs from Noosa to Palm Beach Currumbin.”

“I’m thrilled today to unveil the 2021 fixture, as we countdown to the first bounce of the season on April 3.”  

The 2021 season also sees the inclusion of the Redland-Victoria Point Sharks into the QAFL; a merger between the Victoria Point Sharks and Redland Bombers, having competed in the NEAFL since 2011.

The newly formed team will be in action at home in round two hosting Surfers Paradise.

Round 2 will see the 2020 Colts Premiers Palm Beach Currumbin raise their Premiership Flag at their first home game taking on Morningside. While at Hickey Park, Wilston Grange will welcome Maroochydore in five back-to-back State League competition games, including three QAFL and two QAFLW matches.

Morningside seniors and reserves will unveil their 2020 Premiership Flags in round three at home, with the Panthers hosting the Broadbeach Cats in a 2020 grand final rematch.

Traditional rivalry games will be played on ANZAC Round to commemorate ANZAC Day. The blockbuster matches will see Surfers Paradise host Labrador, and Wilson Grange at home to Morningside. While further north, it’ll be a battle of the Sunshine Coast, with Maroochydore taking on Noosa in a twilight game.

Broadbeach will face Surfers Paradise in round five Sunday fixture on the May long weekend.

Round seven will mark Pride Round with all South East Queensland clubs encouraged to join in the celebrations.

Sir Doug Nicholls Round will be celebrated across two weekend; rounds nine and 10. 

Mr Bialkowski said marquee matches and themed rounds would make for some fantastic footy in 2021.

“With the largest makeup of the QAFL competition that we’ve seen in recent years, our 11 teams will compete over an 18 game home and away season,” he said.

“The finals structure will see the top 6 competing over 4 weekends, culminating in a grand final on Sept 18th.”

“The profile of the QAFL continues to rise and we want to encourage people to come along to the games and support their local clubs.”

“But if you can’t get to the match, you can still catch all of the action. All QAFL games are recorded and uploaded to the QAFL Vimeo page for the public to view, and one ‘match of the round’ is live streamed every week in the QAFL.”

2021 QAFL OFFICIAL FIXTURE

 

Download 2021 fixture here 

*Please note; times and venues are subject to change.



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Walker Corporation pushes ahead with project to build new suburb at Buckland Park


A project to create 12,000 homes in Adelaide’s northern outskirts will drive unnecessary urban sprawl, according to the SA Greens — but the billionaire developer behind it says it will help improve housing affordability at a time of record prices.

After more than a decade of planning, work is now going ahead on the Walker Corporation’s Buckland Park project near the towns of Virginia and Angle Vale and their surrounding market gardening communities.

The corporation said the $3 billion project, called Riverlea, would create the state’s “largest master-planned community” and assist with “post-COVID economic recovery”.

But the project has attracted criticism since its inception, because of its proximity to the flood-prone Gawler River and concerns over urban sprawl.

Developer and executive chairman Lang Walker said the intention was to create a community that would drive economic growth outside of Adelaide’s CBD.

“Not everyone’s going to be working in the CBD. We’ve got another very large industrial estate out there in the vicinity,” he told ABC Radio Adelaide.

“This will generate self-employment in that whole region itself. It’s a community within a community.

“This project has a life of 20 years, maybe 25 years, and that brings shopping, it brings 10,000 jobs over the period of the house-building and all the trades.”

The Walker Corporation says the project includes 450 hectares of open space.(Walker Corporation)

Adelaide property prices have hit record highs in recent weeks, and Mr Walker said house and land packages would be available for less than the price of “a block of land in Sydney and Melbourne”.

“We’re pitching into the affordable market and bringing in all the community benefits there,” he said.

“It’s a great opportunity to get people into houses.”

But Greens MP Mark Parnell has previously labelled the project a “ghetto in waiting” and said planning experts had consistently flagged problems with it.

“They knew it was a rotten project 14 years ago, and it’s still a rotten project,” he said.

“This is a bit like a zombie movie. I thought it was dead and [then] you look and it’s come back to life.

“There’s a whole range of issues … it’s a flood-prone area.”

Local teacher Robyn Lewis said some produce growers were worried about the impact on an area she said was “called the ‘salad bowl’ for a reason”.

Buckland Park resident Robyn Lewis.
Buckland Park resident Robyn Lewis says the project will bring major benefits.(ABC News: Candice Prosser)

But she said the area was “blossoming” and that the project would deliver much-needed amenities.

“We don’t have a lot of public transport out here and I’m sure, in the infrastructure [plan], that will be looked at,” she said.

“Schools are going to be built in the area [which] is fantastic for parents — they don’t have to load their children onto a bus in the morning, with all the worries that come with that.

“The fact that there’s going to be shopping centres will be great.”

Existing roads to be upgraded

Mr Walker said the project would include more than 450 hectares of open space and 50 hectares of lakes and waterways.

“There’s close on 40 kilometres of bike paths,” he said.

“We’re investing $3 billion in it so we’re very confident that this is what Adelaide needs.”

Gawler River at Baker Road in Virginia
The Gawler River at Virginia burst its banks and flooded in 2016.(ABC News: Tom Fedorowytsch)

But Mr Parnell likened it to the infamous Mount Barker development, which then-planning minister John Rau in 2011 conceded had been poorly handled.

“Mount Barker has now become a case study in appalling planning,” Mr Parnell said.

“As a city, Adelaide — the idea that we’ve come to is that they’re should probably be some limit to urban expansion on the fringe.

“Unless we want urban sprawl forever, unless we want Los Angeles and to be like that, we do need to have a containment boundary.”

An artist's impression of a new suburb.
Developer Lang Walker says the project will create affordable housing.(Walker Corporation)

A spokesperson said the Department for Infrastructure and Transport would “continue to monitor population growth” and “assess public transport requirements” in the area.

“Roadworks are being undertaken to construct a signalised intersection at the junction of Port Wakefield Road and Angle Vale Road as part of the residential community development Riverlea,” the spokesperson said.

“Traffic lights at the junction of Port Wakefield Road and Angle Vale Road are expected to be installed in mid-2021.

“The works will include some road and speed restrictions to facilitate construction.”

Ms Lewis welcomed the installation of the traffic lights at the intersection.

“There have been a few accidents on that corner and with more traffic there’s a possibility of more,” she said.

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Melissa Caddick’s court case must go ahead despite alleged fraudster’s death, ASIC says


Australia’s financial regulator says a looming Federal Court hearing into Melissa Caddick’s company should proceed “as a priority”, just hours after police confirmed the businesswoman was dead.

Campers found the decomposed foot of Ms Caddick, 49, washed up on a remote beach on the NSW South Coast on Sunday, more than three months after she went missing from her home at Dover Heights, in Sydney’s affluent eastern suburbs.

Investigators from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said a Federal Court hearing listed for April 7 should go ahead “as a priority”.

“ASIC’s priority is to seek the return of funds to investors in the most efficient way possible,” an ASIC spokesperson said.

“Following the announcement … that the remains of Ms Melissa Caddick have been identified, ASIC notes that its investigation into Ms Caddick and her company, Maliver Pty Ltd, is continuing.”

Melissa Caddick when ASIC raided her house earlier this month.(ABC News)

Ms Caddick is alleged to have defrauded long-term friends and associates who invested millions of dollars in her financial services company, Maliver.

Cheryl Kraft Reid and her wife Faye were victims of Ms Caddick and entrusted their life savings to their family friend of 25 years.

Ms Kraft Reid told Nine Radio that news of Ms Caddick’s death was tragic, but she had ruined lives with her actions.

“What type of woman would play this type of game … in essence, she thought all that money and material goods was more important than a son.

“Now she’s left a young man who is without a mother, for what?”

A couple sit at a cafe.
Faye Reid (left) and Cheryl Kraft Reid entrusted Melissa Caddick with their superannuation.(ABC News: Aaron Hollett)

Ms Kraft Reid described her once-friend as a “sociopath” and said she had been desperate to see justice after she and her wife lost nearly $1 million of their superannuation to Ms Caddick.

“It’s about seeing consequences for what’s happened to us and the many years we’ve worked for zero returns because she decided to live an entitled and frivolous life spending it on high-end products,” she said.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian today extended her condolences to Ms Caddick’s family after police confirmed the foot found on the beach matched her DNA.

“I want to thank those citizens that came forward and provided information to the police and commend the police for undertaking those activities,” she said.

“This is a good example of our community working with the police to get to a good outcome in terms of identifying a case or putting a case to rest but at the end of the day, a young woman life has been lost we have to consider her family as well.”

A woman in a ballgown, a man in a suit stand on a red carpet
Friends say Melissa Caddick and her husband Anthony Koletti lived a lavish lifestyle.(Facebook: Anthony Koletti)

A Facebook group set up after Ms Caddick’s disappearance where amateur sleuths share theories and speculation has gained traction in recent weeks.

The group is rife with theories that Ms Caddick still alive and in hiding.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller had previously said officers believed Ms Caddick was still alive however Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing distanced the force from that theory today.

“Given the circumstances of her disappearance, the fact she left personal belongings behind, we have always considered the possibility that she may have taken her own life,” he said.

The manner of Ms Caddick’s death remains the subject of a police investigation.

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Bombers defender “has a fight ahead of him” after nasty infection


Essendon football boss Josh Mahoney has conceded Michael Hurley “has a bit of a fight ahead of him” as he continues to battle a nasty hip infection.

The 30-year-old lifted spirits when he appeared on crutches at the club’s scratch match against Carlton on Thursday, after battling an infection in the last month which entered his bloodstream after off-season hip surgery.

Hurley looked to have lost a considerable amount of weight battling the infection, while he’s also been on antibiotics for almost a month.

Mahoney said the club’s sole focus was to ensure Hurley returns to full fitness as quickly as possible, with his return to AFL action to be mapped out after he returns to training.

“It’s been a really frustrating (few weeks) for Michael Hurley and the club,” he said on Sportsday.

“He had done six weeks where he trained the whole pre-season and then to have an infection in his leg, he’s now been taking antibiotics for three and a half weeks and hasn’t been able to do any training.

“Being bedridden for three or four weeks certainly pushed him back, he’s struggling to get around, he’s on crutches at the moment and lost quite a bit of weight.

“Right now it’s a good spirit lifter for the guys to see him today at the game, he was desperate to come and that’s part of his character.

“He has a bit of a fight ahead of him, the main thing is he gets back to being healthy and then we can worry about building him back to play footy again.”

Mahoney flagged that Essendon trio Harry Jones, Nik Cox and Archie Perkins could all be in the frame to make their AFL debut against Hawthorn in Round 1.

The Bombers will face off against Geelong in their only AAMI Community Series clash next week.





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Australia’s David Warner admits he will face pain from his groin injury for most of 2021 ahead of Ashes series



Australia opener David Warner has admitted the groin injury that kept him out of half of the Test series against India over the new year might still be causing him pain for another nine months.

The 34-year-old, who sustained the injury in an ODI against India in November, missed the first two Tests against the tourists before playing partially fit for the remainder of the series as Australia slumped to a 2-1 defeat.

The left-handed batsman will be key to Australia’s hopes of retaining the Ashes when England tour at the end of this year.

However, Warner said he might not be playing pain-free until just before that series.

“I am almost back to full 100 per cent sprinting in a straight line,” he said while commentating on Australia’s first Twenty20 against New Zealand on Monday.

“This next week is getting back to fielding, picking up, throwing — very difficult that was, last couple of weeks, even trying to throw.

“Now it’s all about lateral (movement), running between wickets, building that up.

“It’s just the tendon that has got that slight tear in it now.

Warner, who was scheduled to captain Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League in April, was selected for Australia’s Test tour of South Africa, but that was aborted because of health concerns.

He said he had spoken with other athletes who had suffered similar injuries.

“They have just said it’s a niggle,” Warner added.

“It’s just getting back that confidence to sidestep and run as hard as I can and dive around again. Once I get that, I will be right to go. It’s just not 100 per cent there yet.”

Reuters

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