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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 30 July 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 30 JULY 2016 27 SPORT Underdogs Bergers aim to upset Lions in Team Apps Cup final GEORGE STOGIANNOU Heidelberg United FC Women's coach Bill Mihaloudis has experienced both sides of a final - both the triumph and defeat. He's experienced winning league finals as an assistant coach at Box Hill United and he's lost a Women’s State Knockout cup final as senior coach of South Melbourne's women’s team in 2013. He's hoping to give the benefit of that experience to his Heidelberg team as it prepares for its first ever State Knockout Cup final appearance this Saturday when it meets league leader FC Bulleen Lions. Speaking to Neos Kosmos just days before the match, Mihaloudis said, " I know what it's like to lose a final as well as to win one, so I just want to make sure that we implement all that experience into the players so that they understand and know what a final is all about. The Australian Government endorses the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-instigated McLaren report has delivered compelling evidence of a systematic and sophisticated state-directed doping program in Russia that cannot be ignored. For that reason, Minister for Sport Sussan Ley announced earlier this week that she will be urgently seeking the AOC’s reassurance that Australian athletes will not be negatively impacted or unfairly disadvantaged by this decision. “I am also mindful there may be future revelations resulting from the McLaren investigation and will be looking for appropriate responses from the IOC, AOC, and International Sports Federations (IFs) if this is the case, particularly where medals have been awarded to Russian athletes,” Ms Ley said. “The fight against doping in sport requires strong international leadership, none more so than in this case, where the integrity of an entire Olympic and Paralympic Games is at stake.” Ms Lay also stressed that Australia has long taken a strong stance against doping in sport and this case is no different. As a long-standing member and supporter of the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Australian Government continues to strongly support WADA’s recommendations that the IOC, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and IFs each take definitive action within their respective powers to decline entries of all athletes submitted by the Russian Olympic and Paralympic Committees. “I maintain the view that any actions less than what WADA has recommended at this critical point in time risks Rio being overshadowed by a contagious suspicion of compromised integrity and damaging the reputation of the Olympic movement,” she continued, encouraging IFs to take strength from the recent Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruling in considering their response to WADA’s recommendations. “While the immediate priority for all parties must be resolving matters relating to the impending 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics, these issues must not be allowed to fade into the background at the conclusion of the Games,” the Minister stressed. “I will be personally meeting with WADA representatives in Rio in my capacity as Sports Minister, as well as other international counterparts, to discuss both this case and the need for a genuine commitment from all countries and sports to tough, internationallyconsistent anti-doping standards. This is essential to not only protecting the integrity of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, but world sport in general.” "The players are pretty excited to be a part of it. But again we want to make sure that we're not only there to make up the numbers. We want to make sure we're there to bring home some silverware for the club first and foremost. But there's a lot of excitement and some are nervous of course. You can easily say, 'it's just another Melbourne City FC signs Argentinian Fernando Brandan Melbourne City FC can confirm it has signed Argentinian Fernando Brandan ahead of the Hyundai ALeague 2016/17 season on a two-year deal. The 26-year-old forward underwent his medical at the City Football Academy last week and commenced training with his teammates as City's pre-season enters its fifth week. Brandan is expected to feature for City in tonight's pre-season friendly against Melbourne Knights at Knights Stadium, Sunshine, and will be available for selection for the Club's Round of 32 Westfield FFA Cup clash against Perthbased club Floreat Athena on Tuesday 2 August. Hailing from Salta in Argentina, Brandan developed into a talented forward with Racing de Olavarria and Rivadavia, before joining Atletico Temperley in Argentina's top flight, the Primera Division in 2013. Brandan will occupy a foreign position within City's squad, alongside Uruguayan Bruno Fornaroli and former Denmark international Thomas Sorensen. Brandan joins new signings Manny Muscat, Bruce Kamau, Daniel Arzani, Ruon Tongyik, and Luke Brattan ahead of the 2016/17 season, and Dean Bouzanis, Nick Fitzgerald, and Anthony Caceres who have re-signed for the upcoming campaign. game' but it's not. It's an actual final. You want to make sure you dig deeper than you normally do. You want to make sure that you make the most of it and play to the last minute of the game." Heidelberg's opponent in the final is the formidable Bulleen Lions outfit, a side currently leading the league table and striving for a league-cup double. The Bergers have yet to beat Bulleen this season and though they hardly needed it, they received a sobering reminder of the Lions' goal scoring prowess when they lost 4-0 in a recent league match just a fortnight ago. But coach Mihaloudis be- lieves a dramatic turnaround is possible in the Cup final, pointing to a precedent in Heidelberg's semi-final win over Alamein which followed hard on the heels of a heavy league defeat against that side. "One thing to take away from this season is that it doesn't matter where you are on the ladder. If you're playing a game and playing at the level you know you're capable of, you can beat anybody. These girls know that if they play to the best of their ability they'll come up trumps." Mihaloudis has kept a close eye on Bulleen in recent weeks studying their strengths and looking for chinks in their armour. When pressed to comment on where Saturday's final may be won or lost, he responded, "I would say for Bulleen, probably out wide, and for us probably the midfield. I think if the midfield can take control, which I know we're capable of doing, that'll make a big difference. That's where the game will be won in the end- in the middle." The Team Apps Grand Final kicks off at 3 pm today at ABD Stadium, Broadmeadows Valley Park. Entrance is free.
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