take me to the Beach House

Beach House, the dreamy pop duo from Baltimore have done it again. Their fourth studio album Myth is set to be released 15 May and today they released their second single off that album ‘Lazuli’. It has been two years since Teen Dream and after hearing the first two singles from Myth I’m sure it wont disappoint. Every song takes you into a different world and automatically puts a smile on your face.

have a listen…


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More technology needed in football?

After last nights two games in England the call has come out again for goal-line technology. It has been debated in the football world for a number of decades now, well pretty much ever since Geoff Hurst’s 101st minute winner against the West Germans at Wembley in the 66′ World Cup Final.

Wembley was again the scene last night as Chelsea’s Juan Mata struck in the Blues second off a Lampard corner. Well supposedly. Clearly after watching the footage from a number of angles the ball did not go over the line. This is the second time in two seasons that this has happened in this fixture. Lampard’s strike last season apparently had rolled over the line beating Gomez, but clearly it hadn’t. Maybe that was justice for his disallowed goal in South Africa? Who knows.

Apparently some 90 per cent+ of calls made by referees in 2010/11 were correct in the English Premier League. That might be the case but it is the one-per-centers that cost teams matches. Manchester United v QPR for instance. Shaun Derry was wrongly sent off in a “collision” with Ashley Young – who I might add was offside. It resulted in a Wayne Rooney goal and the relegation bound London side could never recover. Last night Young was in the thick of the action again, using his acting skills after realising his terrible touch wasn’t going to result in a goal – Rooney stepped up again and the hapless Aston Villa were never going to come back. Both of those decisions were in the opening ten minutes, changing momentum and affecting the outcome. Chelsea also escaped with two blatent offside goals v Wigan last weekend showing that it is not the centre referees that most of the focus should be on – the assistants have countlessly made wrong offside and goal-line calls. The game has sped up and some of these ageing officials aren’t up to the speed of football now.

These examples if goal-line technology were introduced would still stand bar Mata’s. I think FIFA and its separate governing bodies are scared that if technology does get involved it will ruin its ‘pure’ image. You see how over officiated NFL is and that probably does scare them. Put that aside I don’t believe technology is the answer, a stoppage in play can ruin the eb and flow of a football match.

All referees have ear-pieces and in Champions League fixtures there is the luxury of having two more officials – both standing on the goal-line at each end. This is what I believe is the right direction. Technology is just going to over complicate things and could be over used and by having the assistance of two more referees who are only focusing on the goal-line and in the box activity does make the job for the centre referee easier and should then result in the right decisions. If technology is introduced it should be similar to the system used in tennis and cricket where you have challenges during a match and the captain chooses when to apply these.

It is a debate that will go on forever and I think we are all just waiting on the day when something does happen with technology in football.

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Tomas Rogic Pt II

I first heard that Canberra prodigy and Nike Academy winner, Tomas Rogic was gaining his first start in the A-League during Canberra United’s W-League semi-final win over Melbourne Victory.

Rogic signed a 5-month deal with the Central Coast Mariners and having being placed in the Natioanl Youth League squad he showed his class in his first game. He had never played with these players, had only just met them but yet the attacking midfielder managed to score a hat-trick. This was the first and only sign that he was ready for A-League football.

ImageHe has now played four matches scoring a goal in his past two but they weren’t just goals, they were showcasing his individual skill and how his smooth and beautiful approach to the game puts him in a  class of his own.

Mariner’s and A-League fans will also be delighted that on loan Scottish striker, John Sutton has praised this young footballer and believes he has plenty of potential in the future as Steve Lenthall discussed with him after his goal against Melbourne Victory two weeks ago. (Follow Steve on twitter @BJ_Rugby) As well as others within the Australian footballing community.

He missed out on signing for Championship side Reading due to a work permit and that alone shows how much potential this kid has. I have played against him whilst in the ACT Men’s Premier League last year and his movement on and off the ball is incredible. I straight away knew this 19-year-old will be big.

He is now in the running to potentially be named in the Socceroos side that gets announced tomorrow and if Holger Osieck is looking to the future surely he would be in the plans.

In my opinion having such a talent is great for the A-League but if Rogic wants to improve his game and be pushed to the next level he will need to relocate back over to Europe in their summer. If he does keep up this fine form til the end of the season I’m sure it wont be Melbourne Victory and Newcastle Jets who the Mariners will be trying to fend off as his signature could be worth a fair bit of money come the seasons end. Who knows maybe we might see him play with Tim Cahill in years to come.

To watch my story on Rogic I did last year visit Vimeo and to have a read of my article click here

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Slater v Foster: Former Socceroo called a ‘racist’

FoxSports Football analysis, Robbie Slater today accused rival SBS Football commentator Craig Foster of being a ‘racist’ after an article published in Sydney’s, The Sun Herald.

The only Australian to win a Premier League title whilst at Blackburn, Slater took to Twitter to rant on about how he felt about Foster’s article.

“Ok here goes . I am sick of the continual attacks and in my opinion racist comments from@CraigFoster on British people, his article in todays Sun Herald in my opinion is a racist column and it is beyond me how he continually gets away with these vile articles,” Slater wrote.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion but it seemed that Slater was not just attacking what Foster had written but personally attacking him. Telling his 5,770 followers that Foster had been banned after what might have happened at a World Cup qualifier in Tahiti.

“Back to your secret, explain to all your followers why you are the only Socceroo to have been, to my knowledge, effectively banned never to be selected again after a disgraceful incident following a world cup qualifier in Tahiti. Maybe the true legend who got you out of that Tahitian jail should of left you there! @CraigFoster hang your head in shame.”

Slater’s attack came after Foster had written about the ability that new Victory coach, Jim Magilton has brought to the A-League saying that his style might not suit the Australian game.

“Three years at Ipswich, a short spell at QPR that ended in controversy and an assistant role at Shamrock Rovers do not demonstrate an ability to produce high-level football or success, the twin requirements that should underpin any foreign appointment. The Victory’s board is clearly punting that Magilton will develop into an outstanding coach in Australia,” Foster commented.

“Hopefully Magilton proves capable of producing high-quality, winning football based on a system of movement and short passing, but neither his first match against Adelaide, in which the Victory played on the counter, nor his record give any indication of his capacities.”

The rant continued with Slater suggesting that it was not the right way to welcome someone into our country and claimed that Foster was indeed a racist.

“Who Craig do you think you are to tell the Victory of who they should employ and of what race,” Slater tweeted.

“British people have made a massive contribution to the history of our game and continue to do so just. It is surprising that you dislike the British so much because after all they gave you a career playing in the guess what. The championship. You didn’t mind the British then did you?”

For Foster it was a win once Slater did take it to a personal level.

“In any forum, if you fail to formulate a cogent argument and personalise the issue you have already lost. Opinion is the lifeblood of the game,” Foster tweeted.

Les Murray was brought into the picture as Slater was wrapping his rant up suggesting that the SBS is a multicultural channel and that Murray should have a word with his fellow employee.

“@LesMurray you should haul him into your office and tell him his comments are unacceptable after all he does work for the excellent multicultural channel SBS. Surely they can’t be happy with this sort of behaviour. Enough is enough! And that’s all I have to say about THAT!”

Murray bounce back with, “@CraigFoster doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. He merely contends that not all things imported from the ‘mother’ country are good for our football, in fact much them are regressive.”

Hours after his rant Slater still beleived in what he had written, leaving his followers with this: ”I am still angry and I will not withdraw any comments in fact i may add more if need be. What I have said is factual. #tahitianjail.”

This twitter rant is not over and Foster has suggested that he will be discussing it in tomorrow’s The World Game on SBS and in next Sunday’s The Sun Herald.

We will see…

You can follow me on twitter @thomascastleton

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Passion, competitiveness and the desire to win: A winning formula

Passion, competitiveness and the desire to win are three elements of the Canberra United game that Head Coach, Jitka Klimkova believes she has added to an already talented side.

This season has seen Canberra United do what no other side has managed to do, go through the first nine matches undefeated. With six wins and three draws, United only need a draw against Adelaide this weekend to be the first to go through a whole W-League season unbeaten.

It has been the camaraderie between player and coach that has seen the biggest change in this sides mentality in Season Four compared to the previous three seasons. There are 11 players from Season Two currently contracted at Canberra. Lydia Williams, Kahlia Hogg, Ellie Brush, Grace Gill, Snez Veljanovska, Nicole Sykes, Ashleigh Sykes, Ellyse Perry, Christine Walters, Jennifer Bisset and Sally Shipard. Also with the addition of former Central Coast centre-back Caitlin Cooper, star striker Michelle Heyman and American import Tarryn Hemmings this side have proved to be the benchmark for possibly the best W-League season to date.

Klimkova considers what previous head coach, Ray Junna had done with the side over the past two seasons has made her job a lot easier. The former Czech Republic international felt that the team was already a family.

“It was a lot easier to coach a team who is already prepared, who already plays great football so for me it is great to coach a team that wants to train, wants to be better, wants to improve and what I think I bought is a little bit of the passion, the competitiveness and the desire to win games,” Klimkova said.

“I agree I suppose it is also a reflection that the base of the team has been together for a couple of years now… we are really good friends on and off the field and hopefully that comes through now in our play,” Canberra United Captain, Ellie Brush said.

And has it come through in their play. United’s attacking trio of Ashleigh Sykes, Michelle Heyman and Taryn Hemmings has caused nothing but problems for the rest of the league contributing fourteen of United’s seventeen goals this season. Canberra are not the most prolific scorers this season but have managed to concede only nine goals – second best in the W-League.

It has been what Klimkova has added to this side that has made the biggest difference. The club now feels more professional and has an extra bit of desire to win.

“She really has been personable with all the players. Jitka held meetings at the start of the season individually and has also given us half way feedback. It really makes us accountable and makes us look at our own game very critically and it is really good to have that and to professionally build on your game,” commented Brush.

But it is not always serious with Klimkova having a good sense of humour, usually being on the receiving end of the jokes.

“The language barrier provides some humorous moments. She is able to laugh at herself which is lucky because she would be put down in the dumps if she took those laughs at her a bit too seriously,” laughed Brush.

“A few times she has said the wrong words but we are able to correct her and it’s not too bad we are getting used to her accent now.

“We always have a good laugh at one v one, ‘one we one’ that’s a good one.”

For Klimkova she has been playing down finals talk as her side is only focusing in on the game ahead, Adelaide United. From the beginning it has been “we want to reach the twelfth island”. One island representing one match.

“We want to play twelve games and we don’t talk about the finals, it’s like we want to play just twelve games during the season, so we are up to game number ten and that’s Adelaide and we are just focusing on that,” Klimkova said.

There has been speculation whether Klimkova will return for Season Five and it seems that it is a high possibility and she seems to be enjoying her time here so we might be seeing more of the Czech in the future.

“I am really honest; from the beginning of my stay here I fell in love with Canberra and the team. I really enjoy coaching Canberra United, I love Australia, love the weather. I am a really satisfied and a happy coach and a happy person to stay here and live life like that.”


After this article was written Canberra United went on to beat Adelaide United and become the first W-League side to go through the regular season unbeaten.

To keep up with the latest Canberra United news visit their website, CanberraUnited.com.au

You can follow me on twitter @thomascastleton

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Brisbane claw back to beat Sydney

It could have turned out to be the Brisbane brawl as two goals in the final minute of injury time lead to an incredible victory for the Roar over an ever-depleting Sydney FC side.

The win was set up in the 94th minute when a perfectly placed Mohamed Adnan free kick gave Sydney FC ‘keeper Liam Reddy no hope before Besart Berisha headed home the winner less than a minute later to end his eight match scoring drought.

Source: Football Federation AustraliaSydney came straight out on the attack and looked the better of the two sides. The Sky Blues defense was on song and their continuous pressure on the Roar lead to the first goal. Michael Beauchamp pounced on a Roar mistake 39 minutes in as his run down the middle lead to a precision pass from Nicky Carle to Mark Bridge when his low-driven shot was good enough to get past Roar custodian Michael Theoklitos.

After an impressive start from Sydney it was Brisbane who found their feet and dominated possession having 67-per-cent in the first half but failed to cash in on their given chances.

Massimo Murdocca caused problems with his speed and movement down the wing but when given his chance early on to hand Brisbane the lead he could not capitalise on a threatening Ivan Franjic cross.

Despite all the Roar possession, Bridge could have made it two before the half but his header was off the mark.

Roar opened the second half in similar fashion, holding onto the ball and the 14,454 strong crowd thought Franjic had equalised when he pounced on a loose ball but his shot was slammed into Reddy before Berisha’s back-heel rolled comfortably back into the keeper’s hands.

The match also saw the return of two missed Brisbane Roars players Thomas Broich and Henrique as their impact certainly gave the Roar an extra burst of energy in the latter stages.

The match started with a minute’s applause to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Queensland floods but ended in dramatic circumstances as Berisha invited Sydney FC defender Pascal Bosschaart to the tunnel to finish off some business. Earlier in the match hostilities had erupted following the clash between Berisha and Sydney FC ‘keeper Liam Reddy. The after-match scuffle looked certain to turn into an all-in brawl but interference from players and officials stopped the drama from escalating.

The Roar now seem to be back to winning ways having gained eight points from their last four matches. Brisbane now also edge closer to the top as they sit just six points behind A-League leaders, Central Coast Mariners.

Sydney are now winless in five games and sit in sixth place. With Perth Glory playing Melbourne Heart tomorrow the Sky Blues could see themselves outside of finals contention after Round 15.

Vitezslav Lavicka’s Sky Blues will now need maximum points when they host Perth Glory midweek before welcoming bottom of the table Gold Coast United next weekend if they want to keep their top six aspirations alive. Brisbane on the other hand will travel down to Melbourne to face third placed Heart in what is sure to be a cracking fixture.

Brisbane Roar 2 (Adnan 90+4, Berisha 90+5) Sydney FC 1 (Bridge 39′)

You can follow me on twitter @thomascastleton

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Reporting Refugees

This semester I participated in the University of Canberra’s ‘Reporting Refugees’ program that was run in collaboration with ABC Canberra and the ANU School of Music. The idea was to tell you, the public, the compelling stories of people who have fled their countries to come to Canberra, Australia and start a new life.

At first I found this task daunting, as I had no real close contact with refugees before. I was lucky enough to come across Yussuf Mohamed whilst working at Capital Football. This young man was to be our subject but it was not as easy as one, two, three.

The Story

Yussuf was a great talent and someone who I have become friends with outside of this project. The process of putting this story together was not as easy as getting to know this Kenyan refugee. To give you  a little background, Yussuf was born in Kenya and came via plane to Australia with his sister and her husband in 2005. Since arriving he has learnt english, finished school and has represented Australia in football.

Due to Yussuf being associated with Street Soccer we had to go through the Big Issue. It was not easy at first because the Big Issue were not going to allow us to interview him or his ACT Street Soccer coach, Tim Skinner but after numerous emails and a few phone calls the Big Issue had no problem as they discovered it would be aired on ABC. Despite that it was lucky for us as one of our classmates knew Yussuf personally.  We then met up with Yussuf  to discuss what the project was about and he gave us the heads up.

Our original idea was to make a television news story but due to Yussuf not wanting to be infront of the camera we settled for radio.

The interview with Yussuf was very informative. He gave Simon and I a sneak peak into the life of a refugee and how he managed to come here to Australia. It makes us realise that we have gone through nothing compared to these thousands of refugees that want to make Australia home.

After our interview with Yussuf we went down to the ACT Street Soccer training where about twenty others were having a run around enjoying the sun. This gave us the chance to chat with Tim Skinner. He was fantastic, he really opened my eyes to all the different types of people not only who come to street soccer but just other initiatives run by the local councils, churches, places such as the Red Cross, Companion House and Multicultural Youth Services. Skinner has known Yussuf since he first came to Australia and was very insightful into his life in Australia, and how he has matured and gained confidence in the six years since arriving.

The most incredible part of Yussuf’s story was how he handled himself as a young 16-year-old after his sister and her husband moved straight down to Melbourne. It left him to fend for himself. This did not affect Yussuf as he became involved in Belconnen Youth Centre and Street Soccer where they became his family away from home. It showed how little programs such as that can help someone so significantly.

What I thought

In my mind the first real experience with refugees I can remember was after September 2001. I joined the negative bandwagon but after learning more and more I have discovered that they are no different to you and I. At a young age you are oblivious to that and the media shapes your perspective.  At the time Howard was in charge and denied Tampa the Norwegian freighter into Australia because it had 438 asylum seekers onboard. The Government had many arguments in the news that “reinforced their reasons for not allowing the Tampa entry to Australian waters, including the protection of Australia’s sovereignty; that these individuals were likely to be illegal immigrants – and potentially terrorists; that they were seeking to exploit Australia’s laws relating to asylum seekers; and that the detention centres were already full” (McKay et al. 2011).

Media Watch (2009) showed how one news network can create a domino effect whether the facts be correct or not. In this case Channel Nine made up facts and figures surrounding how many refugees and asylum seekers were on Centrelink benefits, but as Media Watch do, they proved that those facts and figures could not be true due to the lack of information given by Centrelink. Assumptions like this change peoples idea of refugees and asylum seekers and continues that negative approach.  During 2001 the majority of asylum seekers coming into Australia were from Afganistan, Iraq and Iran therefore portraying to the general public as terrorists or the enemy (McMaster 2001).

This negative image was not just because of the media, Kolcker and Dunn (2003) discovered that just over 90-per-cent of documents dealing with asylum seekers released by the government were negative with an astounding five documents being either neutral or positive.

Many believe that the reason why refugees are not welcomed is because they do not seem to of settled into the Australian way of life. People see the mass migrant areas as ‘no go zones’, places where there is plenty of youth violence and ethnic tension (Jacobs 2011). I believe that this image has been changing and so has mine through this project. In the ACT 783 asylum seekers have made Canberra home since 2005. What surprised me was how many have arrived by boat, not that many seeing that is all the media coverage. In 2008 out of the 4750 asylum seekers that landed in Australia all but 206 came in by air (Farr, 2009). 

The fact that it takes up to ten years plus to gain visas you realise that we are harsh in the way we treat refugees and asylum seekers straight out off the boat, or off the plane. They are being placed in mandatory detention whilst their visa is being assessed. For these refugees to be enclosed in one space for a number of years, it is no surprise that there are cries for the system to be changed.

I came to realise that this project was not to just tell the stories of these fantastic people but to get some much needed positive media coverage about people who are just like you and me. ‘Go back to where you came from‘ the SBS mini-series which took six Australians in the reverse situation as they became boat people and discovered what it was like in Iraq and Kenya as refugees. This was one of the first times we got to experience through our television screens what it might have been like for the people we were interviewing. Once settled in a new country, refugees live normal lives, have normal jobs and have plenty of friends as I discovered through Yussuf.

I believe that this project has opened the eyes of everyone who participated. As journalists it made us connect to our subjects emotionally and through that emotion we were able to create meaningful and insightful stories. These stories that we all worked on this semester takes away from the stereotypes we know and has hopefully opened up a whole new group of Australians eyes.

To see the final piece and download the story visit the ABC Canberra website now.


ABC. (2009, October 26). Media Watch: Welfare and Refugees. Retrieved November 18, 2011, from ABC: http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s2724620.htm

Farr, M. (2009, April 16). Border security is all at sea. Retrieved November 22, 2011, from The Telegraph: http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/malcolmfarr/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/border_security_is_all_at_sea

Jacobs, K. (2011). Experience and representation: contemporary perspectives on migration in Australia. Surrey: Ashgate Publsihing.

McKay, F.  (2011). ‘Any one of these boat people could be a terrorist for all we know!’ Media representations and public perceptions of ‘boat people’ arrivals in Australia.Journalism , Volume 12, Issue 5. Retrieved 19 November, 2011, from http://jou.sagepub.com.ezproxy1.canberra.edu.au/content/12/5/607.full.pdf+html

McMaster, D. (2001). Asylum Seekers: Australia’s response to refugees. Melbourne: Melbourne University Publish.


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