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NEWCASTLE-BRED SOCCEROO PASSES AWAY

Former Newcastle Breakers and Socceroos’ player Darren Stewart has passed away, aged 52. Stewart played 23 games for the Breakers during the early 1990s, along with three games for the national side. He was also successful in Asia, becoming the first Australian to win the Malaysia FA Cup in 1998, before moving into sports management. The Jets will wear black armbands in memory of the defender in their round one clash this weekend. (VISION ONLY)

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BRITT ECKERSTROM RETURNS FOR THE JETS

The Jets’ W-League squad is now complete, with the return of goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom. And the American believes, after getting match time for US runners-up Portland, she can take her game to a new level. Eckerstrom was instrumental for the Jets last season, playing in all 13 of their matches. The W-League kicks off in seven days.

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RUSSELL CONTINUES PREPARATION FOR GOLD COAST 600

Newcastle Supercars driver Aaren Russell has settled into life on the Gold Coast, ahead of this weekend’s enduro round, taking on the Titans in a game of beach volleyball. It was the perfect way for the co-driver to relax ahead of the 600, coming back into the team to support Andre Heimgartner. Practice begins tomorrow – as for the volleyball match, the honours were shared. (AUDIO IN PARTS)

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NEW SOUTH WALES STILL WITH CHANCE IN SHIELD OPENER

There’s still hope for Jason Sangha and his New South Wales team mates in their season-opening Sheffield Shield match against South Australia. The debutant was even thrown the ball as the Blues looked to restrict the Redbacks. He only bowled one over before the tail was cleaned up. New South Wales are now back at the crease for their second knock, and have a slender lead.

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SIMMONS STUNS AGAIN IN NBA SEASON OPENER

Ben Simmons has proved he’s no one-hit wonder, going close to a triple double in the opening game of the new NBA season. The Australian finished with 19 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists. Unfortunately, it was fellow Aussie Aron Baynes who had the last laugh, as Philadelphia lost to Boston by 18. (AUDIO IN PARTS)

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RYAN CALLINAN THRUST INTO WORLD TITLE RACE

Newcastle wildcard Ryan Callinan may well decide surfing’s world title race. Having won his first round heat against Owen Wright in Portugal, he’ll now take on Gabriel Medina… who’s locked in a three-way tussle for the crown with fellow Brazillian Felipe Toledo and Australia’s Julian Wilson. “Yeah it’s awesome. I came here for two weeks and i’ve been here for over a month now.” Callinan said. “It looks like i’m going to be staying a little longer. It’s been an amazing trip, it’s really overwhelming but really cool.” All three world title contenders survived their opening heats overnight.

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