AN investigation into a financial dispute that left Hunter aspiring footballers rallying to salvage an overseas trip of a lifetime has earned Newcastle Herald journalist James Gardiner a berth at the Australian Sports Media Awards.
Gardiner’s piece Offside: how a football fantasy turned into a nightmare is shortlisted in the best regional, rural and suburban sports coverage category.
Published in March, the piece detailed a dispute between former Newcastle Jets captain Jobe Wheelhouse and Sydney businessman Manuel Camara.
The issue left Wheelhouse and several Hunter families out of pocket in the tens of thousands of dollars for a planned European tour planned to have taken the young players to Spain and Portugal.
The awards have run since 2002 and are the country’s only accolades designed for excellence in sports journalism, broadcasting, production and photography.
Winners of the Sport Australia Media Awards will be announced at a dinner in Melbourne on February 7.