Jets grant Jonny Steele indefinite leave

admin | 杭州桑拿
4 Dec 2018

OUT: Jonny Steele playing one of his two games for Newcastle.IRISH import Jonny Steele faces an uncertain future with the Newcastle Jets after being granted indefinite personal leave for reasons the club has refused to divulge.

Steele, the former New York Red Bulls midfielder, did not attend training on Wednesday, a development that caught club management by surprise.

After speaking to the 28-year-old, Jets coach Phil Stubbins told the Newcastle Herald that the club had agreed to grant him time off.

‘‘The player has requested a little bit of leave of absence, and after speaking with the player, and considering our duty of care as a club, we’ve decided that it’s a warranted request,’’ Stubbins said.

‘‘It will remain in confidence between the player and the club where it’s at. That’s probably all I’d be prepared to say at this point in time.’’

Stubbins revealed Steele’s issue was ‘‘not a football matter’’. He could not confirm nor deny if the player intended to return home to Northern Ireland during his leave.

‘‘Out of respect for the player, I don’t really want to go into too much detail, to be honest,’’ Stubbins said.

‘‘We’ve not put a definite period on here.‘‘Everyone is trying to do the right thing here, and that’s where it’s at.’’

Steele’s absence at training was unexpected after he told a fan on Twitter he would be ‘‘back training this week’’ when he was asked on Tuesday if he had recovered from a calf-muscle injury.

Later on Tuesday he seemed in good spirits, tweeting: ‘‘This Melbourne Cup day is crazy in oz!’’

After joining Newcastle in the pre-season, Steele started in Newcastle’s first two games, against Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne City, and came close to scoring two goals against the Mariners.

But he was dropped for the round-three trip to Wellington when Stubbins was disappointed with his performance on the training pitch.

‘‘For me, training is everything,’’ Stubbins said at the time.

‘‘The application and intensity and everything we want at training needs to be apparent at any given time.

‘‘Maybe it is fatigue on Jonny’s part on this particular occasion, but he was just a little bit short at training.

‘‘We have the two big games coming up, a lot of travel involved, and we decided to rest him up.’’

Steele then suffered a corked calf and was ruled out of the trip to Perth last weekend, where the Jets lost for the third time this season.

The colourful Irishman’s absence on Wednesday was another frustrating setback for Stubbins, who had been hoping to have a full complement of players at his disposal for Saturday’s showdown with Melbourne Victory at Hunter Stadium.

Veteran left-sided central defender Adrian Madaschi and former Victory holding midfielder Billy Celeski are both back in training and pushing for selection.

Striker Joel Griffiths was rested from training on Wednesday but is expected to be fit for Saturday.

‘‘Jonny aside, it’s the first time I’ve had a full list to choose from,’’ Stubbins said.

‘‘Madaschi and Celeski are both very, very close, although I’m not sure if they’ll play this week.’’

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