Jets captain vows 100 per cent commitment

Jets captain vows 100 per cent commitment

CAPTAIN Ruben Zadkovich remains “100 per cent committed” to leading the Newcastle Jets but has not ruled out an overseas move.

Zadkovich resumed training with the A-League club yesterday after a “meet and greet” at English Championship outfit Millwall that included putting “the boots on a couple of days and a bit of a light session”.

Millwall, who last week signed Queens Park Rangers midfielder Shaun Derry on a month loan, have not tabled an offer for Zadkovich, whom they first approached in July.

The transfer window closes on August 31.

“I’m not expecting anything to change in the next two weeks,” he said.

“Obviously the window is still open and you never know.

“But I can look you in the face and say I am 100 per cent committed to Newcastle.

“I am still the captain of Newcastle and this is where I want to play my football.

“I would not have re-signed here if it was any different.”

Zadkovich has two years remaining on his Jets contract but has previously played in England at Queens Park Rangers, Notts County and Derby County.

“I am never going to not show interest in playing at a higher level,” Zadkovich said.

“That is what we all aspire to do. That’s why we play football – to play at the best level we can.”

Zadkovich said he had formed a “pretty strong” relationship with Millwall manager Steve Lomas.

“In the end there is figure on my head here if a club wants a transfer,” he said.

“It is basically up to clubs to put an offer forward.

“I think it was a money issue for them.

“Their club captain Danny Shittu was a first-team pro when I was a youngster at Queens Park Rangers. He helped me fit in with the boys and made sure I got to know everyone.

“That was important for their manager to see what type of person I was around the squad.

“Things went really well, but in the end I’m still here at Newcastle and stoked to be.”

The Millwall trip also gave Zadkovich an opportunity to visit his eldest brother, London based solicitor Luke.

It continued a varied pre-season which started with a trek to the Top End to visit middle brother Simon and included a recall to the Socceroos squad and two caps at the East Asia Cup.

“It is such a long pre-season here,” Zadkovich said.

“When you are training day-in, day-out for four months without serious competition, it can get mundane.

“For me to go away and have a bit of time with the national squad, to get up and see my brother up north and top it off by seeing my brother in London has been perfect.

“Now I still have a solid two-month stint here with my team.”

Zadkovich was unsure if he would play in the trial against Bonnyrigg tomorrow night.

With Zenon Caravella returning from an Achilles problem, Ben Kantarovski and Josh Brillante are likely to start in midfield against the White Eagles.

“There are plenty of guys there who can play as a holding midfielder,” Zadkovich said.

“We have a really strong squad. It is young, it is feisty and the boys are really hungry.

“That is perfect for me, I would never want to be at a club where it was easy to get a spot in the he starting team. I always want to be pushed.”

Jets chief executive Robbie Middleby confirmed that the Jets were still in the hunt for the “right central defender”.

Sydney-based Italian defender Vincenzo Ricciardi trained yesterday but has been let go.

AAP reports: A-League club Melbourne Victory are determined not to lose Socceroo Mark Milligan for anything less than top dollar – and would prefer to keep him.

English Premier League side Crystal Palace are chasing Milligan, and the Victory said they had made an offer.

But the Victory said it was well below market value – believed to be around $500,000 with add-ons.

Postecoglou said Milligan was the best player in Australia right now, and did not want to sell a player central to his A-League plans.

“We value him very, very highly. We’d expect them to meet our valuation of him.

“He’s the best player at our club, he’s the best player in the country at the moment.

“I don’t think we need to be out there trying to flog him, and we’re certainly not doing it for the money,” he said.

Milligan has two years left on his Victory contract.