Jets players welcome Jones’ passion

JETS midfielder Steven Ugarkovic says Newcastle’s playersappreciate the controversial show of support that has earned their coach a one-game suspension.
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FOCUSED: Jets midfielder Steve Ugarkovic remains confident Newcastle can qualify for the A-League play-offs. Picture: Getty Images

Newcastle mentor Mark Jones was ejected from the McDonald Jones Stadium pitch and banned for their next game after being found guilty of using offensive, insulting or abusive languagetowards a match official during Sunday’s 3-1 loss to Brisbane.

He will not be able to have any contact with the team from two hours before kick-off in their clash with Melbourne City on Saturday week.

Ugarkovic said it was “always good to see the coach stick up for the players”.

“Obviously that’s what you look for in a leader, on and off the field, players, captains and coaches,’’ he said.

“It was good to see.’’

Assistant coach Clayton Zane will take the reins against Melbourne City and Ugarkovic felt Jones’ absence on game day would have minimal impact.

“Obviously it’s a loss, not having him in the changing room, but the coaching staff, everyone involved they send the same message, so I don’t think it will be a massive loss,’’ he said.

“We’ve just got to focus on what he tells us during the week and take that onto the field.’’

Ugarkovic, voted Newcastle’s player of the month for February, said the Jets were still confident of making the finals.

They are currently eighth, three points behind sixth-placed Western Sydney, with five games to go.

Asked how many games Newcastle would need to win to reach the play-offs, Ugarkovic replied: “It doesn’t really matter we need to win.

“We’ve just got to go out there and try to win every game. That will get us into the top.’’

AAP reports: Adelaide United midfielder Riley McGree says he was in disbelief when told of his inclusion in the Socceroos squad.

The 18-year-old was chosen in coach Ange Postecoglou’s 30-man squad for looming World Cup qualifiers after just 12 A-League appearances.

“I was lost for words. I didn’t know what to say,” McGree told reporters on Thursday.

“I didn’t really think it was true, to be honest.”

McGree started the season merely trying to get some meaningful A-League minutes.

But last-placed Adelaide United’s woes have gifted the versatile midfielder opportunities.

“Coming into the season, I thought that I would get maybe some minutes here and there,” he said.

“But due to some unfortunate circumstances of injuries and players leaving, I was thrown in at an earlier stage than I expected.”

Second Brisbane case of measles in two days sparks warning

A Brisbane man with the measles – the second confirmed case of the disease in the city in two days – was infectious as he visited several locations including the Brisbane Airport, health officials warned on Thursday.
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A Metro North Public Health Unit spokesperson said the Chermside man was believed to have moved extensively through Brisbane, as well as been on international and domestic flights while unknowingly infectious.

The man, in his 40s, is also the second person to have passed through Sydney in March while infected with measles.

He was in these locations between March 1 and March 6: Brisbane International Airport on March 1 and Brisbane domestic airport on March 3Virgin Flight VA43 from Brisbane to Denpasar, which departed Brisbane about 3.40pm and arrived about 8.30pm local time on March 1Virgin Flight VA70 from Denpasar to Sydney, which departed about 10.30pm local time on March 1 and arrived about 7.30am local time on March 3 Sydney International Airport and Sydney Domestic Airport on March 3Virgin Flight VA932 Sydney to Brisbane, departing 9am local time and arriving 9.30am local time on March 3Tempest Seafood Restaurant at Scarborough Boat Harbour on March 3North Brisbane Landscape and Garden Centre, Zillmere, on March 5Junction Road Family Practice in Clayfield on March 6 between 10am and 10.45amAnd Accident and Emergency at Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital, Chermside between 11am and 3.30pm on March 6.

Public Health physician Dr Mekala Srirajalingam said anyone who may have been at these locations about the same time and also developed measles-like symptoms in the next three weeks should stay home, and call their doctor for advice.

Dr Srirajalingam said it was important for anyone who needed to seek treatment for suspected measles to call the medical practice first and let them know so staff could ensure the infection was not spread.

“Measles is one of the most infectious of all communicable diseases and is spread by tiny droplets through coughing and sneezing,” Dr Srirajalingam said.

“Symptoms usually start around 10 days after contact, but can occur between seven and 18 days after contact with an infectious person.”

Initial symptoms include fever, runny nose, red eyes, a moist cough and lethargy, followed a few days later by a red blotchy rash that usually starts on the face before spreading to the rest of the body.

Dr Srirajalingam said Metro North was also working with the different places the man had visited while infectious.

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National mountain bike champion Blair hitting the road for Oceania Champs

Jenny Blair should be racing in the Oceania Mountain Bike Championships in Toowoomba this weekend, but decided a babysitter is cheaper than a flight to Queensland.
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Instead the Canberran will compete in her back yard on Friday at the Oceania Road Championships, to be raced on the Cotter Uriarra loop.

Blair hails from Ireland where she won a national mountain bike cross-country marathon title, a feat she matched in Australia, and is looking forward to racing on a familiar route on Friday.

“I’m trying to get back to that elite fitness and I ride the loop twice a week so it’s very familiar. It’s called extras to the locals because it’s the extra loop after brunch on Saturday,” Blair said.

“However it’s three laps on Friday which is about 100km, so that’s a lot different to training over it once, but there’s no expectation on me and I’m just happy to get to the start line.

“There are some really good riders in strong teams and I’m riding by myself, so I just need to be smart and sometimes it’s just luck, other times you need the fitness to follow the moves.”

After giving birth last year, Blair is getting back into the competitive swing of things and said she simply couldn’t pass up racing in such a prestigious event so close to home.

“I’m a mountain biker but I still ride most mornings with the Canberra Cycling Club. I’m racing on Friday because it’s on my doorstep, that and and a babysitter is cheaper than flying to Toowoomba,” Blair said.

“My fitness is good considering I haven’t raced over the summer and that my 10-month-old dictates my training, but he comes along in the back seat sometimes.”

Women’s favourite is Lucy Kennedy took out the individual time trial on Thursday after negotiating a difficult course at Tidbinbilla National Park.

The 28-year-old National Capital Tour yellow jersey winner admitted she was surprised when drug testers told her they needed a sample.

“The drug testers came along and said ‘you’ve won, now come and get tested’, I guess that was my prize,” Kennedy laughed.

“It was a big surprise because I didn’t think I’d gone that well. It’s a hard course and it’s never a good feeling coming off, but I descended really well and I climbed well so it all just came together,” Kennedy said.

Sean Lake took out the men’s time trial on Thursday with the teams event to be raced on Saturday.

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Manildra to close Cootamundra plant

In devastating news for the Cootamundra community, Manildra Meat Company has today told workers they will be out of a job by the end of this month.
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In a meeting with workers, they announced the closure of Cootamundra’s meat processingplant with thefinal day of processing to be Friday,February 24.

Manildra Meat Company General Manager Jason Graham, who is based in Cootamundra, said the decision was extremely difficultand that the group’s main concern was the welfare and future employment opportunities of the employees affected by this decision.

Currently the plant employs150permanent and 70 casual staff.

“We cannot continue to maintain a viable business in the current industry environment, particularlygiven the record high livestock prices and the inability of our customers to absorb these price increases,” Mr Graham said.

In a statement to the media he stipulated that allemployees will be paid their full entitlements as defined in their employment agreements.

“We will be organising on-going on-site assistance for our employees in financial advice, job searchskills, resume assistance and counselling services.” Mr Graham said.

Additionally, he assured suppliers and producers that any outstandingfinancial obligations would be met.

General Manager Jason Graham with Plant Manager Chris Irvine last year.

The plant will not be sold as Manildra Meat Company commits to monitoring the reasons which have forced their closure for any change.

“We acknowledge that this decision will have a wider impact on the Cootamundra district and we will continue to assess the industry dynamics with the intention of processing again,” MrGraham said.

A small team ofemployees will continue to be based at the plant to maintain the significant assets.

Manildra purchased the processing plant from GM Scott in 2014with the purchase official on July 1 that year.

At the time,Manildra Meat Company Director of Business DevelopmentPeter Millard committed to expanding the beef line.

“We will support the team here to be the best it can be as a world-class facility,” Mr Millard said in the Cootamundra Herald in 2014.

Last December, they parted ways with Woolworths;traditionally a major client of the Cootamundra abattoir as Woolworths gave their contract for the processing of lamb to the meatworks in Junee.

Member for Cootamundra Katrina Hodgkinson has commented on the closure describing it as “a great loss for the electorate and of course, for the some 220 full-time and casual staff at Cootamundra”.

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