Birighitti looking to build on breakout season

Mark Birighitti says he is hoping to carry his stellar form from his first year with the Jets into the 2013/14 season.

Reigning Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets Player of the Year Mark Birighitti says he is hoping to carry his stellar form from his first season with the Jets into the upcoming 2013/14 A-League campaign.

Birighitti is one of a small group of Jets first-teamers who have commenced pre-season training ahead of the Jets participation in the Singapore Soccer sixes tournament this weekend.

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“(Pre-season) has come around pretty quickly, but it-s been good to get back into it straight away,” Birighitti said.

“I-m really looking forward to this tournament coming up in Singapore.

“I know it-s a six-a-side tournament, but we-ve been working hard at training in the lead-up to it.

“We just want to take it like any other game and we-re going to go there and try to win the tournament.”

Birighitti said having a solid pre-season under his belt would be the key to continuing the impressive form he showed in 2012/13.

“Obviously it was a great achievement winning player of the year last year and hopefully I can back that up this year,” Birighitti said.

“I-m looking to have a good pre-season and stay injury-free. There-s still a long way to go leading up to the start of the A-League season, so I-m just going to take each day as it comes.

“Hopefully I can stay fit and have another good year like I did last year.

Birighitti impressed many with his consistent performances last season, which saw him keep five clean sheets and make a number of athletic reflex saves.

The 22-year-old shot-stopper admitted he harbours ambitions to play overseas one day, but said his only focus at this point in time is performing well for the Jets.

“Last year was my first breakout year as a number one goalkeeper. If it comes, it comes. I-m happy here in Newcastle,” Birighitti said.

"I love playing here, we have good coaching staff and I love Newcastle as a place because I-ve settled in really well here.

"Whatever happens, happens, at the moment I-m just focused on doing well here with the Newcastle Jets.”