Birighitti looking to build on breakout season

Mark Birighitti hopes his stellar season can be a building block towards even bigger and better things next year.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets 2012/13 Player of the Year Mark Birighitti is hoping his stellar first season at the Club can be a building block towards even bigger and better things next year.

Birighitti received the award at the Jets- annual Awards Night at Merewether Surfhouse on Tuesday.

“To win such a prestigious award is a real honour,” Birighitti said.

“I-m very grateful that Gary had a lot of faith in me and believed in me, and I think my performances out on the pitch showed that I was improving each week, so hopefully I can keep doing that and carry this form onto next year.”

It wasn-t all smooth sailing for Birighitti in 2012/13 however, with the 21-year-old shot-stopper being sent off in his first game for his new Club, before suffering a fractured cheekbone in Round 7 that sidelined him for four matches.

Birighitti put the way he responded to those setbacks down to all the support he received from his family, friends, teammates and the Jets coaching staff.

“It was a rollercoaster start to my season with the injury and getting red-carded in my first game, but I felt like I was in really good form and my confidence was sky high,” Birighitti said.

“I had good support behind me from the coaches and players and if it wasn-t for them I wouldn-t be where I am now.

“It-s the same with any player, if your confidence is high and the more games you play, the better you-re going to get.”

After a disappointing end to the season, which saw the Jets narrowly miss out on the playoff, Birighitti said he was looking forward to some time off before getting stuck into pre-season training.

“It-s been a long, hard season for all the boys,” Middleby said.

“At the start of the year we made it clear that we wanted to make the top six. That wasn-t the outcome, so obviously a lot of the boys are disappointed.

“We-ve got some time off now to refresh ourselves, get back on track again and a have well deserved holiday that we all need.

“I can-t wait to get back in and I-m looking forward to next season.

“We-ve got a lot of young players, a lot of depth in the side and having Emile re-sign and having Bridgey here for another year, it-s means those young guys can learn a lot from those experienced players,” he said.

“A good couple of years in this environment and learning off great players like Emile and Bridgey, it-s definitely going to do them the world of good.”