Birighitti named Player of the Year

Mark Birighitti wins A-League Player of the Year, while Andrew Hoole is NYL's and Hannah Brewer for the W-League.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti has capped off a stellar season by being named the Club-s Player of the Year for 2012/13.

Birighitti, who was one of three finalists which included striker Emile Heskey and captain Ruben Zadkovich, accepted his award at Merewether Surfhouse on Tuesday night.

The ever-reliable Birighitti made 22 appearances in his first season at the Jets, keeping five clean sheets and making a number of important saves at crucial moments throughout the campaign.

After being sent-off against his former Club Adelaide United in Round 1, the 21-year-old showed tremendous strength of character to regain the number one spot and make it his own for the remainder of the season.

Birighitti also overcame a fractured cheekbone that saw him miss four matches midway through the season to finish the year with an impressive tally of 63 saves.

Jets head coach Gary van Egmond said Birighitti was a thoroughly deserving recipient of the A-League Player of the Year accolade.

“Mark has had a standout year and was excellent for us all season, which is a testament to his attitude and work ethic,” van Egmond said.

“He continued to grow and develop as the season went on and it was fantastic to see the way he asserted himself in his position.

“Not only have his performances this season been very impressive, but the character he showed to come back from that shocking injury he suffered ahead of schedule shows how passionate he is about playing for the Jets.

“The challenge for him now is to back up and have an even better year next season.”

For the second year running, Andrew Hoole took out the National Youth League Player of the Year award.

Hoole-s impressive performances at youth team level saw him elevated to the Jets- first-team squad at the back end of the season where he made eight appearances.

Youth team striker Kale Bradbery was also acknowledged for winning the National Youth League-s Golden Boot award, having finished the season with more goals than any other player in the competition.

The Jets- W-League Player of the Year award was presented to Hannah Brewer. The versatile 19-year-old defender performed at a consistently high level for the Jets women throughout the season and was a worthy recipient of the prize.

Season 2012/13 Award winners:

A-League Player of the Year: Mark Birighitti

W-League Player of the Year: Hannah Brewer

National Youth League Player of the Year: Andrew Hoole

National Youth League Golden Boot Award: Kale Bradbery