Coaches Choice: Mark Birighitti

For the second week running, the Jets coaching staff have selected Mark Birighitti for this week’s ‘Coaches Choice’.

For the second week running, the Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets coaching staff have highlighted the performance of goalkeeper Mark Birighitti this week-s ‘Coaches Choice-.

Each week the Newcastle Jets coaching staff will select one player who they believe played an important role in the previous weekend-s game.

The Coaches Choice will not necessarily be the man of the match, but rather a player who has caught the eye of the Jets coaching staff with certain aspects of their performance.

Birighitti earned the praise of head coach Gary van Egmond for another solid performance in the Jets- 2-2 draw with Sydney FC at Hunter Stadium last weekend.

The 21-year-old shot-stopper said that while he was disappointed Sydney were able to find the back of the net twice during the contest, it was pleasing he was able to help the Jets secure a vital point as the race for the top six heats up.

“It-s always disappointing to concede goals coming off the back of keeping three consecutive clean sheets,” Birighitti said.

“Goalkeepers never like conceding goals and I would have like to have done better with the second one against Sydney, but I suppose you can-t save them all.

“The performance on the weekend wasn-t that bad, we have played a lot better than that, but to come out of it with a point in the end was fantastic.”

Birighitti put his stellar form this season down to hard work on the training paddock combined with a consistent run of playing time.

“Ever since I came back from injury, I-ve been able to keep performing at a high level,” he said.

“Full credit has to go to the coaching staff, they-ve got me in cherry ripe condition and the whole body feels good and I think that-s showing on the pitch.

“Consistency is also a big thing. I-ve played 12 or 13 games with the club so far and each game I-ve played, I-ve improved.

“When I was in Adelaide I only played five or six games in the four years I was there.

“Every game I play I-m getting better and better, I know when to make good decisions and I learn from bad decisions.”

The Jets- defence has become noticeably more compact and structured since the turn of the year and Birighitti said improved communication had been an important factor in turning that around.

“Communication is a key factor in goalkeeping,” he said.

“If you can communicate well with the defence and the rest of your team, it makes your job easier because you don-t have to go into games making eight or nine saves.”

Birighitti said the Jets are confident of continuing their five-game undefeated run and cementing a spot in the top six against Western Sydney Wanderers at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday.

“We-re sitting in fifth position and there-s three or four points separating us and bottom spot, so we need to get a few wins on the board,” he said.

“It-s good that we-ve gone five games undefeated and that-s a real bonus for us.

“We just need to get that consistency going, get three or four wins on the trot going into the finals so we can break away from the rest of the group.

“We-ve got a tough game this week against Western Sydney, but it-s been a good week on the training pitch and I-m fully confident we can get a win on the weekend.”

All pre-purchased tickets to the game include travel from Newcastle to the venue on CityRail trains as well as free transport on regular Sydney Buses (STA) services, Liverpool to Parramatta T-way buses and Sydney Ferries services.

The Jets Members pre sale has now ended, but tickets can still be purchased by CLICKING HERE.