Coaches Choice: Mark Birighitti

The Newcastle Jets coaching staff have highlighted the performance of Mark Birighitti for this week’s ‘Coaches Choice’.

The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets coaching staff have highlighted the performance of goalkeeper Mark Birighitti in last weekend-s 1-1 draw with Wellington Phoenix for 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.

Jets head coach Gary van Egmond said Birighitti was his pick for the Round 18 clash with the Wellington Phoenix at Wetspac Stadium.

“He-s doing well, he-s a young keeper in his first real year of consistent football,” van Egmond said.

“It-s important for him to keep his feet on the ground, but I think he-s progressing very nicely and the more games he gets, the more experience he gets, the better he-s going to get.”

Birighitti he said he was pleased with his own performance against Wellington, as well as that of his teammates.

“It was a good all-round performance by the team. I was a bit disappointed to concede a goal, but at the end of the day it was a tough trip to Wellington,” Birighitti said.

“It was tough to go down to 10 men early in the second half, but the boys showed great courage to come back and get a point.

“Getting a point there is like a win for us and it builds momentum going into the Sydney game this weekend.”

Birighitti was called upon to make a number of crucial saves during the match against the Phoenix, including an important reflex block from a Jeremy Brockie strike.

“Brockie was through again one-on-one with me and it kind of went through my head about what happened six or eight weeks ago when I fractured my cheekbone,” he said.

“But I just came out, tried to stand tall and make myself big and I was lucky enough the ball hit me and ricocheted out for a corner.”

Birighitti said the Jets are well aware of the importance of each of their remaining fixtures as the season draws to an end.

“If you look at the league, from bottom spot to where we are, it-s only a few points separating everyone,” Birighitti said.

“Every game is important leading up to the finals, so we need to start getting some wins on the board and I-m confident they will start coming soon.”