Growing up Jets utility Nick Cowburn ventured to Breakers Stadium and what is now Hunter Stadium to watch Newcastle’s national football teams pit their wits against the country’s best.While the action on the pitch provided a source of motivation for the 20-year-old Hyundai A-League rookie, Cowburn also didn’t have to look far down his own childhood street to gather inspiration.
“I am lucky that I have had a father and brother that played at this level,” Cowburn said on Thursday. “Also two doors up in my childhood was Jobe Wheelhouse. He was a great influence as well and he’s done great things at this Club.”
“I always loved coming and watching the Newcastle Jets and back when I was younger I used to watch Newcastle United as well, but I have always been a fan and to put on the shirt is a good feeling.”
Cowburn spoke to local media ahead of the Jets’ flight to Melbourne to fight Victory at AAMI Park.
It is in the Victorian capital that the youngster is set to line-up for the eighth match of his own professional career, plus attempt to thwart the best advances of some of the most illustrious attackers in the competition.
“There’s some quality players,” Cowburn said of competing in the Hyundai A-League. “[Fahid Ben] Khalfallah this weekend, it was [Sergio] Cirio last weekend and before that it was [Nikita] Rukuvytsya.”
“It doesn’t matter the player, I just have to do my job for the team.”
Cowburn admits that transitioning from life as a National Premier League and Foxtel National Youth League player to a Hyundai A-League starter has been testing, but believes – as the Newcastle Jets coaching staff do – that he’s handled his leap into the Club’s top grade well.
“Seven games in I wouldn’t say that I am used to [Hyundai] A-League football yet but I am really starting to get accustomed to it and the speed of the play. I am confident each game that I go into and my focus is just to build on every game each week and keep improving my performances.”
“It’s a bit of a step up from the National Premier League [NPL] competition but I feel that I am ready for it and I want to tackle the best and prove that I belong.”
“The speed of the game is definitely a step up from the NPL and the youth league, so you have to be quicker. But that comes from the intensity in training as well. The more intense the training is the more game ready that I am. Working hard at training will get me accustomed to the [Hyundai] A-League.”
“I am taking every game as an opportunity to show what I can do. First and foremost I am doing a job for my club, my hometown club, and that’s what I want to do.”
Melbourne Victory vs. Newcastle Jets — Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Round 25
Date: Friday 10 April 2015
Stadium: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Television: Live on FOX SPORTS 505 & SBS ONE
Radio: Live on ABC Grandstand & 1233 ABC Newcastle
Twitter: Join the match conversation using #MVCvNEW @NewcastleJetsFC