Newcastle Jets debutant Nick Cowburn has spoken of the need to work hard and continue improving his game after starting for the first time in the Jets’ 1-1 draw against the Western Sydney Wanderers last weekend.
19-year-old Cowburn made his first A-League appearance at right-back but is determined not to rest on his laurels, as he pushes for a more permanent spot within the league.
“I definitely enjoyed it,” Cowburn said.
“It was an amazing experience; over the moon with how it all went, now the focus is on working hard and continuing to do well,”
“It was a solid start but I have to build on it, your A-League career isn’t one game so you have to build on it.
“Some of the boys have been giving me some good advice, continue to work hard, keep proving to the gaffer that you’re good enough to be in the squad.”
The Newcastle Youth Team junior was a late inclusion into Saturday’s starting XI after Scott Neville pulled out with complaints of tight groin, however Cowburn said the pressure of the situation was never really an issue for him.
“I didn’t have much time to dwell on it, or think about it too much, just go out and perform and that’s what I just tried to do,” Cowburn said.
The pressure is unlikely to relent because retention of his spot would mean an appearance in his first F3 Derby this Sunday afternoon, although Cowburn is relishing the opportunity to play in matches like these.
“Another big environment, but nerves don’t really affect me in big environments like that, I’m just there to do a job and I’ll perform to the best of my ability,” Cowburn said.
“I’ve grown up and watched every single derby there has been… it’s amazing and the football is always good, so I’ll just try and carry on that tradition.”
Cowburn is only relatively new to the right-back position and has pointed to this versatility as a professional footballer as the reason for his early success.
“Second half of the winter I started playing at right-back and they said it was a chance for me to come into the first team in that position as a back up to Scott Neville, and I’ve copped that on board and taken the advice that I need to do well in that position," he said.
“It’s a little bit foreign, but I’m happy to fill in anywhere the team needs me.
“If there’s a slot I can fill in I’m happy to, and being that type of player doesn’t really bother me too much, but as I said working hard at training might change that perspective, I might cement a spot or if I don’t I’m happy to be a versatility player.”
Whatever the position, Cowburn is focused and excited on this next section of his career.
“This is football, as long as you’re playing football, your touches are neat and tidy and you’re doing things that are going to help the team, it doesn’t matter where I’m playing.”
Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners
Sunday, November 30