Defender Nick Cowburn is relishing his current role as one of the more experienced members of the Newcastle Jets youth team.
Some would consider the idea of being a senior player in a youth team somewhat of a paradox, but that-s clearly not the case for central defender Nick Cowburn, who is relishing his current role as one of the elder statesmen in the Newcastle Jets youth team.
Cowburn is one of a handful of Jets youth team players that have returned for a second NBN State League season with the Jets after taking part in the Club-s inaugural campaign in 2012.
With up to eight regular starting players missing from the Jets youth team over the course of the opening two rounds of the season, the 19-year-old has been required to step up and marshall a young Jets back line.
Cowburn said the added responsibility is something he is thoroughly enjoying.
“It-s a massive role for me as a leader, but I-ll take the job on and do my best to try and help the younger kids along,” Cowburn said.
“It is difficult at times because we have a bit of inexperience, but we-ll learn a lot playing in this competition.
“It-s a good competition to learn about the physicality of the game.
“That-s definitely one thing that playing in the NBN State League teaches you about and it helps you to grow as a player.”
While Cowburn has been a solid contributor in the heart of the Jets- defence over the course of the opening two games, he has also made a big impact at the other end of the field.
Cowburn is the Jets- leading goal scorer after finding the back of the net from a corner in the Jets- opening game of the season and backing that up by burying a free-kick against South Cardiff FC in Round 2.
“It-s an unusual label for a centre-back, but I enjoy scoring and I-m just happy doing anything I can to help the team win,” Cowburn said.
“It-s all new to me. I never used to be a free-kick taker or go up for set pieces, but I-m loving it and enjoying it at the moment.
“I-ll keep attacking the ball at each corner and hopefully I can keep nodding them in.”
The Jets have started the season with a draw and a loss and their task doesn-t get any easy when they take on last season-s Minor Premiers Hamilton Olympic at Darling Street Oval on Saturday night.
However, Cowburn is confident the Jets can rediscover the form that saw them finish third in their inaugural NBN State League Campaign last season.
“It-s been a shaky start to the season, but as the games go on, we-ll get better,” Cowburn said.
“We-ll also get some more experienced players back as the weeks go on which will help us a lot.
“We-ll just keep learning from our mistakes and get better.”
NBN State League Round 3 Newcastle Jets Youth Team v Hamilton Olympic Saturday, April 20 Darling Street Oval Kick-off 6.30pm