Jets flying high after Socceroos experience

Mark Birighitti, Craig Goodwin and Adam Taggart spoke to newcastlejets.com.au about their experiences at the EAFF Cup.

Socceroos representatives Mark Birighitti, Craig Goodwin and Adam Taggart returned to Newcastle on Tuesday and spoke to newcastlejets.com.au about their experiences representing Australia at the EAFF East Asian Cup in Korea Republic.

The trio were among five Jets players who featured for the Socceroos at the tournament, along with Ruben Zadkovich and Josh Brillante.

Zadkovich played 90 minutes in Australia-s opening two matches against Korea Republic and Japan, while Goodwin became the 562nd player to be capped for the Socceroos when he came on as an 88th minute substitute for Matt McKay against the Blue Samurai.

Birighitti and Brillante both made their international debuts in the Socceroos- final match against China, while Adam Taggart came on as second-half substitute and scored the Socceroos- second goal of the contest, taking his tally in the green and gold to three goals in four matches.

MARK BIRIGHITTI On making his international debut… It has been a dream of mine since I was a young kid to represent my country and to do it at the East Asian Cup was a fantastic experience.

To spend a week at an international tournament with some of the best Australian players in the A-League and Asia was a massive honour.

The results we had were a bit disappointing, but to get my first international cap was a very special thing for me personally and something I-ll cherish for the rest of my life.

On his performance against China… I was quite happy with the way I played, even though I copped four goals, I don-t think I could have done much more on either of those chances.

I felt like I was pretty involved and made some important saves at different stages during the game, which was pleasing.

On his desire to play for the Socceroos again… I-ve been lucky enough to represent Australia in the Joeys, the Under 20-s and the Olyroos, but nothing beats representing the Socceroos at senior level.

It definitely gives me even more motivation to make another camp. It was great getting good quality training from good quality coaches and I definitely want to be in that environment again.

To achieve that I have to focus here at the Newcastle Jets, keep training well and keep performing at a high level.

CRAIG GOODWIN On making his international debut… Representing your country is the biggest honour you can have in sport and I-m very happy to have had that opportunity.

It-s just the start though, and obviously I-ve just got to keep working hard at Newcastle, keep progressing and hopefully I can work my way into a few more Socceroos squads.

On what it will take to be selected in the Socceroos squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil… We all had good seasons last year, which is why we were selected for this tournament with the Socceroos, so hopefully we can step it up again and do even better.

You never know what could happen. If we have a good season in the A-League, there-s no reason why we can-t pinch a spot in the squad for the World Cup, but I think it-s up to us as players to perform at that level now.

ADAM TAGGART On representing Australia at another international tournament… It was another great experience and another great learning curve for myself and the other boys and it has really got me looking forward to the season with the Jets now.

Hopefully we can bring what we-ve learnt over there back to our club football now and kick-on this season.

On scoring against China… To come off the bench and get a goal was really great for me. It was a pretty easy chance to put away, but scoring goals is always good for a striker-s confidence and it doesn-t matter how you score them.

I thought the team did really well to grind out those last few minutes and score a couple of goals, but unfortunately we fell one short in the end.