JETS INSIDER - Mark Birighitti

In this week’s edition of Jets Insider, Mark Birighitti is answering questions submitted by the club’s Members and supporters.

In this week-s edition of Jets Insider, Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti is answering questions submitted by the club-s Members and supporters.

Birighitti speaks about his Jets debut, his reasons for moving to Newcastle and what it is like saving Emile Heskey-s shots in training.

@ithas2fit asks via Twitter: Mark how did it feel to be sent off in your first game and do you believe you will be able to hold on to the starting spot?

Mark Birighitti (MB): It was obviously disappointing being sent off in my first game, especially against my old side, but that happens in football.

I moved on from it quite quickly and made sure I had a good couple of weeks on the training pitch and I was able to redeem myself last weekend against the Mariners.

I think I have a good chance of holding onto that number one spot. I had a good game on the weekend, but it-s up to me and it-s in my hands now to keep performing and doing well at training.

Jen Fischer asks via email: Was one of the main reasons for moving to the Jets the chance to become a number one keeper?

MB: I was at Adelaide for four years and I learned my apprenticeship there. I came to Newcastle to perform well and hopefully get that number one spot, so the opportunity to get more game time was definitely one of the main reasons for joining the Jets.

Alice Walker asks via email: Who is your goalkeeping idol and why?

MB: I-ve always liked Iker Casilas from Real Madrid. He-s a fantastic goalkeeper. He commands his box well, he-s good with both feet and he-s just an all-round good goalkeeper.

The other one is Mark Bosnich. He was a brilliant keeper and I loved watching him play back in the day.

@loo_loo8 asks via Twitter: My three kids are BIG fans of Mark and would like to ask at what age did he make the transition to keeper and why?

MB: I took the gloves from a young age, when I was only about eight years old. My dad was my first ever coach and when it came to picking the team he would tell the other players that they-re in goals and they would start crying.

So it made it easier if I just took the gloves and that-s how I started goalkeeping. From about the age of 12 I started getting goalkeeper coaching and it kicked on from there.

Gareth Klein asks via email: What do you like to do with your spare time in Newcastle?

MB: I like to head down to Darby Street and have a nice coffee with a few of the boys. I also like to go to the beach as much as possible. There are lovely beaches here in Newcastle so I love to spend as much time as I can relaxing down there.

Mark Reid asks via email: The Jets haven-t kept a clean sheet yet this season, but the defence looked to have tightened up against the Mariners. Do you think a clean sheet is not too far away?

MB: I think it-s a matter of time now. Each game we-ve played we-ve become a lot tighter and a lot more compact in defence.

It-s still early on, we-re still working on things on the training pitch and I have no doubt that the first clean sheet isn-t too far away.

Lawrence Parker asks via email: We-ve seen you guys play with a back three and a back four at different times. As a keeper do you feel more comfortable with either formation?

MB: Obviously I prefer to have a back four because the extra defender in the backline gives us that extra protection and probably limits the amount chances the opposition will have.

At the end of the day though, it-s up to the coach and what he decides to play. We-ve been practicing a lot with both in pre-season, so whether we play with a back three or a back four, I-m more than confident the boys can do a job.

@wezza140 asks via Twitter: What's it like to have Heskey at the club?

MB: It-s fantastic. I used to watch him on the TV when I was a young kid with my family. He-s a great bloke and a great guy to have around the Club and he-s a fantastic player as well.

@W0LV3S asks via Twitter: Do you feel like serving as backup to Galekovic has helped you develop into the player you are now?

MB: For sure. Eugene was a fantastic role model for me, he taught me a lot and I have a lot to thank him for. I was there for four years and I did my apprenticeship there. I was lucky enough to get a contract at the Jets and we-ve got good goalkeepers here as well in Jack Duncan and Ben Kennedy as well as a good goalkeeper coach in Bob Catlin.

Mitch Cole asks via email: What are your career highlights so far?

MB: Going to the Under 20 FIFA World Cup in Colombia last year was definitely a highlight.

The other one would be playing in the second leg of the Asian Champions League Final. I was only young and it was great to play in front of such a big crowd at Hindmarsh. It was a great experience for me to play against some of the best in Asia.

Ben Bull asks via email: What-s it like saving Emile Heskey-s shots in training?

MB: He-s a top-class striker who has a knack in front of goal. If you give him a chance in training he-ll score more often than not. He-s phenomenal when we-re doing shooting drills so it-s good to have a guy like him at the Club.

Riley Campbell asks via email: Have you ever scored a goal while playing as the goalkeeper?

MB: Not yet, but I-m going to keep trying!

For next week-s Jets Insider interview, Jets coach Gary van Egmond will answer YOUR questions. Simply tweet your question using the #JetsInsider hashtag or send your question to communications@huntersportsgroup.com by COB Wednesday. Then check back in Jets Insider next week to see if your question is answered.

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