One player hoping to make the Socceroos squad for the EAFF East Asian Cup is Newcastle Jets young shot stopper Mark Birighitti.
The Socceroos are continuing preparations for the EAFF East Asian Cup later this month, with Coach Holger Osieck commencing his second national training camp for Australian based players today.
One player hoping to make the squad for the tournament in the Korea Republic is Newcastle Jets young shot stopper Mark Birighitti.
The ambitious 22-year-old was thrilled to be given the opportunity to test himself and train alongside some of the A-League-s best talent. Having represented Australia at U-20 and U-23 level he is hoping his efforts this week will help see him called up for a senior debut.
“The camps have been really good. Obviously it-s an honour to be given the recognition but now is the time to keep training hard. Nothing comes easy and I have one week to prove myself.
“I was lucky enough to represent Australia at youth level, so to make my Socceroos debut would be a dream come true,” said Birighitti.
The 22-year-old is one of six Newcastle Jets players included in this week-s 20-man camp taking place in Sydney - the most represented club in the A-League. While Mark said it was great to have so many familiar faces around he was also enjoying the experience of training alongside the A-League-s elite.
“As a goalkeeper, the likes of Archie Thompson and Dario Vidosic are guys we dread playing against, so it-s great to be given the chance to train alongside them and see how they operate,” he said.
Having hailed from Perth before making his Hyundai A-League debut with Adelaide United, Birighitti has also enjoyed linking with former mentors Tony Franken and Aurelio Vidmar inside camp. He described Coach Holger Osieck as a “real gentlemen” and his sessions as being at an extremely high level.
While having all the confidence you would want from your custodian on the pitch, Birighitti remains modest about what he has achieved so far, his resolve obviously the product of the hard work he has done to get where he is at such a young age.
He was also full of praise for fellow goalkeepers in the squad, Eugene Galekovic and Nathan Coe - guys he will seemingly be competing with to wear the number one shirt.
Birighitti said while he had the desire to one day follow in the footsteps of fellow young goalkeeper Mat Ryan and play overseas, right now he was focused on the task at hand.
“I would love to one day play in Europe, that is a real dream of mine but right now I-m just concentrating on the Jets and trying to help ensure we play finals football this year,” he said.
With just a year to run on his current deal, there is no certainty as to where Birighitti will be playing his football next season. However the Jets goalkeeper will surely have no shortage of clubs vying for his signature and is one we can expect to see in the reckoning for Socceroos selection in years to come.