June 20, 2015 10:11:44 UK
Mark Birighitti is back at Hunter Stadium to battle with Ben Kennedy for Newcastle Jets’ No.1 goalkeeper role.
The 24-year-old has re-joined last season’s wooden spoon side after completing his loan spell with Italian club A.S. Varese.
Birighitti was allowed to move to the Serie B team after losing his spot to Kennedy from round seven of last season.
He was restricted to just three appearances for the Leopards, who were relegated to Lega Pro at the end of the campaign.
I believe this is the right move for me to come back to the Newcastle Jets.
Now he’s back to try to win favour with the new coaching team of Scott Miller and Jean-Paul de Marigny.
Birighitti’s form with the Jets, who he joined in 2012 from Adelaide United, saw him called into the Australia squad under Holger Osieck.
The former Australia U-19 goalkeeper made his debut for the Socceroos in the East Asian Football Cup against China.
Having played 45 games across his first two seasons with Newcastle, who are 26.00 to win the 2015-16 Grand Final, Birighitti was disappointed to be axed early last term.
Ahead of joining up with the rest of the Jets players for pre-season testing on Monday, he said he was excited to return.
“I believe this is the right move for me to come back to the Newcastle Jets,” he added. “I believe the appointment of the two new senior coaches … are good ones.
“I feel that they have the right qualities and the right attributes to get the best out of every player and to make the Jets a real force. That’s something that I really want to be a part of.”
The keeper said his time in Italy had been a fantastic experience, adding: “I was playing and training with some top quality players over there in a fantastic league, so I definitely learnt a lot.”
Meanwhile, Australia are 5.00 to win their next match at the Women’s World Cup against Brazil, who are 1.70 with the draw 3.60.
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