Brillante settling into right-back role


Josh Brillante says he is starting to feel more settled in his new role at right-back after switching from central midfield mid-season.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets utility Josh Brillante says he is starting to feel more settled in his new role at right-back after making the switch from central midfield midway through the season.

Brillante featured regularly in the middle of the park for the Jets during the early part of the season before being called up for international duty with the Olyroos at the AFC U-22 Championships.

A change in coach and playing system as well as the form of Zenon Caravella and Ruben Zadkovich meant Brillante found it difficult to regain his spot in central midfield upon returning.

However, the 20-year-old has made the most of his versatility, forcing his way back into the starting XI to fill the role of right fullback.

“When I first came to the Club I played a lot of right back, so I-m pretty familiar with the position and I-m just happy at the moment to be playing games, that-s the main thing for me,” Brillante said.

“Midfield to right-back is a completely different thing, but you-ve got to know what to do in your role because you have different responsibilities defensively.

“I watch a few players overseas and learn off what they do defensively and Kew (Jaliens), Taylor (Regan) and Josh (Mitchell) have been a good help to me as well.

“Those boys are always talking to me and giving me little tips about what I should be doing and what I can fix.”

While Brillante said he is happy to be play at right-back for now, he is adamant his long term future is as a central midfielder.

“I-d love to see myself as a midfielder, I grew up playing in the midfield and I still enjoy that position the most,” Brillante explained.

“Hopefully this is just a quick change for now and I can cement my place in the midfield in future.

“The versatility does give you more options sometimes, but it can also be difficult at times.

“It allows me to play more positions, but on the other side of it, it doesn-t really allow me to cement a certain spot, which is a thing I want to do.

“Being a young player it-s good to play in a few different positions and get a feel for what you like and where you want to cement yourself.

“Wherever I play and whenever I play I-ve got that mentality where I want to work hard and prove that I deserve to be on the pitch.”

Brillante said one of his focuses in his new role is to provide the Jets with another dimension to their offensive game plan.

“The more players we can have going forward, the more chances we are going to create,” Brillante said.

“I haven-t scored in the A-League yet, so I-m still hoping to score one soon.

“Even in the right-back position I-ve been having a lot of shots which is a good sign, so hopefully in the next few weeks I can get a bit of luck and put one in the back of the net.”

While Brillante hopes to give the Jets added attacking impetus from the fullback position, he admitted he-ll have to be wary of getting caught out of position to far up the park against Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday.

“All round they-re a great team, but defensively they-re really structured and really disciplined,” Brillante said,.

“Wanderers are really good on the counter-attack, so especially in the left and right back roles, you want to get forward as much as you can but you-ve got to remember that your first role is as a defender.

“We showed last time against the Wanderers what we-re capable of and I think we can do it again.

“We-ve shown what we can do against the top sides and we-ve just got to consistently do that each week.”