Jets World Cup hopefuls to leave nothing to chance


Newcastle Jets players Mark Birighitti, Josh Brillante and Adam Taggart have vowed to do all they can to earn World Cup selection.

Newcastle Jets players Mark Birighitti, Josh Brillante and Adam Taggart have vowed to put their best foot forward after being named in the Socceroos- 30-man preliminary World Cup squad on Wednesday.

The Jets trio link-up with the rest of Ange Postecolgu-s squad in Gosford tomorrow for a two-week training camp in the build-up to Australia-s farewell friendly match against South Africa at ANZ Stadium on May 26th.

Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti, who is one of four shot-stoppers named in the squad, said he would be doing everything in his power to try and impress.

“The hard work starts now,” Birighitti said.

“We-ve got a tough couple of weeks coming up in camp and I don-t want to be the goalkeeper that is left out of the final squad.

“They-re all top quality goalkeepers. Obviously I had a lot to do with Eugene (Galekovic) while I was at Adelaide United and both Mitch Langerak and Mat Ryan have had fantastic years overseas.

“I just want to go into the camp, train well and make a good impression.”

Jets striker Adam Taggart said that while he was excited to be named in the preliminary squad, he wasn-t getting too carried away just yet.

“It-s obviously really nice, but at the same time it-s a massive challenge for all of us in the 30-man squad,” Taggart said.

“You can-t go in too excited or be ready to celebrate just yet.

“There-s obviously going to be another cut down to the 23 players that are actually in the squad to go to Brazil and that is what my main focus is.

“We-ve got to go into the camp training like absolute animals to make sure we stake our claim and give ourselves the best opportunity possible to get on that plan to Rio.

“For Ange to show faith in Australian-based players is a massive confidence boost for us, but now it-s up to us to show what we can do in the camp.

“Seven players get cut and you don-t want to be one of them because you want to give yourself the best opportunity to have such an amazing experience of going to a World Cup.”

Jets utility Josh Brillante said it was a special moment when his name was read out by Socceroos head coach Ange Postecoglu.

“It was very exciting to hear my name announced in that squad,” Brillante said.

“During the season I didn-t think about it too much, I just wanted to work hard each week and concentrate on my game, but in the end it has paid off.

“There-s still a lot of work to do though, because in the end you want to put your name forward for the 23-man squad.”

Brillante is capable of playing as both a central midfielder and right-back said he felt his versatility could work in his favour.

“Some people see it as a good thing and some people see it as a bad thing, but luckily I-ve been able to move into a couple of positions this season and do quite well,” he said.