Nash hoping to make the most of opportunity


Injuries to Ben Kennedy and Mark Birighitti have opened the door for Matt Nash to have a stint as the Club’s number one keeper.

When Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Matt Nash re-joined his old Club as injury cover for Ben Kennedy, the last thing he was expecting was a prolonged stint as the Club-s number one shot-stopper.

However that-s exactly the type of opportunity that could be awaiting Nash after first choice keeper Mark Birighitti sustained a fractured cheekbone in last Sunday-s 3-0 loss to Wellington Phoenix.

With Kennedy still expected to be at least three to four weeks away from fully recovering from knee surgery, Nash may get the chance to string together a short run of A-League games for the Jets.

“It-s a bit of bad luck, but that-s football at the end of the day,” Nash said.

“Ben was injured earlier on and that-s the reason I came in, but it-s just unfortunate that both of them are injured at the same time.

“I feel really bad for Mark. He was playing really well but it-s just one of those things that happens in football I guess.

“I didn-t expect to actually be playing when I came in, but that-s football, these things happen.”

Nash was thrown straight into the deep end last Sunday when he was called on to replace the injured Birighitti in the 68th minute. The 31-year-old said his involvement in the game came as somewhat of a shock.

“It was a big surprise, I didn-t expect it at all, but if I have to go on and do a job I-ll do my best,” Nash said.

“It-s definitely a lot harder going on coming off the bench. You don-t get much of a warm-up and you kind of get chucked into it.

“I just had to get my shin pads and gloves on and get ready to go out there. It took a while for them to bring Mark off so that gave me a bit of time (to prepare) and it wasn-t too bad.

“You do a little bit (of a warm-up) behind the goals, but it-s basically like sitting in the stands and watching and then having to go on and play.

“It-s a bit easier when you have a warm-up under your belt before you go on.”

Nash said he was backing the Jets to bounce back from the loss to Wellington with a strong showing against Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park on Saturday.

“If you-ve seen the session today, everyone was getting stuck in,” he said.

“I think we-ve put last weekend behind us and we-ll be alright on the weekend.”