Mariners were a “no brainer” for Birighitti

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The Central Coast Mariners’ lifeline offer to Mark Birighitti was a “no brainer” for the goalkeeper after a disappointing season last year.

New signings, Alen Stajcic and Jess Vanstratten also drew Birighitti to sign with the navy and yellow for the 2019/20 A-League season.

Birighitti had his heart set on returning to Australia after a stint over in Europe, however, suffered a setback when the shot-stopper was unable to register a minute of action for Melbourne City last season.

He said once his plans didn’t work out in Melbourne the Mariners offered him a lifeline and at his age, he could not refuse.

“I got a call from the Mariners early in pre-season and for me it was a no brainer. At my age, 28, it is important to play and a great opportunity.”

“The club is at a point of turning things around from previous years and after speaking to Alen Stajcic, I liked what he had in plan and it was an easy decision in the end.”

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The Perth born goalkeeper said Stajcic’s new approach was “turning things around” at the club and their results during pre-season and the FFA Cup highlighted the positive change.

“The club’s trying to turn things around and trying to bring leaders in and with my experience, I could help the boys quite a bit and it was a selling point,” he said.

“…you can see slowly we’re turning things around. We still have a long way to go but I think you will see a different outfit this year.”

It was not only first-team football that won Birghitti over to Gosford, being reunited with goalkeeper coach Jess Vanstratten was another major reason why he joined the club.

“(Vanstratten)…was someone I have worked with in the past and he helped me get to Europe so to be back working with him is fantastic,” Birghitti said.

“He knows how to get the best out of the players he works with and I am grateful to be working with one of the best again.”

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The 28-year-old was also happy to see the new signings Stajcic had made during the offseason and is highly optimistic about the upcoming A-League season.

“We have recruited well, added some experience as well as some fantastic young talents like Samuel Silvera and like I said you will see a different outfit and a very competitive team out on the park.”

The addition of Birighitti is a massive gain for the Mariners and he will be key if the club is to achieve this season.

It all starts for the Mariners as they head to Bankwest Stadium to take on the Western Sydney Wanderers on October 11.

Feature Image Credit: Central Coast Mariners

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