Mariners coach disappointed for Birighitti

Ed Jackson |

Central Coast coach Nick Montgomery has expressed frustration at Mariners goalkeeper Mark Birighitti’s A-League Men form not being recognised with a Socceroos call-up.

Birighitti has been a constant performer for the Mariners this season and saved a penalty from Perth striker Bruno Fornaroli in Tuesday’s 0-0 draw against the Glory.

That was the third penalty the 30-year-old has stopped this campaign but he was overlooked by coach Graham Arnold for Australia’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Japan and Saudi Arabia.

Instead Sydney FC’s Andrew Redmayne will join European-based Mat Ryan and Danny Vukovic in Australia’s squad while Adelaide’s Joe Gauci will attend the first week of the national team’s camp in a train-on role.

“Everyone can see Birra’s form. Not only this season but last year,” Montgomery said.

“He’s deserving of being in that Socceroos (team) but he doesn’t pick himself in the team.

“All he’s got to do is keep performing consistently and, if he does that, it’s only a matter of time.

“Disappointed for him but he’ll keep his head down, keep performing and wait for his opportunity.”

Birighitti has one Socceroos cap to his name, a 4-3 loss to China in the East Asian Cup in 2013.

Mariners teammate Kye Rowles has been picked, one of five uncapped players in Arnold’s 27-man squad.

“Delighted for Kye, I’ve said it numerous times before, I think he’s one of the best defenders in the A-League,” Montgomery said.

“Week-in, week-out his consistency has been admirable for such a young player.”

Before Rowles links up with the national team, the Mariners will travel to Mudgee to play Macarthur on Saturday.

The Bulls snatched a 3-3 draw the last time these two teams met thanks to a pair of world-class goals from Tommy Oar and Craig Noone.

Montgomery said both strikes were still fresh in the memory ahead of Saturday’s clash.

“That home game, disappointing we didn’t get three points out of that … it was two points dropped for us,” he said.

“Sometimes you’ve got to hold your hands up. There’s nothing you can do about that and for them it was a last-minute equaliser that would’ve been really pleasing for them as a team.”

Macarthur head into the clash full of energy after last weekend’s 3-1 win over local rivals Western Sydney, with captain Ulises Davila hitting top form after a match-winning double.