Birighitti’s memorable Reds farewell

Departing goalkeeper Mark Birighitti admitted to feeling a mix of emotions after what could well have been his final game for the Reds.

Departing Reds goalkeeper Mark Birighitti admitted to feeling a mix of emotions after what could well have been his final game between the posts for Adelaide United.

Barring injury or suspension to Reds- number one gloveman Eugene Galekovic in United-s remaining AFC Champions League games, Birighitti made his final appearance at Hindmarsh in an Adelaide United shirt before he heads to join the Newcastle Jets in 2012/13.

With the Reds out of finals contention and Galekovic playing against Gamba Osaka just three days earlier, Coach John Kosmina gave the home fans a chance to farewell Birighitti and see him in action in the club-s final game of the season against Melbourne Heart.

In what was his eighth Hyundai A-League appearance and ninth in all competitions for the Reds, Birighitti portrayed both sadness and excitement after the game as his four year stint at the club draws to an end.

“I-m obviously feeling a bit upset playing my last game for the club,” Birighitti said after helping the Reds to a 1-1 draw with the Heart.

“It-s always good to get a run at a place like Hindmarsh with fantastic supporters, they-ve been brilliant, and I-d like to thank the club for the past four years, they-ve been phenomenal with the way they-ve treated me and how they-ve gone about things has been great.”

“I-m really looking forward to the challenge I have got ahead of me (in Newcastle) but I-ll definitely miss this place.”

What made the night even more special for Birighitti was Cassio-s humbling gesture when the Brazilian pocket rocket was being substituted.

Standing in as skipper in Galekovic-s absence, Cassio handed the captain-s armband over to Birighitti for the final 27 minutes of the contest.

Unbeknown of what Cassio was going to do, the gesture capped off a memorable night for Birighitti, who many would agree has been a credit to himself during his time at the club as a more than capable backup to Galekovic.

“For him (Cassio) to give me the captain-s armband was a real honour to wear it for such a great club,” Birighitti said.

Kosmina stated he was disappointed to see Birighitti heading elsewhere, but starved of opportunities due to Galekovic-s consistent high-quality between the posts, he can concur with Birighitti-s decision.

A well liked character off field, Birighitti will be missed, but then again, players come and go and that is the world of professional football.