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Transcript: Inside the Mind of a Goalkeeper (EP65)


Intro (with music): Welcome to The Culture of Things podcast with Brendan Rogers. This is a podcast where we talk all things, culture, leadership and teamwork across business and sport.

Voiceover: To all of our loyal listeners, The Culture of Things podcast will now also have specific episodes produced for YouTube. To ensure you don’t miss out on this exclusive YouTube content, head on over to YouTube, click the subscribe button and hit the notification bell. Now, let’s get into the episode...

Brendan: Hello and welcome to The Culture of Things podcast. I'm your host, Brendan Rogers, and this is episode 65. The chap I'm lucky enough to speak to today is a guy called Mark Birighitti. Mark, how are you, buddy?

Mark: I'm good. Thank you. How are you?

Brendan: Very well, mate. Thanks for coming on to The Culture of Things Podcast. I'm going to read some of your biography, so those that may not know who you are will learn a bit about you, then we'll dive into our topic. How's that sound?

Mark: Sounds good, mate.

Brendan: Awesome, mate. Mark is a professional footballer who plays goalkeeper for A-League side, the Central Coast Mariners. His professional football career started in 2008 with Adelaide United, where he debut against my team, the Brisbane Roar, helping Adelaide to a one-nil win. Mark moved to the Newcastle Jets in 2012, where he quickly became the first-choice goalkeeper. During his time in Newcastle, [...] in Italy with Serie B side, Varese.

He joined Premier League side Swansea in 2016, then moved to Holland in 2017–2018 before returning to Australia in 2018 after signing a deal with Melbourne City. He then joined the Mariners in 2019 and in his debut season, won the Mariners medal. 

Mark has represented Australia under 17, 20, and 23 levels, and is also being kept for the Socceroos. When he's not playing football, you can spot him most mornings working on his tan on Terrigal Esplanade whilst eating smashed avocado. Today we're focused on understanding the mindset of a goalkeeper. Birraz, welcome to The Culture of Things podcast.

Mark: Thank you. I don't know about the smashed avocado but yeah, definitely working on my tan in the mornings down in Terrigal Beach.

Brendan: So you don't want to expand on the smashed avocado, because I'm pretty sure one of your goalkeeping mates dubbed you in a video a while back.

Mark: I do love a smashed avo, but I haven't had one for a while. Obviously, with Covid and whatnot, sitting and dining in restaurants has been difficult. I haven't had one for a while, but now my wife's fully vaccinated we can enjoy the perks of eating in at a restaurant and having a nice breakfast down in Terrigal.

Brendan: Absolutely, mate. You've got babysitters on hand because recently you got young Luca. He's a young fella, two or three, and then you've got Sienna who's only a few weeks old, mate.

Mark: Yeah. Obviously, it is challenging, but we're riding solo, me and my wife. Obviously, my family are all back in Perth and my wife's family are all over in the UK. It is only us here, but we're very lucky we've got a close network of very good friends that are always around and willing to give us a helping hand when needed.

Brendan: And you're a bit of a cook too, I hear. Is that right?

Mark: I'll give it a crack. I'll try my best.

Brendan: What's your specialty?

Mark: I cook a good spag bol, being Italian background. I do cook a good pasta. My specialty is pasta. Yeah, definitely.

Brendan: That's awesome, mate. You might have to give me some tips because when we had to delay the start time for our recording, I sent a note to my wife and the only thing she came back to me and said, make sure you cook the dinner, because Monday night is spag night. That's what I cook. It's all I can cook, really.

Mark: I can look after you, don't worry.

Brendan: Awesome, mate. I look forward to getting some tips. Let's get into our topic. So this bit of a psyche and understanding the mentality of goalkeepers, because you're a different breed, aren't you? What does that mean when people say goalkeepers are a different breed?

Mark: Every person I speak to, as you just said, goalkeepers are a special breed. We definitely are. We're the last line of defense. We see everything that goes on in front of us. We put every part of our body on the line, whether it might be your face, your arms, your legs, anything to stop the ball from going in the back of the net. That's my job. 

It's just the mentality of a goalkeeper. It's something that was embedded in me early on in my career through my father who was a goalkeeper. He didn't play at the highest of levels, just played locally in Perth. It was just ingrained into me and the rest is history.

Brendan: Where does that courage come from? I've spoken to people on the podcast before who think courage is something that you just can't train. It's just innate in you. So where does that come from for you, do you think?

Mark: It is. I think it's ingrained in you from a young age. You need that [...]. Being a goalkeeper, it's only you out there, you've got no one to protect you. Strikers can get away with making mistakes, midfielders can get away with making mistakes, defenders can get away with making mistakes, but for a goalkeeper there's no one there to help you. You make a bad mistake, it can cost the team, and it can cost you as well.

It's a problem that I like to have. It's a pressure that I love having going into every game, and I just enjoy it. It's a courageous position. You need balls of steel. You’re going to have a lot of downs. You’re going to make mistakes.

You see mistakes at the highest level. You see goalkeepers in the Premier League, all over the world making mistakes, but the important thing is how you recover from these mistakes. You learn from them quickly, you work on it, you put it aside, and you focus on the next game. You can't dwell on it. The worst thing for a goalkeeper is you make a mistake in the game. It's important how you react to that next action. If that next action is good, the mistake is not forgotten about, but it will set you up for a good game.

Over the years, you learn and you pick up things. There was one earlier on in my career where I made a mistake, and I dwell on it, and it did affect my whole game. Whereas now, being more experienced, being a leader in the team, I've played at the highest level. I've been overseas. You know how to react and you know how to adapt to these kinds of things. I think the more games you play at the higher level, the more experience you're going to get, and you will know how to overcome these tough situations in the future.

Brendan: Tell us a little bit more on what you do to develop that strength of mindset. You're referred to being a young keeper and maybe you dwelled on things in the past, but what have you done through your career to just help you get stronger in the mind?

Mark: First thing is I surround myself with very, very, very good people, people that have an understanding and are there for me, and are there for what I want to achieve in the long term. There are a lot of pretenders out there that think that they have your best interest, but they don't. They want to see you fail. But not only in sport, it's in business, it's in anything.

I have a close network of people. I have my family, I have my wife, I have my agent who was an ex-footballer, who played at the very highest level in Europe. I support myself, I surround myself with these kinds of people that have been in this position. I just feed off information that they give me, asking questions, and how do you cope in a certain scenario, how do you recover from mistakes, how do you move on from it. I have that close group and no one from the outside can get into that close circle that I have. Like I said, they’re family, they’re close friends and they're just there to give me the best advice possible to have a long and good career.

Brendan: I want to give listeners a bit of a perspective on, some would say definitely courage, some would just say absolutely crazy. But 2015, take us back to that moment where you got smacked in the face. What was the injury? You were back training pretty quickly from what I understand.

Mark: To be completely honest with you, that probably wasn't the worst injury that I had. Probably it looked worse on social media. You're reading articles, but 6–7 years ago was probably the worst. I had a really bad injury. I was at Newcastle at the time. It was a similar scenario. A ball got played in behind the defense and I've come off my line, which I'm very, very good at. A striker tried to jump over me and I did the same.

As he was about to jump over me, he followed through with his knee and caught me on the cheek. I was knocked out. I was on the ground in no man's land, and didn't know where I was. I got taken to John Hunter Hospital, I had x-rays, and it was a pretty, pretty bad injury. I fractured my cheekbone, fractured my eye socket, fractured my jaw. It was a really, really, really nasty injury. 

I remember that night, I was in the hospital lying on my bed. I was sleeping and I woke up early hours in the morning. It would have been about 1:30–2:00. I remember just waking up and my mum was by the bed with my brother-in-law. I thought I was dreaming. I was on heavy medications. I saw my mum and I'm like, mum, what are you doing here? She goes, I was watching the game on TV and I knew it was a bad injury. That camera zoomed in on your face. You had a big hole in your face. I'm like, why did you get here so quick? She goes, I'm called up Quantas straightaway. We need to get on a flight straightaway to Sydney. My son's had an accident. 

So my mum flew over with my brother-in-law, went and seen the surgeon the next day. He pulled up all the x-rays on the monitor and whatnot. He goes, look Mark, this is a very easy procedure. He goes, you have two options. Option number one is we cut around your hairline, pull your face forward, and we do the operation like that. Or we give you eight incisions, we'll go in, fix it up, and all medical terms that I don't even know about. When he mentioned option one, my mom actually fainted in the doctor's room. She's like, oh, my God and just fainted, and went backwards on a chair. 

Anyway, I had the operation. Everything went according to plan. The rehab started happening. The surgeon and the doctors were saying, look, Mark, you're going to be out of action for 16 weeks, which is a long, long, long time. Me, in the way I am, that was eating inside. I just wanted to hurry up and get back on the field, do what I love doing, and that's playing football. 

I started the process of rehab. One week, two weeks, three weeks, and then in the fourth week, we're playing Sydney FC at home and this was on a Friday. I was back full training with the team by then, no contact, but training with the team.

It was a Friday, we're playing on Saturday. Going to the dressing room after training on a Friday, I see my name on the whiteboard that I was in the squad. I'm like, this can't be right, they've made a mistake, I'm out for 16 weeks, this is only the fourth week. The goalkeeper coach came in. I told the goalkeeper coach in the dressing room, Bobby Margo what's happening? I'm in the squad? Don't you know, I meant to be out for 16 weeks? He goes, oh, [...]. I don't know what's happening, I don't know what's going on. He goes, come with me, we're going to speak with the coach.

So we went into the gaffer's room, the coach's office. I'm like, gaffer, what's happening? He goes, how are you feeling? I said, gaffer, I feel fine. I feel fine, but I can't play for 16 weeks. In case I've come out and I get another knock, you're talking serious stuff here. He goes, mate, be honest with me, can you play tomorrow, yes or no? I didn't know what to say. Being young at the time, I was like, yeah, I'll play, I'll play. 

I played the game on a Saturday after four weeks. I actually played the game and I caught the hit in the game. I caught an elbow to the side of the face. Obviously, I was a bit wary going into the game. All the clubs, all the players around the league knew what had happened, so they're going to test me. I remember it was a corner. The whole team come and crowded me. They put a ball in the box and I had players swinging elbows and I actually got hit with an elbow, but I was fine, I recovered well.

My mindset was, I'm fully healed, I can cope with that, I'm ready to go. That just gave me confidence through that whole game and through the rest of the season. It was nuts, though. It was nuts. It was pretty crazy.

Brendan: It's an amazing story. I didn't know about that one. The thing that's jumping out of my head is like, player welfare. In four weeks, on reflection, how does that sit with you? We love the game of football, obviously. It's your job and that sort of stuff. But on reflection, where does it sit?

Mark: Obviously, from a club's point of view, it was a silly thing. Player welfare is not important. Normally in these kinds of scenarios, you have to get ticked off by the doctor that have all good to go, but for some reason, it didn't happen. Back then I was young. I just love playing football, I missed the game.

I was in the stands watching the weeks that I was out. I was in the stand and it was just eating inside of me. I'm like, I need to get back, I need to get back. I need to come and help the team. We went on a run where I was out of the team. We lost, I think, three games.

I could see the team was missing me. They wanted me back. Going into training, they're like, Mark, when are you back? We need you, blah-blah-blah. It was all that pressure. It was just the inexperience of me at the time, 18–19 years of age. I just wanted to play. I wanted to get out there and I wanted to help the team because the team needed me. Like I said, it's just my mentality where I cross that white line. No matter what I've been through, no matter what's happened to me, I just want to play and do what I love doing, and that's kicking the ball around with a bunch of mates.

Brendan: I wasn't clear. What option did you take, option one or option two?

Mark: Definitely, option two. Option two all the way.

Brendan: I'm thinking, yeah, you're a good looking young man. I'm thinking you must have done option one and that must have been a plastic surgery.

Mark: No. The missing teeth one which happened a couple of years ago, that was just a couple of missing teeth and it wasn't as bad. Like I said, it looked bad on articles, on the news, and social media, but it wasn't that bad. Just missing six teeth.

Brendan: Did Carly come to your games?

Mark: She tries to. She tries to come to the early ones when we kick-off at 4–5 o’clock. They're the better ones. Obviously with children, and sleep, and stuff like that, it is difficult. But she tries to come to most of the games. Looking at the [...] for this season, we've got a lot of early kick-offs, which is good. So it would be nice to have Luca and Sienna there at the games.

Brendan: Absolutely. How's your heart rate knowing that you are putting your body on the line, as you've referred to in a couple of those injuries? Where's the heart rate sitting during the game?

Mark: I'm a passionate person. I record my heart rate throughout the whole game, it's about 180.

Brendan: I'm not caring about your heart, I'm caring about Carly's heart rate when she's watching you putting yourself into battle.

Mark: Oh, Carly's heart rate. She's all right. To be fair, I have to give it to her. She's pretty chilled. Obviously, touchwood, she hasn't experienced me getting injured since I've been with her. But I think my parents back in Perth who watch every game, I think it stresses them more than what Carly does.

Again I give Carly full credit. She's pretty chilled. I don't think she gets to watch much of the games, to be honest. She's in the box playing with the kids and minding the kids. Luca is running around up in the box, so she doesn't get to watch much of the game.

I hear them in the car after the game, I'm like, babe, what did you think of the game? Well, I didn't know, I didn't get to watch any other game. I was chasing Luca around the whole time. Sometimes, she doesn't even know what the score was.

Brendan: So that's the way it works, isn't it? There's a lot of work involved in looking after Luca, I suppose.

Mark: It is, it's good. It keeps me on my toes.

Brendan: Absolutely. You mentioned a number of times that you just love football. Where did that come from? Where's your love of football grown from?

Mark: Like I said earlier, it's just been ingrained in me from an earlier age. Obviously, coming from an Italian background, football is big in Italy, massive. My grandfather played, my father played, my uncle played. It's just football 24/7 in the Birighitti household back in Perth. My poor mom, poor sister absolutely caught that at a young age because it was just constant football talk. So I had no choice.

Brendan: It looks like you couldn't get away from it.

Mark: Couldn't get away from it.

Brendan: It felt pretty big in WA as well. So what about, that was never an option?

Mark: At a young age, all was kick back in the day. I don't know if that still exists. All was kick. I gave that a crack, but it was football from day one. It did help me actually, [...] kick. Catching the ball, learning how to catch the ball, and taking a mark, and jumping as high as you can to take balls.

That's very similar to obviously being a goalkeeper, similar traits and characteristics. I love AFL. I still watch it now. I'm a West Coast Eagles member, but now it's just football.

Brendan: You've probably got the safest hands on the Central Coast, but I've seen you carrying Luca around Terrigal from time to time. I'm sure you've dropped him. You've dropped Sienna yet?

Mark: No, I haven't dropped Sienna yet, but man, my back absolutely hanging on by a thread carrying Luca. I just [...] the arms, 24/7. Let me tell you, my back is absolutely gone. I need to see a chiropractor because he's a heavy little bugger, I can tell you that. Just constantly wants to be in the arms.

He'll be two in January, but he's an absolute [...]. He loves his daddy and he just wants to be in my arms, but I feel the effects in the morning when I wake up. My wife hears about it as well, me complaining about my [...] back.

Brendan: Let's talk about game day or even pre-game day. What rituals, any superstitions that you have? What's going through your head in your preparation for a game?

Mark: Obviously, the older you get, the more experience you get. Obviously, you think about the game during the week. In training, you're working on things to try and perform the best you can on the weekend. There's always video sessions on opposition teams, where their weaknesses are, where their strengths are. But now, I'm at an age where I try not to overthink things. You see a lot of problems.

Especially with young kids, inexperienced players. They play the game in their head two or three times before a ball is ever kicked. I can understand. You want to think about the game, you want to have a good game, and you want to do everything you can, but over the years and with experience, I just let the game come to me. I just play the game as it is.

I don't overthink things. I have a good warm up before the game, taking the atmosphere, taking the surroundings, the crowd, what the wind is doing, the lights. Little things like that. Then when kick-off happens, game mode. That's when you flick that switch and just play the game because you can play the game over and over and over in your head a million times, but in the game, it's different. Balls are going to come quicker, the grass is going to be wet, the grass might be dry. So you just try and play the game as it is. Don't overthink things. 

Rituals, pretty chilled. Wake up in the morning, game day, go for a walk with the family down in Terrigal, coffee, and just chill out. Come back home, spend time with the family, lunch, and just chill. Just relax and just focus. Stay hydrated, eat well, and then we normally get to the game about 1½–2 hours before kick-off. Get to the game and then treatment. If you need a massage, you need to see the physio, you need to get strapped, all that kind of stuff, but no real superstitions. Nothing like that.

Brendan: Don't buy into that at all, right?

Mark: No.

Brendan: You've mentioned also how you're a leader in the team. Oli presented he's the captain. So what does that mean, you as a leader, for the Mariners?

Mark: I've played for many clubs. I've been overseas. I've played with some big-name players over in Europe. To see the way they are and the way they lead by example, not only on the field but off the field as well is phenomenal. I'm very happy and thankful that I'm in the leadership group with Oli Bozanic and Matty Simon at the club. Two real leaders that have played at the highest level and represent their country. 

For me, leadership is a big word. It's a massive word. I think with my experiences, traveling all over the world for football, you see how it is at the top of the top and the way captains in the leadership group lead by example. It definitely helped me in my role at the club.

Back in the day, people thought a leader on the field was a captain who shouts and screams, but it's not like that. The game has changed. A leader for me is someone who looks up to you in the good and the bad. Obviously with the Mariners, we have a very young team. We've got one of the youngest teams in the league.

For me, it's important to help these young boys, encourage them, and lead them on the right way. For some of these young kids, it's their first year in professional football. For me as a leader, you're not going to get the best out of a young kid if you're smashing him and always constantly on his case 24/7, screaming and yelling at him. Like I said, over the years, you develop these skills.

Everyone's different. Everyone wants to be treated differently. I treat Matty Simon differently to how I treat Marcos Ureña. I treat Marcos Ureña differently than I treat young Jacob Farrell, who's an 18-year-old Central Coast boy. It's his first year. Jacob Farrell was one where there's a way to speak to him and there's a way to communicate to him. You put your arm around him, you teach him, you advise him. Matty Simon, I can scream at him, and yell at him, and he will tell me where to go. I'll tell him where to go, but then, after training, we hug it out.

So it's an enjoyable thing. I love it. I love helping young kids. I love seeing them progress. I want to see them reach the pinnacle. I pass my experiences on to them, what it takes to play at the highest level. Full credit for them, they take it on board, they work hard, they listen. It makes my job easier in the end.

Brendan: What do you enjoy about that? I guess I would call it mentorship of the young players.

Mark: I enjoy it because I see these young kids coming through with so much potential, massive potential. I've been around players. I've grown up with friends and players who were the next big thing, but for some reason they get distracted. Their mind focuses on women, focuses on going out and having a good time. No problem. You can have women. You can go out and have a good time, but you need to pick and choose when you’re doing that. 

I've experienced it with my father and how I was brought up as a young kid. Now I missed out on all that stuff. I missed out on going to school discos. I missed out on going into school formals. I missed out on going to my mates' parties because I had to get up early the next morning at 6:00 AM. My dad would drag me by the ears in the car. Come on, son, we're going to training on a Sunday morning at 5:30–6:00.

I don't want to see their career get wasted and go down the drain. I don't want to see that because honestly, these players in our team, young players in our team, that can go to the Premier League. They can represent their country. That can go to the highest level possible. I don't want to see them screw it up or getting misled, heading down the wrong pathway.

You're here to do a job because at the end of the day, your career is short. Especially as a field player, you don't have the luxury of playing until you're 40–41 as a goalkeeper. Some players retire at 34, 35, 36 maybe, so you need to make the most out of your career.

That's the advice. That's the support and help that I try and give these young guys because they need it. They need it if they want to reach their aspirations and go to the highest level possible.

Brendan: You've given some great examples. If you could wrap that up, summarize a little bit, what's that difference for you that somebody with potential versus realizing that potential?

Mark: You can have as much potential in the world as possible, but potential only gets you so far. I've seen it with my own eyes. You might be the best thing. You might be the best big talent and the next big thing coming through. But someone who is hungry, who works hard, who sacrifices, who might not have the potential that you have, but is willing to sacrifice, work hard, do the right thing, will have a bigger career in the end. I don't really think that it's fact. It's fact 100%. If that's how I can summarize it, that's probably the best way to summarize it.

Brendan: How do you help these young players at the Mariners, specifically now again? First game of the season is this weekend. I know you're jumping out of your skin as all the team would be. How do you help those players leading into the first game and maybe their debut season?

Mark: Obviously, it's been a long preseason. We've played a lot of friendly games. But now the real McCoy starts. It's crunch time. It's do or die. Like you said, for these young kids, this will be their first professional game, A-League game, Derby against Newcastle, rivals in Newcastle, maybe 10,000–15,000 people there in round one.

It's going to be tough for them, but they're going to have to do it. They just going to have to go out, forget about the media, forget about social media. Everyone is talking about the game. Just focus on the game, focus on your job, do what you do, play to your qualities, play to your strengths. If you're better than your opposition player and you get the best of him, you'll have every chance of winning the game. That's the advice I can give to these young kids. 

Don't play the surroundings. Don't worry about the fans. Don't worry about anything. When you cross that white line, just be better than your opposition player. If you're better than your opposition player and we have 10 players that are better than them, we'll have every chance of winning the game.

Brendan: You may have already answered this question in a different way, but I want to ask it anyway. What are you loving most about being at a club like the Mariners? Because you have been in a number of clubs. As you said, a few times you've been overseas. What is it that excites you about the Mariners? You've been quoted as saying, I love the coast.

Mark: Obviously, like I said before, I've played for many clubs, I've been overseas, I've experienced different cultures. But for me, out of every club I've been to in Australia, this club is special. How can I describe it? The club is a family club from the players to the office, to the fans, to everyone involved in the Central Coast. Everyone feels involved in the club. I just feel that's so special. That's what the Coast needs. 

The Coast needs all the players, and the club needs the fans and the supporters behind them. You've seen it last year. Every game we won, the crowds were getting bigger. It was just amazing to see as a player. There's nothing better than playing in front of 10,000–15,000 people.

Looking back 5–6 years, the fans have suffered. Even when I was overseas watching games, when I was at other clubs in the A-League watching the mariners play, you could see the disappointment—the frustration on the fans, on their faces—because they're just so heavily involved in the club. They just want the club to do well.

It was sad. I wasn't involved in the club but you didn't want to see it, the club suffering in that way. Obviously, with the success that we had last season, it's so important this season to build on that, build on what we achieved last year, and just go further with it. There's no reason why we can't make the grand final and win it. But going back to the club, it's a special club. It's a family club. It's the best dressing room that I've been in.

I've been in dressing rooms overseas with some big, big players. This dressing room here is just something special, and I love the Coast. My family loves it here. Everyone's so friendly and a lot so welcoming. I go down at Terrigal, I go to the shops. People come and speak to me. Hey, hello, I just love that. I love interacting with different people, meeting new people. It's a special place and like I said, I'm with my family. It's a loving life here.

Brendan: So good to hear you, mate. Thanks for explaining that. So much of that resonates. I personally think I agree, the Mariners had lost some of that feeling as a community club, but it does feel good. Seeing guys like you down in Terrigal and Oli, talking to people and getting to know you, and not being sort of standoffish about it. People will love that. That's what brings people to the game. They know the players. They want to support the players. I just feel that that had been missing for a period of time. How much has someone like Monty contributed to that atmosphere as a new gaffer?

Mark: Massive. Obviously, no one knows the Coast better than what Monty does. He's been here for (I'd say) close to 8–9 years. First of all, I'm buzzing that he's got the job. It deserves a crack. He's a cracking guy, good coach. I just hope...

Brendan: You're doing great at sucking up to him for this weekend, mate.

Mark: No, you [...] on that. Honestly, there's not many nice guys in football, but he's a good bloke. I just hope we have a successful year and give him what he deserves because he's a top guy, cracking guy. I just want him to have so much success. He deserves it.

Like I said, he knows the Coast better than anyone else. It's weird because he's like a player. He's the coach, but he's like a player. He's like one of the boys. You still see him out and about. He's drawn that into us.

The community, the fans, it's an integral part of this club. It's so important that we keep that, doing little things like promotions, going out to schools, going out to football clubs, giving back to grassroots. It's massive. If you want fans to come to the game, these are the little things that you have to do.

It's so important to a football club to have the supporters and the fans. Like you said, I love it. I love going down to Terrigal. I meet people. They come up to me. I've never met them before. I'm there and like, I didn't know you from a bar or so. You can't introduce yourself and every morning, we speak and chat. I just love it. It's fantastic.

I was in that position when I was a young kid. I've seen it with my own eyes. I used to go to the Perth Glory games back in the day with my old man. I used to see players, idols, and players that I looked up to. You go after a game and you want to have a photo with them. They say no or they just turn their back on you. It's not good, it's not nice. I've seen it with my own eyes and I was hurt. I was hurt as a young kid, saying that someone that I looked up to can't even have a photo. What is five seconds of your life cost a lucky young fan? These young kids, I look up to.

You're a role model, not only in what you do on the field, but what you do off the field as well is as important. How you conduct yourself and how you treat people with respect and dignity is crucial. It's not what you do on the field, it's how you are off the field as well is just as important.

Brendan: Once again, mate, well said. You're certainly a fine gentleman off the field. Maybe not as much of a gentleman on the field, what's this thing with goalkeepers? They grab the ball on their line, they run out to the edge of the 18-yard box screaming and shouting. Is that something they teach you at goalkeeper training or what?

Mark: Just pure emotion, mate, when someone's not doing their job properly. As a goalkeeper, communication is so important. It makes your job so much easier as a goalkeeper—trust me—communicating to your defenders. I don't communicate so I keep on for the whole 90 minutes, but I'm coaching them. If I tell them to do something, if I tell them to go and block a shot, and they don't block a shot, and then they shoot, I'll go out and let them know. 

It's not having to go at them, it's just trying to make them a better player and trying to make my job a lot easier. Because the worst thing is going into a game making 10–15 saves. I don't want to do that. I want to go into the game and make two saves, three saves. Now gone are the days of goalkeepers making 15 saves again. That's when communication skills over the years have really helped me.

I underestimated that back in the day. You don't need to talk, but as you grow up, experience, communication is so important. If you see me go off my tops in the game, you know why. The defender has either done something wrong or he's not listening to me. So it's good. It keeps them on their toes. They need it sometimes.

Brendan: I've watched a few scenarios on YouTube and you got a pretty wicked death stare, I have to say. I'm not sure I want to be on the other end of that.

Mark: I don't know. I've seen the videos on YouTube. I don't think it's screaming at the players, I think it's more screaming at the referees given the referees are now at fault.

Brendan: That's something you're not allowed to do, is it?

Mark: Yeah, but you have to sometimes. You’ve got to keep them on their toes.

Brendan: Goalkeepers know better, right?

Mark: Yeah, we do.

Brendan: This goalkeeper position, the communication that's happening on the field, and continual communication to the players, you're seeing things from the back that the other players aren't seeing for their position. How important is that on the pitch, but also particularly when you go into halftime? How much do you talk at halftime and share what you see?

Mark: During 90 minutes, you have the whole picture of the field, your last line of defense. You can see where things are breaking down, where other teams are hurting us. You can see all these things, but it's hard for me because I can't shout to the strikers who are 60–70 meters away. I can only really control the back four, the defenders, and maybe the midfielders if I'm lucky.

During the game, it's just getting everyone organized and getting the back four organized. But these days, it's made so much easier obviously with technology. We have videos. We have the assistant coach. We have the goalkeeper on the bench who can see things that the gaffer might not see.

At the halftime break, I'll pick up on things, and I'll let them know what I can see, and what we're doing good, what we're doing bad, what we need, what we don't need. But Monty is smart enough. He's played the game. He knows the game inside out.

We come in at halftime and we'll have a video, we'll have a projector. Few points, he doesn't want to brainwash us, he does want to give us too much information. I'll pass what I think and what I know onto the coaches and onto the players, but at the end of the day, it's the coaching staff that do all that kind of stuff.

My role is more so on the field because I can't see everything from behind. It's just getting players into positions, making sure they stick to the game plan, stick to the structure, and what we set out before the game, which what we thought would work and which will win us the game in the end. Halftime is pretty easy.

Brendan: Sit back and enjoy the oranges.

Mark: Sit back and enjoy some lollies.

Brendan: I know when we spoke this morning or yesterday morning, you're much in the weekend playing [...] I think it was. You guys got up, but it was a bit cold, a bit wet. As a goalkeeper, you didn't have a lot to do. How do you maintain a level of concentration? Because it's in this position where you only got to make one mistake [...] concentration in those quieter games?

Mark: Obviously, no matter where you go, you're going to face different conditions. It's going to rain, it's going to be windy, it's going to be 40 degrees in Perth, and we don't blame Perth in the summer on a Sunday afternoon, but it's an excuse. I try not to make excuses. At the end of the day, you have to play.

For a goalkeeper, it's so important that (like you said) you might not do anything for 60 minutes. You might not do anything for 70 minutes, 80 minutes, 90 minutes, but you're one nil up. You have to make a crucial save in the 91st minute in extra time to win your team the game. If you don't make that save, that's a difference of winning the game in three points or during the game, one point, which come the end of the season, you look back and you're like, ah, geez, that extra three points would have got us in the top three, but knowing now, we're seventh or sixth.

It's so important—no matter what you just have—to stay switched on at all times. You just have to play the game, stay focused, stay on your toes, be ready because you can be called upon at any time. That's our position. You need to be there when the team needs you.

Like you said, you might not touch the ball the whole game, but you have to make that crucial save at the end of the game. So it's just staying mentally alert, mentally being aware. You can't switch off for one second, not in our position, you can't. [...]. It may not cost you in the coming weeks, but at the end of the season, you look back and you're like, wow, geez, that three points would have been the difference of making funds or not making funds. Just another little bit of pressure.

Brendan: You guys love that. What is it about the pressure you love?

Mark: Just thrive off it. Some people think, how do you thrive off pressure? I'm like you're nuts, we just enjoy it. I just love being the best. Obviously, I don't go into games thinking that I'm going to make a mistake. I'm going into games thinking with that mentality that I'm the best. I'm the best goalkeeper in Australia. I'm going to prove to everyone and show everyone why I'm the best goalkeeper in the country. That's the mindset you have to have as a goalkeeper. It might sound arrogant, but in my position, you need to have that arrogance, otherwise you're not going to survive.

Brendan: Let's unpack that a bit because you've talked about how much you love the Coast and the Mariners. You have a fantastic club to play for. But you want to be the best, you're in professional sport. It's only right that you want to keep improving and keep playing in higher leagues. What are your aspirations for playing overseas again?

Mark: Obviously, I've had a taste of what it is to play abroad and in the highest leagues in Europe. As a young kid, you dreamed of playing in the Premier League. I spent two years in the Premier League with Swansea. I never thought I'd get there, but I got there with all the hard work and all the sacrifices.

Maybe when I was a young kid, I didn't have all the potential like other kids had, but I'll sacrifice everything to get to the top. All that hard work and all that sacrifice paid off in the end. Some idiots back in [...] saying, he's lucky. It's not luck.

It's going back to those days where Sunday morning, 5:30 AM, running laps of Perry Lake Stadium back, which is an athletics track in West Perth. At 5:30 AM, I was 15 or 16 at the time, running up and down the stairs around the whole stadium, vomiting. My dad telling me to get up, go again. Now, that's not luck. Some players are lucky. Don't get me wrong. There are some players that are extremely lucky and have made it to the top, but only a very small amount of players can achieve that. 

Aspirations, I want to go back overseas. Definitely, I'm 30. I have probably another 10–11 years left in my playing career. I want to make the most of it. I want to experience different parts of the world. I love to go to the Middle East. I'd love to go and play in Asia and just experience a new culture, a different style of football. I enjoy it. I enjoy what I do. I enjoy going to different parts of the world and experiencing different styles and different philosophies of football.

I experienced philosophy in the UK. I experienced philosophy when I was in Italy. I experienced a different philosophy when I was in Holland. Australia is different. In Holland, football is very technical. Here in Australia, it's technical, but you need to be more physically fit. You're in different conditions. You're playing in summer. Over in Europe, you're playing in the winter. It's all these different things. I want to experience that.

So for me, the next step would probably be the Middle East or somewhere in Asia would be ideal. Not to say, Europe as well, I definitely go back to Europe in a heartbeat. I love Europe. Europe's fantastic. My wife's family's over in Wales. So it'd be closer to them.

She's been away from her family now for four years. If I can find a good club place in Europe, closer to Wales, it'd be ideal as well. I don't want to think too far ahead. I have a big season ahead of me. I had a great season last year, but that's forgotten about now. I have to really kick on, and build on from last year, and smash it again this year.

Brendan: Have you got a favorite memory from playing overseas, mate?

Mark: If you say to me, Mark, what's your best memory playing when you're on the field, I'd say when I was in Holland because I was at a small club in Holland, a very small club and we played against Feyenoord, which is one of the biggest clubs in Holland. The club has never been Feyenoord in the club's history.

We played down in Rotterdam in front of 65,000 people. Nuts. I was breaking it before the game. I was so nervous. I ended up getting man of the match. We pay them two-nil in Rotterdam. First time in the club's history that it's ever been done.

As a player, being involved in the game was probably my highlight. But then being at a club and not playing, I'd have to say my time in Swansea, traveling with the team, come on all the different stadiums, warming up at Enfield, warming up at Old Trafford, warming up at Wembley, it was just nuts. Walking in the tunnel, you're touching shoulders with the likes of Vardy, Pogba, Wayne Rooney, the list goes on. That was next level as well.

Brendan: Just going back to Holland and Feyenoord, are there fans that are crazy as well?

Mark: Mate, they're nuts.

Brendan: They're one of the craziest fans in Europe.

Mark: That’s right. You talk about communicating on the field, but honestly, I couldn't even hear myself think. It was nuts, Brendan. Honestly, it was out of this world. At a corner, when we're defending a corner, I was speaking to one of my players, he was not even a meter away from me, and he couldn't hear what I'm saying. It was just nuts.

The way the stadiums are over there, it's not like the grandstands. They're on top of you, basically. They just go up. A lot of the stadiums go back, the standard is just up. They're just all on top of you. Honestly, you can't even hear yourself think. It was just nuts. But we got the job done, which was good.

Brendan: Again, talking about communication is so important as a goalkeeper. What do you have to do to adapt when you're in those sorts of situations? Those crowd noise and...

Mark: It's just hand signals. When you have a stop and play, you quickly run to your central defender, pass on a bit of information to him at a stoppage of play, because during the game, it's impossible. You can't hear the coaches screaming instructions, and the players can't even hear him. So you're just waiting for breaks in play, someone to go down with an injury, a stoppage where we can get together on the field, and talk things through what we need to do and what we need to do better. Yeah, nuts. Great experience, though. Good experience.

Brendan: I'm going to flip that around to maybe the real tough experiences. I know that you spoke earlier around a couple of injuries. Both are pretty serious, but one may be more serious than the other.What's been the toughest moment for you in this professional sporting, professional football career?

Mark: As a player, my time in Holland was probably the most difficult time of my career. Over in Holland, I went to a club. I left Swansea. They were in the Premier at the time. I went to NAC, which was a club in Holland that I joined. They had a lot of problems with goalkeepers in the past. They got rid of a lot of goalkeepers. The club had a problem with goalkeepers. 

Anyway, I rocked up at the club. Big hopes come from the Premier League, come from Swansea. We had a real young team. We had one of the youngest teams in the league. We had like 17-, 18-, 19-year-olds in the team.

For the first 5–6 months, the fans absolutely loved me. The team was on a roll. We were flying. We're mid-table, but for a club like NAC, that's massive because normally, they're fighting relegation. They're in a relegation battle every year.

Then a few bad games started happening. I was making some mistakes. The way they see it there is they love their Dutch players. They're like, why are we bringing in a foreign goalkeeper when there's someone in our own backyard that can do as good a job as what Birighitti is doing?

Like I said, the first six months, I couldn't do anything wrong. I started losing a few games. I made a couple of mistakes. Media were getting a hold of it. Social media was getting a hold of it. I was getting slaughtered on social media.

I'd walk down the streets in the city that I was living in. I was coping with it. Fair play to the club, they stopped by me. They stopped by me, they played me. But honestly, it affected me. My mental state was probably the last it's ever been as a footballer.

I was going into games scared, home games. I would get a ball back from one of my own players and I was getting whistled at. I was getting booed at from our own fans. I didn't know how to cope with that. I didn't know how to deal with it because it was the first time in my career that I've experienced this kind of situation.

I was going into games, not myself. I was going to games scared. I didn't want the ball. If the defender would turn it, I'm like, no, just keep it away. I didn't want it. Like I said, I didn't know how to cope. I didn't know how because I've never been in that situation before.

Brendan: What did you do?

Mark: Like I said, I had that close group. I had family, I had my agent, I had Carly at the time. So I just don't worry about it. Don't let these imbeciles affect you. Just get off social media. All these keyboard warriors think they can smash you over a keyboard, but when they're face to face, they're all lovey dovey. Just don't let it affect you. Just forget about it. Get off social media. Go to training, work hard, just do stuff. Be professional and don't let the other [...] affect what you do on the field. 

That was basically it, really, and then the season finished. New coach came in. They signed another goalkeeper. He didn't want me. I was back in Australia and signed for Melbourne City. It was pretty nuts experiencing that. It was tough. I didn't even want to leave my apartment. It was just tough. It was brutal. 

That's what it's like over there. It's do or die over there. Here in Australia, we're so lucky. We don't have a relegation system here. You come last in the A-League and it means nothing. You go on holidays earlier than the other teams. In Holland, you come last so you're in a relegation battle, make the club losing millions. You can't leave your house. No fans are at your training ground. They want to kill you. It's just next level over there, next level.

Brendan: Having that experience, and the fact that you have a drive to play overseas, and take an opportunity again, what would you do differently? How would you handle those situations? Because they'll happen. You're a goalkeeper, you'll make a mistake. That's life.

Mark: Flick that switch, mate. Flick that switch, make a mistake, get on to the next action. Don't worry about the surroundings. Don't worry about the fans. Just zone all that out and just do your job. Just do your job, you make a mistake. Don't get on social media. Don't read the bad stuff. Don't even read the positive stuff because that can even get to your head and you think, oh, you're better than what you are. Just stay humble, stay grounded. That's the experience that I'll take if I do get the opportunity to go abroad again.

Brendan: What do you like to do to stay grounded, mate? Again, professional sportsmen, some would say that many are involved in that sort of environment. It's a different environment. Is it the real world? Maybe, maybe not, but what keeps you humble?

Mark: It's been grounded into me from a young age. I come from a family that didn't have the luxuries of what other families have. My father and my mother have always had to work hard for their money. They sacrificed a lot for me to have a career, whether that was leaving work early to come home, to take me to training. They've always been there for me. My parents have been phenomenal in my career.

I have that mentality of staying humble. No matter what you've done, no matter what you achieve, stay grounded. You see some players that have made squillions, millions of dollars, but absolute jerks. It tarnishes their reputations. It's just not nice to see.

I'm lucky enough, I went overseas. I made good money, but I'm not one to show my money. I'm not one to drive flashy cars. I like nice things. I reward myself. Don't get me wrong. I reward my wife for putting up with me for years. Just stay grounded. 

You should spend your money wisely, do the right things with your money. Spend your money on things that are going to make you money. You see it like you see it in our day and age. Players making millions, but nothing to their name anymore. It's sad to see. 

I'm lucky I have my wife. I have a family and family back in Perth, that close-knit group that really helped me as well. Staying humble is so important. It's so, so, so important because the last thing you want is to have that reputation of, he can have all the money in the world that he wants, but he's an absolute jerk. It's not nice. It's not nice to have that next to your name.

Brendan: All of the players you've played with over time, you think about them and there may be some that you felt are more team players than others. What sort of attributes do you see in those team players in your experience?

Mark: I have played with players overseas that have played in World Cups, that have done everything they have in life. Everything you dream of as a young kid, they've done, whether that's win a World Cup, whether that's playing in the Champions League, whether that's playing at a European Cup.

I'll give you a great example. A very, very good friend of mine, Fernando Llorente, Spanish international, played for Spain, won a World Cup with Spain, and won a European Cup with Spain. He's done everything. The guy's worth over 100 million. 

I was lucky enough to play with him in Swansea. This guy, honestly, is like my brother. From day one, I met him. He's not like a brother. He was obviously a lot older than me. He treated me like his son. To see that, to see someone with that much money, but the way he treated me and looked after me, the way he did, unbelievable, amazing. He'd do anything for me.

It was just so good to see. Someone that's done everything in the game, helping a 23-year-old kid out from Perth. I've never met him before. Just an absolute gentleman, and someone that I admire, and someone that I definitely look up to. A true gentleman. They're the best ones.

Those are the players that you look up to. Forget about football, forget about the achievements, forget about what you've done as a footballer. How can you just be so perfect as a human being is just amazing to see. I still speak to him once a week. He calls me. He's in Spain. He calls me up. He has a family. He has a little one. He doesn't have to do that. He's done everything in the game. It's just amazing to have those people by your side. It's just amazing.

Brendan: What sort of legacy do you want to leave for other players? When they think of Mark Birighitti, want do you want them to say?

Mark: That he's a winner. That he is an honest person. He's a helpful person, humbled. I want to guide these young kids. I want to set a good example for these young kids coming through.

Obviously, there's going to come a day where I'm going to hang those gloves up and I'll be on the couch with a glass of red wine watching these young kids coming through. I want to see what I've taught them over the years, what I've coached them. I want to see them. I want them to take the reins and take charge, be a leader, be a good role model on the field, off the field. Conduct yourself in the right way. That's the legacy that I want to leave.

Brendan: You mentioned one player, Llorente. Is there anybody else who you would think of that doesn't have to be a player, but who's had that major impact in your own career and leadership journey? If you could choose one person.

Mark: My wife. Obviously, my family. My dad and my mom, they're a big influence in my career. Massive, massive influence in my career from a young age. But my wife has definitely taken the reins. A very successful woman back in the UK, had her own business, a successful business. I met her when I was there. She's been with me since.

She didn't have to. She was making good money back in the UK, close to her family, close to her friends, but she wanted to give that up to support me and help me have a career. Not many women do that. Not many women sell their business, give up everything to juggle the other side of the world to support their loved one.

It's amazing. I can't thank her enough. We're so lucky now, married, two beautiful kids. It's just perfect and we speak about it every night how lucky we are. I speak to her and I'm like, do you miss your business now? Look what we've got now, two beautiful kids, two perfect kids. I can't thank her enough, what she's done and what she sacrifices has helped me a lot.

It just gives me that peace of mind as a footballer going into games, not having to have to worry about her. Obviously, she misses family. That's normal. She hasn't seen her family for four years. At least, I'll get that peace of mind going into games, and she's happy, and two beautiful kids. It's so important.

I can't thank her enough. She's fantastic at what she does and to put up with me as well, coming home from training, grumpy and angry. It's fair play to her. She's done well.

Brendan: Carly sounds like a special woman, mate.

Mark: She is.

Brendan: I won't ask her because she's not there, but how about you tell me what are these Mark Birighitti bad habits? What gets on Carly's goat? You got to think about it. She'd rattle off 10 straightaway, I'm sure.

Mark: Not doing the night feeds?

Brendan: My wife hated when I didn't do that either. I do not feed on Saturday night. That'll be it, because you play football on Saturday, and then you go to work on Monday.

Mark: I don't know how to feed. Away again, she hates when I get away because she's stuck at home. What else? That's about it, really. She hates the schedule changes, when the schedule changes with training because she can't book to go and get her nails, and her hair, eyebrows, and lashes done. Probably that's number one, actually. The schedule changed. She actually [...].

Brendan: I'm with Carly. These schedule changes are bloody annoying.

Mark: Yeah, hate it. I hate it.

Brendan: To life, mate. It's life. Who's the most annoying teammate at the Mariners? Spill some dirt.

Mark: It's a tricky one, actually. It's hard because we got a lot of new players in the club this year. So I'm still trying to get to know each individual. But annoying, I'd probably have to say Lewis Miller, young kid. He's 22, I think he is. He's 22, but he thinks he's done everything in football already. He's one of those ones. Writes himself a bit. He's someone who's [...] a lot. I need to bring him back down to earth.

Brendan: Humble him.

Mark: Humble him. A bit of a pretty boy as well. He can get on my nerves a little bit as well.

Brendan: He's not one of the young fellows that gets facials, and manicures, and stuff like that, is he?

Mark: No, but he's like in the mirror. Not to offend, I need to change him. I need to educate him a bit. Because it's hard when it goes through one ear out the other. Then when he doesn't listen, I'll lose my temper at him, and then it's not good. It's not good for the dressing room. But it's good. We're getting there, slowly.

Brendan: It could mean you're having an influence.

Mark: For the good.

Brendan: For the good?

Mark: Yeah.

Brendan: Good man, mate, good man. It's first game this weekend, as we mentioned, first game season proper. What's your prediction? Because this episode is going to come out probably three weeks after the first round. Tell us your prediction and we'll check if it was right or not.

Mark: Two-nil, Central Coast.

Brendan: Nice.

Mark: It was weird because I just actually got a reminder on my calendar that just popped up here saying that Sunday, I just read Newcastle, but no.

Brendan: You got a reminder pop up that you got a game on Sunday?

Mark: Yeah.

Brendan: Awesome, mate. Awesome. Good luck for that game. Prediction for the season? Finished third Mariners last season, so how are we going for this season?

Mark: You want a position or you want a rough estimate?

Brendan: Give us a position, mate. I'll obviously hold you to that at the end of the season.

Mark: Fifth.

Brendan: Finals football. Are we going to go in finals?

Mark: We're going to give it a real crack in the finals, win the grand finals, celebrating God's word.

Brendan: I sincerely hope that happens, unless the Mariners are playing the Roar in the Grand Finals. If that's the case, then I may have to go back to my roots in Brisbane and go for the Roar, buddy. I'm sorry. 

Mark: I like Roar. They're a good club.

Brendan: They are.

Mark: I love playing in Brisbane.

Brendan: It's a good ground, isn't it? Great place, great place. I certainly got a massive soft spot for the Mariners. For the good of the community and the good of Central Coast, it's really important that we've got a strong Central Coast Mariners Club. People like you at the club certainly make it stronger. None of the other boys who you've referred to today feel like a good feeling around the community. The Mariners are getting in touch again with the community. 

You're doing this interview with us today and you're changing your schedule. I really appreciate that. That shows how much you are committed to the community and getting some message out there, sharing your psyche and your insight about being a goalkeeper, mate. My assessment at the end of this interview is that goalkeepers aren't actually that bad

Mark: We're good blokes off the field.

Brendan: What does Matty Simon think about goalkeepers?

Mark: Lucky I'm on his team, to be honest with you, because I hated playing against him.

Brendan: He's a menace.

Mark: Yeah. I used to hate playing against him. So I'm glad he's on my team now. But now, I have a good relationship with Simon. He's one of my good mates. I have a lot of respect for him and what he's done. It's nice that we're in the same team and being an older head Central Coast boy, it's good to see. He's a good guy, good family, good person to have in the club. It's so important to have players like him represent the Coast. It's fantastic along with Oli Bozanik as well.

Brendan: Who's a Coast boy as well, isn't he?

Mark: He is.

Brendan: Having those guys back and roots on the Central Coast again, really supports that community club feel. Mate, thanks again for your time. It's been a pleasure having to chat with you. Thanks for being so open with us and sharing your life as a goalkeeper buddy.

Mark: Appreciate it. Thank you for having me on the program. Absolutely loved it.

Brendan: It’s been an absolute pleasure, buddy.

Goalkeepers aren’t that bad. That’s my assessment after chatting with Birraz. Not only that, he was articulate, thoughtful, and very open to sharing his experiences and insight into the mindset of a goalkeeper. What a mindset he has for leadership. He’s also a decent fortune teller.

During our interview, Birraz predicted a two-nil win to the Mariners over Newcastle in the derby match. He was pretty close. The Mariners got up 2-1. If only he’d kept that coveted clean sheet, his prediction would have held up. Let’s hope his prediction of Mariners playing finals football comes true.

One thing’s for sure, Birraz having another great season, and providing leadership from the back will give the team confidence and go a long way to the young Mariners having another great season. By the way, Birraz is also a Liverpool FC supporter, so there’s no doubt he’s a top bloke. 

These were my three key takeaways from my conversation with Birraz. My first key takeaway: Leaders have a ‘team first’ mentality. In Birraz’ case, putting team first means physically putting his body on the line. As a professional footballer and goalkeeper, he doesn’t think twice about doing it. He shared his story of a serious facial injury, being ruled out for 16 weeks, and back playing again within 4 weeks. Why? Because his team needed him. This is definitely a leader with a team first mentality!

My second key takeaway: Leaders help people reach their full potential. They’re passionate about lifting others up and helping them succeed. For Birraz, this involves spending time with the younger players. Getting to know them, understanding them, mentoring them, treating them as individuals, helping them realise their potential, and learning to maximise it. Leaders are passionate about helping others reach their full potential.

My third key takeaway: Leaders live for self-improvement, whether it’s keeping more clean sheets, saving penalties, or striving to play in a higher league. They’re always pushing themselves to be better. They know that driving their own self-improvement sets a foundation for their teammates to seek improvement. They set the standard, lead by example and live for self-improvement. 

In summary, my three key takeaways were: Leaders have a ‘team first’ mentality, leaders help people reach their full potential, and leaders live for self-improvement.

If you want to talk about culture, leadership, or teamwork, or have any questions or feedback about the episode, you can leave me a comment on the socials or you can leave me a voice message at thecultureofthings.com. Thanks for joining me, and remember, the best outcome is on the other side of a genuine conversation!

Outtro (music): Thank you for listening to The Culture of Things podcast with Brendan Rogers. Please visit brendanrogers.com.au to access the show notes. If you love The Culture of Things podcast, please subscribe, rate and give a review on Apple podcasts and remember a healthy culture is your competitive advantage.