HIS dad was a foundation player for KB United and his brother made one appearance off the bench for Newcastle United in the old National Soccer League.
Now Nick Cowburn is set to follow in the family footsteps after being plucked from youth league to sit on the Jets bench for the A-League clash against Western Sydney Wanderers at Pirtek Stadium on Saturday.
Cowburn, 19, has been training with the senior squad for the past week and will provide defensive cover.
“I think it’s a little bit of a statement from the coach that anyone, if they’re playing well enough, is capable of making that squad,” Jets assistant coach Clayton Zane said.
“It’s a good signal to our youth team and having the Emerging Jets and our youth structure that’s been working quite well underneath our first team for some time, it’s a good statement to have right now.
“We’ve had some injury issues with fullbacks along the way and Cowburn has been doing quite well there with the youth team.
“He’s a bit of a utility and the fact that he can play more than one position has probably helped him break into the squad this week.”
Cowburn, Michael Kantarovski, Radovan Pavicevic and Brandon Lundy (trainee) featured in the intraclub match on Tuesday.
‘‘We had a few [youth team players] come in,’’ Zane said.
‘‘Now is a great chance to blood them, give them a taste of training. Nick still has two seasons left in youth league.
‘‘We don’t need to rush, but he has been biding his time.
‘‘He came in to train at the back end of last season when I had the team.
‘‘I think [former coach] Gary van Egmond brought him in a few times too.
‘‘Like I said, more than anything it is a statement to everyone in the club – if you are good enough it doesn’t matter how old you are.’’
Cowburn, who is also adept playing in midfield, captained the Jets youth team to the Northern NSW National Premier League minor premiership during winter.
His dad, Brett, a midfielder, played three years for KB United.
Brother Jason made one appearance for Newcastle United off the bench in a 2-0 loss to the New Zealand Knights in the 2003-04 season and was the club’s youth team player of the year the same season.
He now plays for Weston.
‘‘Nick comes from a good footballing family and I’m sure they will be very proud that he has been elevated,’’ Zane said.
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