Yoga, crossfit and powerlifting: Tough training regime has Young primed
Brisbane Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young could have been forgiven for getting comfortable in the off-season.
The 33-year-old was in outstanding form throughout the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 campaign, winning the competition’s Goalkeeper of the Year award before being named as Brisbane Roar’s Player of the Season.
Indeed, Young’s form was so good that the Roar made the tough decision not to offer club legend Michael Theo a new deal, virtually assuring the Gary Wilkins Medallist of at least one season as the Roar’s number one goalkeeper.
But Young is determined to improve even further and has shed four kilos in a punishing off-season training regime designed to add longevity to his career.
“I’ve tried everything, from yoga to CrossFit to powerlifting,” he said.
“I looked at my diet as well, changed things there. It’s just being a bit more conscious.
“It’s not to say that I was doing anything wrong last year, but things evolve all the time. This is just part of that.
“Being in good physical condition gives longevity in a footballing career…it’s important, the physical component of football.
“I was bold enough to say in that off-season to myself that I have things to improve, just like anybody else, and that was one of them.”
Young said the absence of Theo would make no difference to his in-season training – but that he declined to take the club’s No.1 shirt as a “little mental reminder” that there were no guarantees the spot was his.
“Training with Michael [and fighting with him for the starting berth], of course there’s motivations,” said Young, who will wear 21 on his back.
“[But] for me, it’s a battle with myself. I want to be pushing every day in my life.
“I shouldn’t have to push myself because someone else is doing something, it should be coming intrinsically and that’s important for me, because those kinds of motivations are more profound.
“I could have taken it [the No.1 shirt].
“It’s a little mental reminder … it just reminds me that you’ve got to come in and hustle and you don’t stop driving [yourself].”
The Roar’s Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season begins on Sunday with a home fixture against the Central Coast Mariners.
No side lost more home games than Brisbane last term, with John Aloisi’s men dropping eight of 14 fixtures at Suncorp Stadium – form that ultimately saw them only just scrape into the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Finals Series.
But Young said improving the club’s home record had not been a major focus in recent days.
“We want to win games at home, of course, but that doesn’t mean it’s our sole focus,” he said.
“We want to win games that we play in, period. It’s an important facet of our season but it’s not the only facet.”
Young was one of 19 Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League stars identified by Hero Scouts Tim Cahill and Amy Duggan as players to keep a close eye on in 2018/19 as part of the ‘Where Heroes Are Made’ campaign.
Sunday’s clash will also be Stefan Mauk’s Hyundai A-League debut in Roar colours.
The 23-year-old midfielder scored in both of Melbourne City’s matches at Suncorp Stadium last season and is hopeful of hitting the ground running for his new club.
“Everybody knows that it’s such a good culture here,” Mauk said.
“I’ve fit in quite well and obviously working with John [Aloisi, at Melbourne City] before, made it pretty easy.
“It’s going to be an attacking brand of football that we’re playing and that suits me and that was one of the reasons why I came up here.
“I’m really looking forward to getting out there against the Mariners.”