The season just keeps getting better for Brisbane Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young.
And two significant milestones last week have him primed for the Roar’s Hyundai A-League Elimination Final against Adelaide United at the Adelaide Oval tomorrow night.
In playing the full 90 minutes in the 2-1 Round 27 win over Newcastle Jets, Young surpassed midfielder Luke Brattan as the Roar most ever-present player this season.
Young now has clocked 2053 minutes – not including AFC Champions League duty – to Brattan’s 2025 minutes.
But it was being handed the captain’s arm-band to lead out a youthful Roar side, as his fellow senior players sat in the stands watching, that meant the most to the modest Young.
“It is fantastic just to be playing for my hometown club, but to be given the nomination as captain last week was one of the highlights of my career,” Young said.
Seven months ago, when Young was elevated to the Roar Starting XI for the Round One opener against Adelaide United after regular custodian Michael Theo broke his wrist in training, few could have imagined the fairy-tale season ahead for the club’s No.21.
Young says his season is a testament to the Roar philosophy of never giving up.
“Not a lot of people would have known who I was at the start of the season but hopefully I have shown all players that with the right attitude and work ethic you can achieve your dreams,” Young said.
“I’ve come a long way since the start of the season. But to do that you have got to come in every day and be prepared to work . . . work hard and smart. “
Young also paid tribute to Roar goalkeeping coach Jason Kearton for helping him to improve his game and strengthen his specialist skills.
“(Jason) asks questions of me every day. He challenges me in every session to improve every aspect of my game and be a better goalkeeper.”
Young, 29, also challenges himself off the field. He is studying for his second degree in the field of Human and Sport Science and on the Roar’s recent Champions League visit to China, Young’s suitcase was filled with as many text books as football items.
“Study and learning keeps your brain sharp and that is important on the field too,” he said.
“Sport science also helps in training and match preparation because you learn to know and understand your body.”
As smart as he is, Young says it’s a no-brainer that the Roar has a tough task on its hands to defeat the Reds in Adelaide tomorrow night to keep Brisbane’s hopes alive of defending their Championship crown.
“There is a reason why Adelaide have finished so high in the table (third) and that's because they're a competitive team,” Young said.
“We know at this stage of the season that we will have to be on our game and there is no reason why we can't.
“We've had a lot of travelling over the last six weeks, I believe this to have brought us closer together. We're very determined- this is the Brisbane Roar culture.
“We know Adelaide will be tough to beat but we can’t put our focus on them. We will go down there and concentrate all things Brisbane Roar.”The Hyundai A-League Elimination Final 1 between Adelaide United and Brisbane Roar at the Adelaide Oval will be shown on Fox Sports 4 (Channel 505) and SBS ONE from 7.30pm AEST on Friday, 1 May. Tickets to the match are available via Ticketek.