Round 17 was full of interesting contests and plenty of controversy. The highlight of the weekend was a five-goal thriller between the Perth Glory…
They say goalkeepers are a special breed, so it should come as no surprise that Jamie Young listens to everything from Heavy Metal to Delta Waves and even Joe Rogan podcasts before games.
How different might the complexion of Western United’s campaign have been were it not for Young pulling off the save of the season in the 71st minute of the elimination final against Wellington Phoenix?
The hosts were under the pump, but Young’s miraculous one-handed save to deny Phoenix substitute James McGarry kept the scores locked at 1-0. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Young’s title win was a fitting reward for a player who has never been keen to simply rest on his laurels.
“One of the questions football asks of you is: are you worthy enough to win a championship?” Young recently told me.
“And the answer is: yes, I am,” he explained of how it felt to be crowned an A-League champion in his first season at Western United.
More than a few eyebrows were raised when the 36-year-old reunited with his former Brisbane Roar manager John Aloisi, however Young was quick to praise not only Aloisi’s management, but also what he calls Western United’s “integrative model” of operating.
“We’ve got a chairman who invests well,” Young explained.
“He employs people at an administrative level who are competent and capable of carrying out the club’s vision.
“They employed a manager in John who was very competent and had the backing of the club – not just in terms of money, but who was allowed to do his job and had the autonomy to do it well.”
And having now played under the former Socceroo at both Brisbane Roar and Western United, it’s clear Aloisi is a manager capable of getting the best out of players like Young.
Describing Aloisi’s management style throughout the championship-winning season as “second to none,” Young says Aloisi’s pre-match grand final team talk was the epitome of calm.
And that’s something a player like Young – who has now played more than 400 games of professional football across England and Australia – has clearly given plenty of thought to.
Always a deep thinker about the game, for the past few years Young has quietly been undertaking a PhD in Sports Coaching through the University of Queensland, specialising specifically in how psychology is applied in a sporting context.
“I thought it was my micro niche,” Young told The Roar. “I’ve got an Exercise Science background through my undergrad (degree), but now I can fill a niche that no one’s really addressing.”
And having originally dropped out of high school to pursue his professional football career, Young is now just a few months away from becoming a full-fledged Doctor of Philosophy.
Interestingly, he doesn’t see himself becoming a coach down the line, preferring instead to use his expertise in a different way.
“I’d love to work with footballers or coaches, and mentor them and help develop their emotional intelligence,” he said.
It’s that ability to connect with people on a deeper level that has seen Young not only become a leader in the Brisbane Roar and Western United dressing rooms, but also make a difference off the field.
A long-time ambassador for Multicultural Australia, Young has spoken out eloquently against racism and dedicates much of his spare time towards charitable causes.
In 2019, he travelled to Nepal as an ambassador for World Youth International and now sponsors a Nepalese orphan as a result.
He also listens to Machine Head before games. Or at least he used to, reeling off the Californian heavyweights, Slayer and Tool as some of his favourite pump-up bands in the earlier days of his career.
Now he’s big into podcasts, and he was actually listening to The Joe Rogan Experience in the build-up to the A-League title decider.
“What was the advice, Joe, that you gave me?” asked the guest on the episode Young happened to be listening to.
“Be undeniable!” Rogan replied.
That’s something Jamie Young has undoubtedly made a career out of.