Western United goalkeeper Jamie Young pulled off one of the moments of Western United’s thrilling Elimination Final victory over Wellington Phoenix on Saturday night.
With United leading 1-0 in the 71st minute, Young flew to his right and applied a miraculous clawing save with his right hand to deny James McGarry.
Speaking to media post-game, Young said it was one of the best saves of his career and a moment that gave him immense satisfaction.
“It’s obviously a top save, and probably an influential moment of the game. I suppose it’s one of my better ones. It was great to execute it in a high-pressure moment,” he said.
“That save might take me three months of training. When you put things in on a daily basis when no one’s watching and you’re able to execute that in the moment, it kind of makes it all worth it.”
The Green and Black is into the semi-finals for the second time in its three-year history to date. While many may not have had the Club reaching it to this point, Young was never in doubt.
“I don’t think many people would think we would be where we are. I’ve known the boss (John Aloisi) maybe a decade now, and I know what he brings to the table,” he said.
“You’re looking at one of the top three coaches in the country, and Hayden Foxe is right up there as well. We have to give credit to these coaches, because John might sit here and answer your questions, but he’s also at the training ground till six o’clock every night, and he’s the first one in at training as well. I know this because he’s always in the same carpark, so it means he’s beat the Essendon guys. No one sees that.”
Young added that Aloisi’s dedication and passion in his role as head coach is a major contributor to enabling him to make big plays on match day.
“For me to come here and produce a save like that or contribute to a win, that’s because I know he says ‘Jamie I want you to work on this, I want you to work on your weight, I want you to spend hours’,” he said.
Young turns 37 in August but has had arguably his best A-League Men season to date, leading the league in clean sheets and saves made.
The former England youth international highlighted a number of top European goalkeepers that have succeeded deep into their careers and said he will continue to strive to be the best he can be for as long as possible.
“(Edwin) Van der Sar – 40. Brad Friedel – 40. (Fabien) Barthez – late into his 30s. Buffon. Goalkeeping is a lot about mentality. Look at my stats, who’s kept more clean sheets, who’s made more saves? And that’s at my age,” he said.
“It’s not about big noting things like that, it’s about me asking the question, can I get the most of what I’ve got. Maybe I’ve got three or four years left, I want to spend my time doing things like that.”
Jamie Young: I’ve allowed life lessons to bring myself to this occasion now.
Young is ready for the huge semi-final tie against Melbourne Victory, relishing the big moments every time they present themselves in his career.
“Honestly, in 21 years of being involved in professional football, this is the sort of occasion you do want to be involved,” he said.
“Do I get nervous? Of course. That’s the sort of thing that allows you to feel like you’re alive, and I want to make sure when I’m doing things in my life, I’m feeling like I’m doing something meaningful.
“The way to look at this game against Victory is can we perform in the moment. We’re looking for the best performances. The way I perceive this game, is can I now answer the next question?”
Tickets for both legs of the semi-final tie go on sale for Western United members at 10am on Monday May 16. Get ready to fill the stadium in Green and Black and get behind Western United as the quest for history continues.