Brisbane Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young has revealed how a young Nepalese orphan has helped land in career-best form heading into the A-League finals.
Veteran Young has made 70 saves from 20 appearances this season, notching six cleansheets, the second most in the competition.
He made a series of saves to help Brisbane snatch a 1-1 draw with Wellington Phoenix, leading to Roar teammate Scott McDonald describing him as the ‘best keeper in the league this year’, and then followed it with more heroics in the 1-1 draw against Sydney FC.
At 34, Young has been a fixture in Brisbane since returning from England and joining the club in 2014.
But the former Reading and Wycombe Wanderers shot-stopper believes it is his work off the field, including his association with charities and his educational pursuits, that have been followed with impressive displays on the field.
“I’m enjoying how I’m performing right now,” Young told The World Game.
“It’s nice to get plaudits, they don’t always come, so I’ve been gracious when they do. I’ve had quite a positive trend in the past couple of years.
“I sponsor a young kid in Nepal who’s an orphan. He doesn’t even have clothes on his back, he doesn’t know where he’s next meal’s coming from.
“I have a connection with him now and so much so that I pay for his education and schooling. It’s allowed me to grow as a human as I’ve gotten older, I’ve seen this importance of using football as a vehicle to give back to people.
“I’ve become a lot more grateful about being a footballer. His name is Suroj, I pay for school, housing and food. I felt compelled to do that when I went to Nepal.
“I saw how much material possessions this kid had – he had nothing. I just couldn’t walk away from it, and knowing that and that there’s people who suffer it’s my bit to give to charity.
“Who knows, maybe he’ll come to Australia one day and we can celebrate the life that’s he lived and I’ve facilitated that. It’s incredibly satisfying.”
Young is an ambassador for the charity World Youth International, has worked with refugees and first visited Nepal in 2019. The goalkeeper is also currently studying a PHD at the University of Queensland in the psychology of sports coaching.
“I’m always evolving as a person,” he said.
“Studying psychology outside of football has given me a deeper understanding of human motivation. Working with charity and giving back has helped my wellbeing a lot more.”
Brisbane taken on Western United in the semi-finals this Sunday. The Roar finished fourth on the table and have suffered just one defeat under new coach Warren Moon since the season was restarted last month.
Young feels his team is quietly confident going into the elimination final.
“The draw against Sydney was a positive result for us considering what they’ve achieved this season and in the past few years,” he admitted.
“Western United seem to definitely have momentum and confidence, they’re sailing high. They’re another team we have to face with humility and focus on ourselves.
“But we know they’ve had some really good results recently. We have to not get carried away with anything.
“There are no givens in finals. We have to be mindful of the quality that we’re up against. We have to be incredibly focused on ourselves.
“We know what we want to do but we’re certainly not predicting anything. We’re very focused on what we’re about.”