Twenty years after making his first appearances in reserve grade as a 14-year-old, Saturday’s pre-season fixture will provide a little nostalgia for goalkeeper Jamie Young.
The defending PFA Goalkeeper of the Year returns to his old stomping ground at Heath Park on Saturday when the Roar meet NPL QLD outfit Eastern Suburbs FC (5:30pm kick-off), a club that he says provided the foundations for his career overseas.
Be there for Brisbane Roar’s first A-League pre-season fixture. Players will be available for pre-game autographs & entry is free.
“I played reserve grade [for Eastern Suburbs]. It was the best football education I had really. I would go to school, play football with all my mates at school at lunchtime and then after school come straight here and train with grown men,” Young said.
“It was the platform that made me fall in love with the game.
“It was probably also the platform that allowed me to go to England because I spent time around grown-ups, saw how they behaved and their mannerisms which was a good grounding for me.”
Young is entering his seventh A-League pre-season with the Roar since returning from a lengthy career in England which began with first division side Reading as an 18-year-old.
Since then, he’s cemented his place as a fan favourite with the Roar faithful as a two-time Gary Wilkins Medallist, as well as the 2017-18 A-League Goalkeeper of the Year.
His junior club will always have a special place in Young’s heart.
“He coached the first team at the time and then when I joined, he was with the youth team, so I was able to stay close to him,” Young added.
“It’s probably why I’ve had such a long career in that sense because he’s a footballing person and was able to give me the advice that I may not have had from someone not involved in football.
“We have some nice family ties here and they’ve been great to me since I’ve been back. I’d love to do more with them and give back to this community.”
“Since I’ve been back, I’ve coached there, both privately and for the club, and everyone has been really nice.
“For me to actually play a game here is really special for me – a bit nostalgic.”