Q and A with Matt Jurman


Putting pen to paper with Brisbane Roar in early 2011, former Sydney FC defender Matt Jurman has been immense for his new club in his performances this season, forming a solid partnership with captain Matt Smith in the heart of defence.

Putting pen to paper with Brisbane Roar in early 2011, former Sydney FC defender Matt Jurman has been immense for his new club in his performances this season, forming a solid partnership with captain Matt Smith in the heart of defence.

Ahead of his second match-up with his former club, the 21-year-old talks about his time with within the Australian under-23 set-up, the transition between the Sky Blues and Brisbane as well as living with teammate Rocky Visconte.

Brisbaneroar.com.au caught up with Jurman after training on Tuesday afternoon to ask your chosen questions from Facebook and Twitter.

1. How hard is it to adapt to playing with the Qantas Olyroos with players who play a different style than what you are used to with Brisbane Roar?

It-s pretty different in terms of the structure and things like that but at the end of the day, being a defender, you still have to stop the goals and stop the play at the back. In that sense, it-s the same but in terms of other players- positioning it-s a little different so you-ve just got to get used to that. You-ve got to know in the back of your head where Viddy [Qantas Olyroos Head Coach Aurelio Vidmar] wants his midfielders to be and his strikers to be. It-s a bit different to the Roar but you-ve got to be able to adjust to different coaches, methods and styles of play, especially at a professional level.

2. After a Man of the Match performance against Uzbekistan for the Qantas Olyroos with Qantas Socceroos Head Coach Holger Osieck in the crowd, when do you think will it be realistic to be aiming for your first Qantas Socceroos cap?

I haven-t really thought about that. I-m just concentrating on doing well for Brisbane and if something like that comes up, I-ll be really happy and I-ll take it with both hands. Until that happens, I-ll just keep playing and if it happens, it happens. I love playing for Australia and putting on the jersey is a very proud moment for me and my family. I had family and friends there on Sunday night, it-s really special playing for your country in front of family and friends. Doing well made it a little bit more special too.

3. Do you feel your good defensive performance for the Qantas Olyroos while you were away were enough to get you straight back into the Brisbane Roar starting eleven?

I-ve been thinking about that the past few days actually. I watched the game on Saturday night and the boys did well, winning 4-0 but I don-t know what the coaches are thinking so I can-t really comment, but I really want to get back in the team. The depth in squad is really good and anyone can come into the team and do well. There are no dramas about the depth but I really want my spot back.

4. How difficult has the transition from Sydney FC to Brisbane Roar been in terms of training, fitness regime, new football philosophy, etc?

In Sydney, the pre-season training involved a lot of off-the-ball training. In terms of that type of fitness, with the ball, always playing little games which are so intense, I feel it-s a lot higher here than it was at Sydney. I think the transition has been good, it took me a few weeks to get used to everyone and how they play and what the coaches wanted from me defensively, when we get the ball where they want me to be and stuff like that. But I think I understand what they want from me now and I-m alright with it now. I remember one of our pre-season games, I struggled a bit in the first half and it wasn-t a good half of football to remember. It was one of the worst I-ve ever played. We weren-t playing on a good pitch but we were still expected to play out from the back. I was trying to do that but it wasn-t working for me and I went in at half-time and thought I was going to get yelled at or something. Ange was fine, he was really calm and said ‘keep doing what you-re doing, keep trying to play out, I-ve got full confidence in you-. He said he knew it wasn-t going to happen all at once for me and that they didn-t expect me to master everything straight away but he wanted me to keep trying. Second half, I came out and it was a completely different game for me and I ended up scoring my first goal for the Roar which was good! Having that confidence in me, I think I-ve improved as a player already – playing out from the back and that philosophy of always supporting everyone. It-s made me a better player and I really being involved a lot more with passes and more touches.

5. What about off the field – has it been hard getting acquainted with a new city? What are your favourite things to do in and around Brisbane? What-s it like living with Rocky Visconte?

It-s been a new thing for me living out of home. I haven-t lived out of home since the AIS but I-m enjoying it and me and Rocky are living together. You-d think that living with someone and seeing them everyday, you-d get sick of them but I think me and Rocky are good. We-re always hanging out together, doing something or he-s having his afternoon nap and I-m chilling by myself. We give each other feedback on our games sometimes. With Rocky being injured, I haven-t been able to say too much because I-ve only seen him play with the youth team once. We try and help each other out and we-ll tell each other if we-re doing something bad or good. In my spare time, we play a lot of FIFA – I-ll admit he-s probably better – but we also hang out a lot with the young boys, go out for dinner, go to their houses or go to the movies or something. Obviously some of the older boys have families but us young boys, we-re all from different parts of Australia so it-s good we-ve got each other to hang out with otherwise it would get pretty boring hanging out with yourself! It-s good, sometimes we-ll cook dinner together or go out to dinner. I like Southbank, we-ve been there a few times. I don-t mind Arriverderci in Milton, been there a few times too and sometimes I go get cevapi with Ivan, Massimo and Rocky at Rochedale Deli. Being Croatian, it-s good food for me and Ivan, we love it!

6. Do you play Fantasy A-League? If so, are you in your own team?

Yes, I do play Fantasy A-League and I am in my own team. I-m not the captain though – I-ve got Thomas [Broich] as my captain. I-ve got Smeltz up front but I need to put Bes [Berisha] in there and then I-ll have to really think about whether to put him or Thomas as captain! He-s banging in the goals. I did have Rocky on the bench, waiting for him to come in but I think I had to sub him out. I-ve got my old teammate Sebastian Ryall in there too but he hasn-t been playing either. I love playing with him at the Olyroos so I put me and him at the back together. I haven-t checked in ages, I just made the team for a little competition with some mates back in Sydney. I haven-t even checked the Premier League one that we do with the team so I should probably check both.

7. How do you pronounce your surname?

My dad is Croatian and the Croatian way is ‘yurr-man- but everyone has pronounced it ‘jer-man- my whole life so it doesn-t bother me at all. Being in Australia and living in Wollongong where I was for 13 years, it was always said ‘jer-man- so I just went along with it and now I-m used to it – some of the boys call me ‘Jurms- and everything. When I first got to Brisbane, Rado [Vidosic, assistant coach] was saying it right because he-s Croatian as well. It doesn-t bother me but I do get asked that question a lot!