Above: Hayley Taylor-Young (right) in action for Canberra United against Brisbane Roar last season. Photo: Canberra Weekly.
Ahead of their Round Nine Liberty A-League game with Newcastle Jets, Ben Gilby heard from Canberra United’s Hayley Taylor-Young about getting back in the saddle after the club’s recent COVID cases.
With a COVID outbreak hitting the capital city club over the last week or so, 19-year-old Hayley Taylor-Young spoke of her joy at finally being out of quarantine.
“We were back at training at the start of the week (for the first time since the outbreak) and everyone was a bit hyper!” she laughed.
“Our physio set us gym programmes and that was the main thing I was focussing on. Apart from that, there has been a lot of Netflix and being in bed. This season things are a bit more intense with COVID. We had our own programmes at times last season, so we all know how to do it more now.”
With the quarantine period providing a natural punctuation point in Canberra’s disappointing A-League Women season so far, the locally produced youngster sees the time away as a natural opportunity to re-set.
“We’re using the isolation time as a fresh start. We can use the time to relax and refresh. It’s like coming back into pre-season and focusing now. We’re doing everything in training that we need to work on. The end product, scoring goals, is what we are lacking. We need to all get around each other and keep our heads up. We need to be positive during the games.”
Taylor-Young is deployed in a far more defensive position this season, and she reviewed the process. “First I was nervous, the defending side of things is different for an attacking player. It is helping me to develop more confidence in myself and comfort on the ball.
“In training, we have an attacking group and a defending group and I’m kinda like in the middle and thinking ‘where do I go?’ But I’ve been pushed back into defence. It involves more responsibility.”
Looking ahead to Sunday’s game at Newcastle Jets, Taylor-Young expects the New South Wales side “to come out strong, but if we keep doing what we’ve done in training, we’ll do well.”