Nash seeks to shine for Jets

MATT Nash is accustomed to living life in the shop window.

Having been a back-up keeper his entire A-League career, he treats every game as his last.

That he landed a stint in goal for the Jets is down to good fortune, or rather the misfortune of injured Ben Kennedy (knee) and Mark Birighitti (fractured cheekbone). But he is determined to make the most of it.

Nash was again outstanding in the 1-0 loss to Brisbane Roar, further evidence that the 31-year-old is worthy of a full-time gig.

He had been elevated to the A-League team of the week after his heroics in the 3-all draw with Melbourne Heart the week before and again demonstrated his ability by denying Roar’s Brazilian midfielder Henrique in the 69th minute.

It was a goal that would have ended the game as a contest.

‘‘Basically you go out there and play like it could be your last game – you never know when it will be,’’ Nash said.

Released by the Jets at the end of last season to accommodate 21-year-old Birighitti, Nash was working at establishing a personal-training business when he got the SOS from Jets goalkeeping coach Bob Catlin.

He had recently completed a season with Parramatta in the NSW Premier League.

What started as a one-month contract has been extended to two. Though he enjoys the personal training, playing football full-time remains his goal.

‘‘When I went away I changed a few things,’’ Nash said.

‘‘I altered my diet and did some stuff in the gym to make sure if anything came up I would be ready to jump back in.

‘‘I have played a few games now and am getting more confident with every game. 

‘‘Once you get back to training the speed comes back. 

‘‘I feel a lot sharper. I am not getting any younger, but I feel fitter than I have ever been.’’

Nash has continued to work as a personal trainer at Rouse Hill, in Sydney’s west, in and around Jets commitments.

‘‘I try to do my business at the start of the week and have the rest where I am not on the road and stay at my brother’s house in Newcastle,’’ he said.

‘‘I work Monday to Wednesday. I travel back after training in the morning and normally finish about nine at night.

‘‘Most of my clients know what I do and are flexible with it. I enjoy it. It gets my mind away from football as well.’’

Birighitti, who had surgery a week ago, will see his specialist tomorrow and hopes to begin a modified training program on Monday. Kennedy resumed light training last week. 

‘‘All I want to do is go out there and do my best every week – you never know what can happen,’’ Nash said.

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