Zayne’s pain and pleasure keeps him in the game
SOME beneficial lifestyle changes and an injury blessing have Ipswich Knights goalkeeper Zayne Freiberg excited about football's return.
He just needs to be back on the field with his teammates.
Freiberg's sporting boost came after getting married last year and trimming down more than 15kg to keep pace with demands in the Football Queensland Premier League competition.
He is fit and happy after marrying his wife Rachael. The popular couple have beautiful daughters Oceah, 7, and two-year-old Jarrah.
However, while starting the new season raring to go, Freiberg suffered a concerning injury in just the third game.
He was forced from the field midway through the Knights second half clash against Wynnum at Bundamba.
"I had a bit of a hip flexor strain going into the game,'' Freiberg said.
"I was struggling a bit with it that week . . . and then I changed direction and made a save.''
He felt the pain all the way through his leg.
"I went straight off,'' the tenacious keeper, highlighting the concern he had.
The prognosis was 4-6 weeks on the sideline after Freiberg's setback in the Knights second win of the season - a 6-1 victory over the Wolves.
A week later, following the Knights 3-2 loss to South West Queensland, the FQPL season was suspended.
"That was a blessing definitely,'' said Freiberg, who turns 32 in July.
"The only positive was that it happened at the time I guess.''
The ensuing break due to the dreaded coronavirus pandemic provided a silver lining for the loyal Ipswich footballer and the Knights.
The top side's other promising goalkeeper Damon Wenck ironically suffered a rib injury in the Wynnum game.
Freiberg has since completed his recovery. He had just had a shooting session with teammates at the Bundamba field.
"I'm been doing fitness myself and trying to get back to full strength,'' he said.
"I'm right to go.''
Freiberg is hoping his team can train again as a unit in coming weeks with restrictions easing.
The players have only been able to work in small groups, posting their training programs on Facebook.
The former Australian futsal representative is keen to extend his higher level career after two seasons with the Ipswich City Bulls in the Capital League 1 competition.
"It is a big difference,'' the Cetnaj (electrical and trade) storeman said of returning to FQPL competition.
"The Bulls have got good players in Div 1 but it's just the quality through the whole team.
"At Knights, you've got your whole level can play at that level.''
Freiberg is hoping to play on a few more seasons "if the body keeps going''.
"I've got back to a reasonable level of fitness at the moment,'' he said.
"From the last couple of years, I've lost probably 15, 20 kilos.
"It's just a lifestyle change that needed to happen. I feel a lot better for it.''