A closer look at Finn Jurak


Photo Courtesy of Jose Juarez.

Finn Jurak lunging for a save on March 18, 2021 against Cleveland State.

Christian Tate, Sports Reporter

Born in Canberra, Australia, Oakland University’s redshirt junior goalie Finn Jurak has made quite a name for himself as a player who knows what it takes to win. 

In 2020, he played seven games for the Golden Grizzlies and notched a 5-1-1 record during those games. With a total of 21 saves and 10 goals allowed on the season, he was an efficient defensive anchor who did his job every night out there on the pitch. 

He allowed an average of 1.38 goals per game while he was standing in the box, and was able to record a save percentage of 67% over his 650 minutes of play during the 2020 season. When asked what goes through his mind while he’s playing on the field, Jurak had this to say:

“Before games I’m quite nervous, however, once I step on the pitch and cross that white line I just try to enjoy myself and focus on helping the team win.”

2020 isn’t the first time Jurak has shined on the pitch, however. He’s been a star player for quite awhile now. 

A four-time recipient of the Athlete of the Year award during his time in high school and two-time athlete of the year at Dickson College, Jurak has never been one to slouch on the field. During his time in the National First Grade Premier League where he played for the club Belconnen United Blue Devils, Jurak helped the Canberra United Academy reach the Kanga Cup U18 Championship for two consecutive years in 2012 and 2013 and once again in 2015. 

Individually, Jurak was awarded the 2017 First Grade Players Award, the Coach’s Players Award and the Club Goalkeeper of the Year award, as well. He moved on to succeed on other teams and explore other ventures, which eventually landed him on the Oakland University men’s soccer team — where he plays today. 

During his 2020 season, in addition to the accomplishments already mentioned, Jurak helped to anchor the Golden Grizzlies’ defense in two separate shutouts over both Robert Morris and Green Bay. He earned both Player and Defensive Player of the Week honors for his amazing defensive play in both of the aforementioned shutout games, and was named to the 2020-2021 United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division I Men’s North Region second team. 

When asked if he had any sports idols or someone that he modeled his style after, Jurak said: 

“Growing up I was a field player and wanted to play like Ronaldo, then I became a goalkeeper and looked up to Neuer and Iker Casillas.” 

Manuel Neuer, goalkeeper and captain for both the Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and German National team, is considered one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of the sport. Although he is retired, Casillas is also regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time — and there’s no doubt Jurak has tried to emulate these two while he’s out on the pitch.

When Jurak was asked about who or what team would be his dream opponent, he said: “it would have to be against Manchester United at Old Trafford.” 

Off the field, Jurak likes to do a variety of things. 

“I like to swim at the beach, hang out with my mates and play guitar,” he said.

Overall, Jurak is a spectacular soccer player and seems to be an even better person. Explosive and focused on the field, but down to Earth and relaxed off, Finn Jurak is capable of leaving every team he faces in shambles, and he’s only just getting started.