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Goalkeeper Max Stryjek signs new contract with Livingston

Livingston v Celtic – cinch Premiership – Tony Macaroni Arena
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Max Stryjek has signed a contract with Livingston after being rewarded for changing his lifestyle.

The goalkeeper has signed a deal until the summer of 2024 with the option of a further year.

The 25-year-old arrived at Livi from National League side Eastleigh in the summer of 2020 and made his 45th appearance in the club’s most recent game, saving a stoppage-time penalty at Parkhead and keeping his second clean sheet against Celtic this season.

On the contract, manager David Martindale said: “The big man has earned it. He has changed his life off the park.

“I was on record last season as saying Max is a top-class goalkeeper but he needs to do things a wee bit differently away from the football club. Testament to Max, he has done that this year.”

Stryjek was “absolutely delighted” to get the reward for making “lifestyle changes”.

The Pole added: “It was basically doing the right stuff off the field – eating well, preparing well, being more professional. I changed that this season and I feel much better in myself. That has helped me sign a new deal.

“I am just living my normal life but I am watching what I am eating and drinking. I go to bed around midnight, I don’t try to go any further than midnight because I have to sleep well. I used to not have breakfast in the morning, now I have breakfast every morning. Just simple things like that.

“Also I am in the gym more, the swimming pool more. I am on the massage table every day as well.

“I am more mature now and I know what I want in life. I want to play football and to do that I have to perform to the best ability I can. If I do stuff right I know I can give myself the best shot at it.

“I have to perform every single game and take it from there. If I continue the way I am going, hopefully some bigger clubs will knock on the door and then everyone will be happy. Livingston will be happy if they can sell me for a lot of money. I would love to do that and it’s up to me.”

Martindale showed faith in Stryjek after some high-profile errors earlier this season, notably fumbling over a late winner for Aberdeen.

“At the start of the season my performances were like rollercoasters,” the goalkeeper said. “I could have an amazing game, then a s*** game, an amazing game then a s*** game. It was going back and forth.

“The manager stuck with me, took me for a chat and said, ‘listen, you have to put performances in’. After the chat, the run just started. I felt that confidence, it helps when you know someone trusts you.”