Caltex Socceroos debutant Jamie Maclaren says England’s big defenders left their mark on him. Literally.
The Brisbane Roar youngster made his Australian debut on one of the biggest stages when England beat the Socceroos 2-1 on Friday night in Sunderland.
And before he was subbed off in the second half, the forward got a taste of what’s it’s like in the English Premier League.
At the Stadium of Light, Maclaren was marked by England’s rising stars in defence, Everton’s John Stones and Chris Smalling of Manchester United.
“I learnt how to test yourself against the best defenders,” the Brisbane forward said after the game.
“I’ve a few cuts and bruises off Chris Smalling and Stones, and that shows the intensity and the level they play.
“Some of them are quite bigger but at the end of the day they are just humans.”
Coach Ange Postecoglou said he was happy with both his debutants’ performances: Maclaren and Milos Degenek, a second half substitute.
“They both acquitted themselves well. Obviously for Jamie it was a massive week and we didn’t have massive expectations. He’s a young guy and his first international game against high quality opponents.
“He worked hard and got into some good areas. Overall I was pleased and Milos added something when he came on.”
Maclaren added recently that bulking up is one area he’ll be looking at ahead of next season to add to his pace and ability to play off the defenders’ shoulders.
“The result is irrelevant,” the striker added.
“We played really well in the first half we had most of the possession and some good chances.
“It’s a good run for us and we showed them we can match them.
“It’s great to put the Aussie jersey on again. You could not have asked for a better debut and it’s a privilege to wear the Aussie jersey.”