Extra Time: 'I’m not on the pitch to score', says City top scorer De Laet

Swarmed by his awe-stricken team-mates after thumping home Melbourne City's opener on Friday night, Ritchie De Laet allowed himself a brief moment of shallow indulgence.

But with just nine minutes on the clock, the experienced Belgian knew his job was far from done and that was exactly why City boss Warren Joyce brought him to the Hyundai A-League club.

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Backing up his goal in the Round 1 Melbourne Derby, the versatile defender unleashed a vicious strike from range to put City on course for a 2-0 victory over Wellington Phoenix.

It was the sort of effort that Hyundai A-League fans hope that their marquee signing will deliver and made him the club's leading scorer heading into the international break.

However, when the full-time whistle blew the 29-year-old found his real personal pleasure in something far more valuable - a first clean sheet of the season.

"I’m a defender first and foremost. I’m not on the pitch to score, my main objective is to keep a clean sheet," he told a-league.com.au.

"If I can chip in with an assist or a goal then I’m happy to do that but I’m a defender so if it takes some while to score again then so be it, as long as the team keeps winning and keeping clean sheets.

"That makes you happier than just scoring."

The post-match conversation was naturally dominated by talk of De Laet's new-found scoring form, with two goals in four games coming after a three-year drought.

He previously found the net for Leicester against Aston Villa, sparking one of their many comebacks en route to defying all odds to win the English Premier League title.

De Laet enjoyed double success that season as he assisted the Foxes' miraculous achievement before moving to Middlesbrough and helping them secure promotion.


With success second nature to a player who spent his formative years under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, the Aston Villa loanee is typically eyeing more glory this season.

"We said at the start of the season we want to be up there, make the Finals and win silverware and one loss isn’t going to change that," he added.

And he knows the goals of striker Bruno Formaroli, who opened his account for the season to make the points safe against the Phoenix, will be more important than his own purple patch in securing that success.

"Me and Bruno had a little joke saying he’s still one behind me but he’s a striker," he said. 

"I’m sure he’ll end up with loads more goals than me and he’s going to play in a big part in us hopefully winning silverware this season."