Extra Time: Maclaren wants to spearhead City's new chapter in history
Melbourne City’s newest acquisition Jamie Maclaren is on a mission to make history in the Hyundai A-League with the club and it starts in Saturday night’s free-to-air clash against Adelaide United.
The 25-year-old returns to Australian shores following his second stint in Europe, where he played for Darmstadt 98 in 2. Bundesliga and in Scotland for Hibernian.
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And, with City having won an FFA Cup but yet to win any Hyundai A-League silverware, Maclaren wants to make history for Warren Joyce’s side.
“I’d like to think that I can push Melbourne City forward and I want to win things, I want to be part of the history books,” Maclaren told www.a-league.com.au.
“If I keep my standards high and score goals for this club, I believe we can achieve that.
“To be honest, I’ve won individual awards but I haven’t won a collective award.
“It’s about winning silverware and that’s what I want to do at this club and that’s why I signed a long-term deal because I think we can achieve that.”
Despite sitting fifth on the ladder and in a comfortable position, the attacking stats do not shine for Melbourne City.
Joyce's troops have scored 21 goals this season, with only Newcastle Jets and the Central Coast Mariners scoring fewer, suggesting Maclaren may just be the remedy to City’s woes in front of goal.
Maclaren didn’t shy away from this assertion, reaffirming the belief in his ability to be that man.
“I believe I could be that last piece to the puzzle but it’s a fantastic squad anyway,” said Maclaren.
“I can imagine playing with Rostyn Griffiths and Jamo (Scott Jamieson) who I know so well, they know what I bring to the table and that’s goals and performances.
“I’m the sort of player that, sometimes when the teams are going forward and getting balls in the box, I like to think I’m at the right place at the right time.”
Not here to just score goals
They say the sign of a true player is not the work he does on the field, but what he does off it.
Maclaren is no exception in this regard, well aware that his role at Melbourne City is not limited to an on-field capacity.
Having left Australia at 15-years-old to try his luck in England — where he came through Blackburn Rovers’ Academy — Maclaren knows that only a mindset fixated on constant development will help him kick on.
“I’ve always been a player that’s prided myself on high standards because I know how quickly the game can be taken away from you,” said Maclaren.
“If you go in everyday and be the best version of yourself, then I think it reflects on your teammates, but also as a club as a whole.
“In terms of improving, I want to become a leader, I want to become a player that the younger boys can turn to for me to pass on experience because I’ve been in that position as a young boy before.
“So that’s what I mean about improving: Improving the other aspects of the game.”
Maclaren ready to kick on with the Caltex Socceroos
Maclaren joins City at the peak of his career both at club and international football.
The forward started all five of the Caltex Socceroos’ fixtures in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ and grabbed his maiden international goal in Australia’s 3-0 win over Palestine.
It’s a testament to the regard in which coach Graham Arnold holds the Melbourne City man, at a time where a new generation of Caltex Socceroos are looking to stamp their authority.
“Arnie’s shown a huge amount of faith in me and as a player you always want to give that back,” said Maclaren.
“The Asian Cup was a fantastic experience for me to really find rhythm in a Socceroos environment.
“For me, it was a nice change to start games on a regular basis for the Socceroos and something I’ve always been working hard for the last few years — to really nail down a spot.
“It’s still a position you can’t take for granted because there are that many quality players in Australia that if you have one or two bad months then someone else takes your spot.
“So you’ve got to keep your standards high and that’s why coming to City, with the fantastic facilities that they’ve got, I believe I can stay in the Socceroos environment but also make sure my club football is up to scratch by scoring goals regularly.”
Feature image courtesy of www.melbournecityfc.com.