While his immediate club future remains up in the air, Hyundai A-League Golden Boot winner Jamie Maclaren admits a recall to the Caltex Socceroos squad ahead of June’s Confederations Cup is firmly on his radar.
The 23-year-old striker is reportedly set for a move to Europe following a spectacular two seasons with Brisbane Roar in which he netted 40 goals in 53 appearances.
Confederations Cup ambition
And with a huge six months ahead for the national team, Maclaren will be desperate for regular football in order to force his way into Ange Postecoglou’s squad.
Australia host Saudi Arabia in a crucial World Cup Qualifier on June 8 and tackle Brazil in a friendly on June 13 before heading to Russia for the Confederations Cup.
“Absolutely. It’s any player’s goal. To play for your country is the biggest honour you can have in football and [especially] at a competition [with the standing] of the Confederations Cup,” Maclaren told www.a-league.com.au.
“For me I’m working towards it. Obviously all I can do is to continue to score goals and try and influence games.
“Now that the season is over for us, staying fit and injury free [is key]. You never know what the future holds but I’m definitely working towards that.”
Earning a recall in the Green and Gold
Maclaren made his senior debut for the Socceroos in May 2016 when he started in Australia’s 2-1 friendly loss to England at the Stadium of Light.
But after making his first appearance in Australia’s current World Cup Qualification campaign in November, a start in a 2-2 draw away to Thailand, Maclaren was a surprise omission for March’s qualifiers against Iraq and UAE.
Asked whether he believes he’s done enough to earn another crack on the international stage, the Melbourne-born attacker remained quietly confident.
“In terms of getting another chance, my job is to score goals. If I don’t score goals, people judge me. I’ve been given the opportunity to score goals [at Brisbane) and I’ve done that,” he said.
“For me, you’ve got to stay positive. Whatever you read, whatever you see on TV, you can’t listen to it. At the end of the day if I put the ball in the back of the net then so be it. “
Hyundai A-League Golden Boot
After an indifferent start to the campaign with the Roar, Maclaren finished with a flurry to net 19 goals during the regular season to share the Golden Boot award with Victory star Besart Berisha.
And after making the switch from Glory to Roar in 2015, Maclaren admitted playing regular first team football and setting targets were catalysts for his stunning goal-scoring return.
“I wasn’t a regular two years ago [at Glory] but found myself at Brisbane Roar and played regularly for two seasons and I’ve scored 40 goals in two seasons,” he said.
“I set goals when I first signed for Brisbane and that was to hit double figures. That was 10 goals and I reached 20.
“This season I was kind of set on the Golden Boot. When you set a goal and you really work hard to get it, you do get it.
“Thankfully I won the Golden Boot this year with the best striker that the A-League has ever seen in Besart Berisha, so for me it’s an amazing achievement to be stood on stage with him and receive that award.“