Maclaren vows to add goals to kick-start City’s title push
Jamie Maclaren says he’s still the same prolific goal-poacher that last played in the Hyundai A-League and believes his talent can help propel Melbourne City to some silverware.
The Caltex Socceroos striker signed a long-term deal with City last month that will see him become a marquee player at the club next season.
The 25-year-old last played in the Hyundai A-League two seasons ago, finishing with the Golden Boot (jointly with Besart Berisha) while playing for Brisbane Roar.
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Now part of the City Group and playing out of his hometown, Maclaren is confident he can resume where he left-off in the competition and provide the goals to spark City’s season.
“I am still a goal threat, still the same player, the player that stays in and around the box,” Maclaren told reporters at Fitzroy Primary School on Tuesday.
“For me, this club seemed to look like they wanted a striker who just wants to be in and around the 18-yard box and get on the end of crosses.
“That's my sort of job, to be in the box, be dangerous. I am not going to change as a player. I have always been me, I have always been a goalscorer.
“Although I have improved I have got a lot of improvement to go. I am 25, and I have still got a lot of years left in the game and if you want to improve and learn every day this is the best place for me.”
Asked if City can make a charge for the title over the last 10 rounds, Maclaren said: "I know how the A-League works. If you are in the top six you have every chance to win it.
"There are ten games to go now. We believe we can get these results and climb up the ladder and push for silverware."
Since leaving Roar, Maclaren has played for German second division club Darmstadt, while also spending time on loan with Scottish Premiership outfit Hibernian.
The speedy striker denied his decision to return from Europe had anything to do with being homesick and is unconcerned about criticism he should have stuck it out abroad.
“I left (home) at 15, living away from family for 11 years," Maclaren explained.
“It's not been easy but I've enjoyed the ride. I've been around. I've been to Perth, Brisbane and Germany.
"I'm not homesick, I do miss family but when an opportunity pops up like this and Melbourne City have put faith in me. For me it’s an easy decision.
“I’m 25 but I've seen and heard enough from fans (that criticise). They're [the critics] only looking out for themselves and I'm looking out for myself.
"City offered me a great deal. I've always wanted to play in Melbourne. It's always been a dream of mine to play in front of my family.
"People think Europe is the Holy Grail. End of the day if you're playing football at any level it's great."
Ironically, Maclaren’s sister works for City’s bitter rivals Melbourne Victory and is pregnant with his first child, due in July.
It’s situations like this that made Maclaren’s decision to return to the Hyundai A-League even easier.
“Do I really want to miss on those things?” he said.
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“It’s a tough gig being a footballer, you’re always moving around and you have six months here and there.
"When an opportunity arises like this from Melbourne City to come back home and really enjoy it I snapped at the opportunity."
Maclaren is set to make his City debut in Saturday night's home clash against Adelaide United, LIVE and FREE on 10 Bold.