Golden Boot winner Maclaren says A-League is making big strides

Jamie Maclaren celebrating one of his 25 league goals. (Photo: Bet 365 AUS/Twitter)

Melbourne City and Socceroos striker Jamie Maclaren has been in sublime form this season, winning his second consecutive Golden Boot with City and now away in camp with the national team.

His 25 league goals have him head and shoulders above the rest of the competition, Macarthur’s Matt Derbyshire finishing runner up to Maclaren with 14 goals.

City’s spearhead spoke to the media about what have been the key factors in his incredible goal scoring form this campaign.

“Look I think obviously there are many factors, we are a fantastic club, all the facilities and they set the standard in Australia [Melbourne City] I believe,” Maclaren said.

“Other than that, the playing group, the coaches that I have had in the past have really backed me. I think as a striker, if you have a coach that backs you, you can go out on the field and work tirelessly, not only for them but for the guys around you.

“Confidence [also] plays a big part, I’m back home in Melbourne. Ff you’re happy off the field, that transpires onto the field so [there’s] a lot of factors as to why I’m playing my best football.

“I’m at a good age, I’m 27, really happy and I have had my best season in front of goal and like I said I always want to improve. I want to get better so it’s definitely setting the bar high and making sure that my standards really continue, not only for the rest of my career but the national team as well.”

Melbourne City has been the team to beat this A-League season, winning 15 of their 25 games while having the best attack in the competition.

Young midfielder Connor Metcalfe has had a superb season for Patrick Kisnorbo’s side, rewarded for his efforts with a Socceroos debut against Chinese Taipei and becoming the 611th player to represent the Australian national team.

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Maclaren only had good things to say about his fellow City teammate, giving a glowing endorsement for the now Socceroos midfielder.

“I joined the club two and a half years ago and when I first joined I thought this kid [Metcalfe] is a very good footballer and he has a long way to go,” he said.

“But as I have started to continue to play with him, you know, he’s getting closer to me. I’ve given Connor I think three goals this year in terms of assists, so I think he’s starting to mature, and halfway through the season I was thinking if he continues on this trajectory he’s going to become a Socceroo in the near future. He’s well deserved this call-up.”

“I think he has been a standout out for our Olyroo squad in terms of getting into the Socceroos squad.

“But at the same time, he has probably been the young footballer of the year in my eyes in the A-League. He’s had a fantastic year and it’s been one of those ones where you play games, you get confidence. I think Connor fully deserves his call up.

“He’s a Socceroo now and that is a whole new ball game in itself. I think he not only wants to represent his country but to bring his standards to Melbourne City as well and lift his game.”

The star-studded A-League of the future

Next season, Melbourne City will have one of the most potent attacks the league has ever seen, with Maclaren himself, Andrew Nabbout and now recruit and fellow Socceroo Mathew Leckie.

Maclaren believes the signing of Leckie could only be good for the league. With more high-quality players coming into the league, he believes fans should be excited to go and watch games.

“Yeah, it’s a huge signing [Leckie] not only for our club but the league,” Maclaren said.

“I think sometimes A-League fans always say ‘why are these players coming back?,’ but even in my case, they said ‘why is Jamie coming back?’

“But don’t you want the A-League to have high-quality players and high-quality Australians? So you can’t have it both ways, so this signing is a massive intent from our club [Melbourne City] and the league.

“I can’t thank the City Group enough for bringing in players like signing Andy [Nabbout], signing Lecks [Leckie], and top players that will add to this league immensely. You know A-League fans, if that’s not enough incentive to come to the games or watch us, then I don’t know what is.

“So it’s great that our Socceroos still believe that in their prime years they can come back and offer so much. It’s a massive signing.

“It’s a sign that the A-league is turning a corner now and really having a positive effect on players that want to come home.”

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About Adam Schultz 44 Articles
Adam is a freelance writer and has covered the NBA, NFL, AFL and the English Premier League for various sites. He has over five years of experience covering sports across the globe. Adam loves everything sport but his main passions are NFL, football and the AFL.

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