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Sep 21, 2023   |  9:16AM AET

MACLAREN: Full focus on Semi Final

MACLAREN: Full focus on Semi Final

Melbourne City captain Jamie Maclaren has reflected on his side’s 0-0 draw with Japanese side Ventforet Kofu in the AFC Champions League on Wednesday night.

City began the new ACL campaign with their very first fixture at home in the competition.

In a game where the deadlock couldn’t be broken, the City skipper spoke about the positives that his team could draw from the result.

“I think in a way it’s two points dropped because we’re at home and you expect to always win but it’s early doors for us, we’re in pre-season still and that’s the positives we’ll take,” Maclaren said.

“In comparison, they’re 30-odd games into their season, so yeah full focus now switches to the [Australia Cup] Semi Final but it’s great to have competitive games against a great opposition.

“Onwards and upwards, we’re still undefeated and we move onto the Chinese game.”

The ACL fixture saw eight City players make their home debuts at the stadium after joining the Club in the off-season.

“It was tough last time [in a hub], it’s great that we are at home in front of our fans but also it’s a great surface and there’s no complaints from us,” Maclaren said.

“For our new boys who got to see our home ground for the first time and play on it, we like to make it a fortress so to speak, they’ll get used to this pitch and try to win games and be undefeated here.

“It’s a good start, but we want more, and we want better.”

City now face a tight turnaround, hosting Sydney FC in the Australia Cup Semi Finals on Sunday afternoon.

“It’s what pre-season is about, getting these competitive games in and what better way to start than with AFC Asian Champions League and now an Australian Cup Semi Final,” Maclaren said.

We want to win silverware this year and it starts with the Cup. We’re in the hat with the Semi Finals and we want to go one better than we have been, and that’s to get to another Final and go again.

“The boys are happy, but we know we can do better, so back to the training pitch, to the game on Sunday and then playing away from home in the ACL.”

WHAT’S NEXT?

City will host the Australia Cup Semi Final against Sydney FC at the same venue this Sunday. Tickets will go on sale on Thursday afternoon.

As for the next AFC Champions League fixture, City will be in China to take on Zheijang on Wednesday 4 October.

2023/24 MEMBERSHIPS ON SALE

Memberships for the 2023/24 A-Leagues season are now on sale, and with more football than ever before, there’s plenty to get excited about. 

  • Our first Asian Champions League campaign played on home soil
  • Two massive home Melbourne Derbies
  • The chance to claim an unprecedented fourth A-League Men’s Premiers Plate
  • An extended A-League Women’s season
  • Plus, loads more

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