Coming off the back of his second A-League Golden Boot, striker Jamie Maclaren said he won’t be eyeing off another one and that his goalscoring success is a product of his teammates playing their roles.
“I’ve always said the Golden Boots come because the team is playing well and the boys behind you are producing,” Maclaren said, “I feel as if that happens when we play well and play an attacking style of football.”
‘I won’t be eyeing another one, but I think it will happen if my team produces, and I know they will.”
— Isuzu UTE A-League (@aleaguemen) September 10, 2020
Maclaren missed last season’s Round 1 Melbourne Derby due to Socceroos duty, but came in ready to go after scoring four goals in two games for the national team, including a hattrick against Nepal.
This form carried over from country to Club, as he scored nine goals in his first four A-League games, despite missing a couple of fixtures due to a slight hamstring injury.
Maclaren would finish the season with 23 goals in 25 games, his best return ever in an A-League season. Along with his Golden Boot, he also took out both Melbourne City’s Player of the Year and also the Etihad Supporters’ Player of the Year.
Genreau 🍟 Maclaren 💥
— Melbourne City FC (@MelbourneCity) October 27, 2019
Although it was a great season individually, Maclaren said the fire is still burning after the team played so well in the Grand Final but ultimately came up short, losing 1-0 to Sydney FC.
“It wasn’t like we rolled over and got demolished, it was a Grand Final where I felt we were the better footballing side but in those games it doesn’t matter who plays the better football,” Maclaren said, “What matters is who turns up in the bigger moments and I think that we’ll be ready for those big moments this season.”
“Golden Boots are nice but you can’t beat having a trophy.”
Led by new head coach Patrick Kisnorbo, intensity and aggressiveness have been one of the big focusses of City’s pre-season and Maclaren said he and his teammates were looking forward to showing it out on the pitch.
“The boys who know PK well knew that those things are a given in his book, and the new boys that have come here now get to experience what it’s like to play under him,” Maclaren said.
“You can show that aggressiveness in training but it’s much better when you go out to battle and play against other mobs.”
Joining Maclaren in the front third this season will be new singing Andrew Nabbout, while English winger Craig Noone also returns to the Club to form a formidable front three.
Having played together already for the Socceroos, Maclaren said he already knew Nabbout well and was excited to play with him again this season.
“We’ve got that connection and the eye contact thing that you need in the front third,” Maclaren said, “He’s aware of my runs and I’m aware of his abilities, I believe that we will both score a lot of goals and be very dangerous.”
While his tally of 23 goals last season was certainly eye-catching, Maclaren said its far from the only thing that matters.
“As a striker you always want to be on the scoresheet, but to get others involved is great too,” he said, “Now we’ve also got Andy who will produce multiple goals, as will Nooney.”
“We also want to be the best team defensively and that starts from the front.”
“I feel with our front three now, we will press teams every single game and we will be able to force errors.”
The 2020/21 season will be Maclaren’s second full season at the club after he joined in January 2019. He said that now more than ever is the time for him to step up and help drive the standards by leading the way for his younger teammates.
“I feel as if I’m starting to mould into a leader and I know that this is the club that I want to be at,” he said.
“To bring high standards to this club is important because they’ve given us everything in terms of the training pitches and the highest quality facilities, so it’s up to us to produce out on the pitch.”
Although stadium restrictions have still not been confirmed for the upcoming season, Maclaren said he can’t wait to get back out on the pitch and return to playing games at home.
“Being a proud Melbourne boy there is nothing greater for me to play in front of the home fans and also of course my family,” Maclaren said.
“It’s a great feeling.”
The 2020/21 A-League season will kick-off on December 27. Stay tuned for fixture details in the coming weeks!