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Jamie Maclaren has fought hard to become the best forward in A-League history

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9th January, 2023

From a young age, the top Australian prospects want to challenge themselves abroad and find out if they are good enough to play at the highest level. 

Jamie Maclaren’s football journey started in 2009 at the tender age of just 15, when he was given an opportunity to trial for Blackburn Rovers’ under-16 side in England. 

An impressive hat-trick against Manchester United’s under-16 squad saw him accept a contract offer in a heartbeat. 

Technical ability and a natural eye for goal, along with important physical attributes to fit into English football, stood out for the scouting crew. 

Like most Australian players who travel to Europe, game time is extremely difficult to come by, which led to Maclaren having to put his dream on hold and move back to Australia, where Perth Glory obtained his signature. 

The 29-year-old has always been a battler who has never given up, showing incredible persistence to prove his doubters wrong. 

His 11 goals in 38 appearances was an average return in his two seasons at the Glory, where he had to prove himself in the NPL set up along the way.


The salary cap scandal at Perth paved the way for Maclaren to sign for the Brisbane Roar and he scored 39 goals in two seasons, winning the Young Player of the Year and tying Besart Berisha in the Golden Boot race in 2017. 

Jamie McLaren of Australia runs with the ball during the Australian Socceroos Training Session at the Gloria Football Club on May 28, 2018 in Antalya, Turkey.

Jamie McLaren during Socceroos training (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

But Melbourne City was the club at which the Socceroo would truly rise to stardom.

The stats are mind-blowing: 82 goals in 95 appearances in little over three years, with a championship to add to his resume.

Records broken en route include becoming the first A-league player to score in ten consecutive matches, the fastest A-League player to reach 100 goals (144 appearances), and the most goals by an Australian in the A-League in a single season.

This current campaign, Maclaren has recorded an astonishing 13 goals in 11 games, proving that he is in the prime of his career.

Critics will argue that six of those goals have come from the penalty spot, but Maclaren’s scary form is steamrolling the entire league.


Just ten goals shy now of overtaking Berisha as the A-League’s all-time leading goalscorer, it is only a matter of time before Maclaren cements his status as the best striker to ever grace the competition. Another championship or two may put the debate to bed once and for all.

For a club that has struggled for an identity since the days of Melbourne Heart and a supporter base that is still attracting low numbers, Maclaren is the symbol the team so desperately need. A focal point.

Maclaren had to find his own identity all these years since Blackburn, developing into a deadly goal-poacher and an important leader.

One of Australia’s most underrated centre-forwards in Aussie history, the little amount of game time he has received under Graham Arnold – in a time when they are crying out for goals – underlines how underappreciated he is.

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What a real shame he hasn’t been able to test himself abroad, as was his dream so many years ago.


Could there still be time to make a big move? Possibly, but you wouldn’t blame him for being comfortable in his current environment.

A privilege to watch week in and week out, let’s appreciate him while he is in the country.