A-League: New father Jamie Maclaren set for A-League season

Melbourne City captain Jamie Maclaren has lost some sleep lately, but it’s not from missing out on a second Socceroos squad in succession.

Instead, Maclaren has been woken up by the needs of his new baby daughter, Remi.

“No complaints. I’ve had 30 years of sleep, so I’ll be right,” the A-League’s most prolific striker said.

“She’s a little gem. It changes your life completely, for the better. She’s perfect.”

Maclaren is happy to admit that since Remi’s birth on September 25, he has a new perspective on life.
Rather than be concerned by missing selection in two consecutive Socceroos squads, including the contingent that has been assembled in London for the past week for games against England and New Zealand, Maclaren has focused on his duties as a father and as skipper of his club.

“I don’t need do prove to anyone that I can score goals,” said Maclaren, who has found the back of the net on eight occasions in 30 Socceroos appearances as well as 144 times in 205 A-League appearances.

“I just need to keep myself fit and get my head down. What will be, will be – I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

“I’ve got a new addition at home now so my mental shift and focus has gone to that and making sure that our club is in a good place.
Maclaren, who has taken over the City captaincy from the retired Scott Jamieson, is enjoying the extra responsibility involved with being the skipper of a club.

“I know I’ll always score goals. I’ve got to start to realise that I’m looking after the majority of players’ needs and wants, and making sure everybody’s OK on the pitch, and also our new players off the pitch, but it won’t distract me in any way,” he said.

Maclaren said he “drew a line in the sand” at the start of the pre-season in focusing on City’s 2023-24 campaign rather than dwell on the club’s shock 6-1 loss to the Central Coast Mariners in last season’s A-League grand final.

“You talk about the grand final, and it clearly does hurt, but it’s done and dusted – you’ve got to move on,” he said ahead of City’s opening game of the A-League season, a derby against Western United at AAMI Park on Saturday.

“I’ve got to manage 13 or 14 news faces in the City Group – that’s been my focus.

“We’re a club that has high standards. I’ve been around to see the success that we’ve built over time.

“It’s going to take a bit of patience, but the quality that has been brought into the squad is very good. Once we do click, it’s going to be a fantastic squad.”

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