Jamie Maclaren signed for Melbourne City with one thing in mind – success.
Returning home after season’s abroad in Germany and Scotland has made the last few months extra special for the Socceroos striker.
Maclaren, 25, has never lifted silverware on Australian soil but shares a locker room with many who have – driving this ambition for silverware.
The finals series have again rolled around and after bowing out in the semi’s in his last finals appearance for Brisbane Roar – Maclaren is hungrier than ever.
But his hunger isn’t built around revenge or retribution for the early exit but around creating a legacy and taking a club he only signed for two months ago to the promise land.
“I want to help build this club, I don’t want to just sit here and be a mid-table team I want to push us to the top of the table,” Maclaren said.
“This finals series was a big reason why I came in January, I knew I could have a crack at the title.
“We want to be the first City side to win the Championship, that’s the legacy we want to leave and we’ve set goals for that.
“I’ve been involved in games where I’ve been a loss away from a Grand Final and that still hurts me today it’s a feeling you don’t want to have.”
Melbourne City’s only piece of silverware since their inception has come in the form of the 2016 FFA Cup – having never qualified for a Grand Final.
Coming into the team as one of the more experienced players in January, Maclaren – along with several senior players – took it upon among themselves to drive high standards internally.
The former Roar striker has contributed with five goals in eight appearances and is certain to play in Sunday’s elimination final, despite missing the side’s Round 27 win.
City’s season can very much be described as an internal-versus-external battle – not allowing outside noise to overshadow the belief within, which at times has been very difficult.
Much of the external criticism at the club has come towards Warren Joyce – whose future at the club is yet to be confirmed – and his playing style.
“[Joyce] works crazy hours, he doesn’t have to stay around until 5pm but he and others do,” Maclaren said.
“Whether its watching videos or getting here early – he also works with the younger boys a lot, these are things a lot of fans don’t see.
“To be honest he’s not getting the credit he deserves, he wears his heart on his sleeve he does a lot of things he doesn’t need to do.
“He knows more than anyone that in three games you can be crowned Champions.”
Melbourne City is yet to lose to Adelaide United this season with their only meeting at Hindmarsh Stadium going City’s way back in December last year.