EXCLUSIVE: Roar players 'baffled' by Maclaren benching

Star striker Jamie Maclaren's recent Brisbane Roar axing has 'baffled' teammates amid uncertainty over whether last season's top scorer will be recalled to the starting line up for Saturday's clash against Wellington Phoenix.

Jamie Maclaren

Jamie Maclaren has been frustrated by his time on the Brisbane Roar bench Source: Getty Images

Maclaren has been the subject of ongoing exit speculation after rejecting a new contract offer dismissed as derisory by his agent.

The Socceroos marksman was perceived by some to have been penalized for his stance when benched for last weekend's 3-2 loss against Melbourne Victory - the Roar's third straight defeat.

Coach John Aloisi has suggested he was merely resting Maclaren, who was used as a second-half substitute, with a clogged calendar to come.

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Either way, a teammate, who preferred to remain anonymous, told The World Game that Maclaren, 23, has "looked as sharp as ever in training and is definitely not out of form".

"The boys are basically a little bit baffled and bewildered that he didn't start against Melbourne Victory because he carries such a threat for us," he said.

"Obviously, it's the boss's call and that's his decision but I think we always look more likely to get goals when Jamie's on the pitch.

"You only have to look at his record last season, and the fact he's also been scoring this season, to prove that."

Statistically, Maclaren's goal haul of seven from 13 games is identical to this stage last season when he went on to bag 20 and finish second in the race for the Golden Boot behind Melbourne City's Bruno Fornaroli.

The Roar's veteran marquee maestro Thomas Broich, a two-time Johnny Warren medalist, supported that assertion in a recent interview when he suggested his teammates needed to bring Maclaren into the action more, and to play to his strengths as a goal poacher.

"He's top class as far as we're concerned," added the teammate. "A few of us have been scratching our heads over him not playing (last week).

"He's a quality player and with us losing a few now of course we can do with his knack for tucking the ball away. That goes without saying."



Maclaren, who is out of contract at the end of the season, is widely expected to depart the club at season's end, amid strong interest from overseas.

That's unless the club can offer the emerging Socceroo a substantially upgraded deal to keep him at Suncorp Stadium.

It's believed Roar chiefs intimated to Maclaren's camp that they could come back with a revised offer after Christmas - but that has yet to be forthcoming.


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3 min read
Published 20 January 2017 at 9:28am
By EXCLUSIVE: David Lewis