Maclaren can shine for Socceroos, says Moore

Two-time World Cup defender Craig Moore believes Jamie Maclaren’s claims for a seat on the plane to Russia are becoming hard to ignore.

Jamie Maclaren

Jamie Maclaren celebrates after scoring for Hibernian Source: Jamie Maclaren Twitter

With five goals in 12 appearances for Hibernian - over 715 minutes of football - Maclaren has three league games remaining to give Bert van Marwijk further reason to rubber stamp his Socceroos cause.

While suspended veteran Tim Cahill won’t play again this season for Millwall, 24-year-old Maclaren has found his goal scoring touch since joining Europa League aspirants Hibs on loan from Darmstadt 98 back in January.

Van Marwijk’s striking stocks are not deep, and Maclaren - who missed out on selection for March’s friendlies against Norway and Comombia - may have timed his run to perfection.

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Moore knows the penalty box predator all too well from their time together at Brisbane Roar, where he was technical director before quitting in January.



And he insists any Australian striker “scoring regularly in a decent league” should be in van Marwijk’s sights.

“Jamie’s playing at a good level and is hitting form at the right time,” declared the former Rangers and Australia skipper.

“I know what he’s capable of from working closely together at the Roar, and he’s a confidence player who has a great eye for goal.

“He knows where to be at the right time and makes those clever runs in behind.

“I’m sure Bert van Marwijk is fully aware of what he’s doing and is taking note.

“Any player scoring regularly at a decent level has to be in the frame.”

While Maclaren flourishes in Scotland, Cahill’s selection case has become a conundrum for van Marwijk as he weighs past glories against the reality of just 64 minutes of football since his much heralded return to the Den.

It’s likely the 38-year-old will make the initial 35-man squad for the Australia’s pre-World Cup training camp in Turkey between May 19 and June 7.

But whether he’s still there when the squad is trimmed to 23 ahead of the opener against France in Kazan on June 16 remains a burning question.

“I think van Marwijk would have already made a decision on whether he’s taking Timmy to Russia, but I have no idea what that decision is,” said Moore.

“Timmy works hard on his fitness and his training and will always give himself the best opportunity.

“He knows what it takes and what’s required because this is potentially his fourth World Cup.

“But he’s not silly ... he knows if he gets picked he’s not going there to play 90 minutes of every game.

“In terms of him getting up for the tournament I have no doubt he’ll be ready.

“It’s an interesting one because you don’t know what the thought process of the coach and the FFA is.
“Will it be a joint decision or purely the coach’s decision?”

Moore recognizes the call to blood younger players, with Maclaren, for one, possessing just five caps to 50-goal Cahill’s 105.



“Do you call on one of the younger players and give them the experience?” he added.

“That’s where somebody like Macca comes into the equation. We all know he can score goals and he’s done a lot to further his cause.

“We need attaching options in Russia, without winning games of football you are just going there to take part.

“Both Timmy and Jamie still have time in terms how they perform in the flesh day-in-day out at the camp in Turkey to show the manager where they’re up to.”


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4 min read
Published 1 May 2018 at 4:21pm
By Dave Lewis