Brisbane Roar's Jamie Maclaren deserves more credit

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The Australian striker made history in last week's elimination final win over Western Sydney Wanderers but few have seemingly noticed


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Brisbane Roar striker Jamie Maclaren has made Australian football history this season by reaching the 20-goal mark in the A-League but his impressive form doesn't seem to get enough credit.

When Maclaren tapped home Roar's equaliser against Western Sydney Wanderers last week, the 23-year-old became the first player to score 20 or more goals in successive Australian national league seasons.

But that significant achievement was seemingly overlooked as Brisbane defeated the Wanderers in a penalty shootout.

GFX Jamie Maclaren Stats

In 28 National Soccer League campaigns and 12 editions of the A-League, only three other players have managed to reach the 20-goal mark twice, according to Australian football's statistical doyen Andrew Howe.

Maclaren will have the chance to add to his tally when Roar visit Melbourne Victory in Sunday's semi-final.

Melbourne Victory - Brisbane Roar Preview

Former Adelaide United and Sydney FC coach John Kosmina was the first to do it, scoring 23 goals in 1982 and 20 in 1984 for Sydney City.

Scotland-born striker Charlie Egan joined the exclusive club a year later, scoring 21 goals in 1985 for South Melbourne after notching 20 for the same club in 1982.

GFX Damian Mori

The all-time leading scorer in Australian national league history - Damian Mori - actually achieved the feat three times: 31 goals in 1995-96 and 22 in 1999-00 with Adelaide City, and 24 in 2002-03 with Perth Glory.

In fact, the 20-goal mark for an individual player has only been reached 20 times in 40 national league seasons, with ex-Melbourne Victory director of football Gary Cole the first in 1980 for Heidelberg.

Brisbane Roar 1 Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (6-5 on penalties)

So having done what none of the aforementioned trio - nor the likes of Mark Viduka, Pablo Cardozo or Besart Berisha - were able to do and reach that grade in consecutive seasons, surely Maclaren deserves greater recognition.

While a report last week linking Maclaren to Manchester City as a possible loanee for Melbourne City have been dismissed by the player, his agent and the Premier League club - Manchester City told Goal there is "nothing in Maclaren at all" - there is little doubt he looks ready to play at a higher level when his Roar contract expires at the end of the season.

And yet, the Melbourne-born forward has made just two appearances for the Socceroos since making his debut against England in a friendly last year.

Australia have played nine games since that 2-1 loss at the Stadium of Light.

Maclaren, who spent four years as part of Blackburn Rovers' youth set-up, seems underrated by both Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou, a chunk of the Australian football media and many fans.

Victory hope to exploit tired Roar

It's not that Maclaren is considered a bad player but when some have wondered aloud how Australia might benefit if either Berisha or Bruno Fornaroli was eligible for the national team, it seems disrespectful to effectively ignore a striker that is a genuine option.

GFX Jamie Maclaren

With Postecoglou's preferred centre-forward options Tomi Juric and Tim Cahill having scored four and 11 league goals, respectively, in 2016-17, Maclaren should - at the very least - be in the mix when the Socceroos host Saudi Arabia in a World Cup qualifier on June 8.

Egan (5 goals in 19 games), Kosmina (25 in 60) and Mori (29 in 45) all made their mark for the Socceroos and Maclaren deserves the chance to show what he can do too.

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