New Caltex Socceroo Jamie Maclaren says scoring on his return to England against the Three Lions would be the ultimate story for the one-time Rovers player.
After four years with Blackburn Rovers’ youth set up and failing to crack a first team spot, the forward moved back to Australia to join Perth Glory in 2013.
But it wasn’t till his move to the Sunshine State at the start of last season that things really clicked into gear.
The Brisbane Roar striker, who uses his pace well to play off the shoulder of defenders, smashed 20 goals - a fabulous effort though five behind Golden Boot winner Bruno Fornaroli.
Now, being back in England has the 22-year-old dreaming of a return to haunt the country where he learnt his trade the hard way at Ewood Park.
“I spent four years at Blackburn Rovers so I know what it’s like in England to break in, and it’s not easy” he told reporters on Monday.
“It was a lot of things… I went through five different managers. So it was tough.
“Going from Sam Allardyce to Steve Kean, Eric Black and Henning Berg.
“And they signed a lot of different players. Jordan Rhodes came in and I had to understand that.
“And I was always travelling with the Young Socceroos and Olyroos flying off to play against teams like Vietnam, and they [Rovers] weren’t too happy with that.
“But I had to do that because I wanted to play for Australia.”
If the forward gets on the park, the chance to banish those memories at Rovers would be the ultimate boys own story.
“It would definitely be the pinnacle because it would mean a Socceroo debut but also against a country that has given me my development in football.
“It would be a great feeling and I’ve got my family and ex-team mates coming to the game," he said.
And if he does get on the scoresheet it would no doubt help him with a return to club football somewhere in the UK.
“It’s a good stepping stone Brisbane Roar. So maybe if I can bust out another season with hopefully 20 more goals …” he said.
Despite the season finishing for Roar over a month ago, Maclaren says double sessions have him feeling as sharp as ever after finishing a 34-game season with the Brisbane club.
“I’m probably the fittest I’ve ever been [right now].”
Maclaren is likely to battle with Tomi Juric for the central striking role though may be used as a wide striker.
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