A sign of the times if ever we’ve seen one…
On his 27th birthday, Jamie Maclaren spent the morning speaking to journalists via a now-customary online press conference from a hotel in the Hunter Valley, where City staff members could be seen in the background getting tested for the virus that has made these extraordinary circumstances our new reality.
Maclaren provided insight into the unprecedented challenges that the players have faced over the past few months, shining a light upon the human beings behind City’s brightest stars.
“While other teams were sitting there having dinner with their families, we were away,” he said of the border-crossing saga, “It was a hard pill to swallow.”
To finally be back on the training pitch and in their own hotel, away from the other Victorian sides, was a massive relief for the team, the 27-year-old said.
“We’ve trained really hard, we’ve been able to play three 90 minute games within ourselves and in terms of match fitness we feel really good.”
The time away from the pitch has made the team hungry, with the side’s leading goalscorer expressing his own eager anticipation for the games ahead, “I can’t stress enough how frustrating it’s been to wait and watch every other team play.
Maclaren also recognised the advantage of having fewer remaining fixtures than their future opponents, stating, “With the three games that we’ve got left, other teams have five or six to play so I feel that puts us in a really good position to be able to field our strongest eleven and to recover.
“We’ve got nine points available to win and we’ll be aiming to get those (maximum) points from those three games and anything less than that will be a disappointment because we’re looking towards that second place.”