Jamie Maclaren has been handed a stunning Socceroos reprieve barely two weeks after he was left out of Bert van Marwijk’s preliminary 26-man Socceroos squad for the World Cup in Russia.
Despite netting eight goals in 13 goals on loan with Hibernian in Scotland, Maclaren was omitted from van Marwijk’s selection in favour of strikers Juric and Tim Cahill.
Even a hat-trick on the final day of the season did not change the Dutchman’s mind as he left out Bailey Wright, Aleksandar Susnjar, Apo Giannou, Mitch Langerak and Alex Gersbach.
The decision to drop Maclaren left fans frustrated, and former Socceroos striker Scott McDonald disappointed.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Maclaren was initially left out due to what was viewed as greater versatility and experience in Juric and Cahill.
However, a Juric injury niggle suddenly has his World Cup hopes hanging by a thread; he is being “monitored”, according to van Marwijk.
Now Maclaren has been afforded the opportunity to impress with one week of camp gone in Antalya, Turkey.
“Tomi Juric has had a knee issue over the last three weeks which is being monitored by our medical team,” van Marwijk said.
“We hope that Tomi will be able to train and play this week, but his recovery might also take longer. That is why we have decided to bring in Jamie Maclaren now so that he also has a fair chance to display his qualities before the final 23 player squad must be announced.”
Maclaren had been holidaying.
The Socceroos will face the Czech Republic and Hungary in pre-World Cup friendlies.