McLean Has City Stars In His Sights

Jake McLean (Michele Pitman)

Words: Michael Flynn
Image: Michele Pitman

Brisbane Strikers midfielder Jake McLean says he won’t be looking to swap shirts with Tim Cahill after their Westfield FFA Cup tie – but it’s nothing personal against the Caltex Socceroos megastar.

The recently crowned PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Premiers host Hyundai A-League powerhouse Melbourne City this Wednesday night in the national knock-out tournament’s Round of 16.

The attention of the nation’s football fans will be on the match to see Cahill’s likely debut in the competition, however, McLean said he will be wary of seeking a traditional post-match souvenir.

“I’m not sure I’m allowed to give away a shirt, so I might have to run it past the club’s board first because I might have to buy another one to replace it,” McLean said.

The comment may be tongue-in-cheek but it once again highlights the differences between the games' upper echelon and the everyday heroes that ply their trade with clubs competing outside the Hyundai A-League.

While City will be bristling with household names like Cahill, Bruno Fornaroli, Luke Brattan and Neil Kilkenny, former National Soccer League Champions Strikers are a club seeking to remind the nation of their own pedigree - launching the careers of several Caltex Socceroos including Shane Stefanutto, Matt McKay, Michael Zullo, Jon McKain and City's latest signing Josh Rose.

“The club always remind us who we are playing for and what the club has achieved. It’s one of the most prestigious clubs in Queensland,” McLean said.

“We go out there with pride in what the club has done but we want to create our own history too.”

“If we keep going in the FFA Cup, if we can beat Melbourne City, then maybe we will be the fans are talking about in 20 years.”

Of course, that means becoming just the fourth club outside the top tier to knock over a Hyundai A-League opponent.

But McLean says he and his teammates will take plenty of confidence from their stellar year which delivered their first PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues silverware.

“We all believe that we’re good enough to beat them. We’ve been working hard all year and now it’s time to reap the rewards.”

“All the A-League teams are in their first couple of months of pre-season and it’s a good time to verse them. We’re not going in scared or anything like that.”

For McLean, who only joined Strikers this season, there is also an additional personal goal of advancing further than his previous two forays with Olympic FC in 2014 and Oakleigh Cannons’ last year.

“I’ve gotten to the Round of 16 and got to the quarters, so why not the Semis?”

“I’m not looking past any teams, because every game is going to be a grind, but why not go further?”

McLean’s return to Queensland came as surprise to many after impressing with Oakleigh in last year’s PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria.

And, with their upcoming opponents also hailing from Victoria, the parochial Queenslander isn’t afraid of fanning the flames of interstate rivalry – suggesting the much-hyped competition isn’t too far removed from what’s on show in the Sunshine State.

“There’s a lot of players up here that could play well in Victoria and the top teams in Queensland would definitely contend down there.”

“There’s probably a bit more depth and a bit more quality down there but there are also a few prima donnas in Melbourne that think they are better than what they are.”

“So when they verse the Queensland teams they sometimes struggle because they take us too lightly and we show them that we are just as good as they are.”

But will that apply against the full-time professionals of the cashed-up City?

“It’s going to be the hardest game we’ve had all year, but so as long as everyone shows up on the day then I’m confident we can get the job done,” he concluded.

Westfield FFA Cup 2016 – Round of 16

Brisbane Strikers FC v Melbourne City FC
Wednesday, August 24 | 7:30PM
Perry Park, Brisbane

Ticket Details – $15 (Adults); $10 (Concession Card Holders); $5 (Child Aged 3-16); Free (Under 3)

Ticket Bookings -

Broadcast LIVE AND EXCLUSIVE on Fox Sports Channel 506


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