Socceroos ready to feature in City tilt

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Less than a year after winning a grand final without some of their Socceroos, Melbourne City will embrace the opportunity to attempt to go back-to-back with their biggest names along for the ride.

Jamie Maclaren, Curtis Good and Connor Metcalfe had to watch City's breakthrough championship from afar after being called up for Socceroos duties.

The delayed start to that season meant World Cup qualifiers clashed with the finals, while hotel quarantine stints for Maclaren and Good, combined with Olyroos duties for Metcalfe, meant they couldn't quickly return.

There are no such issues this time around, while Mathew Leckie has also joined City's ranks.

Off the back of claiming back-to-back premierships with a 2-1 win over Wellington, coach Patrick Kisnorbo delighted in seeing the league's best feature in finals.

"(For) football in general you want the best players to play in the league," Kisnorbo said.

"(Be that) in the A-League, the English Premier League, Serie A, Ligue 1, you want the best players.

"It's better for us as a sport if we can have the top players at all the clubs play.

"When they go missing for whatever reason, say international breaks, it's hard. Because you want this product to grow.

"I want the game in Australia to grow and it's better for us if we can have the best players, the best coaches, always available."

Kisnorbo pointed to games earlier in the season where City had lost without their internationals but believed it had held his squad in good stead.

"Even (in those times), the team has adapted really well and players have had an opportunity to come in and to play and hopefully they can grow from this," he said.

Maclaren sealed his third consecutive golden boot, and fourth of his career, by scoring his 15th goal of the season against the Phoenix.

"As long as he performs for the team, that's what counts," Kisnorbo said.

"As a goalscorer, sometimes when you go without goals, there's always a question mark or something like that

"But one thing Jamie has shown, and good players do that, is consistency. It's consistent over three years.

"Sometimes when you sit back and have a look, (you should say to people) 'well done' because we always can't be negative.

"We have to actually look back and say someone achieved something really good there, or someone did really well, and consistently he's done that for three years, so I'm very happy for him."

City will have the elimination weekend off before next week's two-legged semi-finals.

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