Thirteen games is all Scott Jamieson managed when playing in Sweden. The new Melbourne City recruit’s time in Europe was cut short in part due to the time of his arrival, a hamstring injury and through the nature of Sweden’s misaligned football calendar.

But the move in itself was an indication of the defender’s continued improvement as a footballer. It was the first time he’d been at an overseas club since his adolescent years with Bolton Wanderers.

Jamieson transferred to IFK Göteborg, a club in Sweden’s south, in mid-August of last year. Historically the Angels, as they’re known, have been top-flight heavyweights in the Allsvenskan but have just one league trophy to show from the last 21 years.

The move came off the back of Jamieson’s career-best season with his hometown club, Western Sydney Wanderers in 2015/16 .

During the campaign he played the full 90 minutes of every match under Tony Popovic bar the losing Grand Final against Adelaide United, where he was substituted after 86 minutes. A second consecutive PFA Team of the Season gong came as reward at the conclusion of the campaign.

He returns home to join the fifth A-League club of his career in a move which he said, “fell into place”.

Struggling with the GPS in his car and trying to navigate his way around the still unfamiliar streets of Melbourne, the Sydney native told The Football Sack how the move was swiftly stitched together.

“City were always in contact with me from afar and I’ve known Michael Petrillo [Melbourne City Head of Talent Management] since I was 18,” he said.

“There was a lot of dialogue between myself and [City] – not in any serious way, just a general of back-and-forth over the months and then it came to a situation where I was coming back.”

He returns on a four-year contract – a sign of confidence shown in the left-back. Contracts of that duration are scarce in the A-League and Jamieson acknowledged it saying, “it was a real big plus in the fact they really believe in me and what I can do”.

The former Socceroo is a much needed asset for new City coach, Warren Joyce. The departures of Ivan Franjic, Josh Rose and even Paulo Retre leave City thin in the fullback pile and Jamieson said he is ready to keep the ball rolling from 2016.

“I still think the year at the Wanderers has been the year I learnt the most in football, without a doubt,” he explained.

Despite not “actively looking” to come back to Australia he joins City at a crucial time in the club’s history. A new phase of the Melbourne outfit dawns under Joyce and Jamieson is one of ten new inclusions for the season.

Melbourne City have struggled to keep their goals conceded below 40 in a season – doing it just once back in 2011/12 – so defence seems an important place to start for Joyce.

“I think the manager was brought in because he had the right credentials but he was also brought in to bring a harder side of the team out,” said Jamieson.

“I think having the stronger edge and that resolute competitiveness about us is what he’s really tried to install in the players. It’s something that was spoken about last year.

“That’s been a big focus in trying to stop leaking in goals and being competitive around the pitch.”

With Melbourne City’s large squad Joyce has tried and trialled numerous formations and mixtures of players through the FFA Cup and pre-season friendlies, but Jamieson says the team is still unsure which way Joyce will land come Round 1.

“He’s tried a few [formations]. He’s tried a 5-3-2, we’ve tried a 4-3-3 and a 4-4-2, so there has been a few systems that we’ve trialled and we’re a versatile team that can mix it up if we have to,” explained Jamieson. “It’s something we can go to if need be during the season.”

“The only system I’m happy with is the one where I’m starting,” he added. “I know I’m fit enough or capable enough of putting in a shift if I did go to a wing-back position. I don’t really know the kind of way it’s going to pan out.”

Meanwhile, Jamieson admitted the injury to skipper Bruno Fornaroli did dishearten the playing group when the full diagnosis came through. But the defender said the team now have Fornaroli in mind in the lead up to the season, who will be on the sideline with a fractured ankle of an extend period.

“I think initially, yeah [it did rattle us]. You talk about someone who’s been a regular goalscorer over a number of years and is really a positive influence on the club, having known him for a short period of time he’s been fantastic.

“I think it’s all about pulling together for Bruno and trying to help him out. He’s a fantastic guy that’s well-liked by the players in the change room.”

Fornaroli is set to miss approximately half of the season and will look to return around the Christmas-New Year period.

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Football and Aussie rules commentator, writer and radio host/producer from Melbourne.