Rogic's move from Mariners opens door to Roar for Lustica
Steven Lustica has been signed by Brisbane Roar.
Tom Rogic may have left the A-League, but his departure has paved the way for another Canberran to return as former Canberra FC player Steve Lustica is set to join Brisbane Roar till season's end.
Lustica, who played for Gold Coast United, is close to joining the Roar on loan from Croatian giant Hajduk Split, where he has been playing since 2011 and is contracted until June 2015.
The 21-year-old was overseas when contacted on Wednesday and said he couldn't comment ''for a few days'', indicating the deal had yet to be finalised.
The arrival of the Young Socceroos representative at the Roar would coincide with the departure of 20-year-old winger Nick Fitzgerald, whose move to the Central Coast Mariners was expedited by the departure of Rogic to Scottish powerhouse Celtic.
Fitzgerald was banished to Brisbane's youth team after signing a two-year deal with the Mariners that starts next season, but was released by the Roar ''effective immediately'' on Wednesday.
The change of heart from Roar coach Mike Mulvey came after a plea from Mariners coach Graham Arnold after the league leaders were rocked by the departure of Rogic and Bernie Ibini's likely move to Belgian outfit Club Brugge. Lustica's move to Brisbane will reunite the talented midfielder with Mulvey, his former Gold Coast youth coach.
They will hope history repeats when they team up again - they won successive youth titles for the now defunct Gold Coast club and Lustica claimed the 2011 national youth player of the year award.
Brisbane needs a shot in the arm after slumping to a 10th loss of the season last round, ensuring the side is just one point clear of last-placed Wellington with 10 regular season rounds left.
Lustica could make his Roar debut on Saturday night away against Perth Glory.
Meanwhile, another Canberran in the A-League, Nikolai Topor-Stanley said Western Sydney won't be burdened by the weight of expectation that continues to build in a stunning debut season.
Written off as pretenders at the start of the season, the Wanderers are inside the top four two months out from the finals and have an eight-point buffer over fifth-placed Melbourne Heart.
Topor-Stanley, Wanderers vice-captain, was one of seven contracted players who attended the team's first official training session in July. He said the players had been buoyed by coach Tony Popovic's enthusiasm.
''From the start he brought such passion to the club and we have all wanted to buy into that, we have wanted to play like that every week and I think we do,'' Topor-Stanley said. ''There are a lot of players here who weren't quite wanted by other clubs and they have made the Wanderers their home. We all believe in each other.
''It's been a lot of hard work but there is still a lot of hard work to go. We aren't getting carried away with anything.'' with AAP