Ignorance is bliss for young Canberran
Canberra's Tomas Rogic star continues to rise. Photo: Getty Images
Canberra product Tomas Rogic says he has learnt to deal with the increasing hype surrounding his rapid rise to the Socceroos by trying to avoid it altogether.
The 19-year-old attacking midfielder earned his first Socceroos cap in a friendly against South Korea two weeks ago, just 18 games into his professional career, and has continued to impress in his return to the A-League.
Rogic, who scored the match-winning goal in the Central Coast Mariners' hoodoo-breaking 2-1 win over Brisbane on Sunday, has emerged as a bright light in a Socceroos set-up dominated by players who have served Australia well but now find themselves towards the end of their career.
The rapid rise of former Futsal star Rogic prompted national coach Holger Osieck to ask that he not be hyped as he still had a lot of developing to do and there were no guarantees he would emerge as an international star.
But Rogic has his own approach. ''I try not to take too much of it all [the media attention], because if I was to do something wrong, it would just work against me,'' he said.
''I just try to read the positives into it. I try to stay away from the media as much as I can … sometimes it is hard.
''I do my best not to take any notice of it and listen to people around me who are important … like the coaching staff and the senior players.
''They know what they are talking about and they can help me out.''
Rogic is in Osieck's 25-man squad for the East Asian Football Federation East Asian Cup qualifiers in December in Hong Kong.
The squad is made up primarily of A-League players due to being played outside official FIFA match dates and, with the Socceroos far from settled in the lead-up to next year's World Cup qualifiers, defender Matt Smith said it was a chance to make an impression.
''For the guys from Asia and the guys from the A-League it's an opportunity to impress in front of the head coach,'' he said.
''It's good to get the guys together and prepare for the tournament in Hong Kong. You can't think too far ahead, you just have to concentrate on training this week and hopefully first and foremost for myself to make the squad to go to Hong Kong and go from there.''
The Socceroos squad gathered in Sydney on Monday as Australia prepared to play in the tournament for the first time. Osieck will announce his 20-man squad to travel to Hong Kong on Thursday.
Australia will compete against Chinese Taipei, Guam, Hong Kong and North Korea in the qualifying tournament from December 1 to 9.
The East Asian Cup 2013 will be held in Seoul, South Korea from July 20 to 28. AAP