Tom Rogic playing for the Mariners in the Asian Champions League. Photo: Cameron Spencer
CENTRAL Coast Mariners midfielder Tom Rogic says he would have considered signing with Canberra if its bid to have an A-League team in the nation's capital had succeeded.
But without an A-League team in the ACT, the 19-year-old said it was hard for Canberra's young soccer players to build a career.
Several A-League clubs, including Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets, were chasing Rogic until he signed a one-year contract with the Mariners last month, but he said he always wanted to re-sign with the A-League premiers who gave him his first break.
But he admitted the lure of a Canberra A-League would've been something he'd have to consider.
''I'd have [had to] to wait and see who the players were and the coach etc but I'd [have] considered it. I hope Canberra does get an A-League team in the near future because I think it is missing something,'' Rogic said.
''It makes it hard for younger players like myself to get out of Canberra without the set-up of a Youth League side and an A-League team as well.''
Rogic's journey started when he won his way into the Nike Academy last year and only visa problems stopped him from signing with English club Reading, which was recently promoted to the premier league.
But the Mariners saw his potential as an attacking midfielder who has the ability to score spectacular goals from long range.
And he didn't disappoint. It took him just three A-League games to score and a week later he scored a cracker against Wellington.
In less than a year, he went from playing with Belconnen United in the Canberra premier league to being part of Central Coast's Asian Champions League campaign.
Even Rogic was surprised by how quickly it all happened.
''It's been crazy. From hearing that I was going to get my work permit denied at Reading towards the end of last year I was devastated. And then coming here [to the Mariners] I wasn't really expecting to play as much as I have,'' he said.
Rogic is back in Canberra on annual leave and will return to Gosford in four weeks' time.