Tomas Rogic of the Mariners. Photo: Ryan Pierse
Tom Rogic remembers staying up late as a kid watching his hero Ryan Giggs star for Manchester United, the team he supports.
Now the Socceroos and Central Coast star would love nothing better than to come up against his idol when the Red Devils play a one-off exhibition match against an A-League All Stars side at ANZ Stadium, in Sydney, on July 20.
But the Canberra product admitted that plenty could happen between now and then.
Ryan Giggs of Manchester United. Photo: Getty Images
Giggs, 39, could retire at the end of the current English Premier League season and Rogic might no longer be in Australia.
His dream is to play overseas in Europe and there's the chance he might catch the eye of a club over there. He could also be on international duty with the Socceroos, who play in the East Asian Cup finals in South Korea in July.
The 19-year-old continued his meteoric rise through the Australian soccer ranks when he made his debut for the national team against South Korea last month and arrived home from the East Asian Cup qualifiers in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
Rogic said his sole focus now was on getting ready for the Mariners clash with Melbourne Heart on Friday.
''Like everyone else in the [A-League] I'd love to be part of the [All Stars] team,'' he told The Canberra Times on Monday.
''I've been a United supporter since I was a kid so I guess it'd make it that little bit more special, but that's a long way away and I've got a lot of games to go before then … that's after the season finishes and who knows where I'll be then.''
Similar to Giggs, Rogic is a left-footer with an eye for a goal, but the young up-and-comer said that's where the comparisons end.
While Giggs burst onto the scene for United in 1991, it took the Nike Chance talent search to uncover Rogic last year.
''In the early days I remember Ryan Giggs being my favourite, being a left-footer as well so I used to look up to him, but I'm not sure if he'll still be playing by then,'' Rogic said.
Tickets to the Manchester United match at ANZ Stadium are on sale from Tuesday and range from $49.50 to $189.