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Taking the high road to Scotland

Date

Tom Rogic is set for a life-changing move to Celtic, writes Chris Wilson

Tom Rogic helping launch the A-League last year with star imports Shinji Ono, Emile Heskey and Alessandro Del Piero.

Tom Rogic helping launch the A-League last year with star imports Shinji Ono, Emile Heskey and Alessandro Del Piero. Photo: Getty Images

The deal is complete, he's finally in Glasgow with Scottish giant Celtic, but Canberra soccer sensation Tom Rogic says he remains committed to representing Australia at every opportunity as he aims to fulfil his ''ultimate'' dream of playing at next year's World Cup.

Rogic has spoken of his relief at receiving the British work visa he was denied in 2011, allowing the 20-year-old to fly out of Australia on Wednesday and take up a 4½ year deal with one of the world's biggest clubs. But as he launches his career in Europe, Rogic says he is determined to remain in contention for national selection as the Socceroos endeavour to qualify for next year's World Cup in Brazil.

Having debuted with the Socceroos last year, Rogic was left out of a 19-man Australian squad to play a friendly against Romania in Spain next Wednesday. But answering the club-versus-country question that ultimately confronts all of Australia's overseas-based stars, Rogic said his heart was with the Socceroos.

In action for the Socceroos last November.

In action for the Socceroos last November. Photo: Getty Images

''I'd love to always make myself available for the Australian team if I was up for selection. I think Celtic would be happy to support that,'' Rogic said. ''I'd always make myself available to play for Australia.

''Representing Australia at a World Cup is a dream of mine - that's the ultimate footballing stage.''

THE WAIT

Playing for Belconnen United in 2011.

Playing for Belconnen United in 2011. Photo: Richard Briggs

Even Rogic struggles to comprehend his rapid rise through soccer's ranks. Just two years ago he was playing with Belconnen United in the Canberra Premier League.

''If someone had told me then that in 24 months' time I would have represented my country and had interest from clubs in Europe I would have laughed at them, I couldn't have taken them seriously,'' Rogic said.

''But I've done a lot of hard work and come a long way in that time. It hasn't come easy.''

Indeed, Rogic has also had to show patience. He was was set to sign in England with now-Premier League club Reading in 2011, but was denied a work visa because he didn't have enough playing experience.

Despite establishing himself as an international representative and a star of the A-League, Rogic admitted he had been a little spooked by the prospect of missing out again.

''It was always in the back of my mind, but speaking to the people at Celtic, they were confident that it wouldn't be an issue this time around and I'm obviously in a much better position in my career as opposed to 12 months ago.

''Any young player in Australia has aspirations to go overseas and I think going to such a big club is really a good marker of how far I've come in such a short time.

''In a strange way I'm almost used to this rapid progression. With the Socceroos call-up and things like that happening this year and all the interest coming in January, it's almost become a bit natural. Hopefully I can keep this progression going.''

THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

At the start of this A-League season, only Rogic's second, he posed beside Italian superstar Alessandro Del Piero for promotional photos to launch the competition. Now he faces the prospect of playing against Del Piero's former Italian club, Juventus, in the European Champions League final 16. Celtic play Juventus on February 12 and March 6.

''Possibly I'd be getting a bit ahead of myself if I was aiming to be a part of that, but at the same time I believe in setting goals high and I'd love to be a part of it, whether it's on the bench or in any way, shape or form,'' he said.

Celtic was the club that kick-started the career of former Socceroos striker Mark Viduka, but some soccer analysts have questioned whether Rogic has made the right move at the right time. Rogic said he backed himself. ''At the end of the day the decision's up to me,'' he said. ''Of all the clubs that were possibilities or speculated about, this Celtic move just felt right from the start. It's hard to describe. It's such a big decision, but for me it felt quite easy.

''Whether or not it's the right move, time will tell. I don't think any move is a guaranteed safe move and I think at the end of the day if you're a good enough player you'll be able to make it anywhere. Hopefully I can do that.

''I've noticed from training the tempo and speed of play is much quicker than what I'm used to. Being around good players helps your development naturally, so I'm confident I'll be able to adapt to the step up in quality and hopefully contribute to Celtic success.''

THE A-LEAGUE

Rogic made a big impression on the A-League in only 24 games. He was red-carded in his last match, suspended for three weeks for a dangerous tackle against Sydney FC in December. The Mariners have maintained their competition lead without their attacking midfielder and Rogic was confident they could complete their mission.

''What the Mariners have done this season, they've really set the bar for the league this year. Hopefully they can continue to do that and go all the way because it really is a good bunch of guys and a great club. I think they're on track and they'll be tough to beat. The squad has a lot of depth, so losing a couple of players through injuries, suspension or transfers … they'll more or less be the same squad,'' Rogic said.

Rogic admitted saying goodbye to teammates before the end of the season was tough and admitted the transition would be tougher.

''I don't think you could get more contrasting lifestyles, going from Terrigal in summer to Glasgow in winter. I guess sometimes people overlook how tough it is to move overseas and leave all your friends and family behind, go tough it out in the cold and try and make this transition into the bigger leagues. I know it's not going to be easy, but I can't wait to get started,'' Rogic said.

Hyundai A - 2014-15 - All Rounds

Round 1
Fri, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
VIC 4 vs WSW 1 Stats
Sat, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs NEW Stats
SYD 1 vs MCY 1 Stats
Sun, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs PER 2 Stats
BRI 1 vs ADE 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 17 OctTimes shown AEDT
ADE 1 vs VIC 1 Stats
Sat, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs WEL 2 Stats
SYD 3 vs WSW 2 Stats
Sun, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
MCY 1 vs NEW 1 Stats
PER 3 vs BRI 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 24 OctTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs SYD 2 Stats
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
VIC 5 vs MCY 2 Stats
Sun, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WEL 4 vs NEW 1 Stats
ADE 2 vs PER Stats
Wed, 19 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs CCM Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
MCY 1 vs ADE 2 Stats
Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
PER 2 vs NEW 1 Stats
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
SYD 2 vs CCM Stats
Mon, 03 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 2 vs WEL Stats
Wed, 03 DecTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs BRI 1 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 07 NovTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs WSW Stats
ADE vs SYD Stats
Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW 2 vs VIC 2 Stats
BRI 1 vs MCY 3 Stats
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs PER 1 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 14 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs BRI 4 Stats
Sat, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
ADE 2 vs WEL 1 Stats
SYD vs VIC Stats
PER 2 vs WSW 1 Stats
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
MCY 2 vs CCM 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 21 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 1 vs BRI Stats
PER 2 vs WEL 1 Stats
Sat, 22 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSW 1 vs NEW 1 Stats
MCY 1 vs SYD 2 Stats
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs ADE 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 28 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 3 vs ADE 2 Stats
Sat, 29 NovTimes shown AEDT
BRI 1 vs PER 1 Stats
WSW 1 vs SYD 1 Stats
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
WEL 5 vs MCY 1 Stats
NEW 1 vs CCM 1 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Thu, 04 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD 1 vs PER 2 Stats
Fri, 05 DecTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs VIC 3 Stats
Sat, 06 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW 1 vs WEL 3 Stats
ADE 2 vs WSW Stats
Sun, 07 DecTimes shown AEDT
MCY 1 vs BRI Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 12 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs BRI 1 Stats
PER 2 vs NEW Stats
Sat, 13 DecTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs CCM 1 Stats
VIC 3 vs SYD 3 Stats
Wed, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
WSW 3 vs MCY 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 19 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW 2 vs ADE 1 Stats
Sat, 20 DecTimes shown AEDT
MCY 1 vs VIC Stats
PER 4 vs CCM 1 Stats
Sun, 21 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs WEL 2 Stats
Wed, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI 1 vs WSW 4 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 26 DecTimes shown AEDT
MCY 1 vs PER 1 Stats
SYD vs ADE 3 Stats
Sat, 27 DecTimes shown AEDT
CCM 3 vs BRI 3 Stats
VIC 1 vs NEW Stats
Sun, 28 DecTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs WSW Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Tue, 30 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW 2 vs MCY 5 Stats
BRI vs SYD Stats
Wed, 31 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE 1 vs WEL 3 Stats
Thu, 01 JanTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs CCM Stats
Fri, 02 JanTimes shown AEDT
VIC 1 vs PER 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Sat, 03 JanTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs NEW Stats
Sun, 04 JanTimes shown AEDT
WEL 3 vs BRI Stats
CCM 2 vs MCY Stats
Mon, 05 JanTimes shown AEDT
PER 1 vs ADE 2 Stats
Tue, 06 JanTimes shown AEDT
WSW 1 vs VIC 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Sat, 24 JanTimes shown AEDT
ADE 7 vs NEW Stats
CCM 1 vs SYD 5 Stats
Sun, 25 JanTimes shown AEDT
PER 3 vs VIC 3 Stats
Sun, 01 FebTimes shown AEDT
MCY 2 vs WSW 1 Stats
Mon, 02 FebTimes shown AEDT
BRI 3 vs WEL 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 06 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW 1 vs BRI 2 Stats
Sat, 07 FebTimes shown AEDT
CCM 2 vs ADE 1 Stats
VIC 3 vs MCY Stats
PER 1 vs SYD 3 Stats
Sun, 08 FebTimes shown AEDT
WSW 2 vs WEL Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs BRI 2 Stats
Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs MCY Stats
NEW 1 vs WSW 1 Stats
SYD 3 vs VIC 3 Stats
Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
ADE 1 vs PER 1 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
SYD 4 vs CCM 2 Stats
ADE 2 vs WSW 1 Stats
Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
WEL 2 vs NEW 2 Stats
MCY vs PER Stats
Wed, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 1 vs VIC 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
MCY 3 vs ADE 1 Stats
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs CCM Stats
WSW 3 vs SYD 4 Stats
PER 2 vs BRI 2 Stats
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC 2 vs WEL 3 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs SYD 1 Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
WEL 2 vs ADE Stats
VIC 1 vs PER 1 Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs MCY Stats
BRI 1 vs WSW Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Thu, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
ADE 2 vs CCM 1 Stats
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
WSW vs VIC 3 Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
MCY 4 vs NEW Stats
PER 1 vs WEL 2 Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD 5 vs BRI 4 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs MCY 1 Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
WSW 1 vs NEW 2 Stats
ADE 2 vs VIC 2 Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs PER 1 Stats
BRI 1 vs WEL 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC 2 vs CCM 1 Stats
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
MCY 1 vs BRI Stats
PER 3 vs WSW 2 Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs SYD 3 Stats
NEW vs ADE 1 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
BRI 6 vs CCM 1 Stats
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
WSW 1 vs MCY 1 Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs ADE 1 Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
WEL vs VIC 3 Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
NEW vs PER 2 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
VIC vs NEW 1 Stats
PER vs SYD 3 Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
ADE 2 vs BRI 3 Stats
CCM 1 vs WSW Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
MCY vs WEL Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
WEL 3 vs CCM 2 Stats
NEW 3 vs SYD 4 Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
WSW 2 vs ADE 1 Stats
BRI vs VIC 1 Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
PER vs MCY 17:00nib Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 27
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs NEW 19:40Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
WSW vs PER 17:00Pirtek Stadium
ADE vs MCY 19:30Coopers Stadium
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
WEL vs SYD 15:00Westpac Stadium
VIC vs CCM 17:00AAMI Park
View All Fixtures
Round 28
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
vs 15:00TBC
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
vs 15:00TBC
View All Fixtures
Round 29
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
vs 15:00TBC
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
vs 16:00TBC
View All Fixtures
Round 30
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
vs 16:00TBC
View All Fixtures
Hyundai A - 2014-15 - Ladder
Overall standings
Team P W L +/- Pts
Melbourne Victory 26 14 4 23 50
Sydney FC 26 13 5 16 47
Wellington Phoenix 26 14 8 11 46
Perth Glory 25 12 5 7 44
Adelaide United 26 13 9 12 43
Melbourne City FC 25 9 8 0 35
Brisbane Roar 26 9 13 -2 31
Central Coast Mariners 26 5 13 -22 23
View all
 
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