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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 WST 1 Report Stats
Sat, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs NEW Report Stats
SYD 1 vs MEC 1 Report Stats
Sun, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs PER 2 Report Stats
BRI 1 vs ADE 2 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 17 OctTimes shown AEDT
ADE 1 vs VIC 1 Report Stats
Sat, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1 vs WEL 2 Report Stats
SYD 3 vs WST 2 Report Stats
Sun, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
MEC 1 vs NEW 1 Report Stats
PER 3 vs BRI 2 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 24 OctTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs SYD 2 Report Stats
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
VIC 5 vs MEC 2 Report Stats
Sun, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WEL 4 vs NEW 1 Report Stats
ADE 2 vs PER Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
MEC 1 vs ADE 2 Report Stats
Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
PER 2 vs NEW 1 Report Stats
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
SYD 2 vs CCM Report Stats
Mon, 03 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 2 vs WEL Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 07 NovTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1 vs WST Report Stats
ADE vs SYD Stats
Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW 2 vs VIC 2 Report Stats
BRI 1 vs MEC 3 Report Stats
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs PER 1 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 14 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs BRI 4 Report Stats
Sat, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
ADE 2 vs WEL 1 Report Stats
SYD vs VIC Report Stats
PER 2 vs WST 1 Report Stats
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
MEC 2 vs CCM 2 Report Stats
Wed, 19 NovTimes shown AEDT
WST vs CCM Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 21 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs BRI 19:30ES
Sat, 22 NovTimes shown AEDT
WST vs NEW 17:00Pirtek Stadium
MEC vs SYD 19:30AAMI
PER vs WEL 21:45NIB
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs ADE 17:00Central Coast Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 28 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs ADE 19:00AAMI
Sat, 29 NovTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs PER 17:00SS
WST vs SYD 19:30Pirtek Stadium
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs MEC 16:00WS
NEW vs CCM 17:00HUN
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Wed, 03 DecTimes shown AEDT
WST vs BRI 19:30Pirtek Stadium
BRI vs NEW 20:00SS
Tue, 09 DecTimes shown AEDT
WST vs PER 19:30TBC
Thu, 08 JanTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs SYD 17:30WS
Mon, 02 FebTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs CCM 19:30AAMI
Wed, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs MEC 19:30Coopers Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Thu, 04 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs PER 19:30AS
Fri, 05 DecTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs VIC 19:30TBC
Sat, 06 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs WEL 17:00HUN
ADE vs WST 20:00Coopers Stadium
Sun, 07 DecTimes shown AEDT
MEC vs BRI 17:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 12 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs BRI 19:30Coopers Stadium
PER vs NEW 21:45NIB
Sat, 13 DecTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs CCM 16:00EP
WST vs MEC 17:00Pirtek Stadium
VIC vs SYD 19:30ES
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 19 DecTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs WST 20:00SS
Sat, 20 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs ADE 17:00HUN
MEC vs VIC 19:30AAMI
PER vs CCM 21:45NIB
Sun, 21 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs WEL 17:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 26 DecTimes shown AEDT
MEC vs PER 17:30AAMI
SYD vs ADE 19:30AS
Sat, 27 DecTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs BRI 17:00Central Coast Stadium
VIC vs NEW 19:30AAMI
Sun, 28 DecTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs WST 17:00WS
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Tue, 30 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs MEC 17:00HUN
BRI vs SYD 20:00SS
Wed, 31 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs WEL 19:30Coopers Stadium
Thu, 01 JanTimes shown AEDT
WST vs CCM 19:30Pirtek Stadium
Fri, 02 JanTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs PER 19:30Simonds Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Sat, 03 JanTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs NEW 19:30WIN Stadium
Sun, 04 JanTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs BRI 15:00WS
CCM vs MEC 17:00Central Coast Stadium
Mon, 05 JanTimes shown AEDT
PER vs ADE 23:00NIB
Tue, 06 JanTimes shown AEDT
WST vs VIC 19:30Pirtek Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Sat, 24 JanTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs NEW 17:00Coopers Stadium
CCM vs SYD 19:30Central Coast Stadium
Sun, 25 JanTimes shown AEDT
PER vs VIC 20:00NIB
Sun, 01 FebTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs WEL 15:00SS
MEC vs WST 17:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 06 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs BRI 19:30HUN
Sat, 07 FebTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs ADE 17:00Central Coast Stadium
VIC vs MEC 19:30ES
PER vs SYD 21:45NIB
Sun, 08 FebTimes shown AEDT
WST vs WEL 17:00Pirtek Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs BRI 19:30Central Coast Stadium
Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs MEC 16:00Brendan Foot Kia Hutt Recreation Ground
NEW vs WST 17:00HUN
SYD vs VIC 19:30AS
Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs PER 17:00Coopers Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs VIC 20:00SS
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs CCM 17:00AS
ADE vs WST 20:00Coopers Stadium
Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs NEW 16:00Brendan Foot Kia Hutt Recreation Ground
MEC vs PER 17:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
MEC vs ADE 19:30AAMI
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs CCM 17:00HUN
WST vs SYD 19:30Pirtek Stadium
PER vs BRI 21:45NIB
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs WEL 17:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs SYD 19:30HUN
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs ADE 18:00Brendan Foot Kia Hutt Recreation Ground
VIC vs PER 19:30AAMI
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs MEC 15:00Central Coast Stadium
BRI vs WST 17:00SS
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Thu, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
ADE vs CCM 19:30Coopers Stadium
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST vs VIC 19:30Pirtek Stadium
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs BRI 19:30AS
PER vs WEL 21:45NIB
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
MEC vs NEW 17:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs MEC 19:30AS
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST vs NEW 17:00Pirtek Stadium
ADE vs VIC 20:00Coopers Stadium
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
CCM vs PER 15:00Central Coast Stadium
BRI vs WEL 17:00SS
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC vs CCM 19:30AAMI
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
MEC vs BRI 19:30AAMI
PER vs WST 21:45NIB
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
WEL vs SYD 15:00WS
NEW vs ADE 17:00HUN
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs CCM 21:00SS
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
WST vs MEC 16:00Pirtek Stadium
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs ADE 19:30AS
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
WEL vs VIC 16:00WS
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
NEW vs PER 16:00HUN
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
VIC vs NEW 19:30AAMI
PER vs SYD 21:45NIB
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
ADE vs BRI 17:00Coopers Stadium
CCM vs WST 19:30Central Coast Stadium
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
MEC vs WEL 17:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 27
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
WEL vs CCM 17:30WS
NEW vs SYD 19:45HUN
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
WST vs ADE 17:00Pirtek Stadium
BRI vs VIC 19:30SS
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
PER vs MEC 17:00NIB
View All Fixtures
Hyundai A - 2014-15 - Ladder
Overall standings
Team P W D L +/- Pts
Perth Glory FC 6 5 0 1 3 15
Adelaide United FC 6 4 2 0 5 14
Melbourne Victory FC 6 3 3 0 8 12
Sydney FC 6 3 3 0 5 12
Wellington Phoenix FC 6 3 0 3 1 9
Melbourne City FC 6 1 3 2 -2 6
Central Coast Mariners FC 6 1 2 3 -3 5
Brisbane Roar FC 5 1 0 4 -2 3
View all
 
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