A career like Rogic is young hopeful's goal

A career like Rogic is young hopeful's goal

Tom Rogic's rags to riches story is already inspiring the next generation of Canberra soccer stars, including Vuk Vucic, who hopes to follow the now Celtic player into the world of professional soccer.

Vucic is taking part in the All Asia Football Camp at the Australian Institute of Sport this week, which has brought together 60 of the region's most promising under-17s to work with coaches from four of the biggest clubs in the world.

Budding Canberra soccer star Vuk Vucic.

Budding Canberra soccer star Vuk Vucic.

Photo: Colleen Petch

Manchester United, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Brazil club Corinthians have sent their best development coaches Down Under to work with youths from Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore, Korea, China, Japan, Malaysia, India and Thailand for five days starting on Wednesday.

Vucic, 15, came to Canberra when he was just nine months old, as his family fled the fighting in his city of birth, Banja Luka, the second-largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Like Rogic, Vucic is an attacking midfielder-cum-striker.


While signing with a big European club such as Barcelona is the Lanyon High School year 10 student's dream, his immediate goal was making the All Star game for the training camp - held on the last day, Sunday, at Canberra Stadium at 2pm - despite being one of the youngest players at the camp.

Vucic was a train-on member for the AIS squad.

''[Rogic showed] kids from Canberra can make it, because you don't often hear about kids going over there and making it,'' he said.

''It's good to know that they do look at kids in Canberra and you can make it if you're good enough.''

Yianni Perkatis was the MVP from last year's camp and he went on to trial with Manchester United before becoming Western Sydney Wanderers' youth league captain.

Manchester United development coach Eamon Mulvey said Vucic was a talented young player with a good technique and a good attitude.

He said the camp wasn't about scouting for the big clubs involved, but more about sharing ideas with each other and the children, while also developing relationships.

Mulvey is part of United's academy set-up and has helped develop Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley, now regular members of the senior squad.

He said as more and more talents like Rogic emerged from Australia, our reputation as a talent pool would continue to grow.

''The more success stories [there are from Australia] the more things will develop and [players] getting the opportunity - it opens eyes,'' he said.

After training on Friday morning, the players will visit Batemans Bay and spend the afternoon learning to surf before a final chance to impress selectors on Saturday.

David Polkinghorne

David Polkinghorne covers the Canberra Raiders, local rugby league, Canberra Cavalry, racing and cycling, along with every other sport, for The Canberra Times.

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