Just 18 months ago Aussie playmaker Tom Rogic was playing Futsal before his efforts at a Nike competition for unsigned talent saw him snapped up by the Central Coast Mariners.
After just 28 senior appearances for the Gosford side, Rogic headed to Scotland for a trial with Celtic in January before inking a four and a half year deal.
The Mariners reportedly pocketed £400,000 from the sale but they lost a player who was key to their push for a Hyundai A-League title as well as their Asian Champions League campaign.
The term ‘meteoric’ is apt when describing Rogic’s rise to prominence, and Nike’s ‘The Chance’ competition helped fast track his career as he beat 75,000 other young hopefuls to win a place at the company’s UK football academy.
At the AFC Futsal Championship in 2010, an 18 year old Rogic helped himself to six goals to finish as Australia’s top goalscorer as well as the fourth highest overall.
In July 2011 he signed with Central Coast but had to wait until January 2012 to debut and in February of the same year he picked up the league’s Young Player of the Month Award.
Impressive performances followed as the Mariners won the A-League Premiership for topping the table after the 27 regular season rounds.
Following in the footsteps of other young Socceroos such as Robbie Kruse, Tommy Oar, Michael Zullo and Chris Herd by moving to Europe, Rogic is still somewhat in shock at how quickly things have happened:
The past 12 months have been amazing for me and it’s really just the beginning. I feel very privileged to be a part of this football club and hopefully I can continue to progress.
On his SPL debut for Celtic, Rogic performed very well and set up his team’s first goal for Kris Commons in a 3-1 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Having seen Rogic play in the flesh a few times, it is clear that he has all the attributes to succeed at a higher level and at 6ft 2ins he has the sort of frame which can be built on.
He already possesses superb balance and poise with the ball, skills he nurtured when playing the small sided indoor game, while his vision is one of a number of key attributes in his arsenal (see here for some examples).
International coach Holger Osieck took note of Rogic’s quality and in November of last year he became the first player to represent Australia at both indoor and outdoor football when he debuted for the Socceroos as a substitute against South Korea.
Despite only being at Celtic for a few months, Rogic recognises the club’s passionate support and spoke about the cauldron on noise during the recent Champions League game against Juventus.
I have never experienced being part of a sporting event like that, with the fans and the atmosphere they created.
If he continues to develop at the same rate that he has in recent years, Rogic can look forward to playing a part in those big European nights at Celtic Park.