Rogic ramping up for Brazilian adventure

Back where it all started in the Hyundai A-League and with his fitness reaching its peak, Tom Rogic says he is ready to make his World Cup dream a reality.

The 21-year-old excitement machine is on the cusp of a spot on the plane to Brazil. Yet incredibly just three years ago he was a complete unknown based in Canberra. 

Rogic was playing Futsal in the ACT before winning Nike's Chance tournament becoming one of the global winners of the contest - his name suddenly became hot property and his career has been on the rise over since. 

After interest from Reading while at the UK-based Nike Academy, visa issues scuppered that move and he returned to Australia with Central Coast. 

His sparkling form alerted Celtic who inked a deal with the playmaker in 2012.

But Rogic was back in the Hyundai A-League last season on loan at Melbourne Victory

While he managed just eight appearances with Victory, Rogic believes he got what he wanted out of his return to the Hyundai A-League.

Injury scuppered much of his campaign but the former Central Coast Mariners playmaker hasn't missed a beat since arriving in 'Camp Socceroo' on Thursday.  

"I feel very good. I've been training fully the last few days and the last couple of weeks too. So I'm slowly building," Rogic said on Sunday.

"I got what I wanted out of [coming back to the A-League], I played a good amount of games in a short period of time.

"It was unfortunate to be injured for the last three or four weeks of the season, but that's the way it goes.

"Of course it was a bit frustrating and those times get tough but there's not a lot you can do about it, but just keep working hard and I'm happy to be out on the pitch now and feeling fit and good."

And so is coach Ange Postecoglou.

The Socceroos boss is an unabashed fan of Rogic's undoubted ability and has gone on record to say he sees the youngster as a star of the national team for many years to come.

That kind of praise brings with it a fair amount of expectation from media and fans alike, something Rogic is still learning to deal with.

"All the outside influences I can't control it," he said.

"You guys [media] can say what you want and have your fun but I just keep focusing on myself.
"I set goals and targets within myself and I know where I want to be what my targets are and as long as I'm on track then I'm happy."

"You look at Ange's past couple of teams and also here he plays a lot of young players and has a big emphasis on youth.

"It's nice but I still know I have to be working hard and performing if I want to be in the 23 and a chance of playing.

"I've played the last two games with Ange. I felt I did well against Costa Rica when I came on and I was happy with how I went in London against Ecuador too. It's good to be involved and hopefully I can keep doing that."

Rogic admits there has been a different feeling in this camp, with the knowledge seven members of the preliminary squad won't be able to play in the tournament.

But he believes the competition for places will bring the best out in the players and the side as they prepare to face Spain, the Netherlands and Chile.

And this week has also allowed Rogic to return to the Central Coast, where he first shot to prominence for Australian football fans at the Mariners.

"It seems like a while ago...I had some good times here and it's nice to be back," Rogic admitted.

"It's nice being back on the coast and as you can see the weather is beautiful.

"There's a few guys in the team who've played here and know what's it's like so it's good to be back."

Send Off the Socceroos

Socceroos vs South Africa, presented by NAB

Monday 26 May 2014
ANZ Stadium, Sydney 
Kick-off: 7.30pm

Tickets from $30, including public transport. Buy now!