Football 2 years ago

Rogic's renaissance nearing completion

  • Rogic's renaissance nearing completion

Last weekend's stunning goal for Celtic gave every indication fit-again Tom Rogic is back to his bewitching best on the field.

And for the returned Socceroos playmaker there's also the encouraging feeling that he's a more mature person for having endured a devastating two-year injury spell.

Twenty-two-year-old Rogic is discernibly grounded when speaking about the hardships he's faced so early in his burgeoning career: missing the World Cup in Rio and this year's Asian Cup triumph, not to mention his sidelining at Celtic.

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A serious groin injury and an ankle problem were among the issues that plagued the former Central Coast Mariner for so long and left him alone in the gym for one frustrating rehab session after another.

Now out the other side and earning praise at home and abroad, Rogic has a retrospective sense the whole testing ordeal has turned him into an even better footballer.

"It's been a learning experience and one that I feel has improved me as a person and a player," Rogic said after arriving in his native Canberra, where the Socceroos will play Kyrgyzstan in Thursday night's World Cup qualifier.

"I had an injury, players have injuries all the time. I'm not getting carried away or beating myself up about what happened.

"It's not easy, but it's just part of football. You get dealt these things and you just have to deal with it and come back stronger.

"I feel as though I've come out of it stronger."

Rogic's renaissance appears very nearly complete.

He contributed fine performances in Australia's last three World Cup qualifiers and a brace in September's 5-0 demolition of Bangladesh - his first start in the national team in 18 months.

He's also finally broken into Celtic's first team, having made 16 appearances in all competitions this season and scored five goals, including Sunday's screamer against Ross County which he said he "won't forget".

Rogic attributed a large chunk of his confidence to the unending faith shown by manager Ronny Deila.

"He's been a great influence and helped me a lot," said Rogic, who felt fit and ready to play in front of friends and family on Thursday despite arriving less than two days before the match.

"Towards the back end of last season when I started getting to full fitness, in full training and playing reserve matches and such, we sat down.

"He just wanted to assure me that I can have a future at the club, that he wanted to see me come in at pre-season as a fresh start and on par with everyone else in the squad.

"That was good for me, to give me that confidence to have a target in my mind of what I want to do and what I can achieve at the club.

"They were fantastic in supporting me over the last year and it was just great to have that reassurance moving forward into this season."

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