Tom Rogic sets example for Australian teenage trialists at Celtic
Australian teenagers Nick Faust and Leo Mazis hope to follow in the footsteps of Socceroos star Tom Rogic after a two-week trial with Scottish champions Celtic.
Last month, Canberra United defender Faust and Belconnen United's Leo Mazis joined the Bhoys' first-team squad for two sessions, which allowed them to see the mercurial Rogic at close quarters.
Rogic played a key role in helping Australia qualify for the 2018 World Cup in their 3-1 playoff win over Honduras last week. He has scored a number of crucial goals in his four years in Scotland, including the Scottish Cup final winner that sealed a domestic treble in May.
18-year-old Faust was very impressed by what he saw in Glasgow and was delighted to meet his compatriot, while training in front of Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers.
"Seeing the intensity of how they train definitely motivates you and we got to train with the first team a few times and then watch them play, it was awesome," Faust told the Canberra Times.
"Everyone was talking about Tom over there and then we met up with him and talked about Canberra a bit.
"He was really nice and just told us to keep working hard and it would be great to follow his path and play at that level one day."
That level involves a UEFA Champions League visit to face Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar et al, on Wednesday evening.
While Rogic is the big name Australian at Celtic, two other Aussies have previously been a big success at the Scottish champions.
Striker Mark Viduka shone during a short spell in Glasgow, and his excellent form earned him a move to Leeds United in the Premier League.
Scott McDonald, another Aussie striker, spent almost three years with Celtic, during which time he scored Champions League goals against AC Milan and Manchester United.
McDonald, who failed to score in 26 internationals for Australia, is now with second-tier Scottish side Dundee United.
Bangkok-based Paul Murphy has lived in Asia for a decade, writing for ESPN FC since 2014. He is a former Daily Express sub-editor. @PaulMurphyBKK