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Nov 7, 2012

Rogic earns Socceroos berth

Central Coast youngster Tom Rogic has been rewarded for a strong start to the A-League season with a place in Australia's 19-man squad that will take on South Korea in a friendly.

Rogic was named alongside Melbourne Heart's Aziz Behich and Eli Babalj as one of three new additions to the Socceroos line-up.

The 19-year-old with travel to Hwaseong hopeful of making his international debut in next week's match, but Australian coach Holger Osieck is wary of placing too much pressure on Rogic, who only became a professional last year.

"I would like to make one thing perfectly clear," Osieck said. "I've followed his way so far - I don't want to call it a career because he's still at the beginning of his playing.

"He is a good boy, he has a lot of talent and a lot of special qualities but he is far from being on a top international level. I would like you guys [the media] to consider that - not to put him up on a pedestal where he doesn't belong right now.

"He has all the ingredients to become a good player, to even represent Australia. That's one thing, but he's not there yet. I have had numerous experiences in my coaching where young, talented players were put up prematurely on a level that they later never reached.

"It can be more destructive to the development of the boy than beneficial. I would like you to consider that. Please don't destroy him."

Osieck has come under criticism recently for failing to Australia's young players a chance in the first team and while he responded by retaining Central Coast goalkeeper Mat Ryan and Germany-based Mathew Leckie, the Socceroos coach maintained that experience is critical for Australia with Mark Schwarzer, Luke Wilkshire and Archie Thompson featuring again.

Socceroos squad: Eli Babalj, Aziz Behich, Alex Brosque, James Holland, Mathew Leckie, Ryan McGowan, Matt McKay, Lucas Neill, Tommy Oar, Tom Rogic, Nikita Rukavytsya, Mathew Ryan, Adam Sarota, Mark Schwarzer, Matthew Spiranovic, Archie Thompson, Michael Thwaite, Carl Valeri, Luke Wilkshire.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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