Article by Col Tulley
One of Tuggeranong’s favourite son’s is celebrating a champions medal this week…..the player is none other than Tom Rogic and his club The Glasgow Celtic.
Tom signed for Celtic in January 2013, after impressing with the Central Coast Mariners, amid much fanfare at home but not so much in Scotland where Celtic had made their own headlines having beaten Barcelona at home on the way to qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League.
Tom’s Celtic career started with a bang when he was named man of the match in his debut, setting up one of Celtic’s goals in a 3-1 victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Tom, however, was soon to experience the other side of football when a frustrating run of injuries saw him struggle and eventually lose his spot in the Celtic first team. Tom only played in two further games that season.
The following season was equally frustrating for Tom and after only a handful of starts he was sent on loan to Melbourne Victory. Further injuries saw him get very little game time and also drop out of Socceroos contention for the Brazil World Cup.
Tom’s career seemed to be at the crossroads when he returned to Celtic for the 2014/15 pre-season. He was determined to make an impression on new manager Ronny Deila – known for his promoting and nurturing of young players. Deila obviously saw promise in Tom and gave him time to regain his fitness and prove his worth. Tom saw very little first team football until late on in the season, after title number 4 had already been clinched, generating much speculation that he wasn’t quite up to the rigors of the Scottish game.
This all changed for Tom in the season just finished when he was able to hit the ground running in pre-season friendlies and establish himself as a regular member of match day squads competing in Champions League Qualifiers, Europa League, Scottish League, Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup matches.
Tom’s contribution to Celtic, in this 5th Championship in a row season, has been significant with 9 goals in 39 appearances – the Club’s second highest scorer behind 40 goal hero Leigh Griffiths. The pick being his last minute strike in the crucial 1-0 win against Kilmarnock in March which was awarded goal of the season.
Tom has about 18 months to run on his Celtic contract however, after his standout season for Celtic and the Socceroos, there are reports linking him to Arsenal with clubs in Italy and Spain also apparently showing some interest (SMH 11 May, 2016).