Running Aussie rule over Rogic in Rio could kickstart Celtic career

TOM ROGIC can use the World Cup finals as platform to re-launch his career at Celtic.

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Neil Lennon will be in Brazil to watch Tom if he is part of national squad
Neil Lennon will be in Brazil to watch Tom if he is part of national squad

The Aussie Bhoy has defied injury and the odds to be included in Ange Postecoglou's initial squad for this summer's samba soccer showpiece.

Neil Lennon hopes the chance to play at the finals - where Australia meet Spain, Holland and Chile - will provide the boost the 21-year-old needs to get back on track.

The Hoops agreed to send the midfielder to Melbourne Victory on loan in January in an attempt to ensure he got the game time he needs to retain his place in the Aussie squad.

But, a series of groin injuries have restricted his time on the pitch to just eight appearances, and put his inclusion in Postecoglou's squad in jeopardy.

However, Rogic has done enough in his previous nine internationals to stay in the coach's plans.

And Lennon has confirmed that, when the World Cup finals are over, the rising star from Down Under will be brought back to Lennoxtown to try and make a breakthrough.

Of the five Celtic players who will be involved in the World Cup finals - Emilio Izaguirre, Fraser Forster, Georgios Samaras and Efe Ambrose - the Aussie is the one who appears to have most to gain, in terms of advancing his Hoops career.

Despite a disappointing return to his homeland, there is no shortage of A-League clubs kean to sign Rogic on a permanent deal, if Celtic were prepared to let him go.

But Lennon - who will be in Brazil as a TV pundit - said: "Tom is still our player, and he will be coming back here.

"We might get to see him play in the World Cup, which would be fantastic,

"But, we already know what Tom has got."

Postecoglou is also a big fan of Rogic, and expects him to be a key figure in the Aussie side he is building for the future.

But, the Oz coach will reduce his squad of 30 to 27 then the final 23 and has warned the youngster he has to make up for lost time.

He said: "Tommy's been doing some work with our physio for the last week.

"He's pretty much almost at 100% to train now, so we'll monitor that over the next week or so - and he's got to prove it.

"Tommy has obviously had a disrupted build-up and hasn't really shown the form or fitness. But the other criteria for selection was an eye for the future.

"And there's no doubt Tommy is one we believe has some outstanding potential."

While Rogic is looking for a second start at Celtic, some other Hoops kids have been told their time at the club is over.

Those released by the Parkhead club are Patrik Twardzik, Michael Miller, Lewis Kidd, Paddy McNally, Jack Kirwan, Sean McIntosh, Steven Boyd, Aaron Comrie and Connor McLaren.

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