BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press
Tom Rogic has been rewarded for his Celtic renaissance with a recall to the Australia squad.
The 22-year-old is set to win his first Socceroos cap in over a year after he was named in Ange Postecoglou’s 23-man squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Bangladesh and Tajikstan.
Rogic has bounced back from last season’s injury nightmare – which saw him miss the Asian Cup and fail to play a single game for the Hoops – to force his way into Ronny Deila’s plans this season.
He has made three appearances this term and scored his first ever Celtic goal with a wonderfully improvised strike against Partick Thistle 11 days ago.
Postecoglou has cautioned against placing “massive expectations” on the shoulders of gifted playmaker – but admits he is delighted to have him back in contention.
He said: “Pretty much since I’ve taken over he has battled with injuries and hasn’t been able to get himself right.
“I’m really pleased for him more than anything else that he seems to have his body right. He’s played a couple of games now, he’s in contention and has had a full pre-season.
“He’s still nowhere near where he wants to be and hopefully 12 months of solid football this season with Celtic will help him get there. There’s no real massive expectations from us about him playing a massive role.
“It’s just about bringing him into the environment again because he hasn’t been in this environment too much.”
Ryan McGowan, who recently deputised as Dundee United skipper in the absence of Sean Dillion, has also been recalled for the double-header.
He tweeted: “Delighted with the call up! Can’t wait to meet up with the squad but first 2 big games for #DU [Dundee United] to play!”
Ross County midfielder Jackson Irvine will hope to add to his solitary Australia cap after he was confirmed as the third Scottish-based in the squad.
Australia: Ryan (Valencia), Federici (Bournemouth), Cisak (Leyton Orient), Wright (Preston), Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Motors), Spiranovic (Hangzhou Greentown), McGowan (Dundee United), Elrich (Adelaide United), Davidson (Huddersfield), Behich (Bursaspor), Rogic (Celtic), Mooy (Melbourne City), Milligan (Bani Yas), McKay (Brisbane Roar), Luongo (QPR), Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Irvine (Ross County), Oar (unattached), Leckie (Ingolstadt), Kruse (Bayer Leverkusen), Juric (Roda JC), Cahill (Shanghai Shenhua), Burns (FC Tokyo)