|By ADAM LUCIUS
Australia coach Holger Osieck has implored the media not to over-hype talented teenager Tom Rogic for fear the attention will "destroy" his promising career.
Rogic, who was instrumental in Central Coast's 7-2 demolition of Sydney FC last Saturday, is the bolter in the 19-man Socceroos squad for November 14's friendly against South Korea.
His selection caps a remarkable rise for the unpredictable attacking midfielder, who only signed his first professional contract in January.
"He's a good boy, he has a lot of talent, he has some special qualities but he is far from being on the top international level and I would like you guys to consider that, not to put him up on a pedestal where he doesn't belong right now," Osieck said on Wednesday.
"He has all the ingredients to become a good play and to even represent Australia but he's not there yet and we have to all consider that.
"I've had numerous experiences in my coaching career where young talented players were put up prematurely on a level that they later on never reached and it can be more destructive to the development of the boy than beneficial, and I would like you to consider that.
"He is a good boy, he has got all the ingredients even at that young age but please don't destroy him."
Rogic won a spot at the English Premier League Academy in the UK last year but failed to seal a move to Reading due to visa issues.
Asked if the young playmaker has the temperament to handle the inevitable hype that will follow his shock call-up, Osieck said: "He's a very, very down to earth boy and that is what I like but on the other hand when I clearly indicated that I don't want to have him on that pedestal.
"It's a human thing, when you get permanently put into a certain area you later believe it and you lose the view on reality, and that is what I don't want to have happen.
"From my side I want to play my part in his education, I know with Graham Arnold he has a very good coach who has the same approach as I have got and he keeps him on the ground – he's in very good hands."
Osieck added when pressed on what elements of Rogic's game caught his eye: "Technically he's very sound but he has that element of creativity.
"He does the unexpected which can decide a game and which gives a certain flavour to a game, and that is what I like.
"He's not an average player, he's not very predictable.
"He's still at the beginning of his career and you can see that physically he has to mature, his endurance capacity has to improve and his mobility in tight areas has to become better but that is just a matter of time."