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Tom Rogić

Graham Arnold reveals how $13,000 Tom Rogic sealed Celtic move

9:49 am AEST 4/6/18
Graham Arnold/ Tom Rogic
The incoming Socceroos coach admits a red card cleared the way for Rogic's move to Scotland

From futsal star and Graham Arnold's cheapest ever purchase at Central Coast Mariners to the limelight of Scottish giants Celtic, Tom Rogic's footballing rise remains just as remarkable years later.

Snapped up by Arnold at the Mariners in 2011 having never been part of a football squad, the Australian midfielder quickly proved his worth on the Central Coast.

"He was probably nearly the cheapest player I ever had at the Mariners," Arnold told FFA TV.

"I got him for about $13,000 for three months, four months, and he was a special talent.

"Whenever we played 6v6 at training, he was the best player. His technique and strength was incredible."

Rogic would play just 24 games for the Mariners with his attention quickly caught by Celtic, who offered him the chance to trial in Spain.

Despite Arnold's reservations about a premature move, Rogic was allowed to travel and ultimately seal the move after arguably the only red card he'll ever be happy to have gotten. 

"We actually played Sydney FC, he got sent off and he said 'can I go for a trial with Celtic in the UK?'," Arnold revealed.

"And I said 'look, I don't think you're ready for it yet, I think you should have another six months here in the A-League and finish the season off with us.'

"Rogic asked 'can I have a training experience? I got sent off, I don't have anything to do the next couple of weeks.'

"So I said yeah, okay. So he went to a Celtic training camp in Spain and I think luckily for Tommy they played 6v6s at training the whole time.

"That was his trial. Of course he killed it and they signed him straight away."

The rest, as they say, is history.

After a lean few years in Scotland that saw him loaned back to the A-League with Melbourne Victory, Rogic has established himself at Celtic and become a key part of the Brendan Rodger's squad.

Rogic recently put pen to paper on a five-year contract extension with the club and is set to play a pivotal role for the Socceroos at the World Cup in Russia