Tokich following in Rogic's footsteps after swapping Canberra for Western Sydney

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The Wanderers teenager has impressed when given the chance this season

Canberra looks like it's produced another talented midfielder in the form of Western Sydney Wanderers teenager Marc Tokich. 

The 19-year-old has joined a growing list of young players Markus Babbel has given a chance to shine in what's been an otherwise disappointing season for the club.

Tokich made his A-League debut back in March with an eight-minute cameo before securing recent starts against Brisbane Roar and Newcastle Jets.

Having grown up in Canberra, Tokich is hopeful of following Tom Rogic's example and join a growing list of players from the nation's capital that have carved out successful careers

"Tom Rogic came from Canberra and some other greats back in the day - a few talents have come up through the ranks from Canberra," Tokich told Goal

"For me personally, I just loved the game and kept playing and eventually got in the AIS which was a big step for me. From there I was playing in the youth league and got a lot more opportunities from there. 

"As a Canberra lad he (Rogic) was always talked about and as a midfielder there are similarities but I’m just focusing on my game.

"He’s a great player so I wouldn’t mind being compared to him." 

Unlike Rogic who signed with Central Coast Mariners, Tokich opted to join the Wanderers academy in 2017 after a stint with the AIS and admitted it was an easy decision to make.

Not so easy was the fact he'd be leaving home behind and be living on his own for the first time. 

"It is great to learn how to adapt to a new city, lots of responsibilities but it was a challenge at the start - in a good way though," he said. 

"I’ve got things covered now and got a lot of momentum."

That momentum saw him score in the 2018 NYL grand final as the red and black claimed a 3-1 win over Melbourne City in extra-time. 

Marc Tokich Wanderers

Tokich has now featured six times for Western Sydney's A-League side this season, with one assist to his name, as he quickly comes to grips with the demands of senior football. 

"It’s been a great step up because personally I started pre-season training hard and knew physically I needed to improve," he said.

"The coaches saw I was training well and they believed enough in me to put me in and I felt confident enough and ready for it.

"I felt comfortable and I’m only going to improve every time as I learn to play professionally."

The defensive midfielder, however, hit a hurdle in his last outing as he gave away two penalties in a 5-1 loss to Newcastle.

While personally painful, Tokich is determined to learn from those mistakes as he looks to work his way back into the side. 

"It was a very tough result and two penalties are never ideal for any player," he said.

"After the game, I wasn't very happy but I was lucky to be surrounded by a lot of the senior boys that said I’d learn from this.

"I was in pain because it was two big mistakes but I have learned from it. I had to take it on the chin and take it as a learning lesson."

In Tokich's favour is Babbel - a coach that's shown he's ready to give young players a chance to learn from experience.

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"I love it. He’s come in and he’s expected excellence from everyone," Tokich said. 

"He tells us that these chances have to be earned so he expects us young boys to get better every week.

"It’s great that we have a coach that believes in us and is happy to play us."

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