The Central Coast Mariners are delighted to learn that teenager Tom Rogic has beaten 75,000 hopefuls, and 100 finalists, to be named the winner of a worldwide competition for a professional contract at Nike’s Football Academy in the UK.
Despite having a Futsal background, Rogic had trained with the Mariners in the month leading up to the final of the competition in London, and Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold liked what he saw.
“Tom was recommended to us from the ACT and as soon as he came in we could see his quality.
“From day one we knew he was preparing for the Nike Chance and I sat down and had a chat with him before he left, saying there was a contract on the table should he have come back, but fortunately for Tom he has achieved his goal and I am absolutely delighted for him. He’s a great kid, he fit in really well with all the boys and I’m sure he’ll go on to have a wonderful career.
“Myself and my coaching staff are always on the lookout for the best young talent in Australia, we have proven since I took over that we have a strong youth policy, and we want to make the Mariners the club of choice for talented young footballers,” said Arnold.
Along with Rogic, the Mariners were represented by National Youth League goalkeeper Nikodin Matic at the global event, who, despite carrying a knee injury through the three-day trials was named alongside Rogic in the final 32 players at the Chance trials, their place in the final announced by Portuguese legend Luis Figo at Wembley Stadium.
Matic will return to the Mariners for the remainder of the National Youth League campaign after narrowly missing out on one of eight full time contracts at the Nike Academy at Loughborough University, while for Rogic, his adventure is only just beginning.
"This is definitely life-changing. I Guess I'm moving to England!"