Mariners hoping to catch the next Rogic in the ACT

The Central Coast Mariners will be hoping to find hidden gems like Socceroo Tom Rogic when they take their pre-season to the ACT next month.

Canberra-raised Rogic got his start as a professional at the Mariners after he was spotted playing for Belconnen United back in 2012.

The classy playmaker has gone on to become a Socceroo and earned a move to Scottish Premier League giants Celtic.

A-League squad changes

Mariners assistant coach John Hutchinson says the club plan to use the trip not only as a key part of their pre-season schedule but also to look at the region’s young talent.

“We’re pretty interested to see what’s down there. It’s an untapped area and if you can find the next Tom Rogic, you’re doing well because Tommy was a fantastic footballer for the Mariners,” Hutchinson told the Canberra Times.

“Mile Sterjovski has got in touch with us about some of the good players down there at the moment.

“We have also got Claudio Canosa (Gungahlin United coach), who I played with when I was a young boy down at Morwell, and he told us about a couple of players as well that we’re going to look at.”

The Mariners will play two matches during their time in the nation’s capital, facing Canberra Olympic at Woden Park on August 18 before taking on Westfield FFA Cup side Gungahlin United at Gungahlin Enclosed two days later.

As well as the matches, the club will also conduct a couple of coaching clinics for local players and coaches.

“The Mariners have had a long association with the region and I am really grateful for the support of Canberra Olympic FC and Gungahlin United in making this happen,” Mariners boss Tony Walmsley said.

“The ACT has a history of producing talent and this trip provides an excellent opportunity for us to have a close look at some of the next generation.”