EXCLUSIVE: Former Hoops striker Scott McDonald believes Tom Rogic is more than capable of cracking the first-team at Celtic Park but says only time will tell if the Socceroo’s stint in Scotland is successful.
McDonald spent two and half seasons with the Scottish champions from 2007 to 2010, scoring 64 goals in 27 appearances. During his time there he won the Scottish Premier League title and the Scottish League Cup, was the top scorer in the competition in the 2007-2008 season and won the player of the month award twice.
Rogic left the Central Coast Mariners in January this year but has so far managed just 14 appearances for Celtic.
“I think it is the perfect club for him, the experience of playing in the Champions League as well, there’s nothing better and being part of that,” McDonald said.
“But it’s like every player with their development, if he goes another year without playing any football there then, he’s like any footballer, he wants to play football.
"To develop there’s nothing better than actually playing games week-in week-out as a young person. You learn that as you get older and it helps you grow up as a person and as a man as well.”
Rogic, who has battled some minor injuries recently, came on in the 80th minute for Celtic’s 4-1 win away at Ross County at the weekend.
New Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has selected Rogic for the friendly against Costa Rica but has warned the 20-year old playmaker may miss out on next year’s World Cup if he doesn’t secure regular playing time.
“It’s probably frustrating for him at the minute because he’s more than capable of playing in that team, that’s for sure,” McDonald said.
“But, obviously, I know Neil well and I’m sure he’s in his thoughts but he’s got a lot of ccompetition in there as well unfortunately.
"There’s some good players there like Kris Commons and Joe Ledley and Scott Brown, and (Beram) Kayal, it’s tough for him. But that’s up to the individual then.”
McDonald, now plying his trade with Millwall in the Championship, has heard good things from current Celtic players about the Canberra product.
“He’s more than capable, in the ability I’ve seen and what everyone’s been talking about, even up in Scotland some of the boys I speak to up there,” he said.
“(However) it’s like all the young players, they need to play don’t they. Time will tell on that one.”