Celtic boss Ronny Deila has heaped praise on Socceroo Tom Rogic after he made a positive return in his maiden first-team appearance in more than 18 months.
Rogic started and played an hour of Celtic’s 2-0 pre-season friendly win over Dutch club Den Bosch overnight.
Very impressed with Tom Rogic tonight. Let's hope the bhoy stays fit. #celtic
— Cormac Tague (@67MAC88) July 1, 2015
The 22-year-old had a first-half shot hit the side netting, while he came closest in the second 45 with a header over the crossbar. He was impressive around the ground, particularly with his craft in midfield.
It was the Australian’s first senior appearance for the Hoops since coming off the bench in an UEFA Champions League encounter against AC Milan in late November 2013.
After returning to fitness late last season and sitting on the first-team bench twice, Rogic has worked hard in pre-season and is beginning to show signs he may make a major impact in 2015-16.
Tom Rogic ripping out these turns in Celtic's friendly this morning. http://t.co/BSWbQGzHYV
— TBG (@tbgaustralia) July 2, 2015
“He's a great player and a great person,” Deila said after the game.
“He works really hard and has been very unlucky with injuries in the last year.
“Now we have control over his body and you can see what kind of player he is.
“There's a reason why he got brought to Celtic and he's very hungry to show what is in him.
“Today he played excellent and you can see he's so good at scanning and getting his touch forward.
“He looked very quick today as well and his footwork is getting better every day.
“He's going to improve with more training.”
Rogic’s last competitive club appearance was when he was on loan at Melbourne Victory in April 2014, before succumbing to an ankle injury.
He has battled ankle and groin injuries since then, forcing him out of 2014 World Cup and 2015 Asian Cup calculations.
Celtic begin their 2015-16 campaign with an UEFA Champions League qualifier against Icelandic champions UMF Stjarnan in less than a fortnight.
The Hoops commence their SPL season at home to Ross County on August 1.comments