By support

6th Apr, 2017 | 11:49am

Ron Smith: I always knew this Celtic sensation was destined for stardom

By Matt Farr

Australian coach Ron Smith has admitted the form of Tom Rogic for Celtic this season has come as little surprise.

Rogic made his return to action in the 1-1 draw with Partick Thistle on Wednesday night following a lengthy injury lay-off, marking the return of one of Celtic’s key players.

The 24-year-old had contributed 10 goals and five assists from 28 appearances before being ruled out with an ankle injury in December.

But with the Australia international back in contention for Celtic as they pursue the final piece of their domestic treble puzzle, Smith admitted that Rogic’s dazzling rise to fame has been no surprise.

Smith, for decades one of Australia’s leading development coaches, revealed to the Daily Record that Rogic had made an impression as early as Under-11 level.

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He said: “He was always a standout. Even back when he was a young boy he could glide past players.

“He always had something about him and although you never know how they will progress when they are that young, you knew that he had so much ability and talent.

“Tommy always looked like he could be special.”

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers had earlier tipped Rogic to develop into one of Europe’s best midfielders, after witnessing his talents at the start of his Parkhead tenure.

Rogic arrived at Celtic in January 2013, only to return to Australia with a loan spell at Melbourne Victory just one year later.

But after a two-year absence from the starting eleven in Scotland stretching to August 2015, Rogic has kickstarted his development at the club and become a key figure.

He signed a new three-year-deal with the club at the start of the current season.

In other Celtic news, after making just seven starts from 13 games, a Celtic regular has revealed his first team frustrations.

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