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Rogic just the tonic to fill Emerton gap

IT WAS no real surprise that Sydney FC midfielder Brett Emerton called time on his career yesterday.

The former Socceroo (pictured) had been struggling with back problems and has also found it difficult to find form since his return home to the A-League following a distinguished career in Europe.

Emerton won 95 caps for his country and also starred for Feyenoord in the Netherlands and Blackburn Rovers in the English Premier League, but his stint at Sydney FC was not quite as memorable.

Of course, for the club, his signing back in 2011, as well as that of Alessandro Del Piero was something of a marketing coup. If Emerton had had a better time of it back in the Harbour City, then he could have formed a more potent partnership with the Italian goalscoring veteran.

But the 34-year-old's dream return to his home town did not work out and tomorrow's

A-League clash against the Central Coast Mariners is set to be his final game.

He said it was not an easy decision to retire. It never is, particularly when injuries are the main factor

"Injuries got the better of me in the end," Emerton said. "It was the right time for myself and for the club to part ways in the right way."

The question now is: who can Sydney get to fill the void?

The man himself answered the question yesterday, saying his retirement could make way for a replacement this month, potentially Socceroos playmaker Tom Rogic as a marquee signing.

According to reports, Sydney FC has already made plans to try to get Rogic back in the A-League, which would be a major coup for the competition and the Socceroos.

The club's multi-millionaire owner, David Traktovenko, has apparently sanctioned the approach.

The Russian banker is an avid fan of Rogic, who has spent the season warming the bench for Scottish giants Celtic.

It appears the club is willing to pay out the final four months of 34-year-old Emerton's contract to pave the way for what would be a sensational return to the competition for Rogic.

Reports this week suggested the 21-year-old has been offered a big pay day to come back to Australia, but it is not yet known whether Celtic has been approached to discuss a transfer fee.

The youngster signed a four-and-half-year deal at Parkhead a year ago, but has not managed to garner the game-time needed to nail down a spot at this year's World Cup.

Traktovenko would love to see Rogic alongside Del Piero, as he seeks to put the glitter and glamour back into the club which has not won the competition since 2010.

The club should break the bank to get him "home" and if they have not got the resources, Football Federation Australia should chip in because ultimately the Socceroos would benefit in Brazil.



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