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Thursday, January 3, 2013
Postecoglou says player careers come first

By Melissa Woods

Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou warns young players risk their long-term career prospects by chasing big money deals overseas.

The 2011-12 A-League coach of the year, who steered Brisbane to the title before switching to Melbourne, says the lure of the dollar and the excitement of playing abroad often outweigh what's best for the player.

Two of the A-League's most promising young prospects, Central Coast Mariners' Tomas Rogic and the Victory's own Marco Rojas are said to be in the sights of overseas clubs.

Rogic looks set for a move to English Premier League club Reading, which has reportedly offered a fee in the region of $A600,000 for the 20-year-old emerging star.

It means Rogic could be playing in England's top tier just a year after signing his first professional contract with the Mariners.

Postecoglou gave that move his blessing, saying that the club had already tried to sign him once but for work permit restrictions.

He said Reading had already invested time and money in him which was a good sign.

But the Victory mentor warned that wasn't always the case.

"My general experience with these things is that there's a whole lot of philosophical talk until the money hits the table and then that usually takes precedence over everything else," he said on Friday.

"Any young player who shows potential, you want them to take the long-term view.

"It should be about maximising their potential throughout their career not just what's just going to be good for the next two years.

"Whoever takes the long-term view usually ends up having a better career."

Off contract in April, Rojas has committed to seeing out the current A-League season with Melbourne but is unsure of his plans after that.

Rojas said his first priority was developing his football with money a bonus.

Postecoglou said he hoped the 21-year-old would consider another year in the A-League.

"Marco is a pretty level-headed young man and he's got his dad advising him and I think they've got a plan and if they follow that plan they won't be far off.

"If he plays better next year than he has so far this year he'll have half a dozen clubs after him and I reckon that's a good place to be in."

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