View Count: 47 |  Publish Date: January 03, 2013
For better or worse, money has biggest say

Tom Rogic is destined for the EPL. Photo: Getty Images
THE prospective sale of Tom Rogic to England Premier League club Reading has re-ignited the discussion about the export of our best young players.
I am often asked when is the right time for players to go overseas, and I have found this an extremely frustrating question to answer. The frustration does not come from me not having a firm opinion but rather from understanding that most people only hear what they want. My view becomes increasingly irrelevant as the reality of a move abroad comes closer.
Here is the most common scenario in my discussions with players or their representatives when they ask for my opinion. I am of the firm belief that each case should be treated as unique because of the varied factors that come into play when such a decision needs to be made. The players ability, experience, maturity and dozens of personal criteria need to be assessed for an educated decision to be made. Then there is the likely destination and understanding of the club, country, philosophy, playing squad, coaching structure and many other details that could determine the success of the move.
The discussion, however, never goes down this road because in reality very little thought is put into the move by anyone involved. The greatest emphasis is put on the financial rewards and on the exciting prospect of playing abroad. Advertisement
It is at this point that my frustration sets in because I know that the player and his representative have made their minds up, and now just want some sort of approval for the move. Sometimes they tell me that they will fly over and just check everything out, but one of my golden rules is that once they get on the plane, I begin to search for a replacement, because they never come back.
I am sure this scenario has been played out with other coaches as well and the fact that I cannot remember a young player knocking back an overseas move means I dont take the rejection of my advice personally. Many talented young men have left our shores and I wonder how many really believe their first move overseas was the right one.
My own view is that the success rate of these overseas transfers is actually very low if career development is the priority, but a lot higher if the end criterion is financial gain. This is where the root of the problem lies, because so often in life we cannot ignore the lure of material gain, particularly when it is taken with a short-term view.
The question of whether there is a solution unfortunately is not an easy one to answer and really it becomes the responsibility of the individual to determine his best path. The role of adviser or player agent also is critical in this situation but they can often make the scenario more confusing rather than clearer.
My own experiences with player agents is that like all occupations there are good ones and others, who, to put it bluntly, are amateurs and dangerous when offering advice.
My best advice is to listen to the people who have little to gain from your move and look for the right signs. The Rogic deal looks a good one to me. Reading already tried to sign him once but work permit restrictions stopped the deal and for Rogic it was the best possible outcome because he was able to further his development playing for the Mariners. Reading has followed his career since which is a great sign that it knows exactly what type of player he is.
Reading is willing to pay a transfer fee rather than wait and pick him up for free in June or even risk losing him to another team, which is perhaps the strongest sign that it is very keen to get him. There is no doubt in my mind that Reading will do everything in its power to make Rogic a success because it has already invested time and money in him. That for me is the best possible formula when making such a crucial decision.

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Time: 19:37  |  News Code: 54928  |  Site: brisbanetimes
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