By Craig Turnbull
Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic says he supports the idea of the Hoops playing in America as he believes it is a fresh way of promoting Scottish football on the global stage.
His comments come after plans to hold the first Scottish Premiership game overseas were revealed on Monday, with a concrete proposal to be put forward to the SPFL in the coming weeks.
Celtic have held talks with fellow Premiership side Dundee over the possibility of playing their encounter next season stateside, with Boston and Philadelphia mooted as possible host venues.
And Rogic says it’s a great way to promote the game.
“It’s a good opportunity to expand the game and broadcast Scottish football on a world stage,” he said.
“Celtic obviously has a massive fan base and it would be fantastic to give some fans over there the chance to see us play and hopefully perform.
“There would be a bit of travel involved but we have a few international boys that are used to that. You don’t think too much about that, though. The first thought is that it would be a positive idea.
“Growing up in Australia I knew about the Old Firm and definitely knew about the size of this club but I guess you could call these plans an innovative way to promote the game a little bit more on the world stage.”
Australia midfielder Rogic had doubts over whether the Scottish game could be played in his own country.
“Travel wise that would be a little bit harder. But there are a few Australian boys playing in the SPFL and have done over the years, so I think the league is followed to a certain extent back home.”
Closer to home Rogic’s immediate thoughts are on the huge Europa League encounter against Ajax at Celtic Park where the Hoops must win to kept their European hopes alive.
And the 22-year-old takes belief from their admirable 2-2 draw with the Dutch outfit in Amsterdam earlier on in the group.
“That performance over there was quite positive given the position we were in in the match we could have gone on to win it.
“They are a still a good side obviously and it’s just about being ready to face them at home,” he said.
“We have to have the belief that we can win and still go through in the group.
“It’s a big opportunity. Obviously we’re disappointed about the last couple of results but we’ve been working hard to make sure we are best prepared as we can be to get the result we need.
“We go into every game thinking we are going to get a positive result, especially at home.
“The last game [against Molde] won’t change our belief. We’re looking forward to it.”