Australian youngster Leo Mazis has followed in the footsteps of Australian star Tom Rogic and joined Celtic. The 17-year-old talent from Canberra was unsuccessful in his endeavours at the AIS Centre of Excellence Academy and the Belconnen United midfielder wasn’t even considered in Canberra United’s National Youth League squad this summer.
His change of luck came when he won the Nike talent search competition and went on to dominate the A-League. His impressive performances Down Under earned him a move to Scotland where he was called for trials alongside fellow ACT teenager Nick Faust in November and was so impressive that Celtic boss Rodgers immediately sanctioned his signing for the Hoops. He was unveiled this week as a Celtic player.
“It’s an incredible feeling, the hard work has paid off, it’s just surreal, to be honest, and it all happened really quickly,” Mazis told Fairfax Media.
“When I got there and saw how it all works over there, I knew I wanted to be in that environment and I did everything I could to get a contract.
“I caught up with Tom [Rogic] and he’s a great guy, I’m going to learn a lot of him.
We’re taking similar journeys but you don’t want to follow in someone’s footsteps, you want to create your own journey.
“He’s one of my idols and someone I look up to as a person and player, but I’m trying to create my own path. I am going to learn things over there that are absolutely priceless, I can’t wait.”
The player has come to the perfect club in Europe as under Rodgers, he will get the best chance to prove himself. The competitive level of the Scottish league is not the most intense in Europe and with Celtic already well on their way to the title, Mazis is bound to get some serious game time at the club.
Moreover, Rodgers has put together a young team at Celtic which has an extremely high intensity and good levels of energy. A dynamic little player like Mazis would fit in perfectly well into the side which is gunning to challenge in Europe after having completed yet another domestic swoop.
According to former Reading and Socceroos defender, Andy Bernal, who has trained both Rogic and Mazis has said that both these players have the mental ability that set them apart from other professionals. It will not be interesting to see if Mazis can live up to his billing at Celtic and make it as a professional in Europe.