The last Aussie at Celtic who is desperate to force his way into Brendan Rodgers' plans

Liam Bonetig
Liam Bonetig -Credit:Celtic TV

Ange Postecoglou, Aaron Mooy and Harry Kewell might have left Celtic last summer, but there is still one Aussie trying to make it big in the east end of Glasgow.

Teenager Liam Bonetig joined the club from Western Sydney Wanderers back in September, and has seen action in both the Hoops' B team and Under-19 side. The 18-year-old has made eight appearances in the Lowland League, as well as five outings in the UEFA Youth League where he faced off against top youngsters from Atletico Madrid, Lazio and Feyenoord. The defender has yet to make an appearance for Brendan Rodgers' men but has had the opportunity to train with the first team and reckons he isn't too far away from getting an opportunity, having seen the likes of Rocco Vata and Daniel Kelly make the step-up this season.

Speaking to FTBL, Bonetig said: “We see the first team every day, and there are times I’ve trained with them - it gives you a taste of it and you realise you’re not that far off. A couple of the boys from the U-23s are getting minutes now under Brendan Rodgers and they’re always looking for the youngsters to push on.

“It’s such a big club and the competition is massive with a first team squad of around 35. When you train with the senior side you see it: the level is quicker, sharper and stronger. It’s the little details like the passing, the communication - there are rarely any mistakes. It’s been a good test and good experience.”

Experienced midfielder Mooy impressed in his lone season at Parkhead, but the last Aussie to pull on the green and white prior to him was playmaker Daniel Azrani, who made just two appearances in an injury-ravaged two-year loan spell at Celtic between 2018 and 2020.

Australia U-19 international Bonetig knows he has a fight on his hands to try and make the grade in Glasgow but is hopeful he can make an impression going into next season. He added: “Being at a club this size the standards are so high, a lot of it is off the field doing all the right things so you’re body is right for training each day and the next game.

“Coming here on trial initially opened my eyes to how big Celtic are and I think I’ve settled in pretty well. The way of playing throughout the club is out from the back, and that suits me as a ball playing centre half.

“First I want to get the ankle sorted, then have a good a pre-season as I can. Perhaps halfway through next season, if I can’t break into the senior squad here maybe get a loan elsewhere to experience some first team football. That’s what you often see happen here - it’s really a stepping stone towards the first team.”