Will Marco Tilio be Celtic’s next Wizard of Oz?

The signing announcement of Marco Tilio was a welcome cheer for the Celtic support in what had been a trying 24 hours. We had the official confirmation of the new home kit which has split fan opinion.  Worse still, we had to contend with the breaking rumours of Jota’s proposed move to Saudi Arabia; a move that looks destined to happen for the mercurial-mulleted winger, especially when we learn about the financial reward for both the player and Celtic.

The young Australian winger was signed from current A-League Champions, Melbourne City for what is being reported as a record-breaking transfer fee for an A-league player.

While we can argue whether he is Jota’s replacement or was always going to be signed as one for the future, the fact is that he will become the 8th Australian to play for The Hoops. The hope is that he makes the same impact as some of his fellow countrymen.  We are all hoping he is more Tom Rogic than Daniel Arzani and that’s where I will start, with the Aussie players that never quite made it with us.

Dan Lavery / Jackson Irvine / Daniel Arzani

Dan Lavery played for the post-war Hoops between 1948 & 1949 and was an Australian born to Irish parents. He scored one goal during his Celtic stint before moving to Ballymena.

Jackson Irvine signed for Celtic in 2012 but soon found his route to the first-team blocked by some talented midfielders and Neil Lennon’s reluctance to trust youth in what was a weak SPL. He only made one appearance for the first team before embarking on loan spells with Kilmarnock and Ross County.  The latter made the move permanent in 2015. He can now be found as the captain and poster boy at our friends St Pauli.

Daniel Arzani arrived on loan from Manchester City in August 2018. He was hyped as the next big thing from Australian football, the new Harry Kewell by all accounts. Celtic were struggling for form and the fans wanted to see him in the team to add some flair. The chance came away to Dundee in October 2018 and, after some nice touches and what we would call gallusness, he tore his ACL, which effectively ended his Celtic career and our hopes.

Mark Viduka

There is an argument around whether he made it with Celtic or not. I would say he was a success for us in what was a dark period for the club and it was a pleasure to watch his undoubted talent during this time. Viduka signed for Celtic from Croatia Zagreb for £3.5m and the issues that he had have been well documented and don’t need to be raked back up. What we got when he was fit or in the right mood was a fantastic brute of a striker who scored 30 goals in 37 appearances. He was one of the reasons that John Barnes got the sack after Inverness and one of the reasons we signed Chris Sutton. That is a success for me.

Scott McDonald

This is one that causes contention within our support. It was Scott McDonald’s goals that caused ‘Helicopter Sunday’ back in 2005, however, you could argue that John Hartson, Craig Bellamy and Gordon Marshall were more at fault than the Australian.  Scott McDonald was just a striker who was doing his job in a career that was going nowhere since arriving in the UK in 2000 to sign for Gordon Strachan at Southampton. He re-joined his mentor in June 2007 for £700,000 and it proved to be a shrewd £700,000 investment. McDonald used his assets very well –  taught John McGinn all he knows – and was sharp as a tack in and around the box. He scored some big goals, linked up well with Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and caused havoc for some big-name defenders in the Champions League. McDonald scored 51 goals in 88 games and won a league and a League Cup before Tony Mowbray decided, wrongly, he did not like the cut of his jib. Also, the fact he is a Celtic fan and will defend the club while on media duties are aspects of McDonald’s character to be admired as well.

Tom Rogic

Jesus, you could write a whole article about the magic of Tam and his legs that couldn’t last 90 minutes. That was always the big “but”. If he could have gotten himself fit he could have been a superstar, but he was our superstar and that is good enough for me. Signing in January 2013, after winning the Nike Academy reality TV show for Futsal players, Rogic started to shine under Ronny Deila, who appreciated the Aussie’s lazy style. We eventually realised we had a player on our hands, and his winning goal against Kilmarnock will be shown forevermore.

Like everyone, he went up a level when Brendan Rodgers arrived. He was a perfect fit for Brendan’s side and became a Glasgow Derby slayer and the Invincible Treble winner when he scored the most memorable last-minute cup final winner that the world has ever seen. Once again, Neil Lennon cast him into the wilderness before he had an Indian summer under Ange Postecoglou.  Rogic left for West Brom at the end of Ange’s first season in charge.

Nine league titles, four Scottish Cups, five League Cups, and 32 goals is one helluva roll of honour.




Aaron Mooy

The recently retired ‘Daddy Cool’ was a surprise signing in July 2022 to some who really hadn’t been paying attention to this talented midfielder’s career. For me, he was an obvious low risk on a free transfer to add experience to a squad that was still wet behind the ears. Apart from two standout shockers – St Mirren away and Rangers – both of which can be put down to lack of game-time after injury, Mooy was our most influential player during the period post-World Cup up until he got injured.  He added steel and skill in the midfield up until injury robbed him of a fitting end-of-season.

His turning of the New Year game at Ibrox from a defeat to a draw, his bossing of the League Cup final, and his calm head in ensuring we won the Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers showed his worth to this team when it mattered most. I’m sad we didn’t really get a chance to say a proper goodbye to a guy who played more than a footnote in a treble season. 29 games, 7 goals and 9 assists. A nice cameo for the best club in the world.

So there you have it, a run-down of the Wizards of Oz to have worn the famous hoops throughout the years.

No pressure Marco, no pressure.

Kevin Graham

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