Ever since a kid Logan Rogerson has had a dream of representing his country at the Olympics, and the New Zealand U-23 captain is determined to book his ticket to next year’s Games in Tokyo by leading his side to come out on top at the OFC Men’s Olympic Qualifier Tournament in Fiji.
Rogerson has been part of the New Zealand national team set up at every age level before winning three caps for the All Whites, and he can’t get enough of the feeling that gives him putting on the jersey with the silver fern on it.
“I love playing for my country.
“I have come through the ranks with the U-17’s, U-20’s, U-23’s and obviously the national team as well, and playing for the national team was probably my proudest moment. I love being involved in all of these teams and I’m really lucky,” he said.
It could have been all so different for the 21-years-old forward, who doesn’t come from a traditional football family.
“I tell the story quite often and everybody laughs about it,” smiles Rogerson.
“My father took me to my first rugby league training when I was about 5 or 6 and I got tackled and I started crying, so he said he will never take me back there again. Luckily my mates were playing football and I started to kick the ball around and I fell in love with it ever since,” he remembers.
Rugby League’s loss was football’s gain when Rogerson’s talent was recognised by the Wellington Phoenix who offered him his first professional contract in 2015.
“I loved playing for the Phoenix, I’ve spent three years in Wellington. I loved the city and I still have very close friends in Wellington, I enjoyed it there and I wish them all the best for the upcoming season,” the New Zealand U-23 skipper said.
Bundesliga 3 club Carl Zeiss Jena in Germany was Rogerson’s next destination, a move with plenty of challenges as well as rewards.
“Yeah I spent one year in Germany and it was difficult there but I have also learnt a lot. There were a lot of highs and lows but I grew as a person on the field and off the field so that is reallyl valuable for me,” the Kiwi number 9 explained.
With all that experience on board, Rogerson has returned to New Zealand with a renewed focus, and he is relishing the opportunity of captaining the Olympic team on the Oceania stage.
“Being captain of these boys is a real honour, I have a lot of friends in here and I have played with most of the boys,” he enthused.
“The environment is good and we love coming to the islands, we are having a great time here in Fiji, and Des (Buckingham) is doing an amazing job. He has got the team culture and everything working very well, so credit to Des and the boys.
“I think it’s really important for New Zealand football to be back on the Olympic stage again. Last cycle we missed out so hopefully this year we can make up for it and play on that big stage again,” the New Zealand captain added.