Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Anna Harrington

I didn't leave A-League Men too early: City's Tilio

Marco Tilio (centre) is keen to kickstart his stuttering club career back at Melbourne City. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS)

Socceroos winger Marco Tilio insists he didn't leave the A-League Men too early, as he tries to kickstart his stuttering club career back at Melbourne City.

Tilio signed for Celtic on a five-year deal last June, after a glittering three years at City.

But he arrived with a torn quad, missed pre-season and played just 27 minutes before returning to City on loan this month.

Asked if he thought he may have left City too early, Tilio said: "No, I believed I was ready. 

"I'd done my time here, and I thought I'd done really well and the build-up all the way until then when I made that decision to go there, I thought I was ready. 

"You can't tell in football obviously.

"I went away with the under 23s and got injured. I then thought it was a week (long) injury. I signed the contract and obviously I was injured and out for three months. 

"So it doesn't help, and then you're competing with eight or nine other wingers that are just as good as you, if not better, and it was always going to be a difficult road trying to get into that team of Celtic. 

"But no, I don't think I left too early."

Tilio said his pre-season injury had effectively scuppered his chances of sealing a spot early under Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, leaving him "playing catch-up".

"The first few months, I felt I got to the speed of what the other boys were at and probably deserved to play, have an opportunity to play," he said.

"But there's a lot of players there, a lot of quality, and it's never going to be easy. 

"So it was a tough six months for my football, but it's always a learning curve for me and we'll see what happens in the future."

Tilio opted to return to familiar surrounds at City ahead of several other suitors.

He will be away with the Olyroos in April, with the Under 23 Asian Cup doubling as qualifiers for the Paris Olympics.

Tilio is also eyeing selection for the Socceroos' World Cup qualifiers against Lebanon next month.

But first he has his eyes set on starting Saturday's derby against Melbourne Victory and trying to push City back up the table.

"They (City) gave me every opportunity and helped me grow as a player, and I can only thank them for the time here before and I want to hopefully repay them," Tilio said.

"It's an important six months for myself. 

"I want to help the team qualify for another Olympics, and for myself, if I can get myself to another Olympic Games it'd be pretty special, so that played a big factor in my return." 

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.