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Saturday 21 October 2017

Tierney: 'I lived the dream as Celtic captain'

Celtic’s Kieran Tierney
Celtic’s Kieran Tierney

Kieran Tierney believes he lived the dream of every Celtic fan by leading the Hoops out as captain.

The 20-year-old had skippered the side in a challenge match against Sunderland but took over the armband from suspended Scott Brown for the first time in a competitive match in Tuesday night's Betfred Cup tie against Kilmarnock at Parkhead.

To cap a memorable evening for the Scotland defender he scored the goal of the game - a 40-yard drive - in an emphatic 5-0 win for a much-changed home side.

Boss Brendan Rodgers insisted afterwards that Tierney has all the qualities to succeed Brown as permanent skipper but the former Celtic youth player, delighted as he was to take the lead in the pre-match huddle, is in no rush.

"I think if you asked every Celtic fan in the world if they wanted to be captain then the obvious answer is yes," said Tierney.

Brace

"But Broony is here for a good few more years yet.

"Walking the team out and giving your speech in the huddle is unbelievable, it is every fan's dream. I have done it and I hope it's not the last time. It's an historic club and it's had some great, great captains.

"Obviously right now is one of the greatest in Scott Brown. I look up to him in every single way. He helps me on and off the pitch every single day and he's just a total leader."

Another young Celtic academy graduate in dreamland against Killie was Anthony Ralston.

The 18-year-old defender scored his first goal for the club, heading in a corner from striker Leigh Griffiths who helped himself to a brace, the first from the spot, with midfielder Stuart Armstrong also getting on the scoresheet.

Ralston, one of five teenagers in the Hoops starting line-up, said: "It was a dream come true for me as someone who has grown up supporting Celtic. "It was an unbelievable feeling, to score at Celtic Park as well, so I'm very proud and hopefully it sets me up for the season.

Timing

"I just got a run on my man. I managed to get across the front of him and make a good connection on it. It was just about the timing and getting it on target as that always gives you a chance of scoring, and the power took it in. I was very pleased.

"I was just in shock when the ball hit the net. I can't describe how I felt. I didn't know what to do, but it was great."

Meanwhile, former Celtic captain Roy Aitken spoke of the "huge honour" of being named as the new club ambassador.

Aitken, who made 672 appearances for the Parkhead club, joins Celtic heroes Billy McNeill, Davie Hay and Tom Boyd in the role and will represent the Scottish treble-winners across a range of activities.

Aitken, who could play in midfield or in defence, won 57 Scotland caps and featured in both the 1986 and 1990 World Cups.

He said: "It is a huge honour for me to be asked by Celtic to become a club ambassador.

"Celtic was part of my life for so many years but even in recent times and from a distance, the club has always been so dear to me."

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