Alistair Johnston – Passion is so deeply-rooted at Celtic

Alistair Johnston sat down with the media on Friday to help preview today’s Scottish Premiership fixture between the Hoops and Kilmarnock at Rugby Park. Alistair has been an absolute pleasure to watch since he gave his all in that Glasgow Derby match at Ibrox on 2 January, endearing himself to the supporters straight from the off with his heart, passion and tenacity.

The 24-year-old put in another Man of the Match performance last weekend as we enacted revenge for that poor display in Govan on Ally’s first ever match for the Bhoys. He was industrious as always, and helped the team to move twelve points clear of theRangers and sitting pretty heading into the last few games of the cinch Premiership campaign.

READ THIS…Kilmarnock v Celtic – Team News, Match Officials, KO time and Where to Watch

In the aftermath of that game, the Canadian admitted that he is waking up to the realisation of just how big a cultural institution Celtic Football Club is, and the deep-seated passion we all have for our club and community. “It really is bigger than I expected,” he stated. “If you look at Celtic, founded in 1888, it’s different to the MLS clubs, with the oldest ones being 26 or 27-years-old.

“The passion is so deeply-rooted and ingrained in the community here, which makes it really special. It’s cool to see our fans embracing me and it’s been hectic being out and about in the city and getting recognised more. You see the joy it brings to people’s faces and shows how much this club means to people and how important winning is.”

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Being out and about the city has widened his vision to the improtance of this thing of ours, and revealed it’s wonderful to witness. He said: “When you see that passion it puts everything into perspective, and it hits home how much this club means to people and you can’t take anything for granted. It’s always special when you see fans and they realise that I play for Celtic and the smile it puts on their face. You realise, from doing nothing, you’ve potentially made someone’s day which is pretty funny, especially when it’s the young kids.

“So it’s always nice to get out there and see the passion from the people when you’re winning and it means a lot to get those interactions. It reminds you of why you play the sport which is for the fans and those young boys and girls – those moments are when it hits home. The main goal for us in that match was to get the three points and that’s what we did. The man of the match, I’m not sure who voted for that or how I got that, but I will take it and put it alongside the small collection that I have in my entire career.”

READ THIS…Watch Celtic prepare for today’s match at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock

Looking ahead to Sunday’s showdown in Ayrshire, the World Cup star said: “It was another big three points we picked up on the weekend but again our full focus is on Kilmarnock. That’s been the joy of this group that everyone is so laser-focused. There’s so much talent in this squad that you have to be focused every day in training or you potentially lose your spot.

“We focus on the little steps and this weekend is another difficult match for us against Kilmarnock, especially on the astroturf. I came in mid-season but it’s been the same mentality since I’ve walked in the door and that’s what you want where you’re in an environment where everyone takes it seriously every single day. We have a group of guys that are extremely driven and when you have that then you can reach special things.”

He added: “There are plenty of big matches to be played and we know if we play to the level we can and continue to grow as a squad then we feel confident we can go into every match and pick up three points. If we do that then you put yourself in a good position to do something really special at the end of the year.”

Paul Gillespie

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About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

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