Celtic FC – The Class of ‘05/06. No.2: Paul Telfer

Gordon Strachan’s First Season at Celtic – The Class of ‘05/06 – No.2 Paul Telfer

2005/06 appearances 42, goals 1

Paul scores his first and only goal for Celtic at Pittodrie in December 2005

Paul Telfer sets off on his trademark run as Roy Keane eyes a pass during the 1-1 draw with Hibernian at Celtic Park, 16 April 2006, (Photo STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images)

The problem full-back slot was addressed the following morning, Gordon Strachan going back to his former club Southampton for veteran defender Paul Telfer. The once-capped Scot had also played under him at Coventry City and although now aged 33, his proven versatility was seen as key as the European transfer deadline approached. The Edinburgh-born Telfer signed a two-year deal to become the sixth Celtic signing of the close-season.

Paul Teller alludes Wayne Rooney in Celtic’s 1-0 Champions League victory of November 2006. Photo  PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Strachan was relatively philosophical about the challenging situation.

“It’s too late now to get anybody in for the first European games but I hope that we can do a bit more before the season starts. We have tried to bring in young players, but they cost money and like Adam [Virgo], he [Telfer] brings many options. They can both play in many positions and that’s what we need. This is a small squad, and we need more quality, but those players can play in various positions.”

Celtic’s Paul Telfer congatulates goalscorer Aiden McGeady with John Hartson  during the Scottish Premier League match between Falkirk and Celtic at the Falkirk Stadium on November 6, 2005. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

The new Celt himself was thrilled with his somewhat unexpected move.

“I am delighted to sign with a club like Celtic at this stage in my career. I look forward to working with Gordon and Garry [Pendrey] again and hope to be part of a team which brings much success to Celtic and its supporters.”

Paul (extreme left) joins the title-winning Huddle of April 2006. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Paul Telfer got an immediate opportunity to impress his new fan-base as Celtic took on Leeds United the following day, a final home friendly before the commencement of the European campaign in midweek. Youngsters Stephen McManus, Michael Gardyne, Paul Lawson, Ross Wallace and Craig Beattie all started, as Gordon Strachan gave some of his senior players a rest before the imminent journey to the continent.

The visiting Leeds support took the opportunity to show some love and respect to their title-winning captain from 1992, now sitting in the home dugout. Despite a spirited showing by his young team, the match ended goalless, as Strachan’s Celtic rang up a fourth successive draw and third blank in front of goal, not the ideal preparation for Europe.

Paul (extreme right) lines up at Hampden for the Jinky League Cup final of March 2006. (Photo GLENN CAMPBELL/AFP via Getty Images)

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Paul Telfer and his teammates enjoying the moment as Celts lift the League Cup at Hampden (Photo GLENN CAMPBELL/AFP via Getty Images)

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About Author

Having retired from his day job Matt Corr can usually be found working as a Tour Guide at Celtic Park, or if there is a Marathon on anywhere in the world from as far away as Tokyo or New York, Matt will be running for the Celtic Foundation. On a European away-day, he's there writing his Diary for The Celtic Star and he's currently completing his first Celtic book with another two planned.

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