Former Aussie midfielder discusses forced Celtic exit

He may be a forgotten name amongst a lot of the Celtic support, but Jackson Irvine has not forgotten the way his Hoops’ career ended abruptly six years ago.

Irvine – who was born and raised in Melbourne – moved to Glasgow when he was 17, after a successful trial in Neil Lennon’s first stint as Hoops boss. Things initially worked out well for the 6ft2in Socceroo, having captained the under-19 side to a Youth League and Cup double in 2011-12, and after glowing reports, he made his debut as a substitute against Hibernian in September 2012.

“He just basically said – I’m not in the plans.

However, that was as good as it got for Jackson.

He ended the 2012-13 season with the appearance against Hibs being his solitary one, and was whisked away on loan to Kilmarnock and Ross County over the next couple of seasons, before ending up in Dingwall permanently at the start of the 2015-16 season.

Speaking to the Open Goal Podcast, Irvine was brutally honest about how his spell at Paradise ended: “I think it’s kind of funny how timing works out because Neil Lennon left at the end of the season and Ronny Deila came in and that was basically the end of me at Celtic Park. He basically wasn’t interested and at least he was honest with me.

“He just basically said – I’m not in the plans. I still went away, played a couple of pre-season games at the time, was kind of floating around but he just made it clear to me that I wasn’t in the plans at that point, so it was about going out again. I still had two years left on my contract at that time.”

The midfield general has managed to forge a decent career for himself following his stint in Glasgow, amassing 34 caps for Australia, scoring 5 goals in the process. Eventually he left Ross County for pastures new, moving below the border to English Championship sides Burton Albion and Hull City, before finding a return back to his Scottish roots against Hibs; incidentally, the club he made his one and only appearance for Celtic against.

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