“It’s brilliant to get that day back in the club,” Celtic’s winning captain Callum McGregor

Celtic’s winning captain Callum McGregor yesterday lifted his second trophy in his first season with the armband and this one was the big prize, the Scottish Premiership trophy was held aloft surrounded by his teammates in front of 60,000 delirious Celtic supporters and watched by a huge audience around the world as the hurt of missing out on the bounce league the previous season was put to bed once and for all.

McGregor could and some commentators reckoned should have left Celtic last summer, joining the wantaways scurrying for bigger pay-packets down south and the lot of them ended up watch the real glory on Sky Sports yesterday as Calmac the winner collected the spoils.

But he was having none of it and alongside James Forrest – rewarded this week with a new contract, Nir Bitton and Tom Rogic they formed the senior players group who supported Ange Postecoglou to ensure that the Australian’s project was going to be successful.

Rogic of course was able to tell his mates just how special a coach and a person Celtic had appointed as manager and both him and Nir stayed on for an extra year to help and Ange settle in and they did if because of their love for Celtic.

“When you’re a winner and it is taken away from you, it hurts. You take it personally. It’s a long summer and you can’t wait to put it right,” Callum McGregor said after the post-match celebrations as reported by Scottish Sun.

“There are no guarantees but you do everything in your power to make sure it doesn’t happen again. You can’t do it on your own. You have to build a team and squad with the same mentality and these boys have it. The challenge now is it’s easy to chase and be desperate to get something, the hard part is to retain it.

“We need to get better individually and collectively, and there’s loads of room for improvement. The only way you do that is by coming back with a fresh hunger to be successful again.

“You always have to go through difficult moments, especially when you are building a team. At the start of the season, everyone was giving us two or three years to build a team. But I spoke right at the start and said if we had that mentality within the group we would never achieve anything.

“I saw early on that we had recruited winners, guys who wanted to do well and others who experienced last year and didn’t want it again. That drove standards and everything we do in training and what you see out there is the end product of all that hard work and sacrifice.

“This club demands success and the reality is that after six weeks we were under pressure! That tells you what the expectation is and we knew that exactly. But you could see everybody was hungry to do well. We just had to fine-tune it, build performances and togetherness within the team.”

The Celtic captain, already assured of legendary status at the club, is far from finished and will now go on to play for Scotland before getting a well earned break, longer than usual this year as winning the league this season guarantees automatic entry to the Group stages of the Champions League, so no tricky July qualifiers this time around.

“It was an amazing moment for myself, but collectively, as a team, a club, the supporters, that’s for everyone. It’s been a long two seasons with Covid and then last season being disappointing. It’s brilliant to get that day back in the club,” the Celtic captain said.

“It’s something that will stay with me and I just to need to thank everyone for making it happen.

“You can’t do it on your own. We have brilliant staff, brilliant players, great personalities and they made it happen. So I’m so thankful to them.”


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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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