Jeremie Frimpong talks playing for Celtic, and his bond with Neil Lennon to this day on Rising Ballers

Jeremie Frimpong has been discussing his career so far in the game and how difficult a decision it was to leave Manchester City’s academy to join Scottish Premiership Champions Celtic. The youngster had taken time out to talk to Rising Ballers about his situation to date and how his progression in the top level has been.

Frimpong was a gem in the Man City youngsters group and was someone who needed to play men’s first-team football in order to bring his development on. Celtic were the club that came calling for the small Dutchman and offered him that opportunity to showcase his undoubted talents to a wider audience.

Neil Lennon purchased the youngster for a snip at merely £800,000 and he made am instant hit in Glasgow’s East End for the Hoops. Bursting onto the scene against Partick Thistle, the pacey wing-back never looked back after his debut and remained a constant in Lennon’s team during his spell in charge until his departure in the January of 2021.

Speaking about moving to Scotland from Manchester, the player admitted that he had severe bouts of trepidation about upping sticks and coming to a new environment after making so many good mates at the Etihad. Speaking to Rising Ballers, he said: “It was just a normal day. Just going into training and I am going on my phone and seeing links to Celtic. Jeremie this, Jeremie that. So I am like ‘Yo, things are getting real.’ My team-mates were asking why I wasn’t going to training. Afterwards they came in and said ‘Jeremie is it true you are leaving? We are like brothers.

“I packed to go to Celtic and I said to my agent and the driver ‘let’s turn around I don’t want to go no more’. My agent was stressing. He was so stressed, he was saying ‘Jeremie you don’t understand this opportunity. This is life changing. This is first-team. This is Celtic. Big history and they play Champions League.’

He said: “My brother text me on the phone and said forget about your friends. I understand how you are feeling but you said you wanted to be a footballer. There comes a time in your life that you need to leave your friends and need to sacrifice a lot, even your family. That journey starts now. Once he said that I was like ‘ok we are going’. They were like brothers to me and leaving them was one of the worst things I had to go through.”

The Bayer Leverkusen defender who is being strongly courted by three major European giants currently, still holds a special place in his heart for the Bhoys and his first professional manager in the men’s game, Neil Lennon. He added: “My time at Celtic was amazing. I won everything there. There was this manager called Neil Lennon. I love him till this day. He loves me. Our relationship was like father and son. Sometimes the players would say go and speak to your dad and things like that. After we won the cup I think I ran to him and we both started laughing.”

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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