Scott Bain – From Building Site to Celtic Park

Scott Bain has had one of the most meteoric rises from working on a building site to becoming a member of the first team at Celtic Park. Bain was signed for Celtic in January 2018 after Craig Gordon was ruled out with a knee injury.

The 37-year-old’s season appeared to be over and with Conor Hazard on loan to Falkirk, Dorus De Vries was the only man that could stand in between the posts at Paradise. Brendan Rodgers had to go into the transfer window and source a goalkeeper at short notice as the window was about to close.

Trevor Carson looked to be the favourable option as Brendan searched for a keeper, but the unwillingness of Motherwell to negotiate on price left Celtic, and the player, frustrated at the start of the final day of the window. Enquires were being made down south, David Moyes dismissing suggestions that Joe Hart would be allowed to swap his loan time at West Ham for a move to Celtic to help his chances of playing at the World Cup.

As the day progressed an interesting tripartite relationship was establishing between Celtic, Hibs and Dundee. Rodgers, a long time admirer, wanted Scott Bain of Dundee, who had earlier signed on loan for Hibs in the window. The Dens Park club however were unwilling to lose Scott Allan to Hibs, a move supported by Lennon and Rodgers, unless they were compensated with a player – namely Simon Murray.

Whilst Hibs had already secured Cammy Bell, who had been released by Kilmarnock, were happy to allow Scott Bain to leave for Celtic – Dundee weren’t as keen until they had Hibs’ Simon Murray.

Normal office hours were over and there was still no confirmation as the deadline approached. Then photos emerged of a player arriving at Celtic Park in his Hibs training kit – it was Scott Bain. An agreement was reached that appealed to and appeased all parties within reason and Bain was a Celtic player, well, at least until the summer.

Scott Bain began his footballing journey with the Aberdeen youth academy, with only a developmental loan to Elgin to show for his work at Pittodrie. Bain was released in 2011 after three seasons on the books at Pittodrie.

However, the ‘keeper wasn’t out of the game for long. Third Division side Alloa Athletic coming in to secure his services. Despite being part-time, Bain developed well under the guidance of former-Celtic star Paul Hartley, who has been hugely influential in the progression of Scott Bain into one of the best young Scottish goalkeepers.

A third division footballers’ pay packet isn’t enough to pay the bills so Bain worked at a local building site in order to make ends meet. But Alloa had given Bain a platform to progress, and two promotions in as many years got Hartley’s name quoted for vacancies at bigger clubs, such as Dundee.

The Dens Park side appointed Paul Hartley as manager in February 2014 and Bain was one of the first signings that he made.

Bain, in his debut season, won the Player of the Season at Dundee despite only making his debut in October. Another impressive season under the former Celtic midfielder had Bain was being tipped as a future Scotland keeper. Scott Bain was a name touted as a replacement for Craig Gordon when the seasoned veteran hangs up his gloves, as well as reported interest from several reasonably big clubs down South. He also played well against Celtic, and Brendan Rodgers noticed him.

After beating Rangers, Dundee suffered a series of games without a win a year ago. Hartley, having weeks before picked up the Manager of the Month award, was sacked and replaced by the Sky pundit, Neil McCann, initially until the end of the season. After initially refusing the job on a permanent basis, McCann changed his mind and has led Dundee this season.

For Bain this was bad news. The 26-year-old fell out with the former Rangers player in October 2017 and was dropped from the side. McCann also dismissed him from training with the first team, forcing Bain to train alone, which he referred to as ‘isolated and cold’.

In order to make sure he was fit and agile enough, should a club come calling for him – he worked tirelessly on his own and was rewarded when another former-Celt, Neil Lennon, signed him for Hibs in January 2018.

Ironically, Bain was on the bench for Hibs as Craig Gordon came for a cross and was left in a heap, seconds before the half-time whistle. He came out during the interval and warned up at the same side of the park – usually the away players are at the other end.

Bain made his debut for Celtic in March 2018 at Ibrox, a daunting venue for some but Bain rose the occasion as Celtic won 3-2. The goalkeeper made a number of good saves throughout the game.

Brendan Rodgers rewarded Bain with a gloves in January 2019 after Craig Gordon’s distribution was criticised. Bain was in nets as Celtic completed a Treble Treble, winning the Scottish Cup Final versus Hearts.

Neil Lennon retained him whilst in an interim capacity; however, after the defeat to Cluj in the Champions League qualifier, Bain suffered a thumb injury. Lennon decided to re-sign Fraser Forster on as season-long loan from Southampton.

Bain was replaced as number one but still has a part to play at the club as he will be the only goalkeeper still in contract of the three that have played this year.

Scott Bain’s journey from worksites around Alloa to Celtic is a fairytale for the Bhoy. The player persisted, worked hard at his game, listened to his mentor Paul Hartley and rose through the leagues until he reached the peak of the Scottish summit, Celtic.

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About Author

Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

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