Scott Bain, on a journey from a building site to the Celtic first team

CELTIC’S bad luck with injuries this season took a turn for the worse at the end of January when long-term first-choice goalkeeper Craig Gordon, was injured in collision with Efe Ambrose.

The 35-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.

We did get some good news from Craig Gordon this week that he has now resumed training but it will be a wee while before he will be in contention for a place in the team.

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, and were happy to allow Scott Bain to leave for Celtic – Dundee weren’t as keen until they had 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. (Are we allowed to mention summer when talking about Celtic goalkeepers? better not…) But Bain knows that Brendan is a BIG admirer of his, so he would have 5 months to prove himself worthy of a permanent contract. We wonder when he will be given his chance?

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 winger in October 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.

Brendan Rodgers interrupted his dinner. Bain had to make a hasty escape from the Hibs team-eat and make his way in a hurry to sign for Celtic, before the window closed. He made it with 10 minutes to spare.

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.

Reflecting on the journey that he’s made from Alloa, via Dundee to Celtic.

Bain has yet to make an appearance for the Scottish Champions but he could be given the gloves at some point in the near future.

And what a fairytale that would be for the Bhoy who made it from the building site into the Celtic first team.

You can order a SIGNED copy of JIM CRAIG – RIGHT BACK TO 67,  THE LISBON LION DIARY from our new bookstore – www.thecelticstarbookstore.co.uk and there’s a great launch offer for our OBSESSED WITH CELTIC t-shirts which are available in three colours. Order yours and you will also receive a copy of In the Heat of Lisbon for free.

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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