CRAIG GORDON was determined to grin an bear it at Hampden on Saturday. There was simply no way that the keeper was going to let his knee injury keep him out of the Scottish Cup Final, so pain or no pain he was playing.
“I was struggling a bit, but you would have needed to chop my legs off to stop me playing. It was pretty sore during the game, but I managed to get through it and now I’ve got four weeks off,” Gordon revealed.
“I knew I could get through a game, even though I missed the three leading up to it. As long as I could get out on the pitch and feel like I could contribute, I wanted to do that.
“Thankfully, the manager had faith in me to be able to do that.
“You know, it’s not easy to leave me out for the three games leading into the final, then have the faith to put me back in the team when it really mattered.
“But he did and I’m thankful to him for that. With another clean sheet, hopefully that repaid him,” the goalkeeper said.
Gordon also disclosed that it was not the knee injury that so nearly ended his career several years ago.
“No, it’s the other knee. It’s nothing to do with that. The left one is fine. That’s the one from Sunderland and the challenge earlier in the season. It’s fine now.
“But I’ve been having problems with my right knee for a while. That’s just me. I’ll get on with it,” he said.
Gordon, while reaching the veteran stage in his career, knows that as a goalie he still has plenty of footballing miles in the tank, provided he can stay fit and healthy. He sees himself being at Celtic for a considerable period in the seasons ahead.
“We’ll see. I will go into next season and just try to do the same again. I’ve still got two years left on this contract and I want to go on as long as possible.
“If my body’s OK, I’ll go on well beyond that.
And for inspiration he has his own role model.
“Buffon has just left Juventus at 40, so I’ve still got a wee bit to go if I want to catch him up. But you never know.
“As long as I’m fit enough to keep contributing to this team, keep playing in a successful team, I’ll try to go out there season after season.
“So goalies can go on forever? I’m not sure that I’ll manage that, but I’ll go for as long as I can.
“What doesn’t get old though, is winning trophies and picking up winners’ medals.
To back up the three from last year with another three this year is an incredible achievement for everyone.
“I’m just as enthusiastic as ever because this is such a special group, right here. It’s a special time for the Celtic fans, to have six trophies in two years. It’s never been done before.
“It’s just great to be part of it. We just enjoy it. We’re happy at our work. The manager has a great way of keeping everybody involved, making everybody feel like they’re contributing and they’re part of it.
“It’s always been about the squad, he always says that. We played 60 odd games this season. There were only 11 who could start in the final game, but everybody has contributed to a Treble, a great achievement,” a very happy Gordon continued.
The goalkeeper recognises the significance of what the players achieved at the weekend and is now ready for a little bit of downtime and to relax to recharge the batteries before trying to do it all over again.
“In years to come everybody will remember this period as one of the best in Celtic’s history.
“But now we’ve got to take stock, relax a little bit and recover. To go straight on to the next challenge now would be too much.
“We need to use this time to recover, let things calm down and recharge the batteries.
“We’re only four weeks away from the start of pre-season, so we’ve not got that long.
“Can we do the same again next season? We’ve just finished this one!
“We do set the bar high, but we’ll celebrate this one, then get together in pre-season and set our aims to go again, to compete on as many fronts as we can.
“You do get greedy for success. But the guys in there know how much this has taken.
“To do one Treble is really difficult. To do two back to back, it’s so much work, so much effort from everybody.
“You have to stay with it. The players who haven’t played for a while have to come in and do a job. Absolutely everything has to come together. The squad, the camaraderie in there.
“We’ve always stuck together, whatever anyone has chucked at us this season. To come out with another three trophies is just incredible.
“I can’t see it being done again, not for a very long time.”
Dunno about that Craig, a Treble Treble has a nice ring to it…
Have you got one of these? Beautiful Sunday should be celebrated all summer long…
WHAT DOES CELTIC’S DOUBLE TREBLE MEAN TO YOU? Were you at Hampden or did you watch on TV? Where were you, perhaps overseas? Did you head over to the ground for the open top bus parade? How as that? Share your personal experiences today on The Celtic Star – email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do the rest…