Liam Scales sat down to talk with Luke Shanley of Sky Sports in the build-up to this afternoon’s lunchtime kick-off with St Johnstone and was asked for his thoughts on the year he’s had. The Irishman was farmed out on a loan deal to Aberdeen at the beginning of last season and begun to really forge a name for himself in Scottish football.
Having impressed up at Pittodrie, many wondered if the former League of Ireland defender might have a glimmer of hope at being kept on by manager, Brendan Rodgers, on his return to the Parkhead club. After a few central defenders were recruited in the transfer window just passed, it finally looked like curtains on his Celtic career which he’d wanted so much when he arrived at the club in 2021.
However, when an injury crisis hit the squad hard back in August, Brendan Rodgers was left in a dilemma and Scales unbelievably got his chance to shine. After that display he put on at Ibrox he’s become a key part of the team in the absence of Maik Nawrocki and Stephen Welsh, with Gustaf Lagerbielke rarely seen these days in a Celtic shirt either. He’s grabbed it with both hands and the turnaround in fortunes has been jaw-dropping if truth be told.
Scales noted during the interview the mental fortitude and required concentration levels and quality for European football. He admitted that it has been a steep and tough learning curve this year and at 25-years-old, will need more experienced like this if he is to really hit his full potential when he comes into his peak years soon. The ex-Aberdeen loanee also spoke of his desire to get himself in the best possible condition when he came back for pre-season, despite the fact he didn’t know if he’d still be at Celtic Park come the closing of business in September.
The player certainly done himself justice and he has remarked that one of the perks of being exposed to the first-team and playing UEFA Champions League group stage football this season has been the opportunity to meet the Pope in the Vatican on Celtic’s most recent visit to Rome. The club were officially granted a private audience with the Holy Father last week when they went to take on Lazio in the Eternal City. Scales beamed with a big smile as he admitted it was a real thrill, regardless of how the game went on Tuesday night.
He also spoke to Sky Sports about his pride at being called up by Stephen Kenny and earning his first cap for his country of late. The proud Irishman revealed it has been a long-held ambition of his to break into the Republic of Ireland team if he could, and that through playing regularly for Celtic this season so far, it has made one of his dreams come true.
Have a listen to Liam Scales open up on his own, personal 2023 below…
🍀 Celtic fans, what have you made of Liam Scales this season?
He reflects on 2023 so far at Aberdeen then Celtic, playing for the Republic of Ireland, meeting Pope Francis & first of all the club’s #UCL campaign ⬇️
📺 St Johnstone vs Celtic is live on Sky now! pic.twitter.com/pQ6rPtscDa
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) December 3, 2023