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Dublin: 20 °C Tuesday 16 July, 2019
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'There were a few clubs interested, but I knew this was the club for me' - Irish midfielder on Celtic move

Luca Connell is hoping to make his debut for the Glasgow giants at Parkhead tomorrow.

Connell joined Celtic at the end of last month.
Connell joined Celtic at the end of last month.
Image: Twitter/CelticFC

LUCA CONNELL HAS been adjusting to life at a new club over the past fortnight. 

The Ireland underage midfielder said it was a “dream come true” when he joined for Celtic from Bolton Wanderers at the end of June

Having trained with the first team, Liverpool-born Connell could now be in line to make his debut when the Hoops take on French side Rennes at Celtic Park tomorrow (3pm). 

“It’s been brilliant and I can’t complain with anything,” 18-year-old Connell said of his early impressions.

“The boys have settled me well and the gaffer’s been good to me. I’ve been working hard and I’m now looking forward to game-time soon.

“I want to work hard and challenge for my place as well. I’m sure there will be a lot of opportunities. There could be potentially 70 competitive games, and the same 11 can’t play that amount of games.

“I’m hoping I can make the step up and impress here at Celtic. Celtic are a massive club. It’s a step up for me and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Luca Connell with Seamus Coleman, Callum O'Dowda, Shane Duffy and Ronan Curtis The teenager trained with Ireland's senior squad back in May. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Connell, who is one of several Ireland players who are remaining with their clubs instead of linking up for the U19 Euros this month, will be aiming to break into Neil Lennon’s team as soon as possible and make an impact in his first season in Glasgow. 

“It was unbelievable getting the call, and it’s not something you can ignore, when a Champions League team want to sign you,” he added.

“There were a few clubs interested in me, but I knew that this was the club for me. It’s a dream come true. I want to go on and make history here. Hopefully I can get some first-team games in and help make more history.

There are plenty of players here and every single one is good, but there will be chances and it’s up to me to take them. That’s the message – if you work hard, train well you’ll get your chance. Then you must deal with the pressure that comes with that.

“If I can get some game-time that would be unbelievable. If I can make my debut at Celtic Park, that’s even more unbelievable again.”

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Ben Blake

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