Kieran Tierney has offered a vote of thanks to role model Scott Brown after signing a new six-year Celtic contract.
The 20-year-old Scotland full back praised the influence of club captain Brown and manager Brendan Rodgers after putting pen to paper ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.
Tracked by the likes of Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal, Tierney has committed to his boyhood idols until 2023.
Talented Celtic left back Kieran Tierney has signed a new six-year deal for his boyhood heroes
‘I still can’t believe it, it’s amazing,’ he told Celtic TV. ‘It’s a lot to take in right now – but I’m delighted.
‘The players I’m playing with and the manager I’m under all helps – I can’t do this on my own.
‘It’s a team effort and I’ve a lot to thank them for – especially the captain Broony.
‘When you’re younger, you always look up to the ones who’ve already done it and have stayed there.
‘It’s really hard to get your chance – but even harder to stay in the team and get a run of games.’
Tierney admitted he’s ‘living the dream’ after putting pen to paper on a new long-term contract
Seen as a future Parkhead captain, Tierney has already led Celtic out twice in Brown’s absence and says he couldn’t have a better mentor than the current skipper.
‘To captain Celtic is probably the greatest honour I’ve ever had. To walk out and give the team talk in the huddle is unbelievable. For the gaffer to have trust in someone so young is fantastic for me.
‘For me, Scott Brown is the perfect role model and leader for me to look up to. Even when I was younger and playing with the 20s, he would come and watch and take the game or training.
‘So for me to know him that year and then make the step-up to the first-team helped and he was really welcoming and took me under his wing. He’s so influential for the team and so important to everyone in the changing-room.’
Approaching 100 first-team games for Celtic after making his debut in 2015, Tierney extended gratitude to boss Rodgers.
‘I give a lot of thanks to the manager for believing in me. I’ve also got the right people around me to keep me grounded and it’s a big credit to them.
Tierney said the deal ‘is brilliant for me and my family. I still can’t believe it. It’s amazing’
‘The manager has trusted me since day one. I was very young when he came in and I’d only played one season in the first team.
‘There was always a doubt he might bring in someone more experienced but he’s trusted me and I’ve a lot to thank him for.
‘My family will be delighted and it’s a big reward for them for believing in me and putting the work in all these years.
‘It’s crazy the amount of appearances I’ve had already, and that’s with three operations as well, so it could have been a lot more.
‘But just to play that many games already for Celtic at this age is unbelievable and hopefully I can keep doing that.
The 20-year-old Tierney has praised Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers for believing in him
‘Every football player will tell you they just take it one game at a time and that’s because it’s true.’
Wishaw-boy Tierney admits he has forged a huge mutual bond with a Celtic support who see him as one of their own.
‘I know where they are coming from – when I was younger I always looked up the ones who had broken through such as James Forrest. That’s every Celtic fan’s dream to up come from the youth academy and play for the first team.
‘And not just to do it once or twice but to keep playing. I’m doing that and living the dream.’
Parkhead supremo Rodgers in good spirits with Tierney (left) during a Celtic training session