Anthony Stokes targets long run in Europe for Celtic in coming season
CELTIC forward Anthony Stokes is targeting a decent run in Europe this season for the Clydesdale Bank Premier League champions.
With the future of Old Firm rivals Rangers still uncertain, with a place for the newco club in the SPL looking unlikely, playing in the Champions League offers Neil Lennon's side a chance to recreate the kind of atmosphere only domestic clashes with Rangers can provide.
Republic of Ireland international Stokes, 23, is preparing to start his third season at Parkhead and will use last year's Europa League fixtures as a way of preparing for the third qualifying round of the Champions League.
"We obviously want to do as well as we can in Europe this year and I think we've played a couple of good teams now to help give us some experience," he said.
"For a lot of us it was our first experience of European football last year so we're looking forward to getting more of it this season."
The Hoops are now back in pre-season training following their success last season and Stokes is glad to be back in Celtic's Lennoxtown training ground.
He said: "It usually takes two or three weeks before you tend to feel back to the way you were at the peak of the season. The games will help too.
"I always enjoy pre-season and I look forward to getting back into it. You miss it, well I do personally.
"Obviously it's good to get away in the summer and see your family and friends but I miss the football and I'm looking forward to getting back into it again."