Tuesday 20 August 2019

Ireland starlet Luca Connell reveals he turned down offers from English clubs to seal 'dream' move to Celtic

Ireland U19 international Luca Connell after signing four-year deal with Celtic. Photo Credit: @CelticFC Twitter
Ireland U19 international Luca Connell after signing four-year deal with Celtic. Photo Credit: @CelticFC Twitter
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Republic of Ireland youngster Luca Connell rejected the chance to stay in England as he opted to seal a move to Scottish Premier League champions Celtic this summer.

Connell made a big impression as he trained with Mick McCarthy's senior Ireland squad at their Quinta do Lago summer camp ahead of last month's Euro 2020 qualifiers against Denmark and Gibraltar.

He will be hoping to force his way into McCarthy's first team plans this season, with the Liverpool-born teenager eager to confirm he made the right decision as he left Bolton to sign for Neil Lennon's Celtic.

"It was only a few weeks before I actually signed that I got the call and when a Champions League club want to sign you it's not something you can just ignore," he told reporters. "So I spoke to my agent and got things sorted and I'm made up that I could sign for them.

"There was quite a few clubs interested in me to be honest but I always thought that this was the club for me and to be able to play in front of the massive crowd is really a dream come true.

"Everyone plays the Scottish league down as if it's not a high standard but I can tell you now it is, and now that I have trained I can tell how high a standard it is.

"It's a massive club and playing in the Champions League you don't get that at most clubs, so it's definitely a step up for me and I'm looking forward to the challenge ahead.

"I want to work hard and challenge for my place as well. I'm sure there will be a lot if 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. 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.

"I want to go on and make history here. 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."

Online Editors

The Throw-In: Tipp throw off the shackles while Kilkenny’s soul-searching begins

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport