360 Sports client Anthony Ralston has today signed a new four-and-a-half-year deal with Celtic – keeping him at Parkhead until at least 2022.
The 19-year-old has clearly made an impression on Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers and the ex-Liverpool manager was keen to sign the youngster up on a longer-term contract to reward him for his progression over the last year-and-a-half.
Ralston made his full debut for Celtic back in 2016, coming on as a 74th-minute substitute in a 2-1 defeat to St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.
And the teen made his first start for the Hoops – also against Saints – in a 4-1 reverse at Celtic Park back in May of 2017. He netted his first ever Celts goal against Kilmarnock in the League Cup earlier this season as his side went on to smash the Rugby Park outfit 5-0 in front of a home crowd.
Tasked with shackling the world’s most expensive player in the Champions League Group Stage this campaign, Ralston’s battle with Neymar is one he won’t forget in a hurry. His calmness and ability to avoid wilting under the big night lights was treated with respect by his manager and teammates – as well as those in the media and the stands who watched the game that night.
An unfortunate injury has prevented Ralston from adding to his seven appearances for Celtic this season but he is now back on the road to full fitness and taking part in first-team training again.
And the defender insists he’s just getting started. He told the club website: “It’s a great feeling to sign with the club I’ve been with since I’ve been young. This is where I want to be and I want to start playing more games. I’ve enjoyed getting a taste of it and I’m looking forward to the future.
“There are so many ups and downs that come with being a footballer. I’ve enjoyed the experiences I’ve had up to now. With the injury, it’s just one of these things that happen and it’s how you come back from it.
“But it’s been a good start for me in my career and signing the contract now, I’m just looking forward to getting on with my football over the next few years. Hopefully there’s a lot more to come from me in the years ahead.
“For 2018, I just want to get my head down, work hard to get back to full fitness and kick on with the football, but signing this new contract has definitely been the best Christmas present!”
Blog by Mark Hendry for 360 Sports Consultancy