CELTIC Wonder Bhoy Karamoko Dembele has admitted he is going to work EVEN harder to prove he isn’t just a one-off overnight sensation.
The teeny terror, who celebrated his 16th birthday three months ago, took the opportunity to make a superb first impression with the Hoops support when he came on at the start of the second-half for the Premiership grand finale against Hearts at Parkhead on Sunday.
The fans had heard the hype about Dembele and they sat back to see if the winger could fulfil the potential that has seen him involved in a three-way international tussle among Scotland, where he has lived since the age of one, England, where he was born, and the Ivory Coast, birthplace of his parents.
The precocious teenager showed the had the ability to match the promise as he drove at the Edinburgh side’s rearguard with a refreshing confidence that brought alarm to the visitors any time he had the ball at his feet.
Now he wants to continue to improve as he battles for a consistent place in the first team player squad.
Dembele, speaking to the Celtic View, said: “It was really good. I enjoyed it. I must admit, I was more excited than nervous beforehand.
“I’ve always wanted to make my professional debut for Celtic. I’ve always wanted to play for Celtic and I’m obviously so happy that it came earlier than it probably should have, given my age.
“Now, it’s about continuing as before. The hard work doesn’t stop here, by no means. In fact, this is where I want to start working harder than ever before.
“That’s the league campaign finished, so I want my focus now to be on next season.
“I can hopefully go away with the first-team on pre-season, keep working as hard as I possibly can and try to keep myself in the manager’s plans.”
Dembele’s introduction for Oliver Burke at the start of the second-half with the game poised at 1-1 gave the place a lift.
He added: “The reception I received from the fans was absolutely unbelievable. I really didn’t expect it, to be honest!
“I can’t wait to get the chance to play in front of so many passionate fans again. The noise in the stadium is incredible and it just drives you forward.
“As I say, for me it’s about going away now, working hard and taking any opportunities I can down the line to do things like Sunday all over again.”
Dembele has the opportunity of becoming the youngster participant in a Scottish Cup Final if he gets a place in Neil Lennon’s squad for Saturday’s encounter against Craig Levein’s side at Hampden, as CQN reported earlier today.
It would cap one of football’s great fairytales if the teenage tearaway was involved in the afternoon Celtic made history with a phenomenal treble treble.