JAMES McCARTHY is out to make up for lost time after finally arrving at Celtic via Hamilton Accies, Wigan Everton and Crystal Palace.
The 30-year-old Republic of Ireland international midfielder completed his circuitous route back to the club where he played for the Under-17s side.
Glasgow-born McCarthy signed on Tuesday – the same day as former England keeper Joe Hart – but missed out on the club’s trip to the Czech Republic for the 4-2 win over Jablonec in the Europa League qualifier last night to remain behind and work on his fitness at Lennoxtown.
He has trained on his own since leaving the Selhurst Park club at the end of the season and it will be a decision for Ange Postecoglou to make to see if he is included in his squad for the Premiership match against Dundee on Sunday.
McCarthy, though, is certain he will be more than ready to answer the call when he gets the nod and he admitted: “It’s a dream come true. Growing up, I was massive Celtic fan and have been since. Throughout the family, it’s a massive thing for each and every one us and I can’t wait to get started now. It’s something you dream of as a kid.
“There has been a lot of speculation throughout the years, but when I knew it was happening this time it was a no-brainer.
“As soon as I heard about the interest, I wanted to make it happen as soon as possible.
“Lennoxtown is an amazing training ground. I’ve been to Celtic Park many times as a supporter, but walking into the Training Centre, being able to put the training kit on, meeting a few of the lads, that’s fantastic.
“Obviously, most of the team were away for the European game, but being at Lennoxtown has been amazing. Again, I just can’t wait to get started.”
McCarthy, speaking to the club website, added: “I want to make sure I give everything. I know what it means myself, growing up supporting Celtic, watching Celtic, I know what it means to the fans.
“The main thing I want to do is do well – for the club, my team-mates and the fans.
“I want to make sure we win games. I know the pressure that comes with that and we need to make sure we win, week in, week out.
“I played for Hamilton at Celtic Park a couple of times, but to have the chance to do so in the home dressing room – and to have the backing of a full house – the thought alone is unbelievable and I can’t wait to experience it.”