LIAM SCALES admits he will be inspired by playing in the iconic No.5 shirt at Celtic.
The 23-year-old Irishman, a £600,000 arrival from Shamrock Rovers a fortnight ago, has accepted the jersey that was graced for so long by the club’s legendary European Cup-winning captain Billy McNeill.
Scales, who is hoping to make his debut for his boyhood favourites in the Premiership against Ross County at Parkhead tomorrow afternoon, also revealed he had a say in landing the shirt.
The versatile back-four performer said: “Just to wear such a famous number, it does inspire rather than become daunting.
“Obviously, it’s a massive number here and it’s a number I’ve worn before in my career as a defender.
“I had a part in choosing it. I noticed historically the players who have worn it who have had great Celtic careers.
COME IN, NUMBER FIVE…Liam Scales wears the iconic shirt at Lennoxtown. Image courtesy Celtic TV.
“Hopefully, I can do the same. At the end of the day I think any number that I chose I was always going to do as well as I could and work as hard as I could to get in the team and to be successful here.”
Scales, who was brought into the Republic of Ireland World Cup squad this week, is looking forward to his first taste of a packed Parkhead against Malky Mackay’s Dingwall outfit tomorrow and, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “It’s completely new to me.
“I’ve watched the club playing European ties at Celtic Park before, though, and you could feel the atmosphere through the TV, but I’ve yet to experience it in person.
”My aim is to get into the international side, but I can only do that by playing regularly at club level. There are things I have to do here before that can happen. I need to work hard if there are going to be call-ups in the future.”
Scales was signed too late to even figure on the substitutes’ bench at Ibrox, but there may be a place for him in Ange Postecoglou’s squad against the Highlanders.