GREG TAYLOR didn’t get on the pitch on when Celtic won the Betfred League Cup – their tenth successive domestic silverware – on December 8 last year.
The Scotland international left-back had arrived from Kilmarnock in a £2.25million switch on deadline day on September 2.
Neil Lennon was left searching frantically for reinforcements in the No.3 position following the £25million exit of Kieran Tierney to Arsenal and the freedom-of-contract departure of veteran Honduran Emilio Izaguirre.
Boli Bolingoli was brought in at the cost of £3million from Rapid Vienna before Taylor was signed just in time to strengthen the squad.
Unfortunately, for the 22-year-old defender he was Cup-tied after a previous performance in the competition with the Rugby Park outfit and the nearest he got to joining in was a place in the Hampden stand.
Bolingoli also missed out against Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side in the trophy showdown. Lennon brought in the reliable Jonny Hayes who played the entire 90 minutes as the Hoops lifted the trophy courtesy of a strike from Christopher Jullien on the hour mark.
And Fraser Forster performed heroics with an awesome Hampden performance which included saving a penalty-kick from Alfredo Morelos.
Taylor, though, has claimed a Premiership winner’s medal following the award of the Hoops’ ninth successive title by the SPFL yesterday.
And the attack-minded full-back told the official Celtic website: “It’s an amazing feeling. The feeling today is just joy. It was a hard season and there were some people doubting us in January, but we just kicked on so strongly.
“It’s great for the boys who have done this for the last nine seasons, it’s such a talented squad. The boys raise the bar every single year. They never rest of their laurels, they just keep pushing.
“This is my first trophy. I was unfortunately Cup-tied for the League Cup and it was probably more nerve-racking watching the boys in the Final from the stands. Still, it was an amazing feeling for the boys to see them win and to celebrate with them in the dressing room afterwards.
“But to have played a part in this league title is an amazing feeling. That’s one of the reasons you come to a club like Celtic, to win trophies and I knew we would do that.
“I’ve managed to be on the winning side in every domestic game I’ve played in, bar one which was a draw. So, that’s not too bad and long may that continue! I’d happily take that going into next season, because it’d mean we won’t be too far away from another title.”
And Taylor praised his team-mates such as skipper Scott Brown and James Forrest who have been involved in all nine flag successes.
He added: “There aren’t enough words to describe how hard it is to play in all nine winning seasons. One, it’s difficult, and two, to do so with such consistency at the highest level is, just, wow. It’s incredible.
“The performances that the likes of Scott Brown and James Forrest have put in year after year, both when I played against them, and now having joined them this season, is second to none. It’s amazing playing with both of them.
“Guys like Broony, Jamesy and Callum McGregor – the players who have been there for all of these years – are a credit to themselves and the club.
“They keep pushing out performance after performance and everyone else follows. Boys like myself come in and we quickly follow what needs to be done – and that’s win games and win titles.”