Injury meant the Irishman watched the drama, not just of the Champions League, but domestically too, unfold from a seat in the stand, a vantage point which did not sit comfortably with the striker.
However, even if he had been fit it is fair to say that there was every chance when the distinctive Champions League music got going that Stokes would still have found himself on the periphery of things.
This season he has won the trust of his manager, a fact that has been underlined by him signing a new three-year deal with the club on Tuesday.
Granted, Gary Hooper's absence has left a void but even according to Stokes himself the time spent out of the opening half of last season with injury gave him an appreciation and a maturity he had previously lacked.
In short, the penny appears to have dropped for the man who has started every game in the Champions League this campaign.
Lennon himself revealed recently the striker was "walking on thin ice" at the club due to his off-field controversies and also his general attitude.
It was the quick, clever feet of Stokes which lured Ajax's Stefano Denswil into a foul in the box to provide Celtic with the penalty from which they created the foundations for a victory they badly needed in Champions League group H last week.
The result blows the group wide open, but Stokes' eyes are focused on the bigger picture.
"Yeah, there were mixed emotions for me last year," said the 25-year-old. "There was a great atmosphere at all the games and it was great to watch the lads do so well.
"But there was that little bit inside where I wanted to be involved.
"I hate watching any football to be honest, especially when it is my own team because I want to be playing.
"It was difficult but it spurred me on a little bit to work harder and try to come back stronger. I'd like to think I've done that.
"Before the group began I was really looking forward to it and it hasn't disappointed. There are a few of the boys in there who have had that experience of getting through to the last 16 and know what it takes.
"It would be amazing to get that chance but we've got three big games ahead of us in the group and there's an awful lot of domestic football to be played in that time too.
"I've been happy enough with the way it's gone for me this season. I'd have liked a few more goals by now but that'll come."
The striker, who has been recalled into the Republic of Ireland set-up following the exit of Giovanni Trapattoni, has been in the early stages of trying to forge a partnership with Teemu Pukki.
And he is optimistic the two of them can form a decent partnership as the season progresses.
"I think it will come," said Stokes. "We have been doing alright with the system that we have been playing.
"When you first come into a club of this size it can take a bit of time just to get used to things. Teemu missed pre- season with us but I think he has shown he still has plenty to offer.
"Listen, he has already got a couple of goals under his belt and I am sure there will be plenty more to come from him."
Celtic face up to Dundee United this weekend before heading to Holland to face Ajax.
Avoiding defeat would make them favourites to land a third spot and parachute into the Europa League, while a win would set them up nicely for the next game against AC Milan in Glasgow - a game which would effectively be a fight for second place.
STOKES said: "It will be a difficult game for all of us as a team. Ajax play an awful lot of football - they don't really play any long balls.
"We were chasing shadows at times in Glasgow - but we stayed compact and broke them down.
"They overplay at times and we focused on that beforehand. You have to stay disciplined against a side like that."
This week has seen the return to training of Derk Boerrigter who has had a difficult time with injury since arriving at the club, but with Joe Ledley back fit and James Forrest and Charlie Mulgrew expected to be given the all-clear too, there has been an easing of injury issues.
"It is tough when you are out of the team and not getting a consistent run, it can be tough to come in and be at your best," said Stokes.
"The likes of Beram Kayal has been excellent, while even guys like Charlie Mulgrew have been doing a job all over the pitch.
"I'm enjoying my football just now. I do feel confident and the more you play, the sharper you get.
"It has been a decent start to the season for me but the important thing is that I get as many goals as I can."