You'll never Watt alone at Parkhead

ATTITUDE can make or break the career of any aspiring footballer, even before it has begun.

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Tony Watt has had a dream year for the Hoops
Tony Watt has had a dream year for the Hoops

It is refreshing, therefore, to sit down with Tony Watt and listen to him try manfully to steer the conversation away from the goal he scored to help beat Barcelona, and instead chastise himself for the relatively poor displays he has delivered since for Celtic.

Yet, it was an attitude problem which indirectly brought him to Parkhead. Not his, but that of Liverpool, who had jumped ahead of Celtic in the queue to sign the Airdrie United 16-year-old who was rapidly making a name for himself.

Had the Anfield club shown a bit more interest in the kid who arrived on a three-day trial, it might all have been different.

"I went down to Liverpool for three days," he explained. "It was good. I'd never seen anything like it in all my life.

"The pitches were unbelievable, and the facilities. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

"I didn't really like the attitude of some of the coaches and the way they treated you. I was just like another fish in the pond to them, just another trialist.

"I trained with their youth team and played against Wolves, but I was unfit. They were all a little bit older than me and full-time professionals and I was still playing part-time with Airdrie United. I did okay, but nothing special."

Back home and disillusioned by the experience, the call from Celtic to try out with them was grasped with both hands.

Ironically, it was in a game against Liverpool that he did enough to convince Celtic to make their move.

Watt said: "I did very well in that game. Liverpool were interested again, but Celtic got it done quickly.

"I was made to feel really welcome from the first day."

Watt arrived on a contract which has since been seriously upgraded to reward his progress, a move also designed to protect Celtic's interests.

However, while many rising stars kick back once that lucrative new deal is in the bag, Watt's approach is to kick on.

He said: "Maybe the talks wouldn't have gone as quickly if I had not scored against Barca.

"It's out the way, now I need to keep building and building. I've not been playing well and hardly featuring, so I need to work even more.

"I've not watched a re-run of the game many times. Maybe if my mum and dad are watching it and I walk in I'll sit with them. But it's not as if I go out of my way."

He added: "Maybe that will turn out to be the best week of my life, scoring the winner against Barca and signing a new deal.

"But hopefully I can get a league winner's medal this season and add more silverware."


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