Glasgow (AFP) – Celtic defender Kieran Tierney is desperate to help his side to a domestic treble because the teenager is too young to remember the Hoops’ last clean sweep.
The 19-year-old hadn’t even started school when Martin O’Neill’s side swept all before them as they claimed the Championship, League Cup and Scottish Cup in 2000-01.
Fast forward 16 years and Brendan Rodgers’ current crop of Celtic stars stand on the edge of the same achievement, with the undefeated runaway league leaders having already claimed the League Cup and booked a place in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals.
Tierney is very familiar with the exploits of the class of 2000 that contained club legends Henrik Larsson, Neil Lennon and Chris Sutton after growing up in a Celtic-supporting family.
And the left-back, just back following a three-month injury lay-off, is excited at the prospect of emulating his heroes.
“I have to be honest and say that I don’t really remember the last time that Celtic won a treble as I was quite young,” Tierney, whose side face Hamilton at Celtic Park on Saturday, said.
“But at home we had all the DVDs and I always knew about the games and what had happened.
“It feels like a privilege to be in a position that we are now where we have the chance to achieve something like that.
“But we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves. I think the gaffer has made it clear that it is always about who is up next and if we can focus on that then the rest should take care of itself.”
Celtic are 24 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership and have won 20 consecutive league matches since Inverness became the only team to take points off them this season in a 2-2 draw at the Caledonian Stadium.
– Unblemished –
The Hoops are undefeated in 31 domestic matches – smashing the previous club record – and an unblemished looks like a realistic prospect for the Glasgow giants.
However, Tierney has his feet firmly on the ground as he considers his side’s chances of finishing the season unbeaten.
“I just think it is great to be in this position,” he said. “We don’t really think about the lead at the top of the table or anything else.
“There is still quite a lot of football to be played this season. It is nice to have the lead and it is nice to have won the League Cup already but there is an awful lot of games on the horizon.
“The manager wants us to not just keep the standard there but to improve it and that is what we aim to do.
“I just feel lucky to be a part of it. The dream is to win a treble, it is the same dream we have that every Celtic fan has but it is important we go about trying to achieve that the right way.”
Such is the momentum behind the Celtic juggernaut this season that not even Storm Doris could knock the Hoops off course.
The storm, which hit Scotland on Thursday, brought with it heavy snow and high winds – preventing some players from making it to Celtic’s training complex near Glasgow.
“We had a few players that made it in, but it hasn’t disrupted us too much, to be honest,” Rodgers said.
“We were aware that the snow was coming, maybe not planning for that much, but today physically was always going to be a lighter day for us.”
Fixtures (1500 unless stated)
Inverness CT v Rangers (1945 GMT)
Aberdeen v Ross County, Celtic v Hamilton, Motherwell v Dundee, Partick v Hearts, St Johnstone v Kilmarnock