ANTHONY Stokes has targeted a century of goals for Celtic as he looks to extend his Parkhead career well beyond the 100-game mark.
Stokes made his 100th appearance for Celtic last month and is in talks with the club to prolong his stay when his three-year contract expires at the end of the season.
The Irishman averaged 20 goals a season in his first two years at Parkhead but an ankle injury forced him to miss half of this campaign and he has only managed to nudge his tally to 46. But he has looked sharp in recent weeks and retains the confidence in his ability which earned him a move from Hibernian, less than three years after turning down the chance to sign for Celtic in order to join Sunderland.
Stokes told the Celtic View: “I was delighted to get to the 100 [game] mark and I suppose the next goal now is to get 100 goals if I’m round here long enough. It’s been a dream to come here. I was thrilled to get the second opportunity and wasn’t going to let it pass me by.
“You can always look back on your career and be fond of it, but the goals and contributing to the team is what I look at more than appearances, so that will be the next thing in the back of my mind.
“I know it might take a while but that’s a long-term goal of mine. I didn’t know about the appearance tally but I knew I was getting to close to the 50-goal mark. And the big one for me is if I can get 100 goals. That would be my main aim here.”
Celtic manager Neil Lennon recently confirmed the club would offer Stokes a new deal and the player is eager to get the issue tied up.
The 24-year-old said: “Hopefully I am in the process of trying to get a contract sorted out. I just want to get this contract signed and I am looking forward to another couple of good years here, being successful and winning trophies.
“The last two years have been exceptional for that, especially with winning the league, and we want to keep that up.”
Stokes collected his Clydesdale Bank Premier League winners’ medal on Saturday and is eyeing a double celebration when Celtic meet his former club Hibs in the William Hill Scottish Cup final on 26 May.
First Celtic will wrap up their SPL campaign by looking to end a six-game run without an away league win when they face Dundee United on Sunday.