Kieran Tierney surpassed most young players’ wildest dreams last season, but the Celtic left-back still experienced pain that he is determined to eradicate.
The 19-year-old made more than 30 first-team appearances in his breakthrough campaign, claiming a league winners’ medal, making his Scotland debut and featuring regularly in the Europa League, before making the step up to the Champions League this season. But Tierney twice suffered major semi-final disappointment as Celtic lost to Ross County and Rangers and he is desperate to make amends.
Celtic have the chance to book another trip to Hampden when they face Alloa at Parkhead tonight in the Betfred Cup quarter-finals and Tierney has set his sights on achieving cup glory for the first time.
“That’s what we want to do, 100 per cent,” he said. “The cup comes quick so, if we win this, we are in the semi-final stage. We just want to get out and do the job.
“There were a few lows in Europe last year and the semi-finals weren’t great.
“But it was an experience for me because I had never played in either.
“So, hopefully, if we can get to the semi-final, I can use that experience.
“You remember the feeling when you get beat and it’s horrible. I never want to feel like that again.”
Tierney is one of few players to make the step from the youth system to the first team in recent seasons but he recognises the quality in some of his former club-mates who ended up at Alloa.
Greig Spence has scored nine goals already this season after the 24-year-old found his way to the Wasps following spells at Raith Rovers and Cowdenbeath following his departure from Celtic, and Tierney has major admiration for another left-back who was just above him in the age groups and has helped Alloa reach the last eight with the aid of victories over holders Ross County and Inverness.
On Spence, Tierney said: “He’s a bit older than me so I don’t know too much [about him] but I know he is good and has scored a few goals.
“And you have also got Calum Waters, the left-back; he’s a great player and played here for years as well.”