The Australian international struck twice as Celtic eased into the last 16 of the Scottish Cup, firing home the opener from the penalty spot – after a dreadful handball decision against Efe Ambrose following VAR intervention – before completing the rout six minutes from time with a smart close range finish.
The 32-year-old was without a club for five months and training on his own in a Glasgow park when Ange Postecoglou took him to Celtic in what has proven to be one of the signings of last summer. His arrival was met with relatively low fanfare but half a season later and the former St Mirren and Huddersfield man has won over the Celtic fans with consistent performances of a high standard – so much so that he now has his own song played over the PA system. 'Aaron, Aaron Mooy' was belted out to the tune of Boney M's Daddy Cool after both of his goals, and it was also the anthem of choice as the Celtic players conducted their customary lap of honour after full-time.
“It’s been a good year so far, lots of experiences," Mooy reflected. "Playing at the World Cup, competing in the Champions League for a big club like Celtic. I’m just trying to make the most if it, soak it all in – and try to get better. I couldn’t have imagined this happening. That’s what I mean when I say I’m just enjoying it, letting it all soak in, because you never know what can happen – in life or in football. That’s why I take every day as it comes. It definitely makes me appreciate it more, when I think back to the summer, because I had a hard couple of years. I’m really focusing on enjoying my football."
Mooy is now on four goals for Celtic having also bagged a double against Hibs last month – including another penalty – to suggest he is now the club’s designated spot-kick taker. “I didn’t put my name forward, the coaches decided," he revealed. "But I’ve taken penalties before, at my previous clubs, so that’s maybe what their research showed. I genuinely don’t know who put me forward! They do this set-piece meeting before the games and you’re just told: ‘Right, you’re on penalties. You take this corner.’ I’m on penalties for certain games but I don’t know who would be ahead of me, to be honest. You’d have to ask the staff."
South Korea striker Oh Hyeon-gyu could become a new team-mate this week with reports suggesting Celtic are closing in on a deal for the Suwon Bluewings player. Mooy has previous experience of facing K-League sides and is sure any player brought in will have the attributes to be a success at Parkhead. "I don’t know too much about it but I’ve played against Korean teams in the Asian Champions League, so I know how good they are. It’s a really professional league, the players are all very fit and strong, as Korean players tend to be,” he said, before adding: “Yeah, the manager obviously has a good eye for a player. Well, he brought me here!”