Why Hayden Coulson signed for Aberdeen, Celtic baptism of fire and Jim Goodwin's message to him

As debuts go, it does not get much tougher than playing against the champions on their own patch on the opening day of the new season.

That’s what Aberdeen left-back Hayden Coulson had to experience – and was given the sternest of examinations by Celtic talisman Jota.

The Portuguese did get his name on the scoresheet in the hosts’ 2-0 win but Coulson, a 24-year-old defender who joined the Dons from Middlesbrough on loan earlier in the week, acquitted himself well against the man who cost Celtic in excess of £6million over the summer.

Coulson is one of nine new signings at Aberdeen this term and he and his team-mates did well not to wilt after conceding after just three minutes to Stephen Welsh’s header.

New Aberdeen defender Hayden Coulson had his work cut out against Celtic forward Jota.

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“For me personally, it was good to get the first 90 minutes into my legs and get the cobwebs off,” said Coulson, who was on loan at Peterborough last season.

“Obviously, as a team, you can’t start like that at a place like Celtic Park.

“I thought we grew into the game and a couple of chances, but it just wasn’t our day.

“You could definitely see that teams could go there and be 3-0 or 4-0 down inside 15 minutes.

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“But we showed spells that can progress in the season and do well.”

Coulson spent a short spell at St Mirren in 2018 so has experience, albeit limited, of the Scottish game. He is happy to be back north and explained why he has joined Aberdeen.

“It’s a huge club, isn’t it?” he continued. “And I needed somewhere I was going to consistently play and show what I can do. This feels like a place where I can progress.

“The Scottish Premiership is a good league and it’s good to play against Celtic and Rangers and Hearts and teams like that. For the rest of the league, that will also be good.”

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His manager Jim Goodwin wants Coulson to nail down a regular spot in his defence. “It was one of them where he just wants me to be fit, physical and do my normal game,” added Coulson. “The main thing for me is to injury free and I am going to enjoy working for the gaffer because he is a good man.”

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