Celtic youngster Joey Dawson is hungry for more game time after getting a taste of first team action on Boxing Day.
The 18-year-old forward was an early substitution for Kyogo Furuhashi, who was forced off injured during the first half of the Hoops’ 3-1 win over St Johnstone.
Ange Postecoglou has been dealing with an injury crisis in recent weeks with the likes of Jota, Turnbull and Forrest all missing out, but the absences have opened up opportunities for the club’s youth players – particularly in the attacking areas.
Dawson, nephew of former Spurs defender and Sky Sports reporter Michael Dawson, was planning on travelling back down south to spend Christmas with his family when he got the call telling him he was being considered for the first team’s trip to Perth.
And with the Japan forward going down injured early in the game, Dawson was handed his chance to play alongside Liel Abada and Tom Rogic.
Speaking to Celtic TV following the game, he said: “It’s unbelievable and such a proud moment for me and my family.
“I’ve come a long way in a short space of time, so I just need to stay grounded and keep working hard to hopefully get more appearances.
“It’s massive for me making my Celtic debut at such a young age, it’s a great honour but now I need to keep working hard.
“So that’s why I always have to be ready to take my chance and hopefully I did that today.”
Irsaeli winger Abada scored two with his countryman Nir Bitton, who was captain for the day with Callum McGregor missing, adding a third.
Dawson nearly capped his big moment with a debut goal when his chipped shot was cleared of the goal line late in the second half.
He said: “I was devastated it didn’t go in. I don’t know how he got there to be fair.
“After I dinked the keeper I thought it was in and I had my debut goal but they’ve just stretched to keep it off the line.
“Me scoring isn’t the main thing, the most important thing is the win.
“Having a taste of it today has just made me want more and hopefully I can keep working hard and score more goals.”