MORE reaction from Glasgow on Celtic’s title-winning day, with words from The Manager, his boss – and details of that trophy party (and Donegal fans will be pleased). Watch this video special.
NEIL Lennon has described Celtic´s League Championship triumph today as his best day in football.
The Hoops clinched their 43rd title at Rugby Park this afternoon in spectacular style, thumping Kilmarnock 6-0. Charlie Mulgrew and Gary Hooper both bagged braces, with Joe Ledley and Glenn Loovens also on target.
The Celtic manager enjoyed a success-filled career as a Hoops player, lifting every domestic honour in Scottish football, many as captain, but he insisted that guiding the club to title glory topped them all.
He said: “It`s the best day of my professional life. It`s been a long time coming.
“It´s been two years in the waiting. I´m so proud of them. They deserve it. We have been the best team in Scotland by a long way and we have finished it in the right way.
“I`ve been here 12 years and they`ve thrown everything at me,” he added. “I`m at the pinnacle now. I couldn`t have done it without the club, the players, fans and my family.
“I follow in the footsteps of Martin O`Neill and Gordon Strachan, who had a great influence on my career.”
THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE:
Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell said it was a day of pride – pride in the manager and his backroom staff, the players and, of course, the supporters. It was, as the Chief Executive told the official Celtic website, “a magnificent day of entertaining, winning football.
“I´m very proud of Neil and what he´s achieved,” he continued. “I´m proud of Alan Thompson, Johan Mjallby, Garry Parker, Stevie Woods. It was a huge triumph for them today, particularly for Neil on the back of what he´s had to put up with in the past couple of years, and he´s won it – he´s now a championship-winning manager.
“And our supporters were magnificent today, as they have been throughout this season, and there’s a smile on their faces – those who were there today, those who couldn’t make it, the millions of fans around the world.
“Seeing how proud they are of their club is really satisfying because it’s been painful the past three years. There hasn’t been a day that’s gone by when we haven’t thought about getting the title back where it truly belongs and thankfully we did that today.”
Celtic secured the SPL title with a scintillating 6-0 victory over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park, and with the average age of the team just 23, the future looks bright for the club.
“It’s a young team with a lot of ability and it’s a fantastic foundation to go forward with,” said Peter Lawwell. “But today’s not the end. We’ve got to move and get this great club back in the Champions League and perform there regularly, and we’ve got a great basis to do that.
“I’m really proud of the players. They are young and what they’ve achieved is fantastic”
And the Chief Executive also highlighted the togetherness which exists at Celtic, a quality which has helped deliver the SPL title back to Paradise.
“There is a great unity at the club which is a tremendous strength,” he said, “and I’d like to pay credit to the board who have believed in us, stuck by us, guided us through this period.
“And also to Dermot Desmond, whose wisdom, advice and patience over that period has been fantastic, so from the top through the management, the players, and supporters, there’s a magnificent unity at the club which is a real strength.
“This is just the beginning. We have a duty to take this club as far as we can go. Hopefully everybody has a great day, a great weekend and celebrates a magnificent Celtic victory once again.”
THE PARTY! TROPHY CELEBRATION TO SUIT DONEGAL FANS:
CELTIC´S 6-0 victory over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park has confirmed Neil Lennon´s side as the SPL Champions for 2011/12. And the Hoops will be presented with the trophy at the final league game of the season.
That match at Celtic Park on Sunday, May 13 against Hearts (KO: 12.30pm) is sure to be a special Celtic celebration and one that will see Paradise in party mood.
The Hoops have two home games prior to the Hearts game – against Rangers on Sunday, April 29 (KO: 12.45pm) and then St Johnstone on Thursday, May 3 (KO: 7.45pm) – and it was felt that it was important to have as many Celtic fans as possible at the stadium for the trophy presentation.
The derby game has a much larger visiting support than other home games, while the Thursday evening match would see many Celtic fans from further afield, in particular the large support which comes over from Ireland, miss out on this special occasion.
Neil Lennon´s side have done themselves and the club proud with their magnificent title triumph, and Celtic Park will rise to acclaim them when they are presented with the trophy on May 13. This is just the beginning…