Celtic teenage sensation Jeremie Frimpong has given an insight into why he played so well on his professional debut.
The 18-year-old got a standing ovation from the Parkhead faithful when he came off on Wednesday night. That was due to the level of his performance on a positive night for Neil Lennon’s men.
Frimpong’s display will have surprised the majority of the Celtic support, but he reckons the key was having confidence in his ability.
“It’s a dream come true to play for Celtic,” he told the official club website. “It’s the biggest club in Scotland so it’s amazing. My goal was to play for the first team. I thought I was ready and I proved to the manager I was ready. He gave me a chance and hopefully I can do more.
“You have to play with confidence if you want to be a footballer. If you want to be the best you have to play with confidence. Obviously don’t be cocky but just go out there and play your game.
“You can’t be nervous in front of these fans. They want you to show what you can do for the team and hopefully I can do that.”
Big things will be expected of Frimpong now
Frimpong’s words are really encouraging for the future. It can’t be easy to make your professional debut at any time, never mind in front of 30,000 supporters and for a team who have the pressure of winning.
The youngster seems like one of those personalities who isn’t fazed by anything. He will have come to Scotland to get the closer to a first-team than he was down south. If he continues to perform like he did in midweek, then he’ll have plenty more chances this season.
Neil Lennon now knows exactly what he has with Frimpong. The Dutch youth international is a modern day attacking full-back. He is probably more dynamic than the likes of Hatem Abd Elhamed and Moritz Bauer but that doesn’t seem to affect his defending either.
Obviously he will come up against bigger challenges than Partick Thistle. But if he continues to play the game like he talks it, then he’s going to be a star.