The 10-year record Celtic defender Anthony Ralston broke last night
Celtic right-back Anthony Ralston broke a 10-year record with his first-ever goal for Scotland last night.
Steve Clarke handed the Celtic defender his big opportunity after refusing to put him in the squad for last Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to Ukraine. Ralston’s only minutes for his country before last night came in a short cameo against Denmark back in November.
Ralston has had an electric season with Celtic after becoming a double-winner and featuring for Ange Postecoglou’s side on 47 occasions [Transfermarkt].
And last night against Armenia in the Nations League, he started making a big impression at international level too. He managed to notch a debut goal just 28 minutes into his debut with a fine back-post header.
But what not many are talking about after that goal is the fact that Ralston has become the youngest player to have scored in their first Scotland start since Jordan Rhodes back in 2012.
Indeed, Tony is only 23 years of age – just a year older than Rhodes who scored against Australia in his full debut back in 2012.
Anthony Ralston caps off the perfect season with Scotland goal
It’s easy to forget just how young Ralston actually is given the fact he was handed his Celtic debut by Ronny Deila back in 2016. It’s certainly been 6 years worth of ups and downs too as Ralston had largely struggled to step up to the plate.
However, everything has come together for him this season. He’s a solid right-back option at Parkhead and now, you have to imagine, he’s the first-choice right-back for Scotland.
It would be highly disappointing to see Ralston suddenly dropped for the trip to Ireland on Saturday. Not when you consider how well he performed last night and Steve Clarke’s tendency to stick by those who perform for him.
Last night was simply the chance Ralston has been itching for. The chance his season had fully merited. That he scored was perhaps simply fate – a symbol of the impact he can make for his country if given more minutes.
The Nations League campaign always felt like the opportunity for Clarke to try something different. That Ralston managed to be a part of that change is huge for the player himself.
Hopefully, he can kick on and get a sustained run in the team. He’s more than earned it.