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Joey Dawson would accept 20 solo Christmases if he got to repeat Celtic bow buzz

By December 27, 2021No Comments

Joey Dawson would accept another 20 solo Christmas Days if it means he can repeat the thrill of his Celtic debut.

The 18-year-old made his first-team introduction in a 3-1 cinch Premiership victory at St Johnstone on Boxing Day amid an injury and Covid-19 crisis which left Ange Postecoglou short of experienced players.

Dawson was set to return south for Christmas when he was told he might be needed as further selection problems began to emerge at the club’s Lennoxtown training complex.

And he got off the bench in the 15th minute in Perth after Kyogo Furuhashi pulled up with hamstring pain.

“It felt unbelievable,” said Dawson, who signed for Celtic in the summer after becoming Scunthorpe’s youngest ever player.

“To go from playing at East Kilbride on Wednesday to playing for the first team on Sunday was a big jump, but that just proves you’ve got to be ready in football and take your chance when you get it.

“It was a surprise, to be honest. Obviously it has been a tough few days for the lads with Covid cases, injuries, etc. But, like I said, you’ve got to be ready in this game.

“I found out on Thursday that I might not get to go home for Christmas. (Celtic B manager) Tommy (McIntyre) rang me and said: ‘The first team might need you’.

“It was a bittersweet moment, but obviously it was all worth it on Sunday.

“Obviously I went into training, but I spent Christmas by myself. But Sunday made it all worth it, without a doubt.

“I would do it for the next 15-20 Christmases if I had to, if it meant feelings like I had on Sunday.

“I would have been at home spending time with the family, but it is not a bad way to spend Boxing Day is it? Coming on and making my Celtic debut. You couldn’t ask for any more.”

Dawson almost marked his debut with a goal, only for Callum Booth to get back and clear his goal-bound shot off the line.

“To be honest, the most important thing is the team getting the win,” he said.

“But I am not going to lie to you, I was absolutely devastated when the lad’s played it off the line.”

Dawson comes from footballing stock, with his father Andy also a former Scunthorpe player and uncle Michael formerly of Tottenham and England.

“Them two have been really good with me, always giving me advice,” Dawson said.

“But at the end of the day I want to be my own player. I want people to know me as me and not as my uncle’s nephew or my dad’s son. That’s my aim.”

Dawson’s next target is to play at Celtic Park, hopefully in front of supporters.

“That would be unbelievable, that is the next step,” he said. “That is just the hunger, that is what I want now, to obviously keep playing well for the B team or whoever and try and push my way through.

“I said that before the game: ‘How good would it have been if there had been so many Celtic fans there?’

“I have never seen fans like them. They are unbelievable. It would have been even better to play in front of them. But there was a little pocketful up there (on the hill) so it was good to get them in.”