A lot of people think Kieran Tierney’s rise at Celtic was inevitable but if you ask the player himself, it didn’t always seem that way

Speaking in April 2016, the young Celtic left-back who has already captained his club and country was full of praise for the man, who in his own words, lifted him from the under-20’s bench.

That man? Ronny Deila.

“He (Ronny) has said a lot of good things about me and that has given me confidence as well. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be sitting here right now.

“When I came up to under-20s football I was sitting on the bench every week and I wasn’t getting much chance to show.

“But he watched training as well – he wasn’t just watching games – and he liked the way I trained.

“It just went from there and he put me up to the first team and started playing with the 20s more and more. He has done everything for me.”

Many to this day still give Ronny Deila some ridiculous abuse when fans’ try to speak fondly of him. He may not have been able to help Celtic progress but the building blocks and strides he made that enabled Brendan Rodgers to come in and help mould were valuable.

People might point to Kieran’s talent and suggest it was a no-brainer but it obviously wasn’t to the under-20 coaches and Ronny took the time to watch all these players train and give the young lad his start.


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