Stephen Welsh has named former Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney as the inspiration for all academy graduates, such as himself who make their way through to the first team.
As quoted by the Herald, Welsh has made his breakthrough to the first-team this season, playing a much bigger role with regular game time in the second of this season. The 21-year old was quick to name Tierney as one of the inspirations for his rise as most youngsters try to emulate the success of the full-back.
“When I first starting training with the senior team he was just breaking through so I had about a season-and-a-half with him and then he was injured a bit towards the end of his time at Celtic,” said the defender.
“It was a great performance [against the Faroes]. He is playing in that left-side of a back three which isn’t his natural position but when he was in the wing-back position his crossing and his passing was unbelievable. You really saw his quality.
“Kieran was in my position when he was younger so he knew what it was all about coming through and he helped all the young boys. He made all the younger player welcome and he led by example with his performances on the training ground and at the weekend in games.
“His work-rate was exceptional. He worked harder than everyone. Everyone at under-20 level has the quality but he worked so hard to get into the first team and you can see where it has taken him. “It is inspirational and it is down to his work rate. He has always had the ability but his work and determination has taken him to the next level.
“He likes a physical game. You can see that. Even he is up against taller and bigger player he uses his body really well.”
Since coming into the side, Welsh has barely put a foot wrong with a couple of solid performances at the back for the Hoops.
It is good to see that the success story of someone like Tierney is a huge inspiration for all academy players at the club, who strive to be just like the now Arsenal left-back.
Now, that doesn’t mean to say Welsh will go on to be as good as Tierney was for the club. However, this season he has certainly shown he can be of use as an option at the back going forward.