He was but a footnote during Celtic’s summer transfer window but young Leo Hjelde has revealed he’s already had the opportunity to mix it with the first team – even though they had no idea who he was.
Leo, 16, signed for Celtic in the summer and was part of the influx of new young recruits brought in to be developed by the club. The Norweigan can play left-back as well as centre-back and he signed a three-year deal with the Scottish Champions.
The youngster told the Celtic View he was expecting to come in and bide his time in the developmental side before he got to rub shoulders with the first team – however a shock text one night changed that.
“I’ve trained a bit with the first-team squad. The first time was a couple of weeks ago and it was very nice.
“I got a text the day before saying I needed to be in training for the first team. That was cool.
“They were friendly but I don’t think they knew who I was at first.
“I had expected that, though, so it was alright.
“I’m only 16 so I know I will have to be patient and wait for my opportunities.
“There’s a lot to learn from the players here, though, so will I be busy.
“I’m not stressing about how quickly this happens but obviously I would like to train with the first team as much as I can.
“My immediate focus is to train well, avoid injury and play as much as I can.”
There will be a long way to go for the young lad who appears to be at the very infancy of his professional development. It’s a marathon and not a sprint. Leo will take heart from his countryman Kristoffer Ajer who had to bide his time, work hard and bulk up in the gym before he got his chance.