Celtic defender Greg Taylor admits the sight of Liverpool’s title celebrations turned him green with envy.
The Hoops were pronounced Scottish champions when the SPFL finally called the 2019-20 season, but lockdown restrictions denied the players the chance to have a party with their team-mates.
It was a void particularly felt by Taylor.
Signed from Kilmarnock nine months ago, the 22-year-old missed the League Cup triumph because he was cup-tied, and had his Scottish Cup campaign interrupted at the semi-final stage by the shutdown.
The full-back admitted: “Seeing Liverpool have that moment together did make me feel jealous – 100%.
“We have still not been able to have that and might miss out on it, which is a wee bit of a downer.
“We were delighted to get nine-in-a-row, and it’s a massive achievement for the club. But it would have been nice to celebrate in front of the fans, or have that time as a team.
“I was on the pitch at the end of the League Cup Final, but I was cup-tied, so those celebrations weren’t quite the same for me. I can’t claim that one.
“I did get a moment with the league trophy, a chance to hold it and have my photo taken, so that was good.
“To at least have that memento is good, something to put away. It is my first major trophy, and I don’t want to downplay how proud that made me and my family.”
“But in terms of celebrations, there has been the odd Zoom call, and a wee FaceTime with a few of the guys here and there.
“But the focus now is all on next season.”
Taylor’s wistfulness about what might have been for himself and his team-mates did not prevent him sending his congratulations to Scotland skipper, Andy Robertson.
Robertson’s injury handed the Celt his international debut in Belgium this time last year, and he remains grateful for the support the Liverpool star gave him both before and after that.
“Andy has been enjoying his celebrations, and it’s fully deserved. It’s been a long time coming for them,” said Taylor.
“I texted him on Friday morning to say: ‘Well done. What a season’. He got back to me after training to say: ‘Thanks very much. Top man’. So it was brief.”
While the 2019-20 English Premier League and many other top divisions continue apace, for Scottish clubs it is all about planning for 2020-21.
Taylor knows all talk among supporters will be of the bid to make history and 10-in-a-row,. But he also has an eye on Europe.
“The Champions League qualifiers will be massive,” said Taylor. “We want to be playing in Europe’s top competition.
“I got the chance to play in the Europa League last season, three or four games, and that was amazing.
“But we want to be playing in the Champions League, and that will be our aim come August.
“The manager has not really spoken to us about our goals for the season yet. It’s been about getting a touch of the ball and having the legs run off us!
“So there’s been no time for talking, I’ve been too busy blowing!
“We have been working so hard, but I’m sure the sit-down will come eventually.”
It may actually come on the Continent, with Celtic set for a trio of glamour friendlies against Moussa Dembele’s Lyon, Nice and Paris Saint-Germain in mid-July.
“The games sound really exciting. That’s the standard of team you want to test yourself against,” Taylor admitted.
The Celt, meanwhile, reports a smooth introduction to the club for Lennon’s new No. 3, Gavin Strachan.
“He has slotted in seamlessly,” he said of Damien Duff’s replacement.
“We have had a few wee conversations during drills and he seems like a real top guy. So I’m looking forward to working with him.”
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