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Mark Wilson- I'm the fan that got lucky


Neil Lennon Scottish Cup

No one enjoyed Celtic’s Scottish Cup success over Motherwell more than Mark Wilson.

Five stop-start years of frustration for the full-back since his transfer from Dundee United in 2006 looked like ending with a quiet exit from Celtic towards the annonimity of The Championship.

Cha Du-Ri’s inclusion for South Korea in the Asian Cup provided Wilson with a last chance to make it at Celtic with the 26-year-old grabbing the opportunity with both hands.

A series of storming displays- punctuated by some great goal scoring sclaffs and deflections- have put a smile back on his face with Hampden providing a silver lining for the Glasgow bhoy.

“Sometimes it is surreal for myself because I would be out there supporting the team if I wasn’t playing,” he admitted at Hampden. “It’s fantastic, I’m very lucky to be part of it.

“I’ve got lots of memories of Hampden as a fan, I was only young but always remember the 1989 win over Rangers and then being here in 1995 when Pierre van Hooijdonk scored.

“Experiences like that make it fantastic to play a part in winning the cup for this club.

“A year ago my future was pretty uncertain, I didn’t know what was going to happen over the next six months but it changed pretty quickly since Christmas time.

“Cha went away on international duty and I got into the team and tried to take the chance as well as I could.

“Luckily enough I’ve managed to do that and I’ve got many great memories of this season even though we’ve not won the league. That’s something that I’ll be thinking of over the summer and looking to better ourselves next season.

“It’s realistic to think that I could have been leaving, my contract was running out and I could have been on my way. But things have worked out, luck or whatever I’m still here and grateful for that.”

Saturday’s Scottish Cup win over Motherwell sealed a season of promise and excitement with silverware.

Mark Wilson Celtic newsFrom across the globe new heroes have emerged with Emilio Izaguirre instantly becoming a favourite of the supporters with his eye-catching attacking style.

Wilson is a huge fan of his Honduran team-mate and isn’t too proud to admit that he’s tried to copy part of his team-mates game.

He explained: “The shape of the team is very important and gives me the chance to get forward. There are guys willing to fill in if a right-back or left-back goes up, and sometimes you don’t always get that in a team.

“Sometimes you get selfish players but this team is very selfless, everyone looks to do the job for the team not just themselves.

“If I see him (Emilio) running down the wing I try to get in at the back post which sometimes the manager goes off his head at!

“I think it’s an attractive way of playing, I like watching full backs like that, this season I thought that I’d try and be a bit more positive, a bit more attacking and it’s paid off.”

After so many injury problems Wilson’s desire to succeed at Celtic can’t be doubted.

Signed in the same month as Roy Keane he has had to wait five years to become an overnight hero and is happy to share his success with the medical team that made this season’s success possible.

“The medical staff here have been fantastic,” he added. “They’ve looked after me, they know when I can train and when I can’t.

“I’ve got to give a mention to a Thai Therapist Ken Anderson who I see every week. A lot of players use him, Henrik Larsson used him, he’s been a big help to me and he’s kept me fit and I’m grateful for the time he’s spent on me.

“I’m enjoying my football as much as I did when I was at Dundee United. All my injuries really took the shine off playing for Celtic, you’re out there struggling and not really enjoying your football.”

Looking back on Saturday’s win over Motherwell he added: “It was a wee bit tense at the start but Ki’s goal changed that and came at the perfect time.

“Ki is very quiet, a top lad and a top footballer. He’s been in and out of the team but when he’s been in he’s shown why he is so popular in Korea and his goal was fantastic.

“He does those sort of things most days in training, it’s very hard to control those balls but he’s got experience of that from his national team and it was a fantastic strike.

“I’ll tell my son that I got the second goal, it doesn’t matter how it went in because it killed the game.

“We were able to relax after that and Charlie scored a fantastic goal. It’s great to finish the season with a trophy and give the fans something to celebrate after the backing they’ve given us all season.”



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