It really is a great story this season.
Tony Ralston has been unrecognisable as a Celtic player under current boss Ange Postecoglou. Tipped for a move out of Celtic Park, the young Scottish right back was offered a one year deal, down mainly to the squad circumstances rather than having earned it, and my goodness, has he taken his chance.
A main stay in Ange’s back four, his power, athleticism and sheer downright doggedness in a tackle has won the hearts and minds of the Hoops supporters as they watch a man who once faced the exit door, become so important to the team, that he has forced his manager to play his top signing, Josip Juranovic, out on the left so he can be accomodated.
When asked on The Open Goal podcast how he turned Ralston’s career around, Ange showed great humility and heaped all the praise on Ralston for his incredible turnaround, “Credit to him. I mean as a manager all you do is really, and I said that to him. I’ll say, ‘I just opened the door mate, you have to walk through and then you have to do it’.
“It’s easy for me to say that, I’ve changed Tony and he’s become this player because of me.
“But I just gave him that opportunity and the framework and gave him some information which he took on board, but the rest is him.
“And it’s a lesson for all young players because most players will say oh, you know that the manager doesn’t like me and for the most part, managers, all they can do is give you that opportunity to what do you make of it and maybe because of his experience and experiences where he wasn’t even sure where his career was going.
“Again, as a footballer, that’s probably everyone’s biggest fear is the uncertainty. The unknown, you know, have I got a career here?
“Whether it’s at this football club or anywhere else, and I think he was at that stage and all of a sudden, this doors open for him that maybe he was unexpected for me.
“I think he made up his mind that once I walk through that door, I’m shutting it behind me and I’m not going back. And credit to him. He’s done really well.
“I’m sure there’s more to come.“
Ralston has now signed a four year deal with the Hoops and looks like he will continue to be an integral part of Ange Postecoglou’s revolution, and my, how he has deserved his chance!