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  • Kristoffer Ajer: A dream to play for Brendan Rodgers' Celtic

    Kristoffer Ajer: A dream to play for Brendan Rodgers' Celtic

    By: Mark Henderson on 15 Jun, 2016 09:59

  • KRISTOFFER Ajer’s excitement is palpable now that his dreams of Paradise are set to become a reality. 

    The highly-rated 18-year-old officially joined Celtic yesterday (Tuesday) on a four-year deal from IK Start, having penned a pre-contract agreement back in January.

    He becomes the first arrival of the Brendan Rodgers reign and will start working with his new manager and team-mates when the Hoops return for pre-season on June 20.

    Over the past six months the Norwegian youngster has been keeping abreast of developments at his new employers and watched with amazement as 13,000 fans turned out to welcome Brendan Rodgers to the club.

    And with season tickets being snapped in fantastic numbers, he is relishing the prospect of being roared on by a huge home support at Celtic Park.

    Speaking exclusively to the official website, he said: “In my head I have dreamed about that so many times since I signed for Celtic. Here in Norway we have five or six thousand at each game and at Celtic there will be 50-60,000 at some games so that will be crazy.

    “For me it’s a big dream come true to play in front of so many people. At Start we sold 900 season tickets this year so it’s a big difference and that’s what football is all about, playing in front of amazing supporters and hopefully we can bring them some success.

    “I’m most looking forward to just being a professional footballer and living out my dream, to walk out at Celtic Park in front of thousands of supporters and hopefully score some goals and celebrate in front of so many people.

    “I do extra training a lot by myself and I always picture this in my head and I really think it will be similar to what I will actually experience at Celtic.

    "I am really looking forward to the big change from Norway to playing in front of so many fans. I’m really proud to become a Celtic player.”

    Despite his tender years, the versatile midfielder has already amassed over 50 league appearances for Tippeligaen side IK Start and is considered one of the brightest prospects in Norwegian football.

    Compatriot Ronny Deila won the race to sign him for Celtic back in February and, although the Norway U21 internationalist will start his Hoops career under Brendan Rodgers, he isn’t fazed by this managerial switch.

    Ajer is well aware of the attractive, attacking approach of Brendan Rodgers’ teams, a style in which he believes he can thrive in.

    He has also been greatly encouraged at how other people in the game have described the Irishman, including Ronny Deila, who spoke positively about the new manager.

    “I watched a lot of games when he was the Liverpool manager and he’s a great manager and I’m looking forward to training with him,” said Ajer. “I haven’t met him before but I have heard some great things and I’m really excited.

    “I spoke to a few guys back in Norway that know him and I also talked to my agent and Ronny and they all said really good things about Brendan.

    “I have seen him being interviewed on TV and his documentary at Liverpool, and he looks great at working with the young kids in the squad which is perfect.

    "I knew that Ronny might not be here when I came in but thenI saw Brendan Rodgers had been appointed, and what he brings with him made me really excited.

    “Ronny spoke to me when Brendan was appointed and he wished me good luck and he told me Brendan was a good manager. Ronny has always been a great manager and I just wished him good luck and hopefully we will meet again at some point.

    “It’s a dream come true, being able play under Brendan Rodgers and play alongside so many great players.

    “He wants the team to have the ball and be comfortable with it and I like to play in that way so I’m really looking forward to it, along with walking at Celtic Park and hearing You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

    While the talented teenager knows there is still room for him to develop as a player, he wants to stake a claim for a starting slot when the Scottish champions gear-up for the new campaign during their pre-season tour of Slovenia.

    “It’s important as I want to play a lot next season and if you want to do that you have to perform in training and in the games,” he said. “I’m looking forward to pre-season and travelling to Slovenia, where I will try to play well and to get to know the players and staff."

    Information about 2016/17 Season Tickets including prices and full terms and conditions can be found at celticseasontickets.co.uk

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