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  • Ronny's Roar: Deila hails 9-time champions from across the pond

    Ronny's Roar: Deila hails 9-time champions from across the pond

    By: Joe Donnelly on 20 May, 2020 13:00

  • FOLLOWING in the footsteps of Neil Lennon’s first three league title-winning spell as Celtic manager was never going to be easy, but Ronnie Deila stepped up when he entered the Paradise dugout.

    Between 2014 and 2016, the Norwegian helped the Hoops clinch the Scottish Premiership in two consecutive seasons – the fourth and fifth championships of the current run – making him an integral part of the club’s incredible nine-in-a-row success.

    It was of course Neil Lennon who secured the first three and the most recent two, with Brendan Rodgers overseeing titles number six and seven.  

    “It’s fantastic,” said Deila of the champions’ most recent accolade. “I’m very proud to have been Celtic manager and also proud to be part of what the club has achieved for nine years. It’s a big achievement and I just enjoy watching and seeing the success now. Hopefully, it’ll be one more next year so that we can create a new record.”

    Now in charge of MLS outfit New York City FC, Deila has watched Celtic from across the Atlantic this season, and enjoys chatting football with the city’s contingent of Hoops fans at every opportunity.

    The Norwegian hailed the job Neil Lennon has done on his return, and the achievements of his own successor, Rodgers in his wake. He described Scott Brown as an uncompromising leader and winner, and has been delighted with the seemingly unstoppable progress of Callum McGregor, the latter of who he handed his debut in 2014.

    In 2016, Deila signed countryman Kris Ajer who has since impressed with his performances and attitude, and he can’t wait to see what the future holds for the 22-year-old from here.

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    He added: “At Celtic, you understand it very quickly, that 10-in-a-row was very important. The fans sang about it all the time, and you just felt that it was something very important. Now, it’s nine and it’s going to be very exciting next season.

    “For me, it was a special time. It’s one thing what you achieve and what you do on the pitch, but it’s also what kind of values you have and what you give to the people around you. And I think that was an important thing for me – I wanted to be myself and give something to the fans and to the people working at the club. And I think that’s something people appreciate.

    “Of course, it’s nice for me to play a part in that history. But the job the players have done, and so many people in the club who’ve been there for many years, is much more important than me.

    “And I think the positive thing is, you don’t feel that it’s going to end. You feel that the club is still hungry and wants to achieve more. So far, they’ve done it, and that’s great, and I know the motivation going into next season is going to be unbelievable because of what they can win.

    “I’m just so happy for all the Celtic fans and the club because they’ve done nine now.”

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