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Scottish Premiership 22/23 season start

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CHARLIE Mulgrew was all smiles as he held his new Hoops strip up with pride after making a comeback to his boyhood heroes.

The defender, who made his way through the youth ranks at Celtic, was unveiled as the club’s first summer signing this afternoon and will wear the No.21 jersey next season.

He left the Hoops in 2006 after four years and moved to Wolves as a part exchange for Lee Naylor. But injuries hampered most of his time in England and he moved to Aberdeen in 2008.

The Scotland under-21 left-back is overjoyed at his return to the club where he began his career and admits that despite interest from Sheffield United, there was only one answer when Lennon called him.

“Growing up a Celtic fan this is a dream come true and when I got the call there was only one place I was going,” he told Channel 67 in an exclusive interview. “When I left I thought that was it, it’s not very often a player comes back but I’m delighted to be here.

 

“I’ve matured as a person and I’ve improved in all areas of my game as a player. It’s maybe taken a couple of set-backs in my career to be the person I am now, but I feel I’m definitely a better player and person now.”

 

Mulgrew left the club four seasons ago after failing to break into the first team but now at 24-years-old, he is ready to fight for his place in the starting XI on the back of some vital experience.

 

“Obviously it’s a massive club and it will be hard to get into the team,” he said. “But it’s up to me to work hard, improve over pre-season and show I’m good enough to play here. It’s a great club and there are great players here so it’s going to be hard.

 

“But I was down in England for three years and I got a feel for what it was like down there which has made me a better player. “I’ve had a couple of set-backs (Aberdeen FC?) but I’ve always believed in myself and I think that shows now that I’m back. I’ve always believed in my ability, I’m determined and I work hard.

 

“I don’t like to look back to the past, it’s all about the future now. A club the size of this will always be tough, you need to prove yourself every single day but I know that and I look to do that.”

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How long is his contract? As far as I can tell the only players who go from warming the bench at the OF to the Championship are the ones playing well for their SPL club before making the initial move. Two years, or whatever, and Mulgrew will be at Ross County or Dunfermline.

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