Hoops move puts Hooper on a high

27 July 2010 06:31

Gary Hooper has admitted his stomach was "doing somersaults" over the prospect of making both his Celtic and Champions League debut on Wednesday night.

Hoops boss Neil Lennon confirmed on Tuesday morning that Hooper had completed the formalities of his move from Scunthorpe, with the striker just making it in time for the plane for the third qualifying round first leg against Braga. The 22-year-old is almost certain not to start due to a lack of game time but he could yet make his bow from the bench.

"I can play, yeah, but I haven't played one game yet in pre-season," said Hooper, who admitted he was not yet match-fit. "I've trained hard - I didn't want to get injured for a big move."

He added: "So I hope the gaffer will give me a part of the game."

Asked whether his stomach had been doing somersaults over the prospect of joining Celtic, Hooper said: "It's doing somersaults now."

He added: "It's been a busy last few days. I signed on Monday morning, had a medical that went on until 8pm, and nearly didn't travel with the team."

Having begun his career as a teenager outside the English Football League, Hooper has managed to make his mark at every level up to the Championship.

But he acknowledged his latest career move would be his biggest hurdle yet.

"It's a massive step up from the Championship, the lower Championship, to the Champions League, SPL," he said.

"I've just got to show the team, show the gaffer, what I can do."

Source: PA

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