Rugby Park

The Herald - Herald Sport - - LADBROKES PREMIERSHIP - STEWART FISHER

CON­VEN­TIONAL wis­dom in Scot­land dic­tates that ex­pos­ing young play­ers to the pres­sures of a rel­e­ga­tion dog­fight is a form of child cru­elty. Thank­fully, those wacky Scan­di­na­vians have a dif­fer­ent view of life.

Not only does the gov­ern­ment in Kristof­fer Ajer’s home­land of Nor­way in­sist on all 18-year-olds – men and women – do­ing na­tional ser­vice, the on-loan Celtic de­fender feels con­fi­dent of with­stand­ing ev­ery­thing that six months at Kilmarnock can throw at him be­cause he has al­ready been in at the deep end once.

As a 17-year-old he was play­ing a cru­cial role as IK Start saved them­selves in a rel­e­ga­tion play-off against FK Jerv. Kilmarnock’s sea­son could still go ei­ther way – they are within touch­ing dis­tance of a top-six place but equally only four points off the bot­tom – but the teenage de­fender will re­quire lit­tle school­ing if Lee Clark’s side are sub­jected to a sec­ond suc­ces­sive or­deal in the play-offs

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