Chalmers: It’s always special to face old club
NO matter where football takes him, Joe Chalmers will always feel a special tug on the heartstrings facing Celtic’s green-and-white hoops.
Fortunately for all of a Ross County persuasion, the 25-year-old from Cambuslang is also hell-bent on beating them tomorrow afternoon.
Reared at the club from the age of 10 alongside the likes of Callum MacGregor and Jackson Irvine, Chalmers holds his three first-team appearances dear.
They came in the shape of substitute bows in two away wins at Inverness and a memorable disappointment in a solitary Celtic Park start in a 1-1 draw with Arbroath.
Celtic, though, not only honed Chalmers’ young talent, but shaped his character and refined his outlook on life.
Tomorrow’s arrival of Neil Lennon’s Premiership and European juggernaut would never be just another Old Firm test for Chalmers.
He said: “Is it special? I think it always will be. I had some of the best times of my life coming through at Celtic, and I would never change that.
“Neil Lennon was the manager who gave me those couple of chances, so I’m always grateful for that. I played a couple of games, which was everything I ever dreamed about when I was a wee boy.
“I’m forever grateful for getting that opportunity.
“It was big for my family, who are big supporters, so it is always a special game. I was there from the age of nine or 10, all the way through. I think I got the best upbringing from football I could have wished for. I wouldn’t change that for anything.”
There has been no victories for Chalmers, as yet, against his former club, but he is certain County are capable.
Chalmers said: “I have come up against them a few times at Motherwell, and at the start of this season as well, but it never changes.
“There have been a few times now I’ve faced them without any success, but hopefully this time we can get a result.
“They are obviously on fire in Europe and domestically.
“We have to raise our game out there, and just try to make it as difficult as we can. If Celtic were to have an off-day, you just never know.”