The news tonight from the Scotland camp, that Tony Ralston is finally getting the recognition that his excellent Celtic form deserves, is well overdue.
It is poor that it has taken this long, and that it emerged from a crisis within the squad, to happen, but the player will not care about that at all. He has arrived. First his new contract with the club, and now this.
Few players have deserved this more and I say that still smiling at the incongruity of the whole situation, where we are delighted for a player who a year ago none of us believed had a future at Celtic Park. A player many folks had actually forgotten about entirely and the rest had written off. His turnaround has been absolutely remarkable.
But the way he has turned the corner, in football terms, has not been nearly half as amazing as the mental fortitude that Ralston showed during the summer and the early part of the season, which has undoubtedly played a part in his development as a player.
Ralston was our only right back when Ange arrived, and for every single day of first training, then pre-season and then the early part of the transfer window including the opening series of games, this guy got up every single morning to social media digs and barbs and the newspapers running constant stories about who was going to replace him.
None of it fazed him. None of it got him down.
Think of the strength that takes.
Think of what it requires, and on top of that he managed to fit into the manager’s new style better than just about any other footballer at the club. That is really amazing.
Every but of praise is deserved.
The contract he just signed has been earned.
He has so impressed the manager that the right back we did sign, and for big money, is currently playing on the left side of the pitch because Ralston is too good to drop at the moment.
Recognition from the national coach is the icing on the cake.
I cannot remember a more complete reversal in the fortunes of a footballer at Parkhead, and he’s still only 22 so he has years at the top in front of him. And Ralston looks as if he’s looking forward to it all.