Carl Starfelt admitted his first goal celebration for Celtic was a major release after a year trying and an injury lay-off.
The centre-back scored at the second attempt from close range during Celtic’s 5-0 victory at Kilmarnock.
The Sweden international had come off the bench for his first appearance of the campaign after having a disrupted pre-season stemming from a hamstring injury he suffered on international duty in June.
Starfelt wheeled away in celebration in front of the Celtic supporters before being mobbed by team-mates.
“It was a very funny moment,” he said. “Like, you saw my celebration. I enjoyed it a lot even though it was a goal to make it 4-0. Maybe that wasn’t a normal 4-0 celebration but it was my first goal for the club so it means something extra to me.
“It was great to have all the players celebrate with me. We have been speaking about it a little bit in the locker room, so it was nice to see that all the other players also got excited.
“Obviously, it was nice for me to get my first minutes back after the injury and the goal was also important.
“For me, it was just more of a release. I’ve had opportunities before that haven’t gone in so it was nice to see the ball go in the net this time. It wasn’t the most beautiful goal but it still counts.
“It was really nice to be back on the pitch. Obviously it’s always tough to be out and not be able to play.
“I’ve just been working very hard to get back. I felt like I was really ready to play when I came on.”
Starfelt came on for the injured Moritz Jenz, who had earlier scored his second goal of the season. The German had replaced the ill Stephen Welsh in the team for Celtic’s second game against Ross County after the Scotland Under-21 international headed his team’s first goal of the season.
The four goals from centre-backs, all from set-pieces, have helped Celtic take an early lead in the cinch Premiership on goal difference from Rangers.
“It’s important,” Starfelt said. “It’s not a huge deal who scores, but if you can get some extra goals from set-pieces or other situations, it’s a bonus.
“Last year, we actually scored a lot from set-pieces and this year we have scored from set-pieces every game. Now we have to continue with that.”
The 27-year-old was a regular in the starting line-up last season but he is feeling added competition given the way his fellow centre-backs have started the season.
“I think the competition pushes all the players,” he said. “It’s not only the centre-back position. I feel we have competition now in almost every position.
“It’s about the small details. You also need to show every week in training that you want to play. It pushes everyone.
“We have one game a week just now but soon it will become two games a week for a period of months. We will need a big squad.
“It’s good because it brings up the standard in training. We are not just 11 players who are really good. The whole squad is really good and the standard in training is really good.”
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