Jack Aitchison, Celtic’s youngest ever goal-scorer, yesterday spoke to the official UEFA website ahead of the Scotland U17 team’s vital clash with France at the European Championships in Croatia.
The youngster, that won the Glasgow Cup and Scottish Youth Cup this season with Celtic, discussed Brendan Rodgers’ influence over his career and how he can help him develop in the footsteps of first team players such as Stuart Armstrong, who made his full International debut in Scotland’s recent World Cup win over Slovakia, winning the Man of the Match award in the process.
“He’s always happy, smiling and talking to me about how to improve.
Aitchison likened his own progress to the Manchester City attacker and goal-scorer in the 3-3 Champions League draw at Celtic Park, Raheem Sterling.
“He helped Raheem Sterling along, when he was at Liverpool, so if I keep going with him hopefully that’s what I can do and become a top player.
“He tells me to express myself, believe in myself and that if I work hard the opportunities will come.
“That has happened since he’s been manager so I’d like to thank him for that.”
“The first time I was here in Bulgaria I didn’t play too much; it was more for experience as I was only 15.
“Last year, I played quite a lot and this is now my age group and I’ve played every minute.
“It makes you grow up quicker and mature.”
Aitchison scored on his debut in the 7-0 thumping over Motherwell and in turn, became Celtic’s youngest ever goal-scorer.
“You face top-class players so you need to outsmart them. You need to think quicker and be strong.”
Scotland need just one point versus Les Bleus at the Lučko Stadium, just outside Zagreb, to progress to the knock-out stages of the tournament.
The young Scots are currently on 4 points with a 1-1 draw to Hungary and a 4-0 win over the Faroe Islands.