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OZ BOSS PRAISES AJER

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AUSTRALIA’S new boss Bert van Marwijk, singled out Kristoffer Ajer for praise following Norway’s 4-1 win in Oslo last night.

The 19-year-old Celtic centre-half made an impressive debut for the senior side after breaking into Brendan Rodgers’ team in December.

Van Marwijk said: “Norway’s Ajer was a big danger for us. Every time he carried the ball forward into midfield caused us trouble.

“I had to tell my players at half time to take care of him and they stopped him doing that so much in the second-half.”

Ajer, who was facing his Hoops team-mate Tom Rogic, paid an emotional tribute to his late grandfather by getting his name – ‘Vassbakk Ajer’ above the number three on his shirt.

The skyscraper defender explained he was keeping a promise to his grandfather, Albjorn Vassbakk.He said: “There’s a story behind the name on my shirt.

“A year ago, my grandfather passed away. Before he died I made a promise to him that if and when I made my national team debut, I would use his surname on the back of my shirt.

“It was a promise I had to keep.”

And Ajer had plenty of support from the stands in Oslo.

He added: “Before the game, I called the ticket office and asked for 29 tickets for family and friends.

“I think because it was my first international, they accepted this!

“It was nice that so many came. They sat in the stands and screamed and cheered.”

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Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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