Leigh Griffiths says he hopes to get the chance to return to the club where it all began for him after the Scottish Cup fifth round draw was made.
The Celtic striker began his career at Leith Athletic before moving to Lothian Thistle, which was like moving from Rangers to Celtic as he put it.
The 25-year-old striker has come a long way since those days as a schoolboy playing at Saughton Enclosure, a place he has many fond memories of while he grew up in Edinburgh.
As quoted by the Daily Mail, after the draw was made, Griffiths said:
I started at Leith Athletic and then went to Hutchie — it’s like moving from Hibs to Hearts or Rangers to Celtic!
It was boys’ club level at that time, not long after I’d left Falkirk, and I was scouted from Hutchie Vale.
That’s where you played most of the cup finals and, for Hutchie Vale, it was basically a home game for us. I’ve won a few games there in my time. I don’t think I’ve lost, actually — and I don’t want to start now.
Griffiths also joked some of his team-mates who are used to the glamour and high life would be in for quite a shock if they went to his old stomping ground.
I wouldn’t mind going back to Saughton Enclosure! Get in those wee tiny changing rooms… a million per cent, it would be an eye-opener for some of our boys.
I don’t think Tyler Blackett would be particularly happy swapping Old Trafford for Saughton Enclosure. But it was my field of dreams, definitely, when I was a kid.
My scoring record there is not bad. I was pretty much a goal machine when I was younger, scoring five, six, seven a game. I wouldn’t say I’m going to score that amount again. But it would nice to be back on the score sheet there.
From two successful spells at Livingston and Dundee to the struggles of life down south at Wolverhampton Wanderers and another successful period at Hibernian, Griffiths has experienced it all on the football field.
Now, he’s playing up front for Celtic in front of the Paradise crowd that has roared him on to heights that many wouldn’t have predicted for the Scottish striker.
From his experiences in England Griffiths knows that once the draw is made anything can happen in the cup.
He also warned that the players must remain professional like they did at the weekend in their 3-0 win against Stranraer in order to progress to the quarter-final.
That’s the luck of the draw. You see it down in England when a small team gets a big team away. East Kilbride or Lothian Thistle will be looking forward to it but, whoever we play, we need to make sure we’ll be in the next round.
Regardless of who we play, it’s going to be a difficult tie. Those boys will be up for it because it’s the game of their lifetime.
You saw that against Stranraer at the weekend. We had to be really professional to get through to the next round.
I think it’s as much fun going to these places. It’s not often the champions come to town for these clubs. That’s what Stranraer were thinking. That’s why there was a full house.
Regardless of whether it’s East Kilbride or Lothian Thistle, it will be a bumper crowd. It would be great for my old club, nice to see a few familiar faces. But they’ve got to get through a tight game first. It’s going to be huge for both sides.
The players who have come through Hutchie Vale, the number of players they’ve turned into professionals, is a credit to the club. Just at Celtic, we’ve got myself and John Collins.
This season he has bagged 22 goals in all competitions for Celtic and is now just one goal away from his 50th in a Hoops jersey – and hoping to bag 200 goals during his Celtic career.
While it may be a dream for Griffiths to play Saughton Enclosure the capacity could force the tie to be moved elsewhere, with Easter Road a possibility.
Celtic’s next game is this Friday evening in the league away to Dundee United with kick-off at 19:45.