KIERAN Tierney hopes to put the Isle of Man on the football map. Celtic’s promising 18-year-old left back was born in Douglas to two Scottish parents, and has been bombarded by Manx well-wishers since making his breakthrough into the Parkhead team in the Europa League tie against Fenerbahce. While he only lasted ten months on the island, he still has family and friends who reside out there, and consequently took it seriously when he was asked to turn out for Ellan Vannin, the crown dependency’s side in the ConIFA World Cup, a competition for smaller would-be nations which go unrecognised by Uefa and Fifa. For now, though, he is simply delighted to be part of Scot Gemmill’s Scotland Under-19 side for the opening stage of their European Championship campaign in Ireland. While cyclist Mark Cavendish is one high profile sporting product of that island, Tierney has only Blackpool’s Rowan Richardson for company in the list of current football stars.

"That’s where I was born,” said Tierney. “It’s a strange one, but it’s one I’m proud of. I go back to visit quite a lot and I get a lot of support from people on the island. It’s not a FIFA or UEFA team so you can’t compete in competitions like that but they have a team that contests the Island Games and things like that. They are part of the ConIFA World Cup. They asked me to be involved in that but I didn’t go. You never know. I could end up there. It’s something I would like to do. Coming from the Isle of Man, you can play for any - Scotland, England, Northern Ireland or Wales.”

Tierney is full of surprises. Looking at them, you wouldn’t automatically associate this wiry wee Scottish left back with a musclebound Guinean centre half but Tierney reveals that his idol as he grew up as a Parkhead supporter was Bobo Balde. "I just loved the way he played," said Tierney. "He didn’t take any nonsense. Defensively, he was absolutely brilliant and I’ve always been a defender."

While the 18-year-old is grateful for his manager’s faith and is in no rush to supplant Emilio Izaguirre, he would love to retain his place in Celtic’s starting line-up tonight against Hearts, a team whom he once scored against from the edge of his own box in an Under-20s match at Cappielow. “It was 2-1 and the keeper had come up for the free kick,” Tierney said. “I was on the D of our box. I just hit it as hard as I could and it went in."