KIERAN Tierney was high as a kite the last time he lifted silverware at Hampden Park. Rushed off the pitch during the first half of May’s Scottish Cup final for emergency dental work after being on the receiving end of a swinging elbow from Aberdeen’s Jayden Stockley, the teenager was loaded with anaesthetic as he made a dramatic last-gasp dash through the car park to take part in the celebrations.

Climbing those steps, just in time to hold that famous old trophy aloft, as Celtic completed that historic invincible treble; they are moments which will live long in this young man’s memory. But let’s just say he would prefer to be a little less woozy if he can claim the BetFred Cup against his hometown team Motherwell back at the national stadium next Sunday.

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“I honestly couldn’t honestly feel much,” recalled Tierney. “I’d just had an operation which meant an anaesthetic.

“But I’ve watched the moment when I lift the cup a few times and it’s brilliant. It felt like a fairy tale for me getting up the stairs in time to do that.

“I literally just got back into the stadium, looked up and there were only a couple of people still waiting to lift the trophy.

“So I just ran up the stairs. Everything happens for a reason in life. For me to get back there on time was just brilliant.

“I’d been running through the car park in my boots so I got a bit of abuse from Aberdeen fans. But I was just so happy. I’d heard on the radio that we’d scored in the last minute so I was full of emotion.”

This time, the fates pit him against Motherwell, the team whose Fir Park ground he still lives a stone’s throw away from. He has lived in the area since leaving the Isle of Man at a young age and has plenty of old schoolfriends there too – even if most of them ‘are Celtic fans!’

“It won’t be strange playing against Motherwell - even though it’s my hometown team,” he said. “I’ve played against them plenty of times now through the youth levels and into the first-team. It’s another game.

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“I’m friends with Chris Cadden - I went to high school with him and I speak with him quite a lot,” he added. “So I know all the Motherwell fans and players are up for this in a big way. It’s a cup final so they’re bound to be. It’s a great achievement for them to get there but they’ll now be looking to win it. They’re a very good team. They’ve shown that this season through many of the results they’ve got. They’ll be a very hard team to beat.”

This year’s BetFred Cup final [Tierney missed last year’s showpiece in this competition, also against Aberdeen, due to ankle and shoulder surgery] may even fall on the occasion of Tierney’s 100th appearance for his club, although in all likelihood that will come in Dingwall on Saturday lunchtime. The player will have had ten days to get over his international exertions – putting in an assured display in a central defensive role for Scotland in their 1-0 defeat to the Netherlands – and Brendan Rodgers seems unlikely to play anything but as strong a team as possible during the trip to the Highlands.

“No matter when I play my 100th game for Celtic, I will just treat it like any other,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, I’ll train hard for it.”

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If Tierney seems rather nonchalant on the subject, perhaps it is because this extraordinary young man is racking up the milestones at such speed. Last week saw him captain his country for the first time, playing centre half in a back four like a grizzled veteran. Scott Brown, the regular captain for both club and country, helped fill in the blanks. “He [Brown] supported me when he heard I was getting the armband,” said Tierney. “He’s been great in that respect the past few years. I’ve been captain at Celtic a couple of times and he’s supported me then.

“I’ve only played centre back once recently so I’ve not had much time to adapt,” he said. “I’ve not really been looking to get coached in that position. The last few months I’ve had coaching at right-back and obviously I normally play left-back. I just need to adapt my game wherever I’m asked to play.”

The orthodoxy when dealing with young players, of course, is that a form dip is always just around the corner. There is little sign of it, but Tierney full expects one to come for him too sooner or later. “A dip will come for me,” he said. “100 per cent. It’s just how I approach it and deal with it.

“You try and stay away from negative thoughts,” he added. “No one goes out to play badly. You obviously don’t want that. But I’m sure it will come. And if it does, it’s not the end of the world. People can play badly. It’s happened to plenty of players who’ve come out the other side. You try your best to make sure it doesn’t happen. You’ve got people by your side to support you. But everyone is human. If it does happen, I’d just need to bounce back.”