IT has been quite the year for Matt O’Riley. The midfielder’s seamless adaption to life in Glasgow’s goldfish bowl can make it feel like he has been a fixture of the Celtic team for some time now, and it can be easy to forget that he hasn’t even celebrated his one-year anniversary at the club yet.

The Parkhead faithful have taken the playmaker to their hearts since he arrived from MK Dons in January as they have learned more about the 22-year-old, who first arrived in Scotland as a largely unknown prospect.

O’Riley’s time at Celtic has been an education for the man himself, too. It has been a year of firsts for the former Fulham man – there has been a first European appearance, a first call-up to Denmark’s Under-21 squad, a first league title secured and a first Champions League outing. Not bad for a player who, as recently as 12 months ago, was plying his trade in England’s third tier.

There has been another first too, recently, with O’Riley included in Celtic’s squad for their mid-season trip to Australia. The team weren’t as successful at the Sydney Super Cup as they would have liked, losing 2-1 to Sydney FC and being defeated on penalties by Everton after playing out a goalless draw, yet the midfielder still learned just how big a club his employers are and witnessed firsthand its reach around the globe.

“Every new experience is an eye-opener,” O’Riley said. “Even just our support for the Everton game was crazy.

“Compared to Everton, we were a lot louder. We showed that we have very dedicated fans. I spoke to a few Australian fans at the beach the other day and they said they get up at three every morning to watch all of our games. That just shows how big our club is.

“Definitely, [it has been a mentally draining experience] and even with the travel involved in playing in the Champions League. Personally, that was something new. You’ve just got to adjust to it, that’s how football works.

“I think we dealt with it well. We’ve managed games that were tough and we’ve come back from difficult positions also playing against Everton was another good test for us.

“I know it was a friendly against Everton but we still wanted to win the game because there are so many fans supporting us.”

“Listen, it [going from League One to the Champions League] was cool,” he added. “I’ve got my head around it all now.

“In the first game in the Champions League, I was probably a little nervous but as I got more experience it was positive. Then there’s also the environment, generally, with Celtic. It’s massive. It affects your general well-being.

“I feel comfortable in my environment now and I’m enjoying it. I’m looking forward to going again after the break, for sure.”

As O’Riley alludes to, a well-earned rest for Ange Postecoglou’s side awaits ahead of the Premiership’s resumption once the World Cup in Qatar is concluded. He is reluctant to call the recuperation a necessity but he believes the chance to recharge the batteries can only be a good thing due to the crowded fixture list Celtic often have to contend with.

“I wouldn’t say I need one but I think it will still be beneficial,” O’Riley explained. “We’ve had so many games in such a short period.

“I’ve also played quite a lot. So to be able to shut down the system, and completely rest for a week or so will be good. In the summer I got about two weeks off and I really felt that just one week of switching off and relaxing your body can help you come back really flying. So that will be my aim.”

O’Riley is adamant that once he and his team-mates are back in action, it won’t be long before they fall back into their old routines. Postecoglou famously demands that his teams never stop and O’Riley is confident that there will be no slacking off with the Glasgow club chasing back-to-back Premiership titles.

“No chance, it’s not going to happen,” he said. “We lost the game the other night and we also probably didn’t play the way we wanted to either.

“So, I think the consistency and mentality have to be the same every game, regardless of it being friendly matches. So when you transition into a league game, then you’re going to keep that form and momentum.

“We are aware it’s a good position to be in [in the league]. We’re aware of the table but at the same time, we’re not really looking at it.

“We’re just focusing on our own stuff every day. That sounds like a boring answer, I know. But it’s true. There’s a process to it and if we keep following that then I’m sure we will be in a good place.”