SHAUN MALONEY reckons Kieran Tierney has the ability to make it to the very top of the game.

But while his ability with the ball at his feet will carry him far, Maloney says it is his HEART which means he’s destined for stardom.

Just like Maloney did 16 years ago, Tierney has risen through the ranks at Celtic Park to become a first-team hero for both club and country.

At the age of just 20, the world is Tierney’s oyster as he receives rave reviews and attracts the attention of potential suitors across the border.

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“Kieran is learning from the first-team coaches how to be better positionally and has much more potential than the majority of players who have come through this academy so far,” said Maloney.

“Kieran has an ability to go to a very high level.

“All I could say is that it’s down to him how high he goes – he has the attributes and the heart for it.

“We are just really fortunate that he’s at the club he supports and hopefully he’s here for a long time.”

Maloney is now loving life back where it all begin for him. As under 20 coach, it’s down to him to help nurture the next generation of Tierney’s through the Lennoxtown doors and it’s a challenge he is relishing.

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The veteran acknowledges it’s a different world to the one he was used to as a young teenager, but insists he is enjoying being a mentor to the young kids – and some experienced pros as well.

“We get some first-team players coming down to our squad for matches and training, depending on the first-team schedule,” he said.

“But generally, I will be with the development squad and we join in with the first team because of numbers.

“The boys are the same as the development boys – very respectful and they give their all.

“I played with a few of them – Scott and Kieran – and I’ve known Callum for a while. I also played against a few.

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“It’s been fine. I wasn’t really a boisterous player so it’s not been as big a challenge to go from player to coach.

“You speak about society changes and even when I came through it was a very different dressing room.

“It was a harsher environment for a young player. Whether that’s good or bad, that’s how it was.

“And that was me coming to the end of that generation where it was harsher.”