ONE of the first pieces of advice that any player signing for the Old Firm gets, if they favour a quiet life, is to stay away from the city centre. Let alone the club shop. But then again, Luca Connell isn’t your average footballer.

The 18-year-old decided to wander into Glasgow to check out his new home, and having stumbled across the Celtic store, decided to have a look inside.

That led to his afternoon rather getting away from him as fans stopped him for photos, but it was the Liverpudlian’s first taste of what life will be like for him from now on having left his life of relative anonymity in Bolton behind.

“I’ve been here and there but I don’t overdo it in the town centre,” Connell said. “I just go out for something to eat and then go back to the hotel. But it’s a nice place, similar to Liverpool. The vibe and the shops all feel the same which is good.

“I made the mistake of walking in to the Celtic shop in town and a few people in there noticed me. It was my first time there, so I was walking past so thought would pop in to take a look around.

“There were a few kids in buying shirts – not with my name on the back! And they asked for a picture which was nice.

“It was a new thing for me as I was living an hour away from Bolton so not many people in Liverpool knew me. Whereas everyone around here is just football fans, so they come over and ask for pictures.

“If I make the big step up and then hopefully more people will notice me and I’ll get a better reputation.”

Connell will make his Celtic debut in this afternoon’s friendly against Rennes at Celtic Park, and he is desperate to impress having thrown himself into training at Lennoxtown.

He admits that the standard has taken him aback a little, but feels he has been able to adjust to the step up and hold his own so far.

“I’ve been working hard so I’m ready,” he said. “My mum, dad and girlfriend are all up so hopefully I can get some game time. I can’t wait to make my debut at Celtic Park.

“The manager has said he’s been impressed and is happy that I’ve been working hard. I’ve been doing extra running and gym work to catch up on fitness. I feel I’m ready to play now.

“It’s been a really quick turnaround, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The thing that’s maybe caught me most by surprise is the standard of training. It’s very high and a big step up for me. But I feel I’m doing alright and getting my fitness back up.

“It’s not been daunting as the lads have all welcomed me in. I wasn’t shoved to the side. But I knew it was a big thing coming here and there would be pressure on me to try get a starting shirt.

“I’ve come in to get my place and I’m willing to work hard to do that. When I my chance comes hopefully I can take it.

“There’s a lot of quality in midfield. There are three shirt up for grabs in certain formations and we’re all fighting for the same one. But we’re all helping each other in training to rise to the best standards possible.

“It’s so fast and full-on at the start of the season but that’s a good thing. It’s less running in training as you’re preparing for games. It’s more serious right from the off.

“People look down on the Scottish league in England and it shouldn’t be like that. People have said to me until you’ve played here you don’t appreciate the standard and I agree with that now that I’ve trained here. It’s a really high standard and I can’t wait to play in the games.”

The standard of training hasn’t been the only culture shock for the young midfielder, with the prospect of living on his own for the first time also looming on the horizon.

“I’ve just got my apartment sorted in the last few days, so I’ll be moving in there soon,” he said. “I’m looking forward to that apart from the cooking. I can do everything else apart from cook, but I’ll learn. And if not, I’ll take food home from the chefs here!”