UPON meeting Jeremie Frimpong, it is hard to believe that the Celtic youngster has ever suffered from a moment of anxiety in his 18 years on this earth. He is almost as confident in the flesh as he appeared on the field when making his debut for the club in the win over Partick Thistle on Wednesday night.

But when he made the switch from Manchester City to Glasgow in the summer, coming as he was from the under-23’s changing room at the Etihad into a senior football environment, he admits he was a bag of nerves.

He needn’t have worried though, as an arm around the shoulder from captain Scott Brown made him feel immediately at ease, and made him comfortable enough to go into training, express himself, and show exactly why manager Neil Lennon brought him to the club.

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Those good initial impressions he made led to his first appearance at senior level during the week, and he is hoping there is plenty more to come now he has settled into his new surroundings and adjusted to the step up in level.

“I used to play under-23 football so there’s a big difference, but you have to adapt to it,” Frimpong said. “It’s been really good.

“Everyone is good, but Scott Brown has impressed me. He’s been great. When I first came, I thought he was going to be a serious guy, but he jokes about and I really like that.

“When I came, he made sure he would speak to me, and everyone was really welcoming.

“At first I was nervous, because you’re going into a new environment, but everyone was coming up to me and speaking to me, so I liked that.”

A midweek Betfred Cup tie against Championship opposition may not have set the pulses of many Celtic fans racing, but Frimpong tried to do exactly that for the 25,000-odd in attendance with his all-action display on Wednesday evening.

He was quick, tricky, and solid defensively too in his right-back berth, and he appreciated the acclaim of the supporters as much as they appreciated his performance.

“It was amazing, a dream come true,” he said. “It was my first professional game and it was amazing.

“The fans, oh my gosh, I love them already. It was just crazy, man. When I came off I could hear them all, it was just incredible.

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“The manager told me I was starting two or three days beforehand, so I was focused on making a good impression.

“I was doing everything good and then today came and I played well, so I have to keep that going.”

Confidence can only carry you so far though, and Frimpong seems to have the talent to back up his big talk.

“You have to play with confidence if you want to be a footballer,” he said. “If you want to be the best, you have to play with confidence.

“Obviously don’t be cocky, but you have to go out there and play your game. You can’t be nervous in front of these fans. They want you to show what you can do for the team, and hopefully I can do that.

“I loved the reception I got. Everyone stood up and was cheering, so I really liked that.

“I work hard in training and that’s why I play football, to prove everyone wrong and show them what I’ve got. That’s what I have been doing, and I’m going to keep doing that.

“My goal was to play first team and take another step. I thought I was ready, so I wanted to prove to the manager that I was ready.

“He gave me the chance against Thistle and hopefully I showed what I can do.

“I’m very grateful. It’s a dream come true to play for Celtic, it’s the biggest club in Scotland, so it’s just amazing. Even when I found out I was coming here I was so happy.”

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His dream debut for Celtic was rounded off by being presented with the man of the match award after the game, no mean feat considering teammate Oliver Ntcham had bagged a double which included a thunderbolt of a 30-yarder into the top corner and a wonderful individual goal that he caressed into the net via the inside of a post.

“When it got announced [that I was man of the match] I thought ‘what’s going on?’” he said.

“I looked up the screen and it said Jeremie is man of the match, and [the bench] were all shouting to me ‘Jeremie, Jeremie, Jeremie’, and then they all went ‘wheeeyyyy!’

“I was like ‘oh my gosh’, and I can’t even stop smiling now.”

As much as Frimpong’s infectious enthusiasm is making him a popular figure in the Celtic changing room, and is bound to do similar with the support, he has his heart set on upsetting two of the senior members of the squad in Moritz Bauer and Hatem Abd Elhamed by nailing down the right-back position as his own.

“That’s why I play football,” he said. “I want to be the best right-back, and I’m going to prove that.”

And to be fair to Frimpong, he had some decent mentors to lean on for advice in his Manchester City days.

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“I would speak to Kyle Walker and then when Joao Cancelo came I would speak to him,” he said. “They would give me some tips and stuff.

“I was there since I was young, so you want to try and get into the team, but they obviously have Kyle Walker and they have just bought a new right-back.

“I thought I was ready for first-team now, so Celtic came and I took the chance, because I thought I would have a better chance at Celtic than Man City.

“[Glasgow] is amazing. There’s no real difference, it’s like Manchester, it’s just the weather!

“I went to the city centre and it’s amazing, I’m happy to be in Glasgow.

“I knew Celtic were the best team in Scotland, so I thought ‘yes, I’m going to the best team, so when we play teams Celtic always win, so I’ll be on the winning team!’

“I hope that it carries on, and it will carry on.”

You can’t argue with his logic. Or knock his confidence.