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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 July 2005, 20:46 GMT 21:46 UK
Virgo delight at joining heroes
Adam Virgo in action for Brighton
Adam Virgo is carrying an injury
Brighton's Adam Virgo admits to be taken aback by the prospect of being transferred to boyhood heroes Celtic.

The defender will join the Glasgow club - subject to passing a medical and agreeing personal terms - on Wednesday.

"The manager spoke to me to tell me that the club had accepted an offer, and he tried to make me guess the club," Virgo explained.

"I named a few Championship clubs, but when he told me it was Celtic my jaw hit the floor; it was amazing."

Virgo, turning out in defence and in attack, played a vital role both in Brighton's promotion to the Championship in 2004 and in keeping them in England's second tier last term.

But new Celtic manager Gordon Strachan has already informed the Brighton-born player that he will almost certainly be used only in defence.
Gordon Strachan sees me as a right-back
Adam Virgo

"Gordon Strachan sees me as a right-back," said Virgo. "He has said I won't be playing up front.

"I did support Celtic as a youngster. My brother and I started watching them in about 1988 and I have always followed them.

"I admired Brighton manager Mark McGhee when he was a centre-forward there and my other favourite players down the years were Frank McAvennie, Peter Grant, Jorge Cadete, Paolo di Canio and Henrik Larsson."

The death of his father, Bob, earlier this year meant Virgo was concerned about making the 460-mile trip north and leaving his family in Sussex.

But, after speaking to those closest to him, Virgo was convinced that the move to Celtic would be the right one.

"You never recover from something like that," Virgo said. "And, when news like this comes along, you just wish he was around to see it."

Virgo has still not shaken off completely the knee trouble which meant he rarely trained towards the end of last season.

He admitted that he had returned to pre-season training too quickly and is doubtful whether he will be ready for the opening game of the Scottish Premier League season at Motherwell on 30 July.


SEE ALSO
Celtic agree 1.5m fee for Virgo
18 Jul 05 |  Brighton



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