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Page last updated at 08:46 GMT, Tuesday, 17 June 2008 09:46 UK

McDonald extends Celtic contract

Scott McDonald
McDonald has been in superb form for Celtic

Celtic striker Scott McDonald has signed a new five-year deal with the Scottish Premier League club.

The 24-year-old Australian, who joined from Motherwell for 700,000 last summer, scored 31 goals in his first season at Celtic Park.

"I'm very grateful to Celtic. It makes you feel wanted and I'm looking forward to more success," said McDonald.

"You only need to come and watch a match in font of 60,000 people to see how special this place this is."

McDonald had two years left on his original deal, which also carried an extra year's option.

"At the end of the season my agent had been speaking to Peter Lawwell," said McDonald.

"But I didn't want discussions to get in the way of winning the league."

Interview: Celtic striker Scott McDonald

"This new contract has been agreed for a while now.

"But this is the first opportunity to sit down and get it signed as I was away on international duty."

McDonald capped an impressive debut season at Celtic with an SPL medal and his 25 league goals were vital to the club's championship-winning run.

However, the Australian was cautious about predicting how prolific he would be for the coming term.

"I'm not going to put extra pressure on myself and say I'll score 35 goals next season," he said.

"My objective, like every player, is to improve on last year, but first I'll be concentrating on working hard as I believe you then reap the rewards."

And he added that given the striking options manager Gordon Strachan has at his disposal, no one is guaranteed a place in the team.

"All I can do is put in the work week in, week out, as there's always something to prove," said the striker.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

"I've got to impress the manager and the coaching staff to make sure I'm in that starting eleven for the first game of the season.

"It's fine having a good season, but I have to do it again and show people I wasn't just a one season wonder."

Lawwell, the Celtic chief executive, told the club's website: "This is great news.

"It's well known that Scott loves playing for Celtic and has a great affection for the club.

"He also performed brilliantly last season."

And Lawwell said he was delighted to secure McDonald's signature.

"Our priority is to keep our best players and the board is delighted to support Gordon in his plans for the future by securing Scott on this long-term agreement," he added.

"We will continue to do all we can to ensure that Celtic stays at the top of Scottish football."


see also
McDonald spared fixture dilemma
08 Jun 07 |  Celtic
Celtic complete McDonald capture
30 Mar 07 |  Motherwell


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