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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 30, 2006

Celtic transfer leaves Dublin nervous

New Celtic signing Dion Dublin admits his move to Glasgow has left him with butterflies in the stomach despite his veteran status.

The 36-year-old has joined the Hoops until the end of the season after his contract with Leicester was cancelled by mutual consent earlier today.

The former Aston Villa and Coventry player, who can also operate in defence, worked under Hoops boss Gordon Strachan during their time together at Highfield Road.

And Dublin is relishing a chance of a new lease of life at Celtic Park among some old friends.

He told the club's official website: 'I know Alan Thompson from Villa, Paul Telfer from Coventry and Roy Keane from my Manchester United days.

'Hopefully, they will welcome me and make it easier for me because I am quite nervous.

'I may be 36 but I am still quite nervous to come to a place of this size.

'I know the fans are one of the biggest groups in the world. You don't get too much history of Celtic down south.

'But, having seen some games and played in friendlies against Celtic, I am just gobsmacked at the size of the place.

'I am just looking forward to being part of a good squad of players and, hopefully, I can add to that and help the team to success this season.'

Dublin admits his move to Glasgow has left him stunned.

He added: 'I am surprised myself - it was a real shock to me as well.

'But it was an unbelievable experience for me to get the phone call asking if I fancied it.

'What are you going to say? When you get to play for Celtic, it is an incredible experience.

'Although I am 36, I feel fit and I am ready to go. I'm just happy to get the chance.

'I have no injuries and feel good - touch wood. It is an exciting time for me.'

A club statement said: 'Celtic have today completed the signing of Dion Dublin from Leicester City.

'The player, who can play in a number of positions, has signed until the end of this season.

'Dublin played under Gordon Strachan at Coventry City, where he was also a team-mate of Paul Telfer's, and he is delighted to be joining a club of Celtic's stature.'

While Dublin is at the tail-end of his career, his versatility will make him a valuable addition for Strachan after the departure of Chris Sutton to Birmingham.

Dublin began his career as a trainee at Norwich before moving to Cambridge United on a free transfer.

In August 1992, he had impressed enough for Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson to bring him to Old Trafford for £1million.

However, on his first start for the Red Devils, Dublin broke his leg in a game against Crystal Palace.

His career with United was over before it really began and he joined Coventry in 1994 for £2million.

Dublin captained the Sky Blues before moving to Aston Villa in November 1998 for £5.75million.

He joined Leicester in July 2004 on a free transfer after a loan spell with Millwall.

But Dublin has credited Leicester for allowing him to move to Glasgow.

He added: 'I had a great time at Leicester and I must say thank you to Leicester for giving me this chance.

'I loved my time there and they didn't want me to go, but they realised it was a great chance for me and I realised it was a big chance for me.

'I'm not going to get too many chances like this again.'

But Dublin insists the 'Strachan factor' played its part in his decision.

He added: 'I learned a lot from the gaffer as regards coaching, so he was a massive, massive factor in my decision.

'I just want to come here and be myself and hopefully that'll be enough to win some games - whether I play at the front or the back - and enhance the squad that the gaffer already has here, which is awesome anyway.

'Hopefully, I can just add to that and help the push towards success this season.'