Celtic's Lewis Toshney gives Kilmarnock hope of return

Toshney has been a regular for Kilmarnock while on loan
Toshney has been a regular for Kilmarnock while on loan

On-loan full-back Lewis Toshney would welcome a return to Kilmarnock next season - but only if he cannot force his way into the Celtic team.

The Scotland Under-21 right-back, who turned 20 this week, has made eight appearances for Kilmarnock since arriving at Rugby Park in January.

"I'm really looking forward to going back to Celtic," said Toshney.

"But, if it comes to it, I would definitely pick Kilmarnock to come back to."

Toshney's sole Celtic appearance came off the bench in a 3-0 victory over Aberdeen in February last year.

But he is hoping his recent first-team experience can help him when he returns to his parent club despite Adam Matthews, Cha Du-Ri, Mark Wilson and Mikael Lustig all already vying for the right-back spot.

"I will go back to Celtic and have pre-season at Celtic and just see what happens there," said Toshney, who made a 10-minute cameo debut appearance in Scotland Under-21s' 4-1 friendly defeat by Italy this week.

"If I'm in favour at Celtic, I will be looking to push on and hopefully get a first-team place.

"If not, if I'm really in trouble and not playing, and playing reserve games once a month again, I will be looking to go out on loan and play in the SPL."

Toshney has had some positive feedback from Celtic manager Neil Lennon with coaching and scouting staff John Park and Stevie Frail also watching him in action.

Wilson and Cha are both still at Celtic Park vying for a right-back slot
Wilson and Cha are both still at Celtic Park vying for a right-back slot

"I went back to Celtic to train the week before the League Cup final and the gaffer took me in and had a word," Toshney said.

"He said I was doing well and just told me to keep on doing what I was doing and everything they had taught me at Celtic.

"The gaffer has been brilliant and has kept in touch."

Toshney has also been heartened by Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels' faith in his ability.

"It's been a great experience for me," he said. "I made my debut for Celtic last season, but playing week in, week out in the SPL, you don't get much better.

"I was thinking I might have to drop a level to get games, but the gaffer has shown faith in me and he has been exceptional.

"The manager wants to bring young players through here and he has shown great faith in me.

"Playing in the top league in Scotland has been brilliant for a 19-year-old kid coming through."

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