Aaron Comrie reflects on bruising first start against Celtic as he prepares to visit Parkhead with Dunfermline

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AARON COMRIE will never forget his Parkhead debut – after leaving teammate Murray Davidson with a concussion.

Now the Dunfermline ace wants to land a knockout blow to the Hoops.

Comrie was a fresh-faced 20-year-old when he was handed his first EVER start for St Johnstone at the home of the Bhoys back in August 2017 and endured a brutal introduction to first-team football with just six minutes on the clock.

He jumped to contest a loose ball, unaware that fellow Saintee Davidson was also leaping, resulting in a horror clash of heads.

The experienced midfielder was knocked out cold and was replaced by Liam Craig following lengthy treatment and taken to hospital. Comrie was left with a nasty cut but was able to continue – and helped St Johnstone claim a fine 1-1 draw.

Comrie recalled: “My first start was away to Celtic and we got a positive result – although I didn’t start well!

“In the first few minutes Murray Davidson went up for a header and I ended up knocking him out.

“I had a big cut in my head, blood dripping and I think I had a bit of concussion as well.

“Murray was out cold, he had to get stretchered off and taken to hospital. He also did something to his tooth, so that wasn’t ideal.

“After a while you settle into the game, try to forget about what happened early on and the crowd just becomes noise at that point.

“You are just focused on trying to do well and thankfully I did alright as the game went on.”

Indeed, Comrie managed to shackle Scott Sinclair – who would go on to find the net 18 times during that 2017/18 campaign – on the flank as he helped Tommy Wright’s stubborn side to a precious point.

He still recalls the pride of the drive home while his phone blew up.

Comrie continued: “I was only 20 at the time and I I knew earlier in the week that I would be starting.

“In truth, the build up before the game was probably the worst bit. Once I was on the park I was fine.

“I was directly up against Scott Sinclair so I knew I was in for a challenge! That was the first time I had played at that level and to go up against a top player like him was difficult but something that I learned from.

“I still remember that drive home. I was filled with pride with family phoning. It was just a brilliant day and I am glad to have experienced it.”

Comrie was on the books at Celtic as a kid, starring in their under-17 side alongside Scotland’s newly crowned most expensive footballer of all time, Kieran Tierney.

He continued: “Kieran’s work rate was tremendous – absolutely different class – and that was the one thing that stood out about him. Every time he suffered a set-back he would knuckle down and go again twice as hard.

“It’s great to see him doing so well for himself. Steven Boyd at Hamilton and Joe Thomson, who is at Dunfermline, were there too.

“I left when I was 17. I did one year full time before I got released and it probably came at a good time as well. At the time you don’t know it, but going to St Johnstone was a positive move in my career.”

Having joined Dunfermline from the Saints during the summer – becoming part of a new-look, youthful Pars side – Comrie is adamant they will be fearless in Glasgow today.

He added: “We know that it is going to be tough. They have won the last nine trophies but we need to stick together and hope things go our way at times. We will go there with a positive mindset.

“It is a young squad and the boys will be looking forward to the challenge – with our energy and enthusiasm you never know.”

 
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