Anthony Ralston believes he was rewarded for his hard work with a new contract which sees him remain at Celtic until 2025.

The 22-year-old defender, who joined the Hoops youth academy at the age of eight, made his first-team debut in May 2016 as a substitute against St Johnstone.

His long-term future at Parkhead looked in jeopardy after loan spells at Dundee United and St Johnstone and he played only once for Celtic last season.

However, the full-back has been one of the top performers this season under new boss Ange Postecoglou, making 21 appearances and scoring four goals.

Ralston, who had signed a one-year contract extension in the summer, told Celtic TV: "It feels amazing to see that my hard work has paid off to be offered a new deal.

"I've been here as a young boy and it's always been my dream to play for Celtic.

"I was coming to the end of my contract last season and it was down to me to take my opportunity to be able to stay at the club.

"When you’re not involved for the period that I was last season, it was important that I kept myself right and worked hard away from the pitch.

"When the opportunity came round, I was ready to take it because I put the work in.

"It wasn’t easy to do, but I’m glad I’m here now and I’m ready to kick on."

Ralston is yet another youngster from the Celtic youth system who was able to go all the way to the first team and he thanked his family for all their support.

He said: "It’s every fan’s dream to be in the position that I’m in today and I’m very grateful for it.

"And it’s important to believe you can one day come through the ranks and play for Celtic.

"The prime examples have been Callum McGregor and James Forrest for what can be achieved through hard work and dedicating yourself and one day it could be you.

"My family, who are here today, have been with me since day one, supporting me through all of the ups and downs of being a footballer.

"My little girl is a massive part of my life and she’s able to be here on a special day as well.

"What I do now moving forward is for her. It gives you the extra motivation. To have this moment with them is special."