Celtic boss Neil Lennon has expressed delight after his side drew Cliftonville in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League.
The 42-year-old will get the chance to return to his native Northern Ireland for the first leg of the tie, which will take place at Cliftonville’s Belfast home.
And Lennon is excited by the prospect of a meeting the 2012-13 IFA Premiership winners at Solitude.
“It will be the first time I will have taken Celtic to a competitive game back home so that is something to look forward to,” he told the club’s official website.
“But we will be totally motivated, obviously, to play as strongly as we can and try to win the tie. It’s a great draw – a great draw for Cliftonville as well I would imagine. It will create a lot of interest back in Belfast but I am very wary of the tie.
“I know Gerard Lawlor, the chairman, very well and I know he will be absolutely delighted with the draw – and there will be a lot of familiar faces.
“We have three ties this year and our short-term priority will be to qualify for the group stages, which would mean a lot to everyone associated with the club. I’m not expecting us to have the same impact as last season but you just never know.”
Celtic were originally scheduled to host the first leg, but agreed to reverse the order at the request of Cliftonville and with the consent of UEFA.