Anthony Stokes has fire for Europe

Celtics Anthony Stokes

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Celtic striker Anthony Stokes is excited by the upcoming season and is relishing the prospect of playing in the Champions League once again.

The Scottish champions begin their quest for European glory as early as Tuesday when they travel to Iceland to face KR Reykjavik in a Champions League second round first-leg qualifier.

Stokes has already been gearing up for the new season in friendly competition, the latest being Friday night’s encounter against Czech side Dukla Prague, which the Irishman hoped would help him get that bit sharper.

The 25-year-old is focused on helping the Bhoys make their mark in Europe, but knows that the first priority is getting through the qualification stage.

“One of the biggest goals for me this year is to do well in Europe, individually and for the team,” he said on the club’s website.

“It’s a challenge I’m looking forward to, and hopefully we can have a better campaign than last year. The main aim, though, is getting through the qualifiers first and then reaching the group stages.”

One major setback for new boss Ronny Deila is the news that skipper Scott Brown could be out for up to three months after a recent scan showed that his hamstring was badly damaged during last week’s friendly against Rapid Vienna.

Deila is confident however that he has enough strength in depth in the midfield department already to make do without being rushed into the transfer market.

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