Niall McGinn admits the Clydesdale Bank Premier League's under-21 rule is going to "kill" his attempts to become a Celtic regular.
The SPL rules state that three players in a club's 18-man squad must be under-21 which has left McGinn, 22, on the outside since signing from Derry City in January. The Northern Ireland international, however, was handed his debut by Tony Mowbray in the 1-1 draw with Dundee United at Parkhead as replacement for suspended Aiden McGeady.
After his man-of-the-match performance, McGinn said: "If I am in the squad for the Europa League game against Hapoel Tel Aviv on Thursday then I will be happy. If I get the nod to start I will be over the moon. The under-21 rule is going to kill me for the league games but any chance I get to play I will grab it with both hands."
He added: "I was nervous at the start but hopefully I have grabbed my chance.
"It was my first SPL game and thank God it was at Celtic Park, the fans took to me and they gave me momentum.
"It's been frustrating at times, it's only my second year as a full-time footballer but I will keep working hard."
Mowbray could not offer the youngster from Donaghmore much succour, saying: "It shouldn't be a surprise. He is one of these unfortunate lads who is not under 21 but has bags of talent.
"He finds himself behind (Aiden) McGeady and (Shaun) Maloney and most weeks doesn't even get on the bench.
"It would be nice to sometimes take Aiden off and put Niall on but you don't get the opportunity.
"So he has been unfortunate he hasn't played more football."
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