Hooper on high after cup win

Gary Hooper feels he has reached the pinnacle of his career so far after helping Celtic complete the double.

Last Updated: 27/05/13 at 18:07 Post Comment

Gary Hooper: Celebrates goal in Scottish Cup final

Gary Hooper: Celebrates goal in Scottish Cup final

Gary Hooper feels he has reached the pinnacle of his career so far after his brace in the Scottish Cup final helped Celtic complete the double.

The 25-year-old twice finished clinically in the first half at Hampden Park to set Celtic on the way to a 3-0 Scottish Cup final win.

The impressive victory rounded off a memorable season for the SPL champions, whose exploits in reaching the last 16 of the Champions League proved the highlight.

And Hooper added a further personal achievement as his goals took him through the 30 mark for the season.

"It was a great win in the end and we're delighted with the double," the Englishman told Celtic's official website.

"This, getting to the last 16, winning the league, and scoring 31 goals, I'm at the top of my career.

"At the start of the season my aim was to beat last year's goals total and I did that two games ago. I was unlucky not to get to 20 in the league but I wanted to get past 30 overall and I managed that.

"This feels even better than the first time we won the Scottish Cup two years ago because we did this one in style.

"We've also got the league win and the Champions League run behind us as well so this has been my best season at the club.

"Playing like that, like we did at Hampden, really topped it off."

Hooper has struck up an excellent understanding with Anthony Stokes during his time at Celtic Park and the Irishman set up both of his goals in the final.

Stokes also had a hand in the third as he released Mikael Lustig to cross for Joe Ledley to power home, although not before Hooper missed a great chance for his hat-trick.

"It was great to have him playing next to me," Hooper said.

"He's a great striker and he works his socks off. He showed again how good he is at setting up goals but he was looking for one himself towards the end.

"He put the two crosses in for me and I'm glad he got the man-of-the-match award because he worked his socks off.

"My goals came from two great balls from him, one right foot and one left foot. I had a chance for a third but I completely missed it.

"Joe Ledley was there, though, and he scored. I hurt myself somehow when I missed the ball but Joe closed his eyes and thumped it. I'm joking, of course. It was a good shot."


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