Ange Postecoglou reacts to latest thrilling Celtic youth victory over Rangers

By John McGinley

May 5, 2023

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou attended Wednesday night’s Scottish Youth Cup final between the U18s side and their Rangers counterparts. It’s fair to say he thoroughly enjoyed the Hampden occasion.

Celtic emerged as 6-5 winners after extra time with some special goals scored along the way. It was a night of attacking flair and win-at-all-costs guts that supporters absolutely love to see.

Postecoglou visited with the young victors on the night and has now delivered a glowing verdict of the thrilling 90 minutes. He has also praised coach Stuart McLaren for his work with that age group across the season.

Postecoglou enjoyed “cracking” Celtic youth final

Speaking in a media event today, the Bhoys boss said [Celtic FC]: “I was delighted to watch the boys the other night. It was a cracking game. For both teams, I thought it was a really good exhibition of attacking football. There would be plenty who would bemoan the fact there weren’t a lot of outstanding defensive displays but I didn’t mind it. If every football game finished like that I don’t there’d be too many complaints from people.

“It was great to see Stuart McLaren, who has come here in the last year and has done a tremendous job with the boys. There’s a really strong alignment between him and Darren O’Dea and Stephen McManus at the next level. There are a lot of the boys who go up to the B team and head back down, the way they do with us.

“I think it is important. If you look at the most successful football clubs around the world that have great development programmes, there is an alignment there. But it has to be an alignment that everyone believes in and more importantly that the club believes in. It can’t be about a person coming in and saying. ‘This is the way we’ve got to play.’ It’s got to be a natural extension of what the club stands for. For as long as I’ve known this football club, it’s always been synonymous with playing exciting football and long may it continue.”

Players such as Rocco Vata and Ben Summers are the latest to make a senior breakthrough at Celtic, having both come through the Academy teams from a young age. There are high hopes that others could be on the way too.

Celtic captain Callum McGregor is the most glowing example of what a youth player can achieve at this club but fans are eager to see a consistent progression from the Academy into the first team.

Hopefully some of the kids on the Hampden turf this week can be a part of that long-term vision. They’re certainly playing in a manner everyone at Celtic encourages, in the meantime.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou provides injury update on 4 absentees ahead of Celtic vs Hearts.