Celtic B Team boss Tommy McIntyre excited about progress of Rocco Vata

By Euan Davidson

August 10, 2021

Celtic B Team boss Tommy McIntyre has been impressed with the work ethic and performances of Rocco Vata.

Vata, the son of 90s favourite Rudi, signed professional terms with the Bhoys last month. While little was known about the young attacker prior to the start of the SLFL season, Vata has impressed supporters with his directness, speed and finishing.

Speaking to 67 Hail Hail earlier today, McIntyre gave some insight as to Vata’s character, and how he deals with being a second-generation Celt.

McIntyre said:

“He’s very quiet. He’s very humble, very down to Earth, very grounded, and I’m sure that comes from his parents, who I know well.

“So, again, you’ve got that experienced head that can advise him as being there before. I think it would be unfair to always challenge him and put [his surname] against him. He’s got to cut his own pathway, and he’s done really well.

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“He doesn’t say a lot, he’s very quiet, but he’s very ambitious. And you can see what he brings to the team, he’s certainly started well. But again, you find that it’s a big ask; I keep saying this, we need to be careful with him, because he is relatively young.

“There’ll become a time when we have that little dip, but we need to be aware of that, and make sure that we’re ready to protect him, or look after him. And make sure that it doesn’t have to be tomorrow that he gets to the next level, but it’s a gradual process.

“He’s certainly moving in the right direction.”

Celtic B Team boss delighted with impact of Rocco Vata and co after strong SLFL start

Celtic face Annan Athletic tomorrow night at Penny Cars stadium, after an exciting 2-0 win at the weekend against Bo’ness United.

Late goals from Tsoanelo Letsosa and Bruno Davidson secured three points for the Bhoys’ B Team. A new challenge, in the SPFL Trust Trophy, awaits McIntyre’s young squad tomorrow night, however.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

So far, the B Team have played at break-neck speed. With intricate passing movement, relentless pace and plenty of chance creation, the young Bhoys have confounded any critics so far.

Tommy McIntyre sounded delighted with the opportunity that Celtic’s young players are getting.

He told 67 Hail Hail:

“There’s a lot of competition there. [The B Team] has served a purpose, in the sense that young players see, maybe young players in the First Team, young players in the Academy see there’s a pathway there.

“It should excite them. And it should stimulate them to try and progress to the next level, and we’re seeing that.

“We’ve been really – I wouldn’t say surprised – in terms of how quickly they’ve adjusted to the type of game, the level of game, against some tough opposition. It was going to be a great learning curve for them, and they’re taking everything on board.”

Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images

Tommy McIntyre is doing an excellent job under interesting conditions

Given the range of ages in the squad, the status of different players in terms of first-team involvement, and the lack of experience facing SLFL opposition, McIntyre has already done a remarkable job putting this side together.

Already, the Bhoys sit 6th [SLFL], with a more than creditable 3 wins, a draw and a loss. These are 16-21 year old lads getting the first real taste of competitive football, in most cases, and they’re in the upper reaches of the table.

That’s down to good management and exciting talent. Already great fun to watch, Annan Athletic represent the best test of their abilities so far.

Whether Rocco Vata and co. can go a step up from the last Colts team to play the Borders side is another question [Annan Athletic]. On current form, though, things are looking good for the B Team.

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