Celtic B Team coach Darren O'Dea determined to maintain club ethos

By Euan Davidson

July 24, 2021

Celtic B Team coach and former centre-back Darren O’Dea is playing a key role in the development of the club’s youngsters.

A talented youth coach, O’Dea came through the Celtic Academy himself, featuring 59 times for the Bhoys. So, he knows all about what’s required at youth level.

Having recently praised young centre-back Dane Murray, O’Dea is emphasising that there’s a real opportunity for Academy players this season. The Bhoys B Team showed some promise against Bonnyrigg Rose last week. However, the jump in physicality, and playing against experienced players showed.

That doesn’t worry O’Dea, though, who told the Celtic View Podcast:

“As the game wore on they realised it was still a game of football and we’re there to impose our style. The experience will definitely prepare them for this game and as the season goes on, I expect them to get stronger and stronger.

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“We’re trying to bridge the gap of Academy football to first-team football, and the process in how we do that is vital.

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“Winning at all costs isn’t good enough, we have to win in a certain style. This club is built on entertaining fans. Of course, the end product is about winning, but we have to do that in a certain style.”

Darren O’Dea and Tommy McIntyre’s B Team Bhoys set to play for fans against East Kilbride

Excitingly, fans can visit the Penny Cars Stadium in Airdrie to actually watch the game live.

A small number of tickets were made available by the club, who are using the stadium as the B Team’s home base. Unfortunately, the game won’t be broadcast for supporters hoping to watch the B Team from home.

East Kilbride represent a stern test for the B Team. The side finished third in the SLFL last season, albeit in a league campaign truncated by Covid-19 protocols.

Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images

Interestingly, there’s a pub quiz question from the last time a Celtic side faced East Kilbride. Colin Kazim-Richards scored his only goal for the Bhoys in a 2-0 away win in 2016 [BBC].

Said Darren O’Dea of today’s opponents [Celtic FC]:

“At the start of the season if you were looking at a team capable of promotion, it would be East Kilbride.

“They’ve always been there or thereabouts. They went out in the play-offs a couple of times as well.

“I expect they’ll be different to Bonnyrigg Rose. They might not be as direct, they’ll play a little bit more but they’ll still have that aspect to them. They have a lot of experience players, they’ve invested in the squad so it’s a game we’re looking forward to.”

Celtic B Team kick off at 1pm against East Kilbride at the Penny Cars Stadium, Airdrie.

In other news: Chris Sutton “at a loss” over contract situation