Celtic camp reacts as youths beat Rangers XI that included John Souttar and Ridvan Yilmaz

By John McGinley

March 7, 2023

The Celtic B side picked up a morale-boosting derby victory over their Rangers counterparts today, winning 3-1 away at the Auchenhowie training centre.

Goals from Joey Dawson and Mackenzie Carse had the Bhoys surging to a 3-0 lead after half-time before the home side managed to pull one back as a consolation. The result ensures Celtic’s strong start to the Glasgow Cup continues with a match to come against Partick Thistle later this month.

An encouraging aspect of the win was that the Rangers team wasn’t just made up of their out-and-out youth prospects. Due to Glasgow Cup rules, they were able to field more senior players with much-hyped summer signings such as John Souttar and Ridvan Yilmaz part of the eleven that were defeated, both of whom have won caps for their countries.

Photo by Cesare Purini/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

The duo were subbed off at half-time on comebacks from injury, but the Celtic youngsters held their own even in the face of such experience. Adam Devine, who has played eight times for their senior side, as well as Leon King, who featured extensively in the UEFA Champions League, also played in the defensive line.

Coach Stephen McManus was delighted, stating after the match [Celtic YouTube]: “We approached the game really well. The boys have trained well again this week. They took the right mentality and mindset coming into the game. They were brave in possession and their work ethic was terrific.

“We say that every week but our game is built around hard work, enthusiasm, energy levels and I felt they brought that against a good Rangers side. They were a lot more experienced than us, so it was a brilliant challenge for us coming in. They were playing against a Scotland international on the pitch, there were other international players available. As a young player you need to then test yourself in the best environments. It was an opportunity for them to go and showcase that.”

Double goalscorer Joey Dawson meanwhile said [Celtic YouTube]: “I thought the boys were brilliant. Right from the first minute, we were up against them and that was our gameplan, to go out and press them, we did that from minute one to minute 90. We were good on the ball when we won it back.

“Goals are always a bonus for me, the main thing is the team gets the win. Good performances are more important than me scoring but it’s always good to score.

“They had a strong team out. As a young player that’s what you want, to play against the best players you can and challenge yourself as much as possible. Today was a great experience and one we’ll be better players for.”

Full credit to the young Bhoys, whose season continues this Friday night at home to Cumbernauld Colts in the Scottish Lowland Football League.

In other news, Celtic and the UEFA Champions League; co-efficient and cash latest.