Celtic coach lauds Academy teenager; has a "killer attitude" and could "reach the top"

By John McGinley

November 11, 2021

Celtic coach Darren O’Dea has been speaking about a number of issues relating to the B team today, ahead of a Scottish Lowland Football League match this weekend.

O’Dea faced questions from a number of fan media outlets, with the answers uploaded to the club’s YouTube channel.

One of the queries focused on youngster Rocco Vata, a player who has undoubtedly captured the attention of the Celtic support this season.

Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images

Vata, son of 1990s hero Rudi, has been impressing for the B team all season, transferring his good form to the international scene with Republic of Ireland youth sides too.

Highlight reel goals have been posted regularly to social media, but beyond those clips, it seems that the youngster is making great progress behind the scenes.

O’Dea said today [YouTube]: “I’ve known Rocco for a while. I’ve obviously been with the 18s for the last two seasons so Rocco is someone I know really well – he came through from the school programme.

£5million insurance payout for Celtic | 2020/2021 accounts analysed

£5million insurance payout for Celtic | 2020/2021 accounts analysed
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

“The most impressive thing about him is his mentality and attitude to the game. There was a pre-season friendly this year and it didn’t go particularly well. But he’s someone who has a killer attitude. He never stops.

“He’s got a fantastic ability to beat people and to create chances. But on top of that, he’s got a really strong, strong mind. He’s very, very young and needs to be managed well but he’s going in the right direction.

“It’s a case of supporting him. I’m confident to say if he reaches his full potential, which is our goal as a staff to help him do that, that potential could take him to the top.”

Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images

It’s exciting stuff. Vata is still just 17 so still has a way to go to start making first-team squads regularly. Celtic will obviously be wary of rushing his development.

However, if he stays on his current trajectory it seems inevitable he will make a competitive senior debut at some point over the next 12 to 18 months.

Continue to keep an eye out for his name.

In other news, Ange provides injury return timeline as he gets good news on one of his trusted Celtic stars.