Former Celtic and Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has given his backing to the club’s controversial proposals to introduce Colt or ‘B’ teams into senior Scottish football.
Celtic and Rangers Colt teams are set to join the Scottish Lowland Football League next season. [BBC]
That development came after it became clear SPFL clubs would not support the idea at Scottish League Two level.
There’s strange thinking that such a move is only for the benefit to the two Glasgow clubs.
However, as Strachan points out, it’s more about developing young Scottish players to the best of our ability. He reckons tradition shouldn’t stand in the way of that effort.
He told Herald Sport this weekend [15/05 print edition, page 16]: “The Colt teams idea isn’t a magic wand. But between the lessons the players can pick up there and through their own hunger and endeavour, they will have a better chance. You make your own pathway in football, but you have to be exposed to real football at an early age.
“Taking kids from that clinical football we have now at youth level and putting them into the real world, it’s like taking a domesticated animal and chucking them in the jungle.
“I’ve heard the arguments about tradition, but what tradition are we talking about here? Some club with 120 people at their games? If your community doesn’t pay attention to you, then why should anyone else?
“Tradition has held us back in Scotland, absolutely it has. I’ve said this often enough, but if we had a really top-level player, a Robert Lewandowski or a Gareth Bale, we would have been at tournaments for the last 10 years. And to do that, we all have to have open minds.”
Celtic have a number of promising young players on the books but their development has been stunted by a lack of structure at youth or reserve level over the last few years.
Having them compete with senior players, even at the Lowland level, should aid their ability to make a push towards the first-team. It could also serve as a pilot to demonstrate that it’s a viable idea at Scottish League Two level in years to come too.
Scottish football is often held back by a lack of flexible thinking and new ideas. Credit to Celtic, and Rangers, for pushing this issue to the extent they have.
Hopefully it pays off for the Bhoys and the next generation of Scottish talent.