"He looks the part"; Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou explains his Ben Summers decision

By John McGinley

March 18, 2023

It was something of a surprise to see young Ben Summers on the Celtic bench today but Ange Postecoglou reckons his performances in training merited the decision.

Summers, still just 18, was part of the matchday squad for Saturday’s victory over Hibernian and while he didn’t get any minutes on the pitch, it would undoubtedly have been an occasion he relished.

The youngster has been a regular for Celtic B this season, getting himself on the scoresheet five times from midfield in the Lowland League. He’s one of a clutch of youngsters who could make a senior squad impact over the next 18 months, per comments from the manager in January.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Ben Summers earns Celtic squad inclusion

Asked about his inclusion today, Postecoglou told BBC Radio Scotland [14:32]: “We’ve obviously got a couple of injuries in the midfield area with Aaron and Tomoki out. Ben has been training with us for a little while, he’s been really strong in the B team this year and performing well.

“He looks the part in our training and we needed another midfielder on the bench today, so he gets his chance. At a big club, it’s hard, but the reality is you do get an opportunity like he does today, it doesn’t take much – a couple of injuries.

“The key thing for young players is to perform well when they get the opportunity, train well and gain the trust of teammates and coaches. Ben gets his today.”

Summers is a player on the up and comes across as a determined character who is eager to listen to coach feedback and improve as an individual. Just a couple of weeks ago he spoke about the desire to add a more consistent goal threat to his game, for example.

B team coach Darren O’Dea has also singled him out for praise in the past, while former Academy coach Greig Robertson suggested he is one of the players who could make a big breakthrough at the Bhoys.

Summers was included on a pre-season trip to Austria last Summer and had been in line for further trips to Australia and Portugal during the winter break, although injury scuppered those plans.

Hopefully his inclusion today gives him more confidence and motivation to keep pushing for a place in Postecoglou’s plans. He’s now officially a name on the radar of Celtic fans.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou shares Reo Hatate hope after concerning Celtic injury.