The Celtic B Team players with best chance of 21-22 breakthrough
It’s genuinely interesting having a Celtic B Team, isn’t it?
For one thing, we can actually watch (well, most of the time) highly-touted Celtic Academy talents. The names that you sometimes hear online or in the stands, tipped to be the next big thing? You can be ahead of the curve, at last.
Secondly, regardless of the constant drama surrounding a “Colts” side, their place in a league and everything else, it’s great for supporters. Between the first, B and Women’s teams, there’s almost always a Celtic match around the corner.
That can only be a positive thing, no?
But as for that B Team; if the mission is to provide a pathway for talented young players, then surely we’ve got to be keeping an eye on a few. Some names we thought might make the first-team have parachuted, and some pre-season stars are impressing on a weekly basis, albeit for smaller crowds.
Who do we think will realistically make the grade this season? Here are three picks for first-team action in 21-22.
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Bosun Lawal – Already a Celtic B Team star
If you’ve watched the Celtic B Team, you’ve undoubtedly seen Bosun Lawal take the ball into possession, stride confidently with it, and move it on. With his height, maturity and impressive credentials from the Watford academy, you’d have been forgiven for thinking he might’ve been signed for the first-team.
No, instead it’s with Tommy McIntyre that Lawal is serving his apprenticeship. And while the SLFL isn’t the Scottish Premiership, it’s a joy to watch Lawal boss a game against players twice as age.
Confident defensively, strident in possession and even capable of getting on the scoresheet, the future is bright for Lawal. Either as a commanding, ball-playing centre-half, or being the vital cog in a midfield engine, sitting in deep.
Technically proficient and streets ahead of even a really impressive B Team, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Lawal at least make the bench for Ange Postecoglou this term.
Owen Moffat – a pre-season favourite
Try and tell me it wasn’t pure fun seeing Owen Moffat on the ball for Celtic in pre-season.
Something of a throwback in some respects, with his wild hair, low socks and fearlessness of defenders, Moffat showed potential to star on either flank for Celtic.
There’s been no slow-up in the B Team. While Moffat could well have been loaned out, it’s better to have him in McIntyre’s set-up. Fourth in the SLFL scoring charts with 7 strikes, he may not be the most physical forward, but it hasn’t mattered.
There’s plenty of conjecture about the Lowland League. Critics will say it’s full of brutish defenders, hard tackles and “proper” old-school defending. On the evidence of what I’ve seen, it’s actually not like that, to any great extent.
Even if it was, though, Moffat has the sure-footedness and quickness to negotiate his way around stereotypical “physical” defenders. When Celtic inevitably have to deal with fatigue or injuries in attacking positions, it’d be no great shock to see Moffat being involved. Postecoglou’s clearly a fan, and it’s no mystery as to why.
Adam Brooks – a B Team stand-out
Another forward? Yes, sorry, but for a long time there, it didn’t look as if Celtic were producing strikers. Or, indeed, many forwards at all.
Barring James Forrest and Mikey Johnston, the club weren’t coming up with the goods up front from the Academy. Jack Aitchison left the club, while the last great young Celtic hope up front, Tony Watt, wasn’t an Academy product per se.
So, you’ll forgive me for being delighted by the form of young Adam Brooks. Also in the SLFL scoring charts, his 4 strikes have made the difference in games. Take, for example, this cool finish against Berwick Rangers [Celtic FC].
Signed to professional terms last year [Celtic FC], Brooks has grown with each B Team performance, and it’s not hard to envision him knocking the first team door before too long.
Calm on the ball, clinical with his shooting, and perfect foil as either a number 10 or up front, Brooks is a good bet to reach double figures this season.
Read more: Chris Sutton’s early Ange verdict