Darren O'Dea can provide unique insight into how to win a derby cup final
Celtic’s upcoming Betfred Cup Final with Rangers next month gives the Hoops the possibility of defeating their bitter rivals in a final for the first time since 2009.
The Hoops defeated Rangers 2-0 in that Co-Operative Insurance Cup Final. Interestingly, some Celtic personnel involved in that game are still at the club.
Neil Lennon, the current Hoops boss, was part of then manager Gordon Strachan’s backroom staff that day. Stephen McManus, the Hoops captain on the day, is part of the Celtic coaching staff. Scott Brown played for Celtic in the middle of the park that day – as he does now.
Scorer of opening goal is at club now
Perhaps most importantly, the scorer of Celtic’s all important opening goal against Rangers, Darren O’Dea, is the manager of Celtic’s under-18 side.
Therefore, he is in a unique position to tell the majority of the squad what it is like to play – and score – in a Glasgow derby cup final.
O’Dea could be the ideal player to give the current Celtic side a pep talk about how important this game will be for the Celtic support.
If need be, Stephen McManus could also be involved in explaining to the players just how important this fixture will be.
Of course, every cup final Celtic take part in is important. However, this one takes on more importance due to the fact that it is against the Hoops’ biggest rivals.
Pep talk could give the Hoops the edge
Every edge that Celtic can take to make sure they win their 10th domestic trophy in a row should be explored. If that means a pep talk from players who have helped the Hoops win the cup in the past, so be it.
Of course, there is always the Scott Brown factor. He played in that game 10 years ago. He knows what defeating Rangers in a cup final is all about.
Brown could play an influential role in the build-up to the game. Celtic having key personnel from the triumph 10 years ago at the club now could be a factor in the cup final.