Architect of '86 Love Street drama Albert Kidd recommended top target to Celtic 5 years ago

By Euan Davidson

January 11, 2022

For many, the name Albert Kidd is synonymous with a famous Celtic title win; but he’s relevant again now, via Riley McGree.

In 1986, Kidd was the one who buried Hearts, handing the Hoops the title. He’d be a Celtic legend if he’d actually played for the club. But his goals for Dundee secured a historic championship for the Hoops. For a guy who was never on Celtic’s books, he’s probably given the club enough.

Except, he actually recommended top target Riley McGree to Celtic in 2017.

Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Kidd, now based in Australia, and who actually did his coaching badges with Ange Postecoglou, told former Celtic left-back and still Hoops scout Tosh McKinlay about Riley McGree after he emerged onto the A-League scene. Five years later, Celtic look like they’ll seal the Australian midfielder, the fifth signing on this January window.

Kidd said [The Scottish Sun]: “Riley burst on to the scene and was the quickest player in the A-league at that time.

“I was doing commentary for the radio show I work for and he jumped out at me as a guy with real potential. I got in touch with Tosh [McKinlay] and suggested he take a look at him.

“He did that, but called me back and said he wasn’t good enough for Celtic at that particular point in time. Tosh said he could see what I was saying, that he was a decent player who had pace. He had also scored a few wonder goals, but he just wasn’t for Celtic at that stage.

“It is mind-blowing to think they’re now spending big money on signing him.”

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How about that; ’86 legend Albert Kidd had info on Celtic target Riley McGree five years ago

To be fair, Riley McGree probably wasn’t good enough for the Hoops five years ago. Remember the midfield we had in 2017? It was sublime.

Even then, it’s funny how these things come back around. Who could’ve known, for example, that Ange Postecoglou would end up being the Celtic manager? Not only that, that he’d have done his badges alongside Albert Kidd? The chances are infinitesimal.

We should hear an announcement from Celtic today on Riley McGree, after Ange put the personal touches on a pitch to the Charlotte FC midfielder. He’d represent the latest shrewd move from Celtic, after securing J League trio Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi, as well as Irish striker Johnny Kenny.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

McGree, it’s hoped, can provide some magic either off the bench, or in rotation with David Turnbull or Tom Rogic.

It’s clear the Celtic boss has identified exactly where the Hoops have needed a boost in certain games, and we could now have a midfield absolutely packed with creativity, both starting and off the bench.

If it had been up to Albert Kidd, though, McGree would’ve been on our books years ago.

Read more: Report: Ange Postecoglou makes superb decision on Celtic defender Stephen Welsh