Young Celtic star Barry Coffey’s progression has perhaps been going under the radar this season.
The Republic of Ireland midfielder has spent time with both Tommy McIntyre’s reserve team, and the under-18s. Added to that, he’s managed to represent and captain his country at both under-18s and under-19s level.
There’s certainly no denying that Coffey has been making his mark in youth football. Signed by the Hoops ahead of the likes of Manchester United, it’s likely Celtic have extremely high hopes for the youngster.
And, touching upon his Celtic dream in the Celtic View (Volume 54, Issue 37, Page 35), Coffey gave fans an insight into his hopes for the future.
“Short-term, I want to win silverware this year. It’s been a good and productive year. All the way back at pre-season, we set a standard that we wanted to keep going all through the campaign.
“Long-term, I must say that everyone coming through in my position dreamds of playing on a sunny day at Celtic Park. If you don’t dream about that, and you don’t want to play there, then there’s no point in being here.
“Of course, that’s the end goal, but I’ll take it step-by-step and day-by, and hopefully one day I do get on to Celtic Park with the big boys.”
Reserve work vital to first-team progression
Coffey has had a fine campaign with the reserves. They have just three games remaining before potentially lifting the SPFL Reserve League title.
But for Coffey individually, he’s coming into a nice vein of form just in time. He followed up a strike for the under-18s with a goal and assist in Paisley for the reserves against St Mirren last week. On Monday, he was up playing a commanding part in the 3-1 win over Ross County in Dingwall.
Most of the talk of the season has been about the progression of Karamoko Dembele and Armstrong Oko-flex. The former was given his first professional contract this season, whilst the latter made a squad appearance in the 1-0 win at Rugby Park back in February.
And whilst both are immense talents that could have huge futures at Parkhead, it’s important to allow the spotlight on to the likes of Coffey, Wallace Duffy, and captain Kerr McInroy, who have all impressed for the reserves this season.
Coffey’s international contribution must also be commended. At just 18, he’ll likely be taking part in the European Championships this July for Ireland.
But, more immediately, the visit of Rangers Reserves this Monday night is essential in his quest for silverware. Here’s hoping we see an inspiring performance from the Celtic second-string.