Bonnyrigg Rose boss wants Celtic B games postponed during international breaks

By David Walton

October 14, 2021

Bonnyrigg Rose manager Robbie Horn has stated that he wants Celtic and Rangers B matches to be postponed during international breaks.

The two Glasgow sides were left with weakened teams when they featured in Lowland League action during the break. Celtic went down in a 1-0 loss to Spartans last week but did overcome Gretna three days later. Rangers, meanwhile, were hammered 4-1 by Cumbernauld Colts.

Focusing on Celtic specifically, they had several of their top talents away on international duty. The likes of Bosun Lawal and Rocco Vata, two stars of the young Hoops side, were away with Ireland U19s and U17s respectively.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

And Horn believes taking the best players out for certain games undermines the integrity of the league, and instead called for postponements of Celtic B games during these periods.

As quoted by the Midlothian Advertiser, Horn said: “Rangers beat Berwick 6-1 and then it comes to the midweek game and they have players away on international duty, Celtic as well, and they both got beaten with their players missing. That’s no disrespect to Cumbernauld Colts and Spartans and it’s going to be the same scenario next month when Cumbernauld and Spartans are playing against Celtic and Rangers and they’re going to be having the same problems.

“It’s frustrating for the likes of ourselves. We play against the strongest Rangers team but then somebody else plays them when they’ve got eight or nine players missing. There’s nothing in place within the Lowland League to say that three players called up for international duty allows you to call the game off, which happens in most leagues in the UK.

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“It’s disappointing because it detracts from the league. We benefited from Rangers losing on this occasion but, in my opinion, I don’t think it’s right.”

No major issue; Celtic B can still compete regardless

Celtic B showed with their win over Gretna that they can still more than compete with players missing. No, they may not be at their strongest, but they still showed up well in both games during the break. Let’s not forget that the defeat to Spartans only came due to a late winner.

You can argue there are some teams in certain leagues that postpone games due to internationals. But it’s not widespread, and it’s not as if it’s accepted everywhere. You have to weigh up how much of a disadvantage it actually is to begin with.

The whole reason for the B team experiment this season was to give youth players a chance. if some are away on international duty, surely that just gives others an opportunity. Perhaps players who are deserving of the step-up and need the chance to show the B team manager their worth.

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By postponing games due to the international break, you’d be robbing other youngsters of opportunities. It’s no different to having a few players injured.

If, for example, Celtic were missing 10 or 11 players over the last week – that would be a different scenario. But when it’s a handful? Yes, they’re weakened, but not the extent a match should be pushed back.

Considering the integration of B teams is only a one-season plan in any case, it’s not as if a permanent solution needs to be thrashed out.

In other news, Celtic still need another striker in January; Kevin Nisbet should be the primary target