Cameron Harper packs on 3kg of muscle; discusses training with Celtic first-team after summer phone call

By John McGinley

September 6, 2020

Cameron Harper has been talking about his progress in Celtic training this year, suggesting he is making great strides towards a senior debut, in an interview with the official club website today.

As we discussed last week, manager Neil Lennon has been singing the American U20s international’s praises after including him in the Bhoys’ last three matchday squads.

So far he’s been an unused substitute against Dundee United, Ferencvaros and Motherwell but could soon get his first minutes in a Celtic jersey.

The work he’s put in to get to this point sounds significant and it appears he is adding a new physicality to his game that could hasten his senior introduction.

Neil Lennon in Celtic training / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

As quoted by CelticFC.net, Harper said: “I’ve had so much free time at night so I used that to do strength work to try and bulk up a little. I did upper body and lower body stuff, but I didn’t have a full gym at my home so it was more bodyweight stuff and using the medicine ball.

“I’ve put on around three kilos of muscle and I’ve noticed that’s helped me handle the challenges of training with the first team better.

“I received a call to tell me I was coming back to train with the first team. I was a little bit nervous but I had a few days to get my head around it.

“I hadn’t talked much with anyone in the first team before, so coming to train with players I didn’t know made me a bit nervous. I felt like I hadn’t earned their respect yet but I told myself all I could do was come in, work hard and try to impress the coaches.”

Neil Lennon in Celtic training / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Harper is an attacking talent who features primarily on the flanks and it just so happens that’s an area of the team lacking depth right now.

Lennon can call upon James Forrest and Mohamed Elyounoussi but with Mikey Johnston injured, there aren’t many others in reserve.

That, coupled with the American youngster’s hard work, could see him feature in the weeks and months to come, especially with no sign of a winger arriving as a new transfer at the club.

If Harper keeps making the matchday squads on merit, it’s only a matter of time before he becomes the latest youngster to debut under Lennon.

In other news, Tom Rogic has been spotted happy and taking part in Celtic training despite transfer speculation.