Celtic youngster Luca Connell helps SPFL side to promotion

By Euan Davidson

April 21, 2021

Celtic Academy players Luca Connell and Brody Paterson helped fire Queens Park to promotion last night.

The Spiders are as yet unbeaten in League 2, and secured automatic entry to League One with a goalless draw at home to Elgin City [QPFC].

Full-back Paterson, and creative midfield dynamo Connell, have been excellent in the fourth tier this season. The side, who voted to turn professional in 2019, have massively improved. The team that took a chance on Scotland captain Andy Robertson now boast legitimate top-flight talent in their ranks. Ex-Hibs striker Simon Murray and Jai Quitongo are both solid SPFL players.

So, while it’s no surprise, it’s still excellent news for the Celtic Academy. Away from Celtic, the two first-teamers, and another Celtic loanee in Ryan Mullen, have added silverware to their CV.

Ryan Mullen in action for Scotland’s under-19s / (Photo by Lukasz Sobala/PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images)

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Celtic Academy youngsters making history

For Luca Connell, Brody Paterson and Ryan Mullen, it would’ve just been a chance to make some career headway outside of Lennoxtown.

However, they’ve played their part in history. Queens Park have recruited shrewdly, and look a good bet to finish their maiden professional season unbeaten. That’s significant, and it’s something these players can legitimately be proud of for years to come.

While there’s certainly argument that Connell could probably be tested at a higher level, given his exploits with Bolton Wanderers, less is known about Paterson and Mullen. At 19, Mullen has been a Scotland youth international for years, having made 9 appearances for the country’s Under-19s [Transfermarkt]. Left-back Brody Paterson, meanwhile, has made strides with the Spiders.

Certainly, Connell will be hoping to compete for first-team minutes next season. That’s well known by now. What the future holds for Mullen and Paterson, less so.

Whether the two will be tasked with helping Queens Park to stay in the third tier next season is a mystery. But some continuity could be the making of them as footballers.

In any case, it’s fantastic to see Celtic Academy talents making their mark outside of the club.

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