Celtic will field a reserve and youth team in an upcoming bounce game against Hibernian, assistant manager John Kennedy has told The Celtic View (11/11 print edition, page 7).
An array of Celtic stars are currently off around the world representing their countries in friendlies, playoffs and Nations League matches.
However, the work doesn’t stop at Lennoxtown.
Neil Lennon and his coaching staff have made arrangements to play a friendly against Hibernian, with several reserve and youth players expected to turn out.
Kennedy told The Celtic View (11/11 print edition, page 7): “There are a lot of players away but the Reserves have a friendly against Hibs.
“Some of the younger guys will play in that and the guys who’ve been playing recently had two days off after the Motherwell game and have been working hard throughout the rest of the week.
“Again, the players are all asking to come in and work on their time off which is exactly what we want to see.
“This period gives some of them time to work on their own individual games. It’ll also give them the chance to get any knocks or niggles out of the way and then go again for the next period.”
The friendly could be an excellent opportunity for some of the younger players in the squad, such as Luca Connell and Ewan Henderson, to get some much-needed game time under their belts.
They’ll also have the opportunity to catch the eye of Lennon ahead of a vast block of fixtures in November and December.
With others, such as long-term absentee Mikey Johnston, also needing to build match fitness, the friendly makes perfect sense.
Celtic have ten games scheduled between now and the end of the year and the manager will likely have to use the full depth of his squad to navigate those treacherous waters.
The manager has kept some of these fringe players at the club for a reason, having not been shy in sending others out on loan, so the next breakthrough talent may not be far away.