Celtic B Team start life against most vociferous opponents of SLFL membership

By Euan Davidson

July 15, 2021

Even the mention of a Celtic B (or “Colts”) team will attract controversy.

Despite second-string sides being a regular fixture in football across Europe, it’s an idea that’s long attracted opprobrium in Scotland. Even the compromise, joining the SLFL for one season, was met with ire.

Not least by Bonnyrigg Rose FC. Back in May, the club made a statement following an internal vote on Celtic and Rangers joining the SLFL. At the time, the club stated [Bonnyrigg Rose]:

“After a 72 hour consultation process with our members on the Celtic and Rangers B team proposal, they have decided by an overwhelming majority to reject said proposal by 95% to 5%.

“A number of reasons for rejection were raised as part of the consultation process, but the over-riding one was that of sporting integrity which has been an overused phrase over the past couple of seasons.

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“It isn’t that long ago that 13 East of Scotland sides and their board decided unanimously not only to allow us and 25 others entry to the East of Scotland League, but to allow us to play at the same level as existing teams and creating the Conferences.

“Simply put, by voting this proposal through we turn this league into one for hire and that can’t possibly correlate with any semblance of either sporting or pyramid integrity.”

Fast-forward a few months and oh, guess who we’re facing in our first game [SLFL].

In fairness to Bonnyrigg Rose, it’s not that they objected to Celtic FC as an institution. Just that they were not keen on the Bhoys’ B Team entering their league.

Celtic B Team have added motivation ahead of SLFL curtain-raiser

As always with Celtic, there’s subtext. It’s not enough that it’s the first Celtic B Team SLFL match, after years of to-ing and fro-ing over SPFL membership.

It also happens to be against a team who were vociferously against us being there. To my mind, that’s motivation for Celtic on Saturday. Youth coach Tommy McIntyre, assuming he takes charge as he has done for prior Colts games, can use this to create a siege mentality.

Photo by Ross MacDonald – SNS GroupSNS Group via Getty Images

These guys don’t want us here, he could say. So let’s give them a doing.

The first tie for Celtic’s brand-new B Team kicks off at New Dundas Park on Saturday at 3pm [Sun]. It’s an event in itself, with some potentially big names involved.

We’ll get a very clear indication of which Celtic players are “projects” and who’s being considered for the first team. That, for Celtic obsessives like us, is great material.

67 Hail Hail will be extensively covering the B Team in the SLFL this season.

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