Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou is playing the youngest side in the Scottish Premiership

By Euan Davidson

October 23, 2021

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou promised he’d make youth development a focal point of his tenure at the club [Celtic FC].

So far, so good. According to the stats experts at Opta, Celtic have the youngest squad in the Scottish Premiership [Sacha Pisani].

It’s little surprise, when you think about it. Across the squad, there’s been an influx of talented young players making the difference. At the back, there’s 22-year-old Academy talent Anthony Ralston and 19-year-old Adam Montgomery. Stephen Welsh and Dane Murray have also been in the wings, with Cameron Carter-Vickers only 23.

In midfield, David Turnbull has been a mainstay, at 22. He was both the Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year for Celtic last season.

Up front, the options are there, too. Liel Abada has only just turned 20, with Benfica loanee Jota also 22.

On the bench, the likes of Liam Shaw, Osaze Urhoghide, Liam Scales and Mikey Johnston are all at the start of their careers. Academy talents like Ewan Henderson and Karamoko Dembele are also in the squad [Celtic FC].

With all this said, there’s still plenty of experience in the team. There are plenty of internationals in the squad, including 75-cap Joe Hart, who at 34, must feel ancient by comparison.

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67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Meanwhile, there’s Carl Starfelt, Callum McGregor, Tom Rogic, James Forrest and James McCarthy to create a good blend in the squad.

If you were being uncharitable, you could argue that youth and inexperience is one of the factors behind our more disappointing results this season. But Postecoglou has done well to mould a squad with a combination of exuberance and big-game experience.

Ange Postecoglou will no doubt look to Academy in his Celtic future, but Scottish Premiership stat is impressive in the present

Exciting times. It’s great that Celtic aren’t just signing young players to develop them in the long-term, either. The likes of Jota and Abada have featured prominently since arriving at the club.

It’s something that Postecoglou, a former youth international coach, surely takes great pride in. And knowing there’s some talented youngsters in the Academy is surely a significant boost.

Last night, the Celtic U18s put Partick Thistle to the sword. A young Celtic B Team is making waves in the SLFL, a creditable 9th of 18 teams in their maiden season [SLFL].

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

It seems, at long last, that there’s an actual route for Academy players to progress. Meanwhile, smart pick-ups from abroad have served the first-team well in recent seasons. Think of Jeremie Frimpong as an example there.

It’s positive momentum. Postecoglou is clearly building Celtic to be successful now, and in the future.

Read more: 2 returns, lethal attack; Celtic Predicted XI vs St Johnstone