Celtic defender Scales backed by Ireland boss after 6,000 miles and no minutes

By Euan Davidson

October 13, 2021

Imagine travelling the best part of 6,000 miles with your national team only to miss out on the squad entirely; that was the case for Liam Scales with Ireland this week past.

However, Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has thrown his backing behind the new Celtic signing, who made his bow against Raith Rovers in the Premier Sports Cup.

Scales is yet to really make a breakthrough at Celtic, since joining from Shamrock Rovers. With Greg Taylor out, Adam Montgomery, Boli Bolingoli and Josip Juranovic have been preferred at left-back.

While at centre-back, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Carl Starfelt and Stephen Welsh are above the Irishman in Postecoglou’s thinking.

It’s his lack of game time that’s probably hampered his immediate Ireland prospects. So hinted Kenny when discussing the snubbed Irish defender.

Kenny said [Irish Mirror]:

“Liam is just emerging.

“He did really well at Shamrock Rovers, a brilliant season.

“He is versatile and will be looking to try and get into the Celtic team.”

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Liam Scales will surely get his chances for Celtic and Ireland

It’s worth pointing out how many Ireland and Celtic fans were left disappointed by Scales’ lack of game-time. The logic of bringing players along for their first caps, only to turn them down in a friendly is difficult to understand, in fairness.

From an international manager’s perspective though, he probably hasn’t seen enough of Scales in action to justify playing him. But again, by that logic, he’s seen enough to call him up.

It’s a confusing one.

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With the travel involved, it probably makes sense to warn players in advance. Representing your country is paramount to most footballers, yes, but it probably eats at training or rest time being called up to essentially be a passenger on long-haul flights.

Will Scales get his breakthrough moment this season? It’s hard to say. With his positional versatility, you’d have thought Postecoglou might have him earmarked for a game or two before Christmas. With a constantly unforgiving schedule, squad rotation is key.

And with the relative hassle it took to bring Scales over, it’s got to be worth seeing what he can do. Against Raith Rovers, he looked like a mobile, aggressive defender with very decent passing to his game.

Inevitably, the time will come for Scales. For both Celtic and Ireland.

Read more: Former Celtic striker Darren Jackson surprised Bhoys didn’t go for Lydon Dykes