Celtic defender Stephen Welsh could be made Scotland U21 captain

By John McGinley

August 22, 2021

Celtic defender Stephen Welsh is a strong contender to be made captain of the Scotland U21 side for their Euro qualifying campaign, The Sunday Post reports.

The paper reckons Welsh is in line to get the armband.

Scotland face Turkey away from home next month to kick-off their bid to reach the U21 Euros. The recently announced squad which includes Celtic duo Welsh and Adam Montgomery also play Wales in a friendly during the upcoming international break.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

And head coach Scot Gemmill has been speaking in glowing terms about the central defender, admitting he’s ahead of other candidates in the squad right now.

As quoted by The Sunday Post [22/08 print edition, page 10], Gemmill said: “Stephen deserves enormous credit. Right now, his level of performance seems to be rising all the time, and he’s also becoming more consistent.

“Historically, he’s been very strong for Scotland’s youth teams. He was one of the players who qualified for the Euro Under-17 Finals in Croatia four years ago. They won all three games in qualification and conceded just one goal.

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“Stephen was a big part of that. He’s got good youth international experience, and it’s brilliant we can add to that with the 21s. Where they start now, and where they finish at the end of the campaign, is really interesting to watch.

“Stephen is ahead of a lot of players right now because he’s playing for one of the biggest clubs in the top competitions. You know, with that, he’ll have to fight to stay in the team. It couldn’t be tougher for him but he’s doing very well.”

It would be fantastic to see the youngster wear the armband for his country. Right now he is certainly showing leadership qualities within the Celtic squad, despite his age.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

He’s stepped up and taken responsibility for the club under enormous pressure, even adapting his defensive role to see more of the ball in the opposition half.

If he shoes consistency this season for club and country then it sets him up for a massive career, potentially at an elite level with the Bhoys.

There’s a long road ahead for him and nothing is guaranteed. But his progress right now is great to watch and hopefully it continues.

In other news, Liel Abada makes it clear he’s loving the Celtic song fans have given him already.