Celtic join new cross-border league

By Hamish Carton

September 17, 2019

Celtic will be part of a new six team cross-border competition this season after leaving the SPFL Reserve League.

The Daily Record report that the Hoops will be joined by fellow Scottish drop-outs Rangers, Hibernian and Aberdeen, plus English sides Huddersfield Town and Brentford in the strange looking mini-league.

(Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

The competition, which starts this week, will see all six teams face each other home and away before the league’s top two sides contest a final.

Celtic development coaches Tommy McIntyre and Stephen McManus will field mainly under-21 squads but they will be allowed three overage players plus an overage goalkeeper.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Cross-border league will be good for Celtic

It will be really interesting to see how many of the club’s recent recruits feature in this tournament, especially in the opening fixtures. The likes of Jeremie Frimpong, Lee O’Connor and Luca Connell will all have been signed for first-team matters eventually but they may have to make their name at development level first.

(Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

That trio plus Jonathan Afolabi, Karamoko Dembele and Armstrong Oko-Flex will all have designs on making some appearances for Neil Lennon’s side this season. However, the general level of competition Celtic have in almost every area suggests that it may be tough for them to make the breakthrough without stars first leaving.

This competition, and the restructured Glasgow Cup to a lesser extent, will give these young Celtic starlets more of a chance to impress than in the previous Reserve League. They should be testing themselves against better teams on a more regular basis, and that can only be good for their development.