Two Celtic youngsters were powerless to stop Dunfermline falling at the first play-off hurdle.

In fact, they were thwarted by a side including Regan Hendry, who was let go by Celtic in 2019. Hendry was a much-talked about Academy prospect in the mid 2010s [Celtic FC], but the midfielder is now thriving in Fife.

In a local-ish derby between the Kirkcaldy men and Dunfermline Athletic, it was John McGlynn’s Rovers who progressed to the play-off semi-final. Goals from Lewis Vaughan and Gozie Ugwu were enough to see off the Pars. Stevie Crawford started Celtic youngster Ewan Henderson once again, two weeks after his assist exploits against Arbroath.

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Henderson played on the left of midfield, with his teammate Kerr McInroy unable to get off the bench [BBC].

 

It’s a disappointing end to a fruitful loan spell for both youngsters. Manager Stevie Crawford has spoken kindly about Henderson and McInroy in recent weeks, and would be delighted to see them return in 21-22.

Celtic youngsters

Former Celtic youngster Regan Hendry got the better of Dunfermline today / (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Celtic youngsters’ impact on Pars has been impressive

Prior to joining Dunfermline on loan, Kerr McInroy and Ewan Henderson had both been named in match-day squads for Celtic. In August, McInroy was unlucky not to play in wins against Dundee United and Motherwell. Henderson, meanwhile, has cut a frustrated figure. Utilised to great effect against Lille, the attacking midfielder’s versatility should’ve guaranteed him more action for Celtic.

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The young duo needed first-team experience, and that’s what they’ve got. While it’s been a story of fits and starts for McInroy, Henderson has generally started games and shown his creativity. A return of 1 goal and 3 assists in the Championship, after a short-notice, break-neck loan agreement, is a more than solid return.

While McInroy might need another loan spell, there’s surely got to be a place for Ewan Henderson at Celtic next season. Liked by Rodgers but used sparingly by Lennon, his positional adaptability and potential are surely attractive qualities. The next Celtic manager may have a real talent on his hands.

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