Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley handed class training opportunity with senior Denmark squad
Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley is hoping to use his experiences in the Champions League next season to earn himself a spot in the Danish National side.
The 21-year old is currently on international duty with his nation at under-21 level and made his first start last week against Kazakhstan.
Within 60 seconds of the game kicking-off, the attacking midfielder’s quality was on the show, providing an assist for the opening goal from Gustav Isaksen.
Celtic fans will know all about the ability O’Riley possess, having joined the club from English League One side MK Dons in the January window.
The midfielder went on to become a key player in the middle of the park for Ange Postecoglou during the second half of the season, scoring four goals and providing two assists.
His form also earned him a first call-up within the Danish international u21 set-up, having previously appeared for England at u16 and u18 levels.
O’Riley already has higher aspirations at the international level, though, and is keen to make a quick breakthrough to the senior Danish squad.
During this international break, O’Riley was also offered the opportunity to train with the first-team, alongside top players such as Kasper Schmeichel and Pierre Hojbjerg.
In a recent interview, the midfielder opened up on his international experiences so far and his enjoyment of training with ‘very good players’ with both Celtic and Denmark.
O’Riley also stated his hope that performing at Champions League level with Celtic, would help him make the breakthrough into Kasper Hjulmand’s first team.
He said [Sun Sport]: “Getting a chance to train with the full team was good. I enjoy playing with very good players. That’s always where I feel most comfortable.
“That’s not to say I don’t feel comfortable here but I feel in my zone playing with really good players, pushing myself.
“It wasn’t the whole first team — the likes of Christian Eriksen wasn’t there — but there were still enough players to make the level good.
“I had some really good chats with the coaching staff as well, which was pretty cool!
He continued: “If you have that sort of culture, it just makes it more enjoyable to train and play. I’ve been fortunate to have that here and at Celtic.
“I think Denmark were checking me out and that’s obviously a target in my head. I’ve said that openly before. As much as I’m enjoying the Under-21s, I feel I’m at a level to play for the first team.
“The likes of Champions League football to come with Celtic should help.
“If I can show my qualities at that level it should do my chances no harm. But it’s also not completely in my control. I can just do what I can.”
The incredible six-month turnaround in Matt O’Riley’s career.
It wasn’t long ago that Matt O’Riley found himself as a free agent after turning down a new deal with Fulham.
However, the midfielder found himself at MK Dons where he was able to perform and earn a move to Celtic Park.
Since then, O’Riley has had an incredible turnaround, going from League One to a title winner and training with the Danish international team.
Next season, he will also have the opportunity to perform on the biggest stage in European Football as Celtic get set for a return to the Champions League.
Some big performances for the Hoops next season could see O’Riley make a late push for the Danish Qatar 2022 World Cup, which would top off a whirlwind 12 months for the talented midfielder.