Celtic youngster Kieran McGrath’s contract is up at the end of the season, but the striker has his eyes set on earning a new one.
McGrath, who initially signed for Celtic from Hibs back in 2015, is currently on loan at East Kilbride. According to the Scottish Lowland League’s official website, he’s currently on one goal since signing back in September.
However, McGrath has been making a positive impact in recent development matches. He bagged a fine double against Clyde in the City of Glasgow Cup last week. He then followed it up with another at Huddersfield Town in this week’s challenge match down in England.
He’s in some decent form with the development squad, and McGrath has opened up on wanting a new deal with his current one expiring in the summer. Speaking to the Celtic View (Volume 55, Issue 27, Pages 40 and 41), McGrath spoke about his current situation:
“It’s good to be back playing. I’m out on loan at East Kilbride and I’m getting game-time there as well as here at Celtic. It’s a great situation for me to be in because I’m getting that game-time that I’ve been craving and I’m getting minutes in the legs.
“That’s me into the last six months of my contract now, so I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can to prove that I need a new contract. I’m not thinking about scoring as many goals as I can. Right now, my focus is to work hard and help the other players around me.
“Ultimately, I’m wanting to do enough to earn a new contract. If I don’t get a new contract, I know I’ll have given it my all. I’m not putting any numbers on things with my ambition for the rest of the season.”
McGrath has serious competition at youth level
Battling to get into Tommy McIntyre’s reserves squad is a good start, but McGrath has some big competition that he’s up against at youth level.
Considering he’s 18, he has a lot of development left to carry out. However, he’s also up against youngsters such as Jack Aitchison, Jonathan Afolabi, and Michael Sparkes respectively. Sparkes, however, has reportedly been invited down to Crystal Palace for a trial (Scottish Sun).
There’s no denying that he could do with some more goals in the Lowland League to boost his cause. At the moment, East Kilbride sit seventh in the 16-team division. A productive second half of the campaign will do him no harm in his case for another Celtic deal.
But he’s striking good form at the right time for the reserves too. Supporters love to see the development squad doing well, and if he keeps impressing there he’ll continue to build up his case under the nose of McIntyre.
Regardless, McGrath appears to have a cool head on his shoulders. He’s even contemplating life without a new contract, and it’s important that he keeps a level head.
Between now and May there’s plenty of football to be played. So long as he keeps getting his name on scoresheets, he’ll have a better chance of putting his name on a new contract for his long-term future.