Celtic defensive prospect Stephen Welsh has hailed the presence of John Kennedy in Lennoxtown training, believing that the former defender teaches him things he’d miss otherwise.

In an interview with club magazine The Celtic View (29/07 print edition, page 20), Welsh shared his ambition to break into the Celtic first-team and earn himself more minutes in competitive action.

He made his debut for the club in February against Hamilton and impressed as part of a three-man defence.

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It was an exciting sign we have a homegrown youngster on our hands who has a genuine chance of making it at Celtic as a central defender for the first time in quite a while.

The 20-year-old is still learning of course and it sounds like Kennedy is absolutely crucial in that respect, alongside Welsh’s teammates.

As quoted by The Celtic View (29/07 print edition, page 20), he said: “John Kennedy has been brilliant in helping me. I pick up things from him every day when we are doing defensive work. He gives good information every day and makes you think about your body shape, your positioning and passing.

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“There’s a lot of simple things that he points out that you can easily miss.

“Kris Ajer and Chris Jullien have been great as well. I’ve picked up a lot from them in terms of what they do in the gym and out on the pitch.”

Kennedy has been part of the Celtic first-team coaching set-up for years now, surviving the change of manager from Ronny Deila to Brendan Rodgers and then to Neil Lennon.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon and coach John Kennedy

Celtic manager Neil Lennon and coach John Kennedy / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

His influence has increased over time and he is considered by Lennon to be a big part of our recent success.

There’s even a chance that one day in the distant future he takes over as manager.

Welsh’s comments are great to hear and hopefully, as he continues to learn his trade, we see more of the youngster over the next 12 months.

In other news, Celtic’s transfer priorities have been detailed in a report from Stephen McGowan this week.

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