Celtic youth prospect Reece Willison has opened up on the “incredible” goalkeeping standard at the club.
Willison is another of a belt of talent growing in the youth team. Under the watch of Tommy McIntyre’s goalkeeping coach Colin Meldrum, Willison has been playing his part in helping the reserves go two points clear at the top of the Reserve League
A rotational system is in place in the Hoops reserves. This has led to Willison, Ryan Mullen, and Ross Doohan all featuring in goals for the second-string this season.
Willison has been one of the youngsters to have rubbed shoulders with the first-team to. And, speaking in the Celtic View (Volume 54, Issue 36, Page 32 and 33), he spoke about the high level of quality in between the Parkhead sticks.
“Any time we’re with Scott, Dorus or Craig it’s always an incredible standard. The three of them have had incredible careers.
“Scott’s younger than the other two, so he still has many years ahead of him. Even from when Scott first came in, he’s improved massively. It’s a brilliant standard. The only thing you can do in that environment is learn and improve.
“Scott is very good with his feet, Craig is a great all-rounder, and Dorus has a ridiculous amount of experience. I try to learn from each of them and use it as best I can when I play. Dorus has taken training a few times, but before Conor Hazard went out on loan he was training regularly with us.”
More going on behind the scenes than we know
We all know about what Scott Bain and Craig Gordon bring to the table. But it’s felt for the last two years as though Dorus de Vries has simply sat around doing nothing. It seems that’s totally unfair on the big Dutchman, however.
Going by Willison’s words here, de Vries is an influential member of the goalkeeping team at Celtic. Despite only making a total of just 15 appearances for the Hoops since arriving in August 2016, he has bags of experience. Playing over 300 times in his career, there’s plenty he can pass on to the youngsters at Parkhead.
As for the goalkeeping situation down in our youth academy, it’s looking promising. Mullen was part of the Scotland under-19 squad that came so close to qualifying for the Euro 2019 tournament last week. Conor Hazard, meanwhile, is first-choice at Partick Thistle with Doohan the same at Ayr.
Willison will hopefully be next for a loan move away from Parkhead, regardless of what he’s learning in training with the current crop of first-team shot-stoppers. But it’s looking positive from a fan perspective in our goalkeeping ranks regardless.