Ex-Celtic talent spotter John Park has joined Polish side Legia Warsaw.
Park has had an illustrious scouting and youth development career. He was part of the Hibs backroom staff which brought through current Celtic captain Scott Brown. He also helped to introduce Scotland internationals Kevin Thomson, Steven Fletcher and Garry O’Connor.
After joining Celtic in 2007, Park helped bring players like Virgil van Dijk, Victor Wanyama and Fraser Forster to the club (Talking Baws). An astute scout and recruitment specialist, Park was also important to the signings of Ki Seung-Yeung and Moussa Dembélé, who has just moved to La Liga leaders Atlético Madrid.
When Park left Celtic in 2016, Peter Lawwell said (Daily Record):
“John has played a key role in the identification of some fantastic Celtic players over the years, players who have entertained the Celtic support and have gone on to have great careers with Celtic and beyond.
“I would like to thank John for the excellent job he has done for the club over the past nine years.
“I have enjoyed working with John and I am sorry that he has decided to move on.”
Legia Warsaw represents big opportunity for ex-Celtic chief scout John Park
Park will join Legia as the head of international recruitment.
The former Celtic man has every reason to be excited about his future with the Polish giants. Legia sit top of the Polish Ekstraklasa after 14 games, and the club are hoping to make inroads in European competition. Park’s eye for a player will be key to that development.
Celtic fans might feel aggrieved to not have Park back at the club. We got our fair share from the talent scout, but with Nick Hammond’s job currently under threat, Park would have been an ideal replacement.
How Celtic could use a talent spotter of his calibre right now. The Bhoys’ recruitment has been heavily scrutinised, with the club relentlessly linked to ex-players like Fraser Forster and Patrick Roberts.
Upon signing for Legia Warsaw, Park said (Scottish Sun):
“I am delighted to be joining Legia Warsaw and I’m looking forward to the challenges in the upcoming months.
“I’ve had many discussions with the president and the club’s coaching staff. Having spoken to them, it was an easy decision to join.
“I know that the club and all the people working there have high expectations and ambitions. The obvious goal beyond winning the national trophies is to qualify for the group stage of the European competitions. I hope that with my knowledge and previous experience in this field, I will be able to contribute to that.
In Celtic transfer news, the club are being linked with a highly-rated Sky Bet Championship winger.