Former Celtic Head of Sport Science Ian Coll has been speaking about his move to Ludogorets and the facilities at the Bulgarian club.
The Hoops employee, who worked for eight years at the club under the likes of Neil Lennon and Brendan Rodgers, is now in a similar role at the Bulgarian eight-in-a-row champions.
And he’s given an update that just goes to highlight the task we face to make the Champions League each season.
“I was happy and settled and had no immediate ambitions to get back into football, but it was a great project at Ludogorets and I’ve been here for two years now,” Coll explained to Training Ground Guru.
“Once I met the owner and was given the tour of the facilities I realised they were very forward thinking and ambitious.
“The training ground was outstanding, I couldn’t believe it.
“They had six grass pitches, one with a small stand that seated 500 and all with floodlights; two full astroturf pitches, a goalkeeping area, cryotherapy, ice baths, pool, steam room and sauna, a full medical centre, full sport science provision, analysts, two full-time sport psychologists. I could go on…”
Coll was surprised at quality of Ludogorets facilities
Celtic may be a far bigger club than Ludogorets, based on average crowds, European history and player wages.
However, the Bulgarians are about as similar a team as we can find over the past decade or so.
They’ve spent two of the last seven seasons in the Champions League group stage, with a further four in the Europa League’s equivalent.
They’ve enjoyed unparalleled domestic success and are also in the last 32 of this season’s Europa League.
Putting it simply, they are the exact kind of team we need to better to make the Champions League each season.
But they’re no mugs. Coll’s comments show that Ludogorets’ facilities are pretty impressive and probably on a par with ourselves (as the article body suggests).
These kind of teams are seriously well oiled machines. And in the absence of any major TV money, we’re left scrapping with them for European glory.
But domestically at least, we can route for them. A team in green winning ten-in-a-row. It couldn’t happen more than once could it?