"It doesn't go away"; Controversial former Celtic youngster tearing it up across Irish sea
Liam Burt, released by Celtic in 2020, was known best for the controversy, he, albeit unintentionally, courted as a youngster.
Few have played for both Celtic and Rangers. Burt, who started in the Celtic Academy, was released and spent 9 years in the set-up at Murray Park. Except, he wasn’t done there, rejoining his boyhood club in 2019.
A lot was hoped of young Burt. But injuries, Covid-19 hampering opportunities and no clear route to the first team meant Burt had another big decision to make.
Having been a Scotland youth international, he surely would’ve had options at home. Social media abuse and the baggage of crossing the Glasgow divide, however, made him consider his options.
Instead, he crossed the Irish Sea and went to Bohemians. Fair to say, it’s paid off.
Playing 88% of the available minutes for the Dublin side, Burt has been pivotal domestically, and in the Europa Conference League. Although they didn’t win the title, Burt was superb, amassing 9 goals and 6 assists [Transfermarkt].
Keen to repay the faith shown to him by Bohs, Burt has expressed that his ability didn’t disappear amidst the controversy. Reflecting to the Scottish Daily Mail [27/11/21 print edition p.120], Burt said:
“You must accept that you have ability. Why would teams like Rangers and Celtic sign me, why would I be recognised at international level if I couldn’t play?
“It’s in there somewhere, it doesn’t go away.
“I believe I can play at the highest level. I did as a youth player, so why not as a senior?
“If I have to deal with anything bad, if anything goes wrong, I think I will be able to adapt to it. Deal with it a bit better because of what I have been through.”
Liam Burt, former teammate of Kieran Tierney and Billy Gilmour, hoping to make Celtic rue decision
It’s genuinely great to see Liam Burt doing well over in Ireland. Playing for a good, community club like Bohemians, he’ll get the backing and confidence that was lacking in Glasgow.
There’s a reason so few players move from Rangers to Celtic, or vice versa. It comes with attention; the kind of attention you don’t need, especially as a developing player.
Having been a teammate of both Kieran Tierney and Billy Gilmour, it’s sad that Burt hasn’t had quite the same career. Of course, not everyone can.
But it’s worth remembering that Burt’s name was much-hyped and he had plenty of caps at youth international level [Transfermarkt].
While it’s unlikely he’ll ever make the mark for Celtic again, he’ll certainly be wanting to make the management at the club regret their actions. That’s true of all released youngsters, obviously.
But in his first full season of professional football, Burt has been outstanding in a strong side. That counts for a great deal.
Will we see Liam Burt back on these shores? Time will tell. But make no mistake, he’s a motivated, talented individual who’s hoping to be remembered for more than crossing the Clyde.
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