Former Celtic prospect Jack Aitchison has been speaking to our good friends at the Glasgow Is Green Podcast about life at Lennoxtown, wanting to leave the Bhoys long before he did and how he’s getting on now.
Aitchison, let’s not forget, still holds a record at Celtic. He became the club’s youngest ever goalscorer back in 2016, during Ronny Deila’s last match in charge of the club.
Hopes were high he could make a breakthrough into the first-team at the club he’s trained with since he was six years old.
However, opportunities were limited and, after three senior appearances at the Bhoys, he eventually decided that his career should progress elsewhere.
As explained to GIGPOD, despite offers from Germany, France and Holland, Aitchison ultimately chose to sign for Barnsley.
He’s been out on loan at English Two side Stevenage this season though, where he’s made 13 appearances in an injury-struck campaign.
It’s been difficult for him, and the young striker explains his situation during the pandemic means he’s been living out of a hotel since October.
For Aitchison, it’s all about being at a club he can play regularly at. The 20-year-old told GIGPOD host Stevie that he’d been trying to leave Celtic for a while.
“For the last year, year and a half, I’d wanted out,” Aitchison explained. “I actually tried to get out before I went to Forest Green on loan. I believe everything happens for a reason and obviously, I went there and done well, which stood me in good stead for getting that move to Barnsley.
“It was obviously a bit of a difficult one. It was nearly the full lockdown that a deal was getting sorted. There was back and forth; it was a bit tough. I don’t think Celtic really wanted me to go, but I just tried to get out and play football.
“I didn’t see a pathway for me there. I was really frustrated, so I wanted to get out and get a fresh start somewhere new. Sometimes that’s what it takes.”
Despite his exit, Aitchison can also provide supporters with a bit of insight into the recent culture and routine at Celtic’s training ground as a homegrown youngster.
The striker explained to GIGPOD: “Day to day, you arrive at Lennoxtown about 9 am, go straight up for breakfast. You’ve then got an hour to 90 minutes to chill. You do all your pre-activation in the gym, go out and train, get your lunch.
“It depends on how many games a week you have. Maybe you’ll go in and do extra gym work or recovery. Sometimes the days are long or quite short.
“The more you’re up there, you adapt and become professional. When it’s going good, it’s good, but when you have tough times, sometimes the training ground can be a tough place to be.”
Aitchison goes on to talk about a professional footballer’s diet at Celtic, nutritionists and everything that goes into making it at the club.
The youngster also talks about his relationships with Ronny Deila, Brendan Rodgers and Neil Lennon.
It’s a fascinating listen from start to finish. I’d highly recommend checking it out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or other podcast apps.
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