Celtic winger Jonny Hayes reckons that there’s “definitely something wrong” with Scott Brown – as the Hoops skipper continues to improve with every passing year.
Hayes and Brown are two of the more experienced members of Neil Lennon’s first-team squad. The Scotsman may be 34-years-old but he’s still as big a part of the team as ever, and has featured in each of our last 18 matches.
Good things don’t tend to last forever and one day Brown’s Celtic career will come to an end. But Hayes can’t see that being anytime soon given the midfielder’s level of fitness.
“I think Broony will tell you himself, he pushes himself that little bit more every year, so that he can stay at the top of the tree,” the Irishman told this week’s Celtic View. (volume 55, issue 20, page 14)
“There’s definitely something wrong with him. We have a bit of banter with him being a bit older, but I’ve never seen a player of his age with that level of fitness. His enthusiasm is incredible. He’s a dressing room prankster but when it’s time to be serious, he’s the most serious guy in there.
“He’s also infectious and his work ethic spills over into the rest of the squad.”
International retirement has helped Brown immensely
On the face of it, it seems pretty remarkable that Brown can still have such a big influence on Celtic at the age of 34. The former Hibs man’s whole game is based on energy and tempo, and you would forgive him for lacking a little of that given his advanced years.
His decision to retire from Scotland in February 2018 can be considered a stroke of genius too. Brown now gets extended fortnight breaks while international football goes on – something which must be a real luxury for him.
He’s had three already this season and will soon get an extended winter break to recuperate too. Brown is also unlikely to play in each of Celtic’s 11 matches over the next six weeks. The likes of Olivier Ntcham and Nir Bitton could both take the strain off him in some of the lesser games, like at home to Hamilton.
But when the big clashes come around, you only want one man leading the team out. Hayes and everyone else knows that.