Leicester City raid Celtic for highly-qualified member of staff

By Euan Davidson

December 15, 2021

Celtic have had another member of staff pinched by Leicester City, although it’s not likely to be as controversial as Brendan Rodgers’ departure.

Oliver Morgan, the club’s Head of Academy Sports Science since 2019, has been snapped up by the Foxes. There, he’ll have the role of Head of Academy Performance Support [Training Ground Guru].

Morgan was a shrewd hire by Celtic in 2019. Prior to working for the Hoops, he worked with Liverpool’s Academy set-up, which has produced the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Curtis Jones over recent years.

Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Morgan will join ex-Manchester United Under 18s coach Paul McGuinness in the Leicester City Academy set-up. With Brendan Rodgers leading the first team, youth player development is clearly a focus at the King Power Stadium.

In recent seasons, Leicester City have brought through the likes of Hamza Choudhury and Luke Thomas. They’ve also recruited well from other clubs, with young English talents like James Justin making a mark in the first-team.

Celtic will surely miss the talents of Morgan. He has a BSc from the University of Birmingham, an MRes from the University of Coventry, and a doctorate from Liverpool John Moores University [Athletic Evolution].

Those qualifications surely would’ve put him in good stead to help deliver an Ange Postecoglou wish; bringing in several players from the Academy who can deal with first-team demands right away.

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Celtic lose another talented member of staff to Leicester City

Yes, the jokes are obvious. Brendan Rodgers has taken two years to get this done, and so on.

But Celtic will have to recruit smartly, because this is a role that matters. Getting Academy players fit enough to deal with the demands of not just the professional game, but Ange’s version of football, is a lot of work.

Anton McElhone will surely have a list of names for the Celtic board. His experience with Tottenham Hotspur, as well as with the MLS, has to have led to him having a network of people he’d want to work with.

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

In the past, though, Celtic have been slow to replace staff. The example of the manager is obvious. Beyond that, though, it took ages to put Anton McElhone in his position to take over from Jack Nayler, who left the club in June.

It’s a great opportunity for the highly-qualified Oliver Morgan, though.

But given the plans Ange has for the future, and his focus on sports science at all levels, Morgan’s replacement will have to be just as good.

Read more: Celtic teammate at a loss over Vasilis Barkas’ difficult Hoops spell