Neil Lennon has confirmed that the Celtic development squad will feature on Monday, and that Hoops youngster Mikey Johnston’s fitness will be monitored during it.
The Hoops haven’t managed to get many opportunities for the Lennoxtown youngsters to strut their stuff this season due to the lack of structured games available to them. Celtic pulled out of the SPFL Reserve League in the summer of 2019.
One of the notable performers in last week’s 3-0 Glasgow Cup success against Rangers however was young Johnston. The tricky winger was a constant in Lennon’s team last season before being struck down with a nasty knee injury that required surgery. He’s been back in training since as he looks to build up his strength.
And Lennon has confirmed that tomorrow will provide Mikey with another 45 minutes as he looks to slowly integrate him back into first-team action.
As quoted by the Daily Record, Lennon said: “Mikey is back in training and will play 45 minutes with the development team on Monday. It may be cameo performances from Mikey as we work on his fitness.”
Johnston not the only one with a big opportunity tomorrow
It remains to be seen who the development squad is facing tomorrow after their big win against Rangers last week.
Interestingly, the Celtic Academy’s Twitter page had generally been in cold storage since August before last week. Since then the Twitter page has posted some training videos as well as the highlights of the Rangers game.
But the lack of activity has generally left supporters uninformed of upcoming development squad matches, regardless of the competition they’re played in. So it was great to hear from Lennon stating that there would be a match tomorrow.
And Mikey isn’t the only one with a big opportunity to impress the manager. Cameron Harper scored a brace against the Rangers academy last week and will be looking to fire himself into the manager’s thoughts. With big changes being made to the first-team over the last week and youngsters getting their opportunities, Harper and co would do themselves no harm with a good display tomorrow.
The likes of Stephen Welsh and Armstrong Oko-Flex were also top performers last time out. The Celtic fans would love nothing more than for them to continue their own development.
It’s a big day for many of the Lennoxtown youngsters tomorrow, but for Johnston, it’s all about building up his fitness and picking up no more setbacks.