Midfielder Luca Connell is still very much an unknown quantity for Celtic supporters.
Despite brief glimpses of his ability in summer friendlies, he’s still not been given the chance to shine in a competitive setting, leading some fans to question what exactly is going on with the former Bolton teenager.
He arrived at Celtic Park having already gained a bit of senior experience in the English Championship but with Scott Brown, Callum McGregor and others ahead of him in midfield, it’s been difficult to get minutes under Neil Lennon.
You might think he’d be a bit unhappy with the situation but his attitude is brilliant, going by his latest interview with The Celtic View (09/09 print edition, page 25).
He said: “Training was good during the international break. There were smaller numbers with some of the lads being away but it’s still been tough. The standard of training doesn’t drop at all, it’s been quick and intense.
“I’m feeling good, feeling strong and in good shape. I’ve been working with the fitness coaches and I’m ready for whatever’s next.
“I don’t feel like I’m out of place strength-wise or fitness-wise when I’m training with the first-team. I know it’s different when you go into games and are around players who have more games under their belt. I feel that, with not playing regularly, I’m in good shape so I’m ready to go whenever I get the nod. Patience is key.
“The gaffer is always on it in training and trying to make you a better player. He’s an unbelievable manager and everyone can see that.”
The addition of David Turnbull has only added more competition for Connell but in the wide-ranging interview with The Celtic View he comes across as exactly the kind of young player we want coming through the club.
It’s very much a recommended read, with many more snippets providing an interesting insight into his progress at the club.
He isn’t letting lack of matches get him down. The midfielder is relishing the opportunity he’s been given at the Scottish champions.
The Republic of Ireland international also goes into his relationship with Shane Duffy, Scott Brown and Ryan Christie amongst others. It sounds like he’s very much a valued member of the Celtic group, even though he’s not playing.
Perhaps a loan move is best for him this season in particular, much like the one Scott Robertson is on the verge of sealing and like the moves that have benefited Christie and Callum McGregor in the past.
Regular matches will only help him improve more, even if he’s already learning loads at Lennoxtown.