Scotland joy for Celtic youngsters Stephen Welsh and Adam Montgomery after U21 call-up
Two Celtic youngsters, Stephen Welsh and Adam Montgomery, have been called up to represent the Scotland U21 side.
Welsh has enjoyed a solid start to the season, and earned rave reviews for his showing against AZ Alkmaar during the week. Adam Montgomery, handed his Celtic debut by John Kennedy, has impressed in shorter bursts, as a capable back-up to Greg Taylor.
The Scotland U21 squad to face Turkey was announced earlier on Twitter, and features just two Celtic picks. Premier League academy talents feature heavily in Scot Gemmill’s selection, including Lewis Fiorini of Manchester City, Tom Clayton of Liverpool and Crystal Palace’s Scott Banks.
In terms of pedigree, it’s an impressive Scotland side. And Welsh will surely be at the heart of it.
So far this campaign, Welsh has been a composed presence in the middle of Celtic’s threadbare defence. Alongside Carl Starfelt, who’s had a mixed start to life at the club, Welsh has zipped around with unerring energy and effort.
Montgomery, meanwhile, was prominent in pre-season. However, he hasn’t seen a great deal of first-team action quite yet. Being introduced steadily in short bursts by Ange Postecoglou, the Celtic boss obviously likes him.
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And, ahead of Boli Bolingoli, he’s surely the second-choice left-back at the club. We’ve predicted him to start against St Mirren tomorrow afternoon. With bags of pace, and a real willingness to overlap in attacking areas, Montgomery has an exciting future ahead of him.
Scotland U21 nod comes at good time for Celtic youngsters Welsh and Montgomery
Call us hopelessly optimistic, but Welsh surely can’t be a million miles away from the Scotland National Team.
The Tartan Army are hardly spoiled for centre-backs. If Welsh continues to impress at both domestic and European level, a call-up is surely on its way. For now, he’ll be delighted to test his mettle for Gemmills’s U21 side.
It might be harder for Montgomery. If his development continues apace, and he becomes a Celtic regular, great. But at international level, he’d be playing in the one position where Scotland are undoubtedly World Class. You don’t knock Tierney or Robertson out of that team very easily.
But Montgomery also has the benefit of being able to play further up the pitch. As he continues to gain momentum, it’ll be interesting to see what his “main” position becomes.
In pre-season, he was effective as an attacking presence, who could come inside and allow Taylor to overlap him. That caused the opposition to be outnumbered in midfield, something Postecoglou is keen on.
For the meantime, it’s encouraging news. We’re sure the duo will represent Celtic with class at international youth level.