Some Celtic youngsters will head home early from Austria

By Hamish Carton

June 27, 2019

Neil Lennon says that a number of Celtic’s young players will be going home from the Austrian trip early.

Youth was the buzzword from the Hoops’ first pre-season match – a 6-1 win over Austrian minnows SC Pinkafeld. Celtic’s five goalscorers on the evening had an average age of 20 – and that’s including 28-year-old Leigh Griffiths who netted the first.

Lennon was understandably delighted with the performance of his first-team hopefuls but says some of them will now return home to make way for the big names.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The Northern Irishman told the Scottish Sun: “We’ll be sending a few back because we’ve got maybe 30 out here and we’ve obviously got to think about the international boys who come back on Monday and sort of integrate them into training and obviously a bit of game time as well.

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“The ones who have been here from June 17 have worked very, very hard.”

Youngsters impressed for Celtic

The exciting performances of some youngsters is probably the big take-away from Celtic’s Austrian stroll on Wednesday. Yes, the likes of Ryan Christie and Leigh Griffiths made their return but it was the teenagers who stole the show.

(photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Armstrong Oko-Flex looks like he possesses some major quality playing in between midfield and attack. The 17-year-old is neat and tidy in possession and not afraid to put a foot in when out of it. Ewan Henderson also has similar abilities while Mikey Johnston looked fit and ready when he came on.

It’s a big pre-season for Johnston who will be looking to kick-on from a couple of really good displays at the end of the last campaign. Yes, he was only up against a fourth-tier Austrian side, but he looked like he was bursting at the seems with excitement.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Karamoko Dembele also looks a massive talent at 16 while Calvin Miller and Jack Aitchison also looked like they had something to offer.

Don’t expect to see too many of these youngsters over the course of the season. But some may have given their manager some food for thought.