The Celtic B team already earning praise after Lowland League debut

By David Walton

July 18, 2021

The new Celtic B team may have suffered a 2-1 loss to Bonnyrigg Rose yesterday, but they certainly attracted praise for their performance post-match.

The Hoops youngsters made their Lowland League debut with a tough trip to an experienced Bonyrigg side. It would end in a 2-1 defeat for Tommy McIntyre’s young guns, but the Hoops impressed in stages.

Bosun Lawal bagged his first goal for the club on his debut, with Celtic growing into the game after initially being 2-0 down. Physically, however, it was a massive step up.

Yet their spirited display has attracted some praise from Bonnyrigg boss Robbie Horn. He was extremely impressed with what Celtic B brought to the table, and said the following post-match as quoted by Edinburgh Evening News:

“I’m delighted with the team’s performance. It was hard work out there and obviously the heat played a big factor in it as well. They are a good side, fit boys, they move the ball well and try to play the right way and, to be fair to them, they stood up to the physical challenge.

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“Over the piece I think we just shaded it and I’ve no doubt they will take points off teams so credit to them, they stuck to it and put us under some pressure. They are taught to play the right way but so do we.

“It was a bit of the unknown before the game so there was a bit of nervousness. We didn’t get their squad list until 10.30pm the night before the match so we really didn’t know who we would be facing. I’m thrilled to get the three points.”

Celtic B youngsters are facing a major physicality step-up

When any Celtic side lose to a Lowland League team, eyebrows will be raised. But it’s important to understand the context here and what the club is trying to achieve with this project.

This isn’t a Celtic reserve side and it’s important to distinguish from that. This is a Celtic B side whose players must all fall into the under-20 category. Celtic are only allowed one under-21 outfield player and under-21 goalkeeper.

Not to mention that if a player plays five first-team matches then he no longer qualifies for the B side. The idea is simple – to improve the players’ physicality and make them more capable of featuring in senior football.

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Celtic’s youngsters will lose games this season because they aren’t at that same level of physicality. It’s nothing to do with their technique or ball-playing ability, which will also develop playing against senior players.

Too often have we seen development players come up from youth football and be too lightweight. At Celtic, it’s important these young players make the most of any first-team minutes they receive. This will give them the chance to be more physically capable of doing that.

So fair play to the youngsters for their showing yesterday, they didn’t let anyone down. It won’t be long before they’re truly making their mark in the division.

In other news: VASILIS Barkas has grabbed his Celtic pre-season chance with both hands