What Ange Postecoglou has told Johnny Kenny as Celtic striker lauds his manager

By David Walton

January 25, 2022

Johnny Kenny has disclosed the message being hammered into him by Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou as he gets set to kickstart his Parkhead career.

Kenny arrived earlier this month from Sligo Rovers in a deal worth around £125k [Irish Independent]. The striker looks like being one for the future after his 11-goal season with Sligo last term [Transfermarkt].

It’s unlikely that Johnny will be competing for a first-team slot at Celtic immediately, especially with him being eligible to compete with the B team for now.

Photo By Ben McShane/Sportsfile via Getty Images

But Ange has been helping the new Bhoy off the pitch as he awaits his injury return on it. And speaking on the Sligo Way Podcast, Kenny said: “Yes it’s very good to be fair [the atmosphere at the club]. He’s come in and he’s done a real job there, up the top and they won the trophy [League Cup] about a month ago.

“He’s good, he’s very good. On the pitch, I haven’t been with him yet if I’m being honest, but off the pitch he helps me. He’s told me that if I stick at it then I’ll get my rewards and he’s been great in bringing me to the club.

“I think everyone’s behind him.”

McGregor blow, but O’Riley & Hatate may be about to star for Celtic | Jackie McNamara on 67HH

McGregor blow, but O’Riley & Hatate may be about to star for Celtic | Jackie McNamara on 67HH
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Johnny Kenny already given Celtic motivation by Ange Postecoglou

You can’t underestimate just how important it is for Kenny to hear a message like that from the Celtic boss. Being promised opportunities if the work is put in suggests that Ange sees a pathway for the youngsters making an impression at Lennoxtown.

Kenny is only at the start of such a promising young career. His breakthrough campaign with Sligo last season was great to see, but the step-up he’s now taking is one of epic proportions. So much so that there needs to be realism when it comes to when he could make his Celtic debut.

In truth, the young Irishman should look at Joey Dawson as a fine example of what can happen if you keep the head down and continue to progress. His new Celtic teammate was handed a surprise debut against St Johnstone on Boxing Day and came so close to notching his first-ever goal for the club. He’s now back down with the B team and netting regularly.

Photo By Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images

It’s going to be interesting to watch both his physical and technical development at Celtic Park in the coming months. The Hoops support will be hoping he makes an instant impact with Tommy McIntyre’s side if it is indeed the B team he drops into.

But the carrot is there for Johnny. Impress, work hard, and eventually, that golden first-team opportunity will come your way. It’s vital that the manager instills that belief into his youngsters, especially the new arrivals.

Hopefully, we’ll be seeing a lot more of Kenny in the long-term future. For now, however, here’s hoping for a speedy recovery from his injury.

In other news, Liam Shaw identifies the Celtic teammate who urged him to move to Motherwell