Youngster who left Celtic for the USA makes Scotland return

By Euan Davidson

May 20, 2021

Here’s an interesting one: remember Celtic academy talent Daniel McAllister?

The hotly-tipped midfielder turned down a new deal with the Bhoys to pursue a scholarship in the USA. McAllister’s move to Florida was seen as a surprise at the time, but he wasn’t alone. Ciaran McKenna also accepted a place in a US College, featuring for Duke University in North Carolina [Daily Record].

McAllister, who featured at youth level for both Celtic and Scotland [Celtic FC], has turned up at Maybole Juniors in Ayrshire.

His manager Carlo Walker said [Daily Record]:

“I reckon it’s the first signing Maybole have made when the player lists his last club as Celtic.

“He was very highly rated when he left Ayr youths to sign for Celtic.

“He was a regular for their under 18s alongside Mikey Johnston and Stephen Welsh.

“In his last game, he was up against Mason Mount when Celtic played Chelsea in the Dubai Night Cup and although he was offered a new deal he wanted to try America.

“I don’t expect we will have Daniel for long but we will enjoy him when we can.”

Lennoxtown: beautiful, but freezing / (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

An interesting career trajectory for ex-Celtic youngster, from the USA to Ayrshire

It’d be easy to scoff and say “well, that was daft”. But truthfully we don’t know how advantageous the USA Scholarship system is. We also don’t know what access McAllister had to clubs around Scotland for a trial. There are many, many unknowns here.

Still, for someone who came up alongside Mikey Johnston and Stephen Welsh, there might be a tinge of regret. In footballing terms anyway; we can’t imagine the Floridian weather was too much of a problem. As I type this in Glasgow, it’s raining. Because it’s always raining.

At 22, McAllister still has the potential to be a professional footballer. Celtic players going to the US, as we’ve discussed, isn’t entirely uncommon. A good educational environment and completely different lifestyle, while getting to play football free of charge? It’s a wonder more Scottish youngsters haven’t taken this route.

What will become of the former Celtic Academy prospect? Who knows. However, as stories go, the Celtic-USA-Ayshire Junior route isn’t a well-trodden one. It’ll be legitimately fascinating to see what happens next.

READ MORE: International disappointment for Bhoys striker