Rule change can be a benefit to homegrown Celtic talents
Last campaign, the young Hoops finished 3rd place in the fifth tier of Scottish Football, picking up 73 points across the 34 game season.
Celtic were able to reap the benefits of youngsters playing week-in-week-out, with several players, including Owen Moffat and Dane Murray making their competitive debut under Ange Postecoglou.
The original agreement between Celtic and the Lowland League clubs stated that the Bhoys would be taking part in just one campaign of competitive action.
However, a change of heart from half of the teams saw Celtic, Rangers, and Hearts admitted into the league for the 2022/23 season.
So, the young Hoops will have another experience travelling around the country to face sides such as Open Goal Broomhill and Civil Service Strollers, to name just a few.
But, along with the admission came a fresh rule change that the colt sides will need to abide by.
As confirmed by the SFA, “guest clubs are required to field seven players eligible for Scotland national teams in the starting line-up.”
How will this benefit Celtic and the youngsters at the club?
Over the course of last season, the B side featured seven players who can’t feature for the Scotland national teams. Those included regulars in the side such as Tobi Oluwayemi, Bosun Lawal, Ben Wylie and Joey Dawson.
From next season, only four of those seven players would be able to feature from the start of each game.
This could provide the academy with an added benefit that will hopefully see the club produce and bring through more Scottish, homegrown talent.
Highly talented young players like Ben Summers, Josh Dede and up-and-coming goalkeeper Rory Mahady could have to start the majority of games when fit due to this rule change.
Consistent game time could be crucial for these players coming through the academy to become the next Kieran Tierney or Callum McGregor.
At the same time, though, it won’t hinder the development of players brought in from elsewhere in the UK and Ireland, as those minutes will still be available in the starting line-up.
It will undoubtedly be intriguing to see how Celtic deal with this rule change and manage it across the season.
However, it can only be seen as a good thing for the homegrown talent, who will be hopeful of making an impact at both club and international levels.