The massive Celtic pre-season difference that Ange Postecoglou can capitalise on
It is fair to say that this time last year, Celtic were in a bit of a mess.
The club had just come off the back of an extremely disappointing campaign, which also resulted in our first trophyless campaign in over a decade.
We finally had a new manager in place, with Ange Postecoglou taking the job. However, there was a lot of work to do, which included rebuilding a large part of the playing squad.
Postecoglou got to work right away, with the squad heading off to Wales to take part in a pre-season training camp ahead of the early Champions League qualifiers.
The first game during the camp was a fixture against English League One side Sheffield Wednesday, and it was an almost unrecognisable starting 11 that took part that day.
Players such as Vasilis Barkas, Ismaila Soro and Ewan Henderson were all involved. Whilst Albian Ajeti captained the side as one of the more experienced faces in the side.
Further into the training camp, the Celtic manager did get to work with more of his first team, with Callum McGregor and David Turnbull returning from international duty.
However, much of the 56-year-old’s squad rebuilding came as the season started, with players such as Liel Abada, Joe Hart and Kyogo Furuhashi all signing once the competitive fixtures had kicked off.
So, heading into this summer, the Celtic squad will be in a completely different shape.
Postecoglou will be using pre-season to his full advantage
Off the back of building a successful squad that delivered a league and cup double last season, Ange Postecoglou will now use this pre-season to his full advantage.
The squad will jet off to Austria at the beginning of July to participate in their first full pre-season under the former Socceroos boss, who will no doubt be putting his players through their paces.
Many of them have never had a full period of such preparation at Celtic.
If we thought this Celtic side was good last season, they could be about to become a whole different animal heading into the 2022/23 campaign.
Key contributors in the second half of last season, like Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate, will learn even more about their teammates and the system during this summer. Someone like Giorgos Giakoumakis, who spent the majority of last summer injured, could be a new man.
Many Celtic supporters will be looking forward to seeing what Postecoglou and his players produce in their first few friendlies back at the beginning of next month, but more importantly, seeing the fruits of this labour throughout next season.