40 years of B team failure


In the grand scheme of things, it might not seem to matter that Celtic’s B team have no reserve league to compete in next season.  It will not determine the outcome of the league title and will affect Premiership teams equally.  The impact of what happens in reserve football are, however, real and long lasting.

For decades, Celtic have dominated Scottish youth leagues, yet the ability to transform players who shine in their age group into first team regulars is woeful.  James Forrest, Callum McGregor and the superstar from Wishaw are all we are inclined to talk about since Paul McStay bookended the golden two decades 40 years ago.  Compare that to the relative success of Hibs, Aberdeen, United, Motherwell, even Hamilton Accies!

Reasons for failures are usually complex and simplistic explanations by outsiders should come with a Dunning-Kruger health warning, but I know multiple iterations of Celtic coaches have bemoaned the lack of competition our development squads face.

A young David Turnbull at Motherwell would have taken midfield responsibility as his side battled teams of equal or greater ability.  The same player at Celtic would play in a team that dominated possession every week and always faced weaker opponents.  No one improves their sharpness, industry or skill continually facing weaker opposition.

The consequence of all this is that we can expect our finest talent to wither on the vine more often than grab a pitch-side megaphone unless and until they face better players week-in, week-out.

The perennial ‘Colts team’ proposition now sits with the Scottish Lowland League, which I do not expect is of a great standard, although many of their pitches are better than their SFL counterparts.  It is better than nothing and possibly better that a Premiership Reserve league, however, if we want to reverse a 40 year trend, we will need to be far more creative.

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  1. glendalystonsils on

    Happy birthday Paul 67 . I occasionally disagree with some of your writings but I would never disagree with your right to publish your thoughts via this excellent vehicle .

  2. McPhail Bhoy on

    Happy birthday Paul 67. How long has CQN been going, did you start it when you were still in school?



    Teacherspet CSC

  3. I remember the days when no one told anyone who they had voted for. Yes, I’m that old! por cierto

  4. spikeysauldman on




    commentators have pointed out that is is only the ‘unionists’ who are talking about the snp talking about indyref2. wee square heid has been trying to avoid it.



    and btw, i dont vote snp



    as for the total shit-show presided over by that lying, chancing f*ckwit down south being one jobby less than predicted – hip, hip, ;-(

  5. spikeysauldman on

    Por Cierto



    thats’ll be the days when voting Tory was like w**king. Nobody admitted to it but…

  6. glasgowbhoy on

    Happy birthday Paul, I like that you call your dad by his blog name is that only on here?!

  7. The Star above The Crest on

    If there’s no challenge from the opposition at youth level then we could perhaps change our target metrics during games. For instance if we’re 5 up at half time or whatever rather than going for 6/7/8 goals the players are told they need to string 20 passes together in the opposition half. If they achieve this then its 10 passes more next time etc. Or accelerate players beyond their age group. If a kid at 13 is dominant then put him in against the 15 year olds and try to develop that way.

  8. Happy birthday Paul 67 and thank you once again for providing us with this wonderful website to discuss and bitch about all things Celtic. 🍀🎈🥂🍾🎂🎈🍀

  9. The creation of the Scottish Premier Division back in the mid 1970s did not help. Reduced not just the number of teams but the numbers of players who could get an opportunity to play at the higher level, or for their team’s reserves. Not sure offhand how many of Scotland’s better players, including Celtic’s came through the ranks away from city teams, but more than a few over the decades. Schools and Amateur football too used to give a platform for young players, the Academies put paid to that. Increase the number of teams in the SPL, no clubs from either Stirlingshire or Fife there at the moment, with grass pitches. Reserve teams can play Saturday afternoons with 3pm kick-offs, with younger players getting maybe 25-30 games a season. At the moment young Celts are more likely to emulate Marvin (Morton) Compper than Paul McStay.

  10. Happy birthday Paul



    Quiz time……



    Just saw an hilarious tweet by a long-lost poster from here. I shared it with my wife and described him thus:



    I know this guy. Used to post on CQN and coincidentally worked in same office block as me in Glasgow. A Tommy Tiernan mad genius of a comic



    Who is it?



    A giant cyber slice of P67’s birthday cake for the first correct answer.



    HH jg

  11. Happy Birthday Paul67.


    Thank you for this platform for ne’er do wells who live in foreign parts – like me.

  12. Yep when Sevco went bust they got rid of there reserve team, I think our club when it has suited them to forget what really happened over at Ibrox ,Now sevco ant there reserve team along with Celtic reserves to start another reserve league, no way should we get involved with them,Surely we can bus our colts down to England and play their reserve teams ,

  13. I’d like to thank all who asked after my wife’s health following her heart attack.



    She’s getting back to her old self & has now asked me to take off my nurses outfit.


    She said it made her feel nauseous, but I think it was because my seams were squinty.



    Jamesgang can you email me on rweinvisible@gmail.com



    Thanks & don’t forget your check ups.




  14. Go tell the Spartim on

    Happy Birthday P67



    Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Mrs Cornelius

  15. I would like to join everyone in wishing Paul a happy birthday. May is a great Celtic month!

  16. Paul67



    They say it’s your birthday


    Which you share with


    Marx, Freud, Welles, Clooney


    and er Tony Blair


    Can’t win them all


    Happy birthday to you!

  17. Yip very H888py Birthday to Paul 67




    To my nephew Kevin over in Toronto ( whomlooks in here)


    Very H888py 40th KevinBhoy 🎂



    Cornelius, as many have said- best wishes to your wife


    Big Jamesgang is the very Bhoy you want to contact for any advice



    Hail Hail

  18. An Tearmann on

    BANKIEBHOY1 on 6TH MAY 2021 1:29 PM


    Didn’t the huns fold the reserves league when they knew they werea busted flush financially?



    sir hunner of pence guilty BB.:-)




  19. Good point CelticMac about how that Premier league set up ( I wonder who pushed for that move ) around 1976 reduced the possibilities for many clubs to play at a higher level and affected all reserve games as well. That could well be the onset of the decline in scottish football standards.


    Four St Johnstone players to miss semi-final after two positive Covid-19 tests.



    Now if that was CELTIC we would be out the cup .

  21. Thank goodness John Kennedy came in to big up the chances of young


    players when he took over!!


    1st V Sheep


    Bain 3rd choice


    Kenny Loan




    Ajer wants away?


    Laxalt loan




    Brown leaving


    Christie leaving




    Edouard leaving


    Klimala left


    So againt United he changes the leaving Klimala for the loanee Moi.


    Same team for the first game against deadco


    Brings in Taylor and Forrest against Livi shock 6-0 win


    Dumps Taylor for loanee Laxalt v deadco


    V sheep then drops Laxalt for Taylor and brings in Bitton for injured Ajer.


    Then brings Ajer back for the final debacle.


    So really apart from juggling Taylor and Laxalt a chimp could have picked the team.


    Sorry, who was picking these teams of loanees and leavers?


    Young players have NO CHANCE at our club.


    Utter disgrace.

  22. Happy Birthday, Paul. I hope we manage a pre-match pint sometime next season.






    All the best to your wife (and yourself) and may the recovery continue.

  23. Didn’t St Johnstone play Sevco twice recently. Maybe St J should have used the DUP testers in Belfast. Guaranteed no positives