40 years since an iconic striker youth graduate


Notwithstanding we had four strikers isolating and that under most circumstances, four strikers would be sufficient, the games against Hibs and Livingston highlighted a long-term problem.  Celtic have been able to produce wingers, defenders and midfielders who have become first choice starters in the first team, but we are unable to produce a striker.

In the last 20 years, Craig Beattie is arguably our most successful striker-graduate from the youth system (gulp), and he moved on having scored 13 goals for the club, the kind of return Leigh Griffiths may have hoped for in a month, a few years back.

Gerry Creaney made his debut 31 years ago and spent a couple of seasons as a regular starter, before eventually playing Premier League football for Manchester City (it was a different world back then, kids), but Gerry was nowhere near a top performer at the club.

It is now over 40 years since the last iconic striker, Charlie Nicholas, came through the youth system to electrify Celtic Park for three seasons.  He returned for a five-year spell later, when he largely stood on the same spot every 90 minutes, before working out some deep therapeutic issues as a media pundit in later years.

40 years and we were unable to produce a striker with the talent of Leigh Griffiths, despite many changes in coaches, systems and first team budgets?  This sounds unlikely.  I suspect the opportunities afforded to the young Leigh at Livingston were denied to hundreds of Celtic youth strikers.


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  1. HOT SMOKED on 18TH JANUARY 2021 3:41 PM







    What is the ` Hun like behaviour` being displayed by L & L ?



    Sheer arrogance J,totally out of touch with the support, and those in the real world, trying to cope with the restrictions of the pandemic. I’m finding it hard to recognise this football club anymore. HH

  2. Coneybhoy



    Every manager is time lifed. With the exception of one or two, most managers wear out after 5 years or so. Things then start to go stale. Looking at Wenger or Ferguson, their modus operandi is if you are not performing consistently, no matter how big your star is, your dropped and someone else has a chance to prove themselves. That keeps the team fresh and on their toes. It also breeds success and keeps the manager in a job. When you look at Turnbull and Soro warming the bench while others are treading water on the park, coupled with disastrous results both in Europe and domestically, it’s clear to see the mismanagement. The worse thing for me is the total lack of professionalism since Rodgers left. You wouldn’t get a picture of him on a lounger cosying up to the non performing players, all with a beer at their side

  3. Sounds to me that Neil Lennon was just saying what many on here have spouted for years.



    Whether he should have been the one to say it or whether he should remain our manager are, imo, totally different matters.



    Again imo, he is right about the SNP and the SMSM in how they treat our team, as we are perceived as an easy target.

  4. CLINK\O-totally agree,but it’s the CEO who should be publicly dealing with this,not a manager about to be sacked,who’s main focus should be how to defend a cross ball.HH

  5. ERNIE LYNCH on 18TH JANUARY 2021 2:34 PM


    DAVID66 on 18TH JANUARY 2021 2:29 PM


    He’s a Celtic fan, which is more than you can say about at least some of those who hired him and who will hire his replacement.




    Ernie agreed.



    D :)

  6. The NL presser looked to me as if he has already been told he is being replaced, obviously hasnt taken it well and has been given the opportunity or taken an opportunity to get a few things off his chest.


    I would have been happy for any Senior person at the club to get tore into the media about many things that have happened in football and in life here, they havent taken the opportunity ever, to allow an angry man a stage and a microphone is risky, maybe the Club were ok with what he has said who knows.

  7. If that was Lennys farewell speech I’d have loved him to have rammed it right up the refs chuffs as well

  8. Bada


    We are reading the same words but in a different way.


    I felt Lenny was fighting back against the hypocricy of the MSSM and the Scottish Government. I am glad he did.



  9. ….and I agree PL speaking those words would have been better…..but he didn`t and Lenny did.

  10. The Battered Bunnet on

    “We could easily have stayed here and had an outbreak”



    No, we might well have had a case, but it’s unlikely there would have been an outbreak unless measures were overlooked and social distancing guidelines breached.



    “The whole squad is negative bar two players. I think that is remarkable ”



    That’s about 10% of your outfield players, Neil. It took the entire squad sat close together for 6 hours each way to and from Dubai to turn one isolated case into a quarantine catching 16 players and staff. I think that is remarkable.



    “Hindsight’s a wonderful thing. We did everything we possibly could to avoid the damage.”



    Hindsight suggests otherwise.



    “We’ve come back, we’ve been absolutely decimated by these rules. It seems political.”



    Mate, your team is 21 points behind with 17 matches remaining. Your top players haven’t trained together for 11 days. You have yet to win a match this year. It seems irreparable.

  11. Incidentally and on another matter altogether, William Hill are offering odds on the SPFL games being played on Saturday but, so far, not on our game being played on Wednesday. Strange.

  12. garygillespieshamstring on

    If hot Smoked’s reporting of what was said is accurate, which I have no reason to doubt, I would have no problem with that.


    Indeed if the Harry Brady story is also true, I would say that PL should have made these points in his statement.

  13. Lisbon Lions Upper on

    Of all the issues Neil could have used to make justified accusations of hypocrisy and unfair treatment of our club – the Dubai trip wasn’t one of them.

  14. TBB


    Yes, there are obvious weaknesses in his argument but I like the fact that he is fighting against anti-Celtic bias in Scotland. Ideally, his argument would have been totally sound as well as defiant but, in Scotland, that would no have made too much of a difference.

  15. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    I’m with Lenny on this one. Get them telt, boss.



    Such fire and energy on the touchline is what we should have seen at our television seats from the first game of this season unto the last. Seven months wasted at Lennoxtown. Shame. Show us goals and assists from our 9s on Wednesday.




    Nationalists, huns and sentinelcelts – worse than bloody roaches, the lot of them.




    It is a C & P from the BBC site but it was presented as a direct quote.

  17. BJ


    Thanks. I have been in touch with William Hill and they said they would e-mail me so I expect they will. Bookies don`t like to lose the opportunity of making a few bob !




    “Of all the issues Neil could have used to make justified accusations of hypocrisy and unfair treatment of our club – the Dubai trip wasn’t one of them.”




    Maybe not the ideal one but it was still `one of them`.

  19. glendalystonsils on

    HOT SMOKED on 18TH JANUARY 2021 3:59 PM



    PL is too cute to get his hands dirty . Maybe he also reckons he’ll still be here next term while Lenny will be away , therefore doesn’t want the shit from the fan to hit him .

  20. Confused ?



    Unless its some DELAYED Symptoms of Covid showing up on someone who has been Self Isolating since returning from Dubai…I am at a loss to understand how ANY Player can suddenly Test Positive if they are on there own in their own house….unless the house was already contaminated by someone else before the player came back from Dubai…maybe a Cleaner, Member of Family ?



    I dont mind admitting that I am somewhat Confused ?



  21. Hypocrisy,In Glasgow a party for a Sevco player after a game, all sorts of visitors attending, in excess of the guidelines and of people from different households mixing,Police Scotland attend supposedly only find 2 fringe players from the Sevco squad are present and notify their club, others have fixed penalties handed out. No equiries as to the identity of those present at the party from the press or interest from the Scottish Government.



    Sevco are commended for their actions by the Scottish Government, but why can’t or won’t our club just say this rather than throw about vague allegations, if you think you are treated differently define the issue and the outcome.

  22. glendalystonsils on




    I did read somewhere that it can take between 5 and 21 days for symptoms to appear after you’ve been infected . You’re right though , it might not be connected to anyone else from the Dubai trip .

  23. Big Jimmy





    `Unless its some DELAYED Symptoms of Covid showing up on someone who has been Self Isolating since returning from Dubai`



    As far as I understand it, that is precisely what it is.



    Cheerio for now.

  24. I would rather have heard NL explain to us why none of our youth players are anywhere near first team standard, than go over what CEO covered last week.



    He’s hanging on by his fingernails.

  25. He should not be in front of the cameras again. He’s a total embarrassment to our club. Lawwell has “apologised” – Celtic made a bad decision – NFL should not be defending it. Please go now !!!

  26. DESSYBHOY- another excellent point, but the Club and the CEO need to point these out ,not a manager who has lost any credibility he once had.The Board has the silence and secrecy of the Masons…….go figure mate

  27. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    HOT SMOKED on 18TH JANUARY 2021 3:38 PM


    Are lennie`s words not precisely what many have been asking for from our Club?



    Should he not be praised for his defiance in the face ot the constant anti-Celtic nonsense we face in Scotland?





    Hot Smoked – with you on that one.



    I’ve watched only the 40 or so seconds.



    Based purely on that ….



    Not only do I not see anything wrong – I think it should be a benchmark for our relationship management with the media, the football authorities and the government.


    (Not other clubs except Sevco and Hearts)



    They are all against us.



    Have we been abysmal this season?



    Yes. Completely.



    Doesn’t change that they are all against us.



    Are they “in our face” against us?



    No. Some of them are understated and sleekit.



    Discrimination whispered in a posh voice is still discrimination.



    But they are all against us.



    Good on you Neil. More of the same please (from you and your successor AND the board).



    Politeness and persuasion don’t work.



    The discrimination is too embedded.



    They are all against us.



    This is NOT an excuse to wallow in paranoia



    It is an opportunity to aggressively recognise, mitigate, manage, control and publicise a disadvantage that our club has operated under for 100+ years.



    And we are still here.



    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith

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