There’s always some excitement when a player arrives at Lennoxtown with the intent of giving the club a look at his wares. 17-year-old Norwegian midfielder, Kristoffer Ajer, did exactly that yesterday, ahead of what we hope is a busy transfer window.
I’m pleased Ronny is scouting a market he knows well, and that we are looking to recruit below-radar players with potential. It’s also good to have prospects play training games with the squad ahead of any decision. It’s too easy to make multi-year mistakes but Kristoffer will be measured against the first team squad, and the Development Squad.
One of Celtic’s perennial failures is our inability to promote the country’s best youth talent into top professionals. Before Rangers liquidation we were involved in an all-or-nothing arms race. Every game was precious so the prospect of allowing youth players time to develop in the professional game was seen as a luxury too far.
With the greatest respect to our current rivals (including Newco, should our paths meet in the Scottish Cup), those competitive pressures have now eased. Ronny can afford to take a different view of team development. Until August, anyway.
I know what you’re thinking. You read the charges laid out at some of the characters involved with Rangers, old and new, and thought: haven’t Craig Whyte and Charles Green suffered enough? Surely calls for due process to be fulfilled are nothing short of bigoted rants? These men made their mistakes and have come through the mill, they should be allowed to get on with their lives!
Aye, I know, it’s a ridiculous suggestion.
The charge list includes “fraud, conspiracy and serious organised crime”, which is a Sword of Damocles hanging over Ibrox. No current Newco directors were involved in the criminality which is alleged to have facilitated the club’s setup, but that won’t change what happens in the event charges are upheld.
I’m sure the SFA are pondering the scope of punishment appropriate for this scenario. Irrespective of team loyalties, such is the seriousness of the alleged offenses they will be praying for not guilty verdicts.
Please note that all men charged are innocent until and unless proven otherwise and are entitled to a fair trial unprejudiced by public comment and desist from inappropriate comment.
If you have two minutes, take a look at Steven Donnell’s page here. He’s currently cycling round the Premiership’s 12 grounds to raise money for Accord Hospice in Paisley. In minging weather. With his dad, who is blind.