The most striking aspect of yesterday’s games came from Pittodrie and Tynecastle. Aberdeen scored twice in second half stoppage time to secure a home win over Fola Esch from Luxembourg (good grief). Hearts came from behind with the assistance of a penalty and an own goal to secure a narrow win over Estonians, Infonet.
Infonet finished fourth in the Estonian league last season, well below possible Celtic Champions League qualifier opponents, Flora, and will fancy their chances of knocking Hearts out.
None of this means that Aberdeen, Hearts of Celtic have an equal in Estonia or Luxembourg, but it’s a testament to how bizarre playing football before you have completed preseason is. Even very well-run clubs like Southampton, who were humbled a year ago by Erik Sviatchenko and his Midtjylland pals, can find themselves out of Europe before they realise they are in a competition.
Celtic are likely to be playing the Estonian champions in 11 or 12 days. If they overcome that they will face a vastly stiffer test in three weeks time.
Yesterday’s exercise in Slovenia will hopefully blow some cobwebs away but FC Flora are 17 games into their league season, that fact alone should give Brendan Rodgers plenty to consider. Aberdeen’s toils in particular disturbed me.
Many thanks to all who contributed to the fantastic raffle competition yesterday, you’ve raised £375 already. A reminder……
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
We have a £5-a-ticket raffle to win the chance to appear in your very own team photo, alongside the Celtic players and management at the preseason photocall for 2016-17.
You will then meet treble winning captain, Tom Boyd, who will give you a personal tour of Celtic Park.
Celtic will provide you with a strip, which you will retain, and you will receive your team photograph, framed and signed by the team, on a specially prepared mount.
Your donations go to Celtic FC Foundation, to support their work in Health, Equality, Learning and Poverty. The Foundation deliver often life-changing support and opportunities to children and adults in Scotland, Ireland, the rest of the UK and in many needy areas of the globe.
Buy your ticket at MyDonate here. You can enter as many times as you like, but only donations of £5 or higher will be entered into the raffle.
You. The team. The management. Getting your squad photo taken. And getting a strip!
You’ll have had worse days.