Background on Shkendija and Kalju, Turnbull, another that got away


If Celtic overcome FK Sarajevo in the Champions League first qualification round they will face either Macedonians, FK Shkendija or Nomme Kalju, from Estonia.  Shkendija are first round seeds.

Last season Shkendija eliminated Welsh side The New Saints in a remarkable tie, winning the first leg 5-0 and losing the return 4-0.  They then eliminated Moldovans, Sheriff Tiraspol 1-0 on aggregate before Salzburg knocked them out 4-0 on aggregate (no shame there).  Our old pals Rosenborg then knocked them out at the Europa League play-off round, 5-1 on aggregate.

In 2018 Shkendija won cofomrtably against Moldovan opponents in the Europa first qualifying round, then beat HJK Helsinki in the second round and Luthianians Trakai in the third.  This setup a trip to the San Siro for the team from Tetovo (population 52,000), where they lost 6-0.

Nomme Kalju exited last season’s Europa League at the first round to Stjarnan, our pals from Iceland.

It is almost certain Shkendija will progress to the second round.  They are one of the better teams who float around the qualifiers without ever reaching a group stage, but Celtic should have enough in the tank to progress through both opening rounds.  Happy to take this draw.

It is clear Celtic wanted David Turnbull, but not at any price.  Wage structures have been broken for ‘the right player’ but everyone needs to have signed up to the view that the player in question is worthy of breaking the structure.  The player and his agent are entitled to shop around for the highest wage.

Still, it is another one that got away.  Stiffer challenges than Sarajevo, Shkendija and Kalju will arrive in August.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8

  1. traditionalist88 on

    GO TELL THE SPARTIM on 20TH JUNE 2019 11:14 AM


    The usual suspects trying to confuscate the issue.





    Not really, a wee bit of complexity such as the significant advantages Ajax have over us in terms of attracting players are being wilfully ignored. And debating against wilful ignorance just leads to accusations like yours above.



    Confuse the issue with relevant arguments? Much as we may not like them, we have to face up to our reality at this point in time.



    We ridicule the MSM for ignoring pertinent details but there are some on here who do likewise regularly.




  2. traditionalist88 on

    CELTIC40ME on 20TH JUNE 2019 11:24 AM


    TRADITIONALIST88 on 20TH JUNE 2019 11:08 AM



    [Thats not to say of course that we can’t do better]



    Absoeffinglutely. But its what we do better and how we do thats the issue. Copying a model when we dont even know what it is doesn’t seem very sensible to me.









  3. GO TELL THE SPARTIM on 20TH JUNE 2019 11:14 AM



    what is the money in the bank there for?



    If Ajax, who seem to be the model club after their recent successes are anything to go by, its to mitigate against as season of no cl football and poor player sales.

  4. PC Lustig turns in his badge…………..



    Is it him or just his legs that have gone?


    All the best Mika, you’ll always be welcome in Celtic Park.




    in ither news…….



    25m for KT?


    Is it just the one leg they want?




  5. weebobbycollins on

    What’s the obsession with Ajax?



    And Scotland women continuing to copy their menfolk…losing and whingeing…


    If Celtic lost 3 goals in the last 15 minutes we would be raging…blaming Peter Lawwell (rightly so), VAR, SFA, Wee Willie Collum etc…


    So how can you feel gutted for them? Sack Sherry Kell…

  6. Go tell the Spartim on




    Two years without CL group stages will demolish that then, but then we can always sell KT to Arsenal and French Eddy to whoever pays the £20m



    We are light years away from being like AJax we just do it off the hoof, if there is a plan its not a very good one, it seems to be the cheap option (except if your the CEO).



    CEO is the only person at the club on EPL level wages and we cant compete with Championship club wages for players, therein lies the rub, not advocating blowing the budgets but at least reviewing our wage structure, given that we’ve reduced the squad with contracts expiring, we could aim for more quality than quantity.



    Rumours of downsizing all over Celtic cyberspace, from various sites, and thats before weve even been knocked out of the CL Qualifiers doesnt bode well.



    Thats just a rant and not aimed at anyone

  7. GO TELL THE SPARTIM on 20TH JUNE 2019 11:42 AM



    Thats the model, its served us pretty well up to now. I think the time to change it isn’t straight after historic domestic success but after failure.

  8. Go tell the Spartim on




    I appreciate your pragmatic approach and respect you for it, im afraid i dont agree though, for all sorts of reasons. We succeed because we have the most money not because we have a great plan or a great PLC board and CEO.



    You should always review continually, in my view, regardless of success or failure. In fact you should build on success, which we dont and as it stands we are unbelievably light on competent defenders, which merely highlights the lack of a plan.



    i think we’ll have to agree to disagree, though your non confrontational approach is greatly appreciated.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8