Be more like Matt and less like Liam.


Last week we discussed the stalled career of Liam Morrison, who left Celtic as a teenager five years ago to go to Bayern Munich but having made no impact there has now grabbed a lifeline at QPR.

This should give Daniel Kelly (18) something to ponder as he stalls on accepting a contract offer from Celtic, with reported interest from Germany.

The Bundesliga churns through more youth players than anywhere outside England. It’s a numbers game where the best majority will make no impact on the first team (unlike Daniel at Celtic) before being released having missed crucial development.

Matt O’Riley is the role model.  Matt left the Fulham youth wilderness to play first team football. Be more like Matt and less like Liam.

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  1. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Genuine question.



    What motivates an 18 year old Celtic fan who has been fast tracked into the first team squad ….



    … ahead of other young midfielders signed for large sums …



    … and who has been praised to the hilt by the manager ….



    …. to want to leave Celtic while still a teenager?

  2. AN TEARMANN on 10TH JULY 2024 11:41 AM


    View of Celtic Park




















    this might be my favourite celtic park image.



    well images without fans in them.



    the bowl looks cavernous. how far back the end of the calton and coatbrig ends,



    and the south west and south east coreners look gigantic,



    theat soith east wall, an area of the park i never once entered or left from but always intrigued me.



    anyways – a random question for todat, seeking inputs from anyone in the know.



    why was the park address given as 95 Kerrydale Street ?



    Looking to old mapd, Kerrydale street did not exist until into the 1920s. The main entrance to celtic pary was the north west pavilion (celtic end/jungle) from janefield street, a very different outlook to the one they enjoy today.



    Did someone for some sentimental reason get to influence the name of kerrydale street ?



    it seems so out of place with surrounding names, then again dalriada might have romatic gaelic connotactions.



    any insights anyone ?

  3. the motivation is money.



    i dont but any other logical reason.



    immediate money. today is a pay day.

  4. What is the Starz on

    Football is a short career.most players finish mid 30s and are not financially secure (the riches of the likes of the EPL are available only for a select few) .


    I wouldn’t blame anybody for taking a better offer.


    Young players like Morrison and Kelly could opt to stay with Celtic for considerably less money and find themselves surplus to requirements in 3 or 4 years..Better to take the money while you can..Players are not fans

  5. Matt seems like a smart guy with a good team behind him. Come and play for a manager who sees the development of young players as an important part of his work at a club which has it as a central part of its business.



    We have to continue to be that club with that manager otherwise we have even less chance of keeping our young players.



    Nit just chat, we need to take the risk with these players and carry on providing them with examples of how it could work out for them. Otherwise they’ll see the Sanchos and Bellinghams and feel that’s their route to the big leagues

  6. Liam Morrison left for Bayern Munich reserves who play in the German lower leagues. Got a move to Wigan and played week in and week out. Now getting a chance to play first team football at QPR after proving himself at the league below.



    If anything, I see a lad who isn’t afraid to move about to chase first team minutes. What record do we have of giving youth a chance recently?



    Have we developed a player since Kieran Tierney? I guess if you count perennial squad players Tony Ralston and Stephen Welsh.

  7. Don’t fill the team with average journeymen who will expect to play. Enough places should be up for grabs, an atmosphere conducive to being allowed to make mistakes and gain confidence from playing without extreme pressure. And bravery all round.

  8. glendalystonsils on




    There are not too many Paul McStays , James Forrests or Callum McGregors . Daniel Kelly may be a Celtic fan but , being a professional footballer as well , may see things from a different perspective compared to ourselves . Perhaps Brendan has not been able to guarantee Daniel more playing time in the season ahead . It’s one thing being a part of a squad , but a lot of youngsters are impatient re climbing the ladder as Rocco Vata has proved .

  9. Back to Basics



    The motivation is to follow his agents advice and go for the money. There’s little loyalty among players these days and less from their agents. The good old MSM make it their mission to enable the sale of Celtic players. A well known Daily Record journalist took Terry Neal of Arsenal to Charlie Nicholas house to tap him up.



    They are no friends of Celtic

  10. The Battered Bunnet on

    A small point, but important nevertheless…



    QPR is not a ‘lifeline’, it’s a professional career move to a credible club in one of the most competitive leagues in the world.



    We do our kids a disservice by diminishing their achievements, and a pro contract at a club like QPR at age 21 is an achievement by any measure.

  11. bournesouprecipe on

    Celtic are in good shape with Rocco Vata a wee dick and Daniel Kelly a wee baw bag



    Kerching CSC

  12. THE BATTERED BUNNET on 10TH JULY 2024 1:09 PM



    The point stands though, Liam Morrison has lost some vital years in his development. At the same age Matt was already playing for Celtic and getting ready for his Champions League debut.

  13. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    It’s a strange one. Playing in a 1.5 horse league should make it easier for Celtic to introduce a couple of youth team players per season – but the imperative to win every week seems to be a hurdle to development.


    In fact, EPL teams are more active in introducing youth into a league that has a far higher standard and where the penalties for failure (relegation) can be catastrophic.



    Is our youth development just crap – or are we not offering enough incentive to stay (money and playing time).



    Both Moussa Dembele and Mat O’Riley would have come to Celtic in the expectation that they would be earning better than previous, and would be playing most weeks. The development path at CP for home grown talent seems broken.

  14. bournesouprecipe on

    The Bundesliga is the biggest league outside the EPL for hoovering up youth players otherwise gathering dust and not yet caught in a vacuum . These bhoys are dyson with death.



    Aff oot with Jaiket CSC

  15. As far as developing talent goes, as a team playing in Scotland not only do we have trouble keeping hold of young talented players, as a country we just don’t produce enough of them



    Scotland had to fill their squad with players who haven’t come through the Scottish system because the ones who have aren’t good enough. We still finished up the worst team at the tournament.



    Denmark were probably disappointed to go out in the first knockout round given their record in major tournaments. 7 of the players who played in that game had come through or played at Copenhagen.



    Every Portugal player in their final game has played at Sporting, Porto or Benfica at some point. Fairly evenly distributed between all three clubs



    The Netherlands play tonight with a squad full of home grown players



    Celtic operate with one hand tied behind our backs which makes it even more important that we’re brave and take risks on our own youngsters as early as possible and make it clear to everybody they’ll get their chance.

  16. I don’t know the Kelly’s well but my kids went to same school. I texted Daniel’s dad when he made his debut and also when he scored v Dundee. They were all buzzing and they are a great family, mad Celtic fans. Like every other contractual discussion there will be a view on each side of what Daniel is worth and that is the stage am sure they are at just now. I don’t know that, am just surmising and to be clear have no inside knowledge. I also think that when you are a fan, like many of us who would have done anything to play 1 minute in the hoops, you don’t appreciate the background of what is going on and I mean the emotional side as well as the finances.



    Team 1 may say to DK, we’ll give you 15k a week, Celtic say how about 6.k Now, no matter our love for Celtic, would you knock back an extra half a million a year albeit you would have to look at prospects at Team 1 etc v the pathway Celtic were offering.



    I hope he signs because I love to see local bhoys do well but if he doesn’t it may not be anyone’s fault. Celtic have a view on what Daniel is worth and so does Daniel (via his agent).



    Anyway, on goalkeeping matters my bedwetting meter has just gone from Defcon 5 to 4…….really hope we sort this soon.

  17. I remember a regular poster on here complaining about Abada not being good enough after his first appearance at Ibrox as a 19 year old. Unfavorable comparison with Harvey Elliot who was playing for Liverpool in a home game against a relegation team.



    Last season we had our new signing Palma being written off as sub-standard 25 minutes of football.



    We’re all responsible for an atmosphere and culture that can help or hinder. Development of young players is too important for it to be part of a proxy war against the bad guys in the suits. Self sabotage

  18. TIMALOY29 on 10TH JULY 2024 1:02 PM



    Agree this seems a strange blog, reacting to a contract story without giving it much thought. Not sure he’s comparing apples with apples here. Too many variables.



    What was the difference in contract offers for Morrison between Munich and Celtic?


    What was the difference in contract offers for O’Riley between MK Dons and Fulham?



    If the inference is a youth player should take less money and prioritise minutes then how much less? If they shouldn’t consider money at all then with our track record of developing players shouldn’t the advice be to join a team like a Motherwell or a Hamilton?



    Leaving that aside, as you point out, Morrison went out of his comfort zone to a club with better facilities and a higher level of coaching -perhaps the ol’ jobs for the bhoys* network isn’t viewed too highly by agents- and after not making it to the first team at Munich, a season in League one at age 20 playing week in week out before getting a move to the Championship aged 21 doesn’t seem like too bad a career trajectory to me. I doubt Ben Doak has many regrets either.



    As for Kelly, I’ll happily be corrected but as far as I can tell he featured for a grand total of 116 minutes (impact??) last season, his last appearance as an 87 minute sub away to Livi on 31st March when we were 3 nil up, and after that was an unused substitute against Aberdeen in the semi final and again away to Dundee one week later.



    I suspect if we want to keep Daniel Kelly he’ll want to be heavily involved in the first team and pushing for a starting place. If not then why wouldn’t he assess his options?



    *Hopefully Adam Ashgar is a step forward in this area

  19. I’m a wee bit more sympathetic to Liam Morrison and Ben Doak.



    I don’t think money is the only driver though I am not discounting it’s head turning ability.



    When you are Ben and Liam’s age your ambition is to be the best footballer you can be. You are not limiting your hero worship to Celtic first teamers; you are looking at whether you can be Ronaldo or Messi. If you are a star of the youth team, why can’t you be a star at the next step too.



    So- ego and professional judgement play a part. breaking into the Bayern first team or Liverpool first team is a tremendous achievement and a bigger mountain to top than is getting into our team or playing SPFL football.



    By the time these guys are 21 or 22, they have a more mature understanding if Stardom is still possible or whether they are destined to be journeymen or drop outs. Ange gave Ben a taster of Celtic first team but his head was already turned and, so far, he has not made the wrong judgement. Liam gave it his best shot but Bayern prefer to buy their starters from rival Bundesliga seniors than from their B team, as do Liverpool. Only the exceptional kid breaks through but it has happened and kids will still dream.



    Rocco Vata might be right in that he will get more regular game time at Watford than at Celtic, and that this will give him a better chance of establishing himself by the time he’s 21. Odds are he would get single figure matches at Celtic this season and who knows how many next season. Daniel Kelly has to make a judgement as to whether Celtic, under BR, see him getting even more game time next year as he was trusted more than Holm was or whether he was getting conned with game time to get him to sign a new contract.



    Kieran Tierney is still very much a Celtic fan though he left us (for good money). John McGinn is probably a Celtic fan even though he chose another club over us. We don’t get to discount or question their Celtic credentials.



    They are merely- not Celtic players- so we don’t have to bother too much about them- until or if we sign them again.

  20. Aye everyone wants the youths playing.



    Until you get put out the cup or drop some league points.



    You can be injured and on better wages at multiple other clubs.



    Who is kidding who. Celtic supporters won’t give youth a season.

  21. REGGIE on 10TH JULY 2024 1:45 PM



    “What was the difference in contract offers for O’Riley between MK Dons and Fulham?”



    Matt was offered a decent deal from Fulham but turned it down without having any offer from anyone else. He trained for 6 months in the park and at a tram in Belgium as well as MK Dons before he went to them and told them he wanted to play there.



    It should be a story that all young players take notice of, but he has the good fortune of having parents as agents.

  22. garygillespieshamstring on

    Given the crowd reaction to the players at Celtic Park to a goalless draw against St. Johnstone and a draw against Kilmarnock, I think it is quite evident why it is difficult to give young players a chance.



    In particular, the abuse Liam Scales had to take because he misjudged the flight of a ball against St Johnstone was bang out of order.



    It must be very difficult to put young players into games where any goal conceded or point dropped is viewed as a major crisis by sections of the support.



    On Daniel Kelly, it was a bit of a concern for me that he didn’t feature against Ayr. I await tonight’s team with interest.

  23. Martin O’Neill helped develop Stilian Petrov, and gave both Aiden McGeady and Shaun Maloney their breakthrough moments. Jamesie and Callum are both now in their 30s. Walsh and Ralston are Scottish. McCarthy, Robertson, et al were developed at places like Hamilton and Queens Park and Livingstone, and Kieran was given his oppo under Ronny. There is no one road to a professional career, no one path and for the most part no sendero luminoso at Celtic FC. Ange gave Ben Doak a possible way forward, and given the number of wide players we have signed could possibly have made it with us, but money talked, and Jurgen walked so those cameos at Anfield maybe peak Doakey at Liverpool who knows? A while back our U19 double winning team was paraded round Celtic Park at an end of season SPL match. Every last one of them were released. Nothing new, after winning the 1921-22 SFL, Celtic sacked the reserve team. Stein, Fallon and Mochan were the visionaries, and all had worn the hoops. Liam is wearing the Hoops now, the blue and white ones.


    Good luck to him.

  24. We played a chunk of youths at ayr





    People complaining Celtic only drew.



    A new Celtic youth gets two shots at controlling a pass before he starts getting written off.

  25. CELTIC40ME on 10TH JULY 2024 2:02 PM



    I forgot that thanks for clarifying. I’m sure Covid would have played a part in his time without a club but he still bet on himself and thankfully for Matt it paid off. That said, it doesn’t really change the narrative, in this scenario, we would be Fulham and the park would be Glasgow Green. I doubt that’s a career path Daniel Kelly will be considering.




    Imo the crowd reaction was to the negative style of football we were playing at the time not particularly to individual players.



    We were used to the Ange style of entertaining football which the fans loved and encouraged.



    I always wanted Brendan back but even i was dismayed by some of our play at that time. Im glad to say we did change it.



    Put simply, we were not playing football the Glasgow Celtic way and the fans voiced their opinion.











  27. !!Bada Bing!! on

    What’s happening now is players from the Development Squad, who are offered a full time contract, are being managed by agents who want the players to get a signing on fee,which they would get when moving to another Club.

  28. According to the website the Celtic Youth Academy, since season 2000/1, has introduced 51 players to the first the first team (presumably including Daniel); one in three from the academy have become professional footballers; 19 have played in the Champions league; and 41 have become full internationals.



    Is that good? Is that bad? Is it poor? How does it compare with other academies? Is it average? Is it above average? Is it value for money? is it making money? I’ve no idea.

  29. I would like to see what Celtic are doing as far as campaigning to get a proper league structure in place so there is a defined competitive path for players of all ages at our club.



    The reintroduction of a reserve league structure


    – enabling youth to get experience from old pros


    – inserted above the B team level.



    – B team level organised competitively below that


    Utilizing all of our 50+ player squads.



    – all ‘unders’ feeding into B level.



    More emphasis by all clubs to play players instead of on bench.



    More links/loan links with other clubs to give those who excel a higher level of competition.



    We seem to carry big squads,many of who are distant from 1st team for many reasons,maturity/football maturity may be one.


    I just feel we need to do more to motivate all who pull the hoops on,at whatever level,also with full social training- handling monies and media in the modern game.



    If we dont we will continue to get picked of by likes of willo flood agency where the monies available in the c/ship,div1 are greater tgan what we can offer.




  30. And by coincidence an article appears on the Club website about appointments within the Academy structure,most are known already to Celtic having played for the first team successfully fair enough, 1 unknown in Adam Ashgar but the Reserves have no league to play in to develop this Lowland league stuff isnt doing it.

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