CELTIC young Irish defender Fiacre Kelleher has joined Peterhead on a six-month loan deal.

The Cork-born 20-year-old captained the Hoops’ development squad throughout their unbeaten league campaign last season.

Brendan Rodgers is short of defenders in the central area with Erik Sviatchenko, Jozo Simunovic and Dedryck Boyata injured while new signing Kolo Toure didn’t make the Champions League trip to Kazakhstan to remain at home to work on his fitness.

However, the Parkhead boss wanted Kelleher, who has been capped nine times by the Republic of Ireland’s Under-19s, to get some first team football in this campaign.

Jim McInally, the Highland club’s gaffer, is delighted to have landed the 6ft 5in centre-half until January.

The former Celtic star said: “Fiacre strengthens us in a position where we were left woefully short last year.

“We need to make sure that does not happen again so with bringing him in, it gives us three central defenders plus Ryan Strachan, who can fit in anywhere. I feel we need height, also.

“Against East Fife on Saturday, we lost a goal from a corner and that hurt us a lot last season.

“Having a tall player in the team does not mean we will head away every corner, but, hopefully, he can help us out in an area where we have been weak in the past.”

Winger Paul McMullan, at Dunfermline, is the only other young Celt out on loan.

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