Decades of youth talent withering on the vine


Celtic’s Twitter account mentioned today is Anthony Ralston’s 19th birthday. Living through decades of youthful talent withering on the vine, it is startling to realise a player with such potential still has a year of his teens left.

The early months of this season has seen Brendan Rodgers trust the player with considerable responsibility, not least going face-to-face with PSG’s diver-in-chief, Neymar. But it cannot stop here.

Monday night’s party animal, Mikael Lustig, should be rested at home this weekend, allowing Anthony to travel for Saturday’s fixture in Dingwall. We have an enormous burden of 13 games in the next six weeks ahead, precious few of which will be of little consequence. I would let Anthony, and Calvin Miller, have plenty of action during that period.



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  1. Agreed Paul – if you’re good enough you’re old enough!



    Here we go…. for 7 (SEVEN) in a row!

  2. Play Him or Gamboa in some games Ajer too. He will improve if he plays. Just needs an experienced player beside him Not Boyata! Jozo would be better.. you never notice him much in games because he rarle is in wrong place and forced into last minute tackles

  3. Team I’d go with for Ross County at the weekend:


    Craig; Gamboa/Ralston, Bhoyata, Erik, KT; Broonie, Armstrong; Jamesie, McGregor, Scotty; Moussa.



  4. Adds are gradually closing in on me.


    Aldi is all around leaving about a third of my screen available to read blog, now pop up adds from Stylosis & Double my Winnings are competing with Aldi for my attention & all I want to do is to read & talk about Celtic with fellow supporters.


    I am not at point of giving up but the adds are taking some of the pleasure of accessing the blog away.


    That and the lack of football talk is leaving me scunnered.


    TB Dress has just joined the pop up Brigade with Live Casino.

  5. corkcelt on 16th November 2017 1:28 pm … not sure what device you are using it took me 2 mins to download add blocker for chrome…problem solved on my laptop.

  6. Hail Hail Lynchiebhoy, Glad you are joining in, many of the regulars seem to be on a sabbatical so new posters more than welcome.


    I wouldn’t disagree too much with your team, maybe Kouassi or Olli for Armstrong, could be a bit of a battle in Dingwall.




    For mobile devices, Never Ads works a treat. For a PC Google Chrome with Adblocker Plus is perfect.

  8. Corkcelt, if you click on the circled ‘i’ at the start of the address bar just before the www part, it brings up the site settings. There will be an option to block pop ups there.HH

  9. Bloody Hell, was just planning to settle down for a bit on CQN, when she who must be obeyed, decides she wants to visit the shops.


    Ooooff oot for an hour…….. or two.

  10. Celtic head of youth Chris McCart: “tattoos, big cars, designer toilet bags….we just want the hard work first”



    In a tucked away pocket of Lennoxtown, Chris McCart’s office is small and unremarkable.


    And yet from this quite hub stems much of what is current about Celtic.



    As Brendan Rodgers’ side have embarked on a 63-game unbeaten domestic run, the players who emerged into that environment from the tutelage of McCart has been notable.



    The values that have been sown into the philosophy of Rodgers’ first-team are evident in McCart’s academy with hard-work and a drive for continual self-improvement at the heart of the mantra.




    The Parkhead side’s head of youth development watched with satisfaction as three of his protegees turned it on against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League a couple of weeks ago with Kieran Tierney, James Forrest and Callum McGregor all shining against the Bundesliga giants.



    But what has resonated more than anything this season is a quote Rodgers gave to the written press a couple of months back.



    “One of the best things that I have heard from the manager is that no young player should be saying they play for Celtic,” said McCart. “They train with Celtic, that is it. It is so true. It resonated with everyone in here what he was saying.



    “He doesn’t like lazy days. He wants the best and seeing where your best will take you. We will all make mistakes, but it is how you learn from them.



    “Certainly, that culture of tattoos, big cars, designer toilet bags, big watches, the bling….it is always going to be an attraction to any young player. We live in a world now where it is about overnight sensations so there is that culture within society as a whole but here we are trying to create an environment where it is about working hard and seeing the rewards that come from that.”



    Rodgers himself sets his own example. Little more than 48 hours before Celtic faced Bayern Munich, Rodgers was at Lennxtown to coach an under-14 side. And as McCart went on to explain, that wasn’t all he was busy with.



    “In that same working week he came in and asked to meet with all the coaches,” he said. “He spoke to every one of them. We put it on during the day with 99.9% attendance with coaches who aren’t full-time making sure that they had a day off work to come in for it.



    “That goes from us right down to the guys in the development centres for the kids at 5. He invited them all to watch training after it, he invited them into his office, he talked to everyone.



    “In my role here, I went to Tony Mowbray, to Neil Lennon, to Ronny Deila – they all gave in-service sessions to the academy. But what I am finding now is that it is the manager chapping at my door and saying this is what I want to do, what can do we think about that, where can we improve on this. “He comes and tells us what he is thinking and there has been a significant shift in that he drives myself.



    “It is incredible. He doesn’t want there to feel as though there are boundaries between youth level and first-team level. He wants the under-8 coach to feel as important as the development squad manager. He wants everyone to be part of it. Whenever the first-team win anything he thanks everyone. The greatest value he brings is that humility. He is the first-team manager who is thought of very highly not just at Celtic and within Scottish football but in the wider football environment too.”



    The photographs that adorn McCart’s office wall would not be out of place in a headmaster’s office. Giant squad photos with little kids from the under-8s all the way up to late teens are grouped together in annual team snapshots, with hooped jerseys instead of the shirts-and-ties.



    There is something pastoral in the scholarly approach of McCart too. Overseeing his own academy, his remit is to graduate players who are capable of playing in the pressurised environment of first-team football.



    In the last decade, 18 of them have featured for Celtic in the Champions League; 55 have debuted at first-team level, 168 have forged careers elsewhere with McCart in charge of the most successful academy in Scotland. But the bar is always being raised.



    “We don’t want to develop players just to play in Scotland and the Premier League, we want to be able to produce players capable of performing in the Champions League,” said McCart. “To see three of our academy graduates play and perform really well against Bayern Munich in the competition here at Celtic Park is a great credit to the manager.



    “We also have Anthony Ralston and Liam Henderson who have featured in Europe for us so that is five academy players that have played at that level. We have a number who have supplemented the squad at domestic level but we feel as though we are a Champions League club and so if we bring players through then they have to be good enough to feature at that level.”




    Inevitably, they will not all get there.



    “It is not always about the success, it is about the development of young people not just about bringing through players,” he explained. “Yes, we want to create elite players but not every player will make it. They won’t all get there but if they don’t make it at Celtic then we wanted to give them the foundations to maybe go on and do it elsewhere.



    “Beyond that, whether they make a career out of football or not we still want to make sure that we are helping to create the whole person – that they are educated, that they have an understanding of what it is like to give your best every day and work hard.”

  11. In the last decade, 18 of them have featured for Celtic in the Champions League; 55 have debuted at first-team level, 168 have forged careers elsewhere with McCart in charge of the most successful academy in Scotland.




    Thats quite remarkable. A conveyor belt for sure. Time for Lennoxtown to get renamed ?



    The Tommy Burns Academy of Football Excellence ?

  12. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    Word of The Day (South of the river ……)



    miasma /mɪˈæzmə/



    noun (pl) -mata (-mətə), -mas


    1. noxious exhalations from putrescent organic matter; poisonous effluvia or germs polluting the atmosphere.


    2. a dangerous, foreboding, or deathlike influence or atmosphere.


    3. pollution in the atmosphere, esp noxious vapours from decomposing organic matter



    Derived Forms


    miasmal, miasmatic (ˌmiːəzˈmætɪk), miasmatical, miasmic,adjective



    Word Origin and History for miasma




    1660s, from Modern Latin miasma “noxious vapours,” from Greek miasma (genitive miasmatos) “stain, pollution, defilement, taint of guilt,” from stem of miainein “to pollute,” from possible PIE root *mai- “to stain, soil, defile” (cf. Old English mal “stain, mark,” see mole (n.1)). Earlier form wasmiasm (1640s), from French miasme. Related: Miasmatic ; miasmal.




  13. St Stivs as one born in Lennoxtown I raised an eyebrow at your question of renaming Lennoxtown. That is until I saw your suggestion. No one could quibble with that. Good to see Portonians can come up with wonderful ideas from time to time.

  14. The Battered Bunnet on




    I use Adblocker Plus on the Firefox browser for CQN. It’s telling me that right now I am missing 35 ads on this page. Gutte so am ur.



    35 ads. Thirty Five. That seems like a lot of adverts on a page.



    At what point does it become “too many”?…

  15. I can;t believe it. I don’t know how long it will last but I am add free.


    Thanks to all the Bhoys who gave me advice, brilliant stuff.

  16. Hi Guys


    On the subject of young talent………my daughter Keara works in PR for the Scottish Book Trust. To promote Book Week Scotland they have published a poll inviting everyone to vote for their favourite song inspired by a book.



    I would greatly appreciate if anyone could take the time to select a song and vote. It literally takes a few seconds to do. Haven’t tried to post a link before so hopefully this will work….




  17. mike in toronto on

    Books that inspired songs ….



    How about Saturday Night, Sunday Morning by Alan Stilltoe … became one of the best british fiilms, and inspired not one, but two, songs ….



    Across the Kitchen Table by the criminally underrated Pale Fountains… and



    SNSM by Scotland’s own, River Detectives.

  18. You haven’t lived til you’ve suffered-The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins by Leonard Nimoy.



    If U want a good one-


    Magazine -Song From Under The Floorboard.

  19. Saint Stivs – Cheers for the article re Chris McCart, excellent read. Brendan really is working wonders at the club long may it continue.


    I’m travelling over from Éire for the next Champions League outing in Paradise and ‘m still on the lookout for one ticket for Celtic v Anderlecht. Any help would be greatly appreciated Bhoys.



  20. That Da Vinci painting that sold for £400 million ?


    If that’s the going rate for works of art…


    The Celtic Warrior Teirney must be worth £800 million ….that Bhoy is a true work of art !


    Happy birthday Antho y Ralston.



  21. Michelle Lennox‏ 









    @celticfc I am family of Jim Brogan contrary to today’s reports he is alive and has not passed away. Can u help the family in making this known?

  22. Ralston is a good example of whats needed in the modern game to make it.


    We have often produced skillful players in our youth set up who lack the physique to make it at a professional level.


    Aiden Nesbitt is a great example of such.


    Rocco Quinn was a talented but slight youth and it was years after we released him that he finally gained the physicality at Ross County to be a good spl player.


    Sports science is now vital to the success of an academy.


    Was watching the youths in a tournament final against Everton last year and despite Celtic being technically superior they lost against a bigger, stronger team.


    Even KT has improved as a physical specimen and that has taken him to the next level.


    Was never a fan of Delia’s tactical acumen but his approach to diet and fitness was top notch.


    Young McCart and Mikey Johnson both need to add physical stature to their obvious talent to fulfill their promise.

  23. FAN-A-TIC on 16TH NOVEMBER 2017 4:03 PM




    BR was asked asked at a Q&A what he did to turn around a few of the players. He said “They were fat bassas” and their diet was crap.




  24. Celtic FC SLO‏ 






    50 minutes ago






    CSC’s who’ve supplied Coach Reg No. for Paris should collect their Coach Park Pass from me on Saturday at Dingwall outside the Coach Park at Ross County. Reminder that you will not get access to Coach Park at PSG without a pass. If you’ve not supplied Coach Reg No. you’ve no pass

  25. Billy Bhoy –



    its a little know fact that the old jungle favourite “do you know a handsome hun” was inspired by the original Ladybird Book of Hammer Horrors



    There are always exceptions like Andy Ritchie.


    Who was one of the most skillful fat bassas who ever graced the Hoops.

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