KARAMOKO DEMBELE and recent signings Luca Connell, Lee O’Conner and Jeremie Frimpong will kick off  a new era for Celtic’s exciting youngsters today.

The Hoops babes, with former Arsenal midfield starlet Armstrong Oko-Flex to the fore, will play in a new six-team cross-border competition after withdrawing from the SPFL Reserve League.

Aberdeen, Hibs and their Ibrox counterparts will also take part alongside Brentford and Huddersfield.

The clubs playing each other home and away before the top two sides contest a final to decide a winner.

TOP BHOY…Armstrong Oko-Flex has a new challenge.

Teams will field Under-21 sides, but are allowed three overage outfield players – plus an overage keeper.

It comes after the quartet of Premiership clubs were among eight to withdraw from the reserves set-up in the summer claiming it was not beneficial to youngsters.

Neil Lennon brought in Republic of Ireland midfielder Connell for a bargain £350,000 from Bolton in June and versatile defender O’Conner arrived from Manchester United and full-back Frimpong from Manchester City on deadline day.

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