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Science of developing prodigious Celtic youths

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It is better to win trophies at youth level than to miss out, so I was happy to see Celtic Youths beat their Newco equivalents 3-2 in the Glasgow Cup last night, six days after losing the Scottish Youth Cup to the same score and opponents.

Those who pulled on the hoops last night are the pinnacle of years of development.  Each May, their number was whittled down.  To get to this point, they have to be exceptional young players.  The harsh reality is, that if two or more of them have successful careers in the first team, this will be an outstandingly successful generation.

Jack Aitchison, who opened the scoring last night, has made only two appearances in the three years since he became Celtic’s youngest player and goal scorer.  At 16 years and 71 days he was well ahead in the developmental curve.  At 19, Jack is the age Odsonne Edouard was when he arrived at Celtic.  He needs to be playing first team football soon.

On Sunday, Karamoko Dembele will be the age Jack Aitchison was when he made his Celtic debut.  Like you, I am desperate to see Karamoko, but I would rather see him playing week-in, week-out, three years from now, than expose him to too much, to soon.

I doubt Ronny Delia did any damage to Jack Aitchison by giving him a debut against Motherwell in 2016.  Similarly, Neil Lennon may be of a mind to play Karamoko before the end of the season.  As well as looking after the player’s development, Neil has to convince him and his family that Celtic is where he will develop best.

A debut helps achieve the latter, but the science of turning prodigious Celtic youths into first team regulars is still in its infancy.

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  1. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Young player nominations

     

    David Turnbull

     

    Jake Hastie

     

    Ryan Kent

     

    Lewis Ferguson

     

     

    No Kris Ajer….

  2. THE HANDS CANT HIT WHAT THE EYES CANT SEE on 1ST MAY 2019 2:03 PM

     

    @ CELTIC40ME on 1ST MAY 2019 1:15 PM

     

     

     

    While Ajax do produce a lot of youth players through their academy, they also do buy a lot of youth players or get them when they first sign a professional contract. Christian Erikson for example was purchased for around £1m but put straight in the youth team for a couple of years and sold for a large profit at a later date.

     

     

    The £150m was for players who cane through the academy. I excluded any players who started their careers at different clubs

     

     

     

    While Ajax have received higher fees over the years than Celtic, they have shown a willingness to reinvest in their squad (Suarez was purchased for around £7m from another Dutch team and then sold for a large profit).

     

     

    Suarez came from the Eredivisie, outside of Celtic and the Huns who was the last player playing for another Scottish club as good as Suarez?

     

     

     

    This approach has not been replicated at Celtic. We received around £28m in transfers in the summer (and VVD money the January before). Our signings consisted of Edouard for a fee, followed by a loan, a St Mirren player for £100(?) and Mulumbu on a free. This was on the backdrop of record turnover and profits.

     

     

    Do they reinvest everything they receive? I’m guessing they don’t. It would be interesting to know what percentage of transfer income is reinvested in player purchases. But their success this season hasn’t been built in signings, 8 out of 11 players last night came through the academy.

     

     

     

    Ajax spread the net wide and pick up players from Holland, Belgium and Denmark. No reason Celtic cannot do the same.

     

     

    You keep saying there’s no reason why we can’t do the same when there are several reasons. There’s no good reason why we can’t try, like we do but several reasons why it’s going to be more difficult. The best players in the Dutch league will choose Ajax over us almost every time. Denmark isn’t far, shares a similar culture to the Netherlands and there are a lot of famous Danish Ajax players. Belgium shares a border with the Netherlands

     

     

    We have picked up Van Dijk and Big Victor from there but it’s a hard sell

     

     

    Notwithstanding this, PSV who do not have the same reputation as Ajax spent £20m this year while Celtic were parsimonious and got dumped out of Europe.

     

     

    Who said anything about PSV?

  3. Tontine Tim on

    Bucketing doon here the day, more like a summer’s day in Helensburgh, or any day for that matter, not like the May Days I grew up with which is not a big deal over here in this capitalist society even though it was chosen as the date for International Workers’ Day by the Socialists and Communists of the Second International to commemorate the Haymarket affair in Chicago.

     

     

    Anyway, bored oot of my tree I got the thinking cap on again. I Haven’t written much about Billy this last week, others have done a fine job, however, on hearing about John Fallon getting his Lisbon medal returned my mind reflected on a cauld January evening 53 year ago.

     

     

    Down in St Kessog’s we had a medal presentation ceremony where Billy and John were present, this was 3 days after the original 5-1 game where Charlie Gallagher and Bobby Murdoch, courtesy of a tiny Wharton step over, had rifled home two unstoppable shots intae the Celtic end, there was also the late great Stevie’s hat trick.

     

     

    There was much excitement that night and lots of cheering as our heroes entered the chapel hall. You have to remember most of the bhoys that night couldnae remember a winning Celtic team, only us older ones with the 7-1 one and even then none of us were at that game.

     

     

    So here we are SC holders, beat deidco in the LC Final in the Yogi 2 penalty game about 10 weeks earlier and although neither Billy or John had played in the Yogi sandshoe massacre that didnae stop the chapel roof fae almost coming off. Little did we know what lay ahead for us.

     

     

    I got thinking about this while out walking the dug last night. The driving distance from Lanarkshire to Balloch if done right now using the M74 and M8 is approx 60 kms and the time about 45 minutes. Back on January 6, 1966, a cauld winters night; it’s got to have been a lot longer as there was no M8 then.

     

     

    At the time I lived less than 10 minutes fae the Chapel, I know that to be so as it had a bell that rung 10 minutes before each Mass and I was often in the house when it started ringing and was never late. So unless I had a lumber that night I was probably sitting in the hoose while they were still talking with our pastor wee Father O’Rourke.

     

     

    And yet these players both in their early 20’s had given up their time on a dreich frosty night tae make wee bhoys fae a fishing village down on the Bonnie Banks happy. That’s why we are a special club.

  4. Spending money on signing players hasn’t got Ajax through to the semi finals. Their worst player last night, their left back was one of two players who started who hadn’t come through the academy.

  5. F19 @ 2.25

     

     

    The real number would be the plan to have a net spend of £10mill regarding investment on the playing squad. Consequently if we sell big then we buy big plus £10mill.

     

     

    That should be our plan.

     

    We should pay wages that would allow this to happen.

     

     

    Plug number time — target for business T/O should be £100mill.

     

    That would not include income from players sales.

     

     

    Football wage bill would then be around £50mill including any bonuses.

     

    That would allow us to pay £100K pw to a couple of players if their value to us justified it.

     

    This would not happen all the time but we should not be scared of working at this level.

     

     

    It would not mean paying everyone in the first team squad £20K or £30K pw.

     

    To offer some sort of fairness we should go big on SPL bonuses.

     

     

    £10K for a win would cost £145K across the 22 man matchday squad.

     

    Looking at a cost of around £5 mill pa including Employers NI.

     

     

    £10K x 11 — starters

     

    £5K x 3 — playing subs

     

    £3K x 4 — non playing subs

     

    £2K x 4 — matchday 22

     

     

    We could go fully galley slave / take the emperor water skiing mode and double the numbers.

     

    Would this arrangement improve performances like last Saturday?

  6. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    @ CELTIC40ME on 1ST MAY 2019 2:35 PM

     

     

    Well in the case I’m unsure if the number is that high, but the point is taken that they have earned a substantial amount from youth products.

     

     

    “Suarez came from the Eredivisie, outside of Celtic and the Huns who was the last player playing for another Scottish club as good as Suarez?”

     

     

    Celtic can buy outside of Scotland. Ajax do not have first refusal on every player plying their trade in the Dutch league. Not sure of the relevance.

     

     

    “Do they reinvest everything they receive? I’m guessing they don’t. It would be interesting to know what percentage of transfer income is reinvested in player purchases. But their success this season hasn’t been built in signings, 8 out of 11 players last night came through the academy.”

     

     

    Well firstly, investment in the team should be dependent on needs. Celtic’s need for better quality players (not met by youth products) is greater than that of Ajax at present and you could argue that we should be dipping into our vast reserves to meet those needs.

     

     

    Of the players last night, Onana was signed from Barca at 19, Blind was signed for €16m from Man U (so not counting him as a youth player), De Jong came from Willem II (admittedly at young age), Ziyech, Huntelaar, Neres, Tadic, Tagliafico and Schöne all signed. So not sure about the 8 out of 11 figure (only Huntelaar was not a starter of the above).

     

     

    If Celtic is so unappealing how did we end up with Dembele, Edouard, Ntcham, VVD etc? You are just making excuses. I recognise that Ajax have a better reputation for youth products. Does that mean that it is preordained for them to pick up all the quality youth products in Benelux and Scandinavia?

     

     

    Celtic fans have been brainwashed to hold the opinion that we can never do any better than our current lot; talk always seems to be so binary. A couple of years ago under RD we were being told to accept our lot in Europe and then BR arrived and we stared qualifying and even made it to the knockouts 2 out of 3 years. We must be the only team with nearly £50m in the bank but are unable to spend it for some unknown reason.

     

     

    PSV was another point of reference (if we accept Ajax are on a different stratosphere to us).

  7. Having watched the two finals this past week, I was underwhelmed by Armstrong OF and Dembele’s contributions, especially in the first game.

     

    MJ was head and shoulders above both of them last night and showed clearly why he was given a few first team games this season.

     

    Young Dembele is probably 2 seasons away from that level. He really is just a kid and needs time to develop.

     

    I thought the best player in the first final was McPake of Rangers yet last night he was anonymous. Middleton also looks ready for first team football.

     

    I thought last night’s game was, as you would expect, far superior to the youth final in terms of quality and I also thought it was played in a very sporting manner by both teams. We dominated for 70 mins and then could easily have thrown it all away as they contrived to miss several sitters.

     

    The loss of Aitchison and MJ took away a lot of our flair, as you would I hope they both get chances next season.

  8. glendalystonsils on

    DENIABHOY

     

     

    Thanks for posting the goals , some crackers right enough. I agree that MJ is at a level that KD and AOF haven’t reached and yet thinking back to MJ’s last top team appearance against Dundee he looked to be not quite physically ready for that level.

     

    Kids/youngsters are prone to fluctuations in form , something which usually improves with maturity.

  9. FAVOURITE UNCLE.

     

     

    If your lurking.

     

     

    I spoke to BT this morning and I asked if he was coming into the B/V on Friday,He said that he was, and I’ll be in around about 3-00PM,so if you come in I’ll see you then.

  10. FAVOURITE UNCLE on

    OLDTIM67 on 1ST MAY 2019 4:21 PM

     

     

    THANKS he has been in touch.i will see you there.

  11. !!Bada Bing!! on

    REAL MADRID legend and Porto star Iker Casillas has been rushed to hospital after suffering a heart attack at training.

  12. !!Bada Bing!! on

    ByRecord Reporter

     

    13:10, 1 MAY 2019UPDATED14:19, 1 MAY 2019

     

     

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    BILLY MCNEILL – TRIBUTES TO A CELTIC LEGEND

     

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    Huge crowds are expected to line the streets of Glasgow on Friday for the funeral procession of Billy McNeill .

     

     

    Roads are being closed to allow fans to pay their last respects to the Celtic legend as his cortege travels from the service, which will take place at St Aloysius Church in Garnethill at 11.30am to Celtic park for around 1.30pm.Load mobile navigation

     

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    Celtic legend Billy McNeill’s funeral procession route revealed

     

    Glasgow roads will close to allow fans to pay their last respects to the Hoops hero before he is laid to rest.

     

     

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    ByRecord Reporter

     

    13:10, 1 MAY 2019UPDATED14:19, 1 MAY 2019

     

     

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    Huge crowds are expected to line the streets of Glasgow on Friday for the funeral procession of Billy McNeill .

     

     

    Roads are being closed to allow fans to pay their last respects to the Celtic legend as his cortege travels from the service, which will take place at St Aloysius Church in Garnethill at 11.30am to Celtic park for around 1.30pm.

     

     

    Play Video

     

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    Rose Street (between Renfrew Street and Buccleuch Street) will close from 10am.

     

     

    Hill Street (between Cambridge Street and Scott Street), Renfrew Street (between Dalhousie Street and Rose Street) and Dalhousie Street (between Renfrew Street and Buccleuch Street) will also be closed to traffic.The usual one way system at Garnet Street between Sauchiehall Street and Renfrew Street will be suspended.

     

     

    The closures will be lifted by 2pm.

  13. Celtic can buy outside of Scotland. Ajax do not have first refusal on every player plying their trade in the Dutch league. Not sure of the relevance.

     

     

    It’s pretty simple. In the domestic market the better players generally go to the best teams in the league. The best players to the best. It’s basic market forces.

     

     

    As for why Celtic would struggle to sign a Dutch youngster ahead of Ajax, that’s pretty obvious, surely?

     

     

    If Celtic is so unappealing how did we end up with Dembele, Edouard, Ntcham, VVD etc

     

     

    Where do I say Celtic is unappealing? I say Ajax have a far easier job of attracting better talent than us for a number of reasons. They’re more appealing than us to the best players in the Eredivisie and the best youngsters from the countries you mentioned, but were clearly doing an excellent job. Someone’s doing something right. More of the same would be great

     

     

     

    Celtic fans have been brainwashed to hold the opinion that we can never do any better than our current lot; talk always seems to be so binary.

     

     

    You too on occasion

     

     

     

    I’m still not sure why you chose PSV but their performance in the group stages is hardly what we’d be looking to emulate

  14. FAVOURITE UNCLE on

    HOT SMOKED on 1ST MAY 2019 4:36 PM

     

    Favourite Uncle

     

     

    YES LAMONT RD.I THINK 27.we danced in his garden when we came out THE CAIRN.

     

     

    may25th.

  15. FU

     

    Thanks. I thought it was lamont Road. Wikipedia says he was born in tthe Garngad but I don`t think that is the case.

     

    JJ

  16. FAVOURITE UNCLE on

    HOT SMOKED on 1ST MAY 2019 4:45 PM

     

     

    yes GARNGAD it was .like a lot of families from there they moved to balornock.your family it was barmulloch.and CAROL.the rest is history.

  17. Hrvatski Jim on

    I was playing golf at Littlehill one day. When I got to the seventh green I saw a small fire in the doorway of The Cairn.

     

     

    The lady across filled a large bucket and I extinguished the fire.

     

     

    I went back to my ball to tap in for my seventh eagle in a row.

     

     

    Part of this story is true

  18. HRVATSKI JIM.

     

     

    Talking of Golf, Do you know when the CQN Aberdour golf tournement is,I’ll have to put it in my diary.

  19. HJ

     

    Re our converstion last week.Number 5 scoring after 67 minutes would make a truly fitting end.

     

    JJ

  20. My dad, who lives in Troon, used to see Stevie at mass every week at St Meddans. Once Stevie moved to Kilmarnock nursing home, my dad still saw him most weeks as he had a good friend there and said Stevie was always friendly and enjoyed a blether.

     

    Stevie latterly moved to Dundonald nursing home, perhaps when his illness had become more pronounced.

     

    Like many others, my old man is convinced there is a direct link between years and years of heading a heavy leather football and dementia.

  21. Deniabhoy

     

    I would suggest this is worthy of a read:

     

     

    ” FOOL TIME WHISTLE on 30TH APRIL 2019 2:39 AM

     

    SUPERSUTTON on 29TH APRIL 2019 11:12 PM

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I usually connect with your posts really positively but I wanted to comment on your most recent, with respect.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I know a little more generally about Neuro Degenerative Diseases that I would wish to know, mostly through watching relatives suffer and die from them. I’ve just taken a close interest in the whole range of this horrible range of illnesses.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Firtsly, dementia (loss of mental power) is a generic term, not a disease in itself. Any condition/illness/injury/drug etc that causes significant brain damage, at any age, can cause dementia.

     

     

     

     

    The causes of dementia include

     

     

     

     

    – head injury

     

     

     

     

    – strokes

     

     

     

     

    – brain blood vessel damage (vascular)

     

     

     

     

    – fluid on the brain

     

     

     

     

    – medication or drug abuse

     

     

     

     

    – CJD (human version of Mad Cow)

     

     

     

     

    – organ failure or severe medical illness

     

     

     

     

    – neuro psychiatric disorders

     

     

     

     

    – neuro-degenerative diseases (Alzheimers, Parinsons, MND, Huntingtons & soon CTE)

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The versions that most of our older relatives are likely to suffer from are Alzheimers and Vascular dementia.

     

     

     

     

    Barabra Windsor will have one of those two varieties.

     

     

     

     

    My sister in law, brother in law had Alzheimers. My other sister in law had early onset Alzheimers. Another sister in law had Progressive Supra Nuclear Palsy before she passed away.

     

     

     

     

    My son died of MND, which is in the last of the categories above, along with Parkinsons, Huntingtons, Lewy Bodies, and Alzheimers.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Within that last category is where we find the probability that some of these diseases are “caused” by or at least exacerbated by repeated head trauma – blows to the head, such a boxer might get or a footballer, particularly old school whose main strength was heading the much heavier water soaked balls. Jeff Astle comes into that category as might Billy McNeill, but the only way to be sure is by an examination of the brain tissue – post mortem. (Billy didn’t develop his dementia until he was over 70 so it seems unikely in his case)

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The excellent Will Smith movie, Concussion, outlines how the effect of repeated and untreated concussion to brains (on American footballers in that case) led to what is now known as CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy). This will eventually be included in the list of diseases alongside Alheimers, MND etc.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Not every footballer who has dementia will have a neurodegenerative disease, and not all of those that do have such a disease will have one that has been linked to repeated head trauma. MND & CTE have been linked to repeated head trauma, but, there are also people who suffer from those diseases who’ve never had any head trauma at all.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It seems pretty clear that the earlier onset of CTE & MND suggest a head trauma factor. Most people who develop dementia are much older so in the vast majority of cases Alzheimers & brain blood vessel atrophy are the most likely causes.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Jeff Astle developed his illness at a realtively young age. John Cushley was 65 when he died from MND, while Jimmy was 61 and both of them are within the normal range for men who develope the illness. Fernado Ricksen developed MND at a very young age, almost identical in fact to Lou Gehrig’s age, so head trauma may very well be a factor with him. Gehrig himself played competitive American football in College. Rugby player Dodie Weir is another classic head trauma MND sufferer, as was Joost Van der Westhuizen, the South African rugby player. Significantly, Jeff Astle’s brain was examined post mortem at the request of his family & that is the only reason his head trauma was identified. Dr Wille Stewart of the Southern General was key to much of that discovery.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Long & short, it’s a little like smoking I suppose. Some people smoke their whole lives and die of boredom in their 90s while some non smokers develop cancer and die young. There are so many individual & environmental variables that predictability is fraught & complex.

     

     

     

     

    We do know about most of the different causes of dementia but not how, & due to nature of the “head trauma” variants we can never know for certain if trauma is to blame until science develops a way to scan brains for the type of damage that is only possible nowadays after someone dies.

     

     

    Onwards with science.

     

     

    Hope you are well.

     

    HH ”

     

     

    JJ

  22. OLD TIM67,

     

    I may join You and the Bhoys in the BV on Friday, for a good bevvy………I’ll bring some else’s wallet with me !

     

     

    it will be good to catch up with you and BT etc, hope thats okay ?

     

    HH

  23. BIG JIMMY.

     

     

    No problem. I’ll be in around 3.00pm, Maybe a bit earlier, or a bit later,depends if the trains are running to a normal timetable.

  24. Jobo Baldie on

    OLDTIM67 –

     

    Hope you’re doing well. The CQN Open at Aberdour this year is on Friday 21st June. I’ve not committed to attending yet but just letting you know the date.

  25. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    OLDTIM67 on 1ST MAY 2019 4:21 PM

     

    FAVOURITE UNCLE.

     

    If your lurking.

     

    I spoke to BT this morning and I asked if he was coming into the B/V on Friday,He said that he was, and I’ll be in around about 3-00PM,so if you come in I’ll see you then.

     

     

    —————–

     

     

    Me and Wee BGFC will be joining you in the Blane Valley for a wee break from his studying for his Highers (Maths tomorrow).

     

     

    He’s intending to bring his guitar, so bring your earplugs :-))

     

     

    HH

     

    BGFC

  26. Hrvatski Jim on

    Oldtim

     

    Sorry for my delayed reply. A frozen shoulder plus the amount of time that golf takes plus how absolutely awful I was at it means that I haven’t been involved with the 5th Masters, the CQN OPEN.

     

     

    I saw that Jobo has provided the information that you were looking for

  27. Deniabhoy

     

    You are welcome. In case there is any doubt , though, let me state that it was from Fool Time Whistle.

     

     

    Incidentally, both Jobo and i will be in Espana next week. Me in San Pedro de Alcantara and Jobo in, I think , Fuengerola.

     

    Cheerio for now.

     

     

    JJ

  28. HJ

     

    I am sure you mean the fifth Major :-))

     

    Or maybe the Old masters?

     

     

    Definitely off now.

     

    JJ

  29. JOBO BALDIE’s

     

     

    That’s great, I wasn’t sure what month it was, It’s usually the last Friday of July or August,

     

     

    I just got the trophies this morning and they look nice,I’ll try and take pictures of them and put them on the blog,

     

     

    Thanks for the info. commit yourself to going, if you don’t want to play golf you can always join us for the pub crawl.

     

     

    Although I don’t play golf now, I enjoy the company and the pub crawl while the golfers are playing the game.

  30. OLD TIM67,

     

    Cheers mate, I will have to wait til Friday Morn and see how I feeling, cos Ive not been too well recently, and I havent been out or had a Drink since Good Friday.

     

    Since last week, I’ve even started doing my shopping Online, and getting Tescos to deliver it to my door…no more waking around Supermarkets for me….i know…Im a lazy so and so !

     

    hopefully, see you on Friday, if i feel better ?

     

    HH

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