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State of the Club Report: year end 2015

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2015 saw Celtic win our fourth consecutive league title, a feat achieved only twice before in our history: 1908 and 1969. The 1908 win came during Willie Maley’s team’s imperious 10 titles in 13 seasons. The 1969 win, by one of our greatest teams, preceded our second run to the 1970 European Cup final, where we lost to Feyenoord in Milan.

It was only on reflection that we realised 1970 was a turning point for Celtic. Jock Stein’s teams eliminated the champions of Italy, Portugal and England that season, a far more testing journey than the team of 1966-67 endured. Until that point, only Celtic and Real Madrid outside those three countries had won the European Cup, but Martin O’Neill would be manager the next time Celtic eliminated a team from what we now know as Europe’s major five leagues.

We knew nothing of that in 1970. Indeed, Celtic won a further four consecutive league titles, but others were laying better foundations. Our model was copied, improved upon, and eventually rendered irrelevant. Celtic travelled to Milan for that European Cup final in 1970 with the whole of Europe expecting to them win. We were the top team in Europe, clearly heading in the right direction. Or so it was thought.

The reality was that we were facing the wrong direction, we just didn’t know it.

There are parallels between 1970 and now. Four in a row is appreciated by those of us who craved a quarter of this achievement in the 1990s, but our domestic dominance is such, that we all look to Europe for that extra fix. Now, it’s not a European Cup final defeat we’re lamenting, we’ve been exposed by lesser-resourced teams as we bombed in the Europa League.

Apart from the fourth title, and five-in-a-row looking a comfortable certainty, the other portents have us heading south. Two seasons of Champions League football have been followed by two of Europa League, with performances dropping each consecutive season. What we don’t know is whether what’s happening on the surface is indicative of the foundations we’ve been laying for 18 months.

Herein lies the issue: the fruits of Ronny Deila’s labours are not evident, not on the surface, anyway. There are some positive portents: he’s improved Nir Bitton, blooded Kieran Tierney and given Leigh Griffiths the stage his talent needed, but this season spaces in our defence have been as wide as the Clyde, and just as worryingly, the transfer success hit rate has been abysmally poor.

Fixing the former problem should be achievable, Ronny has taken teams to the Milan, Amsterdam and Istanbul and defended professionally (if not successfully), but fixing the ineffective transfer strategy will be more difficult. It’s not clear why we’re misfiring, or whether we can amend our ways. Throwing more money at the problem may improve things, but the problem is not fundamentally finance, Malmo and Maribor both operate on a fraction of our expenditure.

There are mitigating circumstances for our recruitment woes. Unlike Malmo and Maribor who take time to develop teams, we’ve been buying first team players for years, and the market has moved away from us at a remarkable rate over the last five years.

A decade ago only a few teams in England could outbid us, and they didn’t compete directly for talent with us anyway. We’ve now living in an era when Stoke City sign top internationals from Bayern Munich, and England is not the only league which is drifting away.

Mitigating circumstances are all fine and well, but that’s the challenge for Celtic. Work smarter, find the untapped scouts, be better than those with more money than they know what to do with.

2016 will bring another title and possibly one or two cups, but as 1 January approaches I’m hopeful the lessons learned in the transfer market since 2014 are put into practice.

Have a fantastic New Year.

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  1. general interest – from celticwiki –

     

     

    Lost to the Depths of TimeThis is a featured page

     

    This is where we need your help.

     

     

    The following is a list of players that were at least taken onto the Groundstaff or were apprentices at the club in the early days. They all appeared at least once on a Celtic team-sheet outside of First Team level, but were then lost to the “Depths of Time” and it has not been possible to trace their involvement in the game or what happened to them.

     

     

    Maybe you know them? Maybe your mate’s cousin once played for the Youths. If you know any details of those on the list then contact us and we can put a little flesh on the faces that nearly but never quite made it. Hopefully it will then be possible to increase our knowledge of ex-players that have found employment at one time or another with Celtic Football Club.

     

     

    Once enough details are available their names will be transferred to the Players Who Never Played a Game sheet.

     

     

     

    Name

     

     

     

     

    William Marshall

     

    Known Details

     

     

     

     

    Midfielder Signed “S” Form 1984 and played for Celtic boys club U14/15/16/18. Went on the books as a YTS in 1987 before joing Airdrie and Kilmarnock. Now lives in Australia

     

    John Adams Left Back; Early ’94 – 5/96; Youth squad member who went to a number of tournaments; from Wishaw; ; no record of history after leaving the club.

     

    Ger Barron GK; Predominantly U17 squad but listed as a sub in a Youth game in December ’06 and started to get sub spots in U19 games didn’t play in 07/08 so probably left July ’07. Update: returned to Limerick and turned out for his previous club Geraldines AFC. Also a talented hurler, he is now with UCD FC having helped their ‘A’ side win the 2008 reserve league title.

     

    Martin Brady Midfield, listed on the 01/02 and 02/03 rosters but no details at all; may have taken a USA Soccer Scholarship. Update: Indeed he did, playing 04 and 05 seasons at William and Mary College, Virginia. Untraced since then. His dad David Brady was also on the Celtic books in the early 60s. (see below)

     

    ? Cameron Youth Cup player in 1989-90 season

     

    Derek Carnan was listed as a signed S-Former in season 92/93 and taken on full time to Youth squad in January ’93; appeared on team-sheets in 93/94 season but disappeared thereafter – no sign thereafter and no luck in trace.

     

    ? Conlan MF believed to be Left Midfield, possibly Left Wing; played in a few Youth games in the early 80’s and then missing after May ’86

     

    Steve Duff from Dundee; a right back; came through Dundee Celtic Boys Club; joined the club when an U17 squad was set up certainly played 1986-87 and appears to have been released at the end of that season.

     

    Colin Duffy Listed in a cup-winning U18 Celtic team at the end of season 92/93…errrr that’s it!

     

    Simon Dunne Big centre-back signed from Shelbourne after recovering from serious injury. Added to youth squad for 2006/07. Called up to FAI U17 Sept 06; failed to show in any U19 games after November ’06. Broken leg?

     

    Anton Eadie Defender; joined July 2003; only saw out one season but appeared to be doing well though faded towards the end of the season. Present whereabouts unknown. May have had a trial w Bury.

     

    James Gilpin GK fr Newcastle Utd Academy June 2006; missing 07/08 UPDATE Was playing with Doncaster Rovers 07/08 or at least had a trial with them and did well but not sure if they signed him; also had some time with Gateshead side Reeves Independent

     

    ? Gudmundsson Appeared as a sub in the Reserves game against Clydebank in August 1986 – no other sign. Total guess: Ingvar Gudmundsson b.24.1.65 from Valur, who had a Scottish coach Ian Ross.

     

    Billy Guvernar Played 1 game in the U17 squad in 2005/06; came all the way thru the Academy from U11

     

    Willie Hastie Australian youth signed ’89; Forward; released 8/91 – return to Australia? Willie joined Sligo Rovers and played for them part-time and also had some time playing for Dundee. GHe returned to Australia and played for national league Canberra Cosmos and Gippsland Falcons, and Victorian State level Bentleigh Greens.

     

    Micheal Herbet Signed 8/01 when released by the PSG youth setup; started to come good but was overtaken in the youth GK stakes by David Marshall; Was a useful addition to the squad and featured with the U21’s 01/02. Was loaned to Hamilton in February 02; Started 02/03 as reserve U21 but has been superseded by Marshall in the GK stakes and 03/04 was released. Fell off the map. Michael Herbet (?) Also pitched up in Australia, this time in the NSW leagues with Marconi Stallions in 2004 and on to Sydney Olympic in ’06. Pos. now Blacktown City. He was ‘called up’ by A league Sydney FC to sit on their bench last season.

     

    Stephen Jack Originally from Cork and joined the club from CBC U15’s; Previously an U19 captain and promoted to U21’s in 03/04 playing most of the first half of the season; failed to play in the second half and effectively left Celtic on 1/4/04 when loaned to Clyde; Clyde failed to offer him a contract and has since failed to turn up anywhere as yet.

     

    Hugh Kelly S Former in 93/94; from Bellshill; LMF player; joined the club and played Youth games 95/96 released to a long career in the juniors.

     

    Kevin Kelly NOT THAT Kevin Kelly; Defender; 1985/86 was on the Groundstaff part-time and playing CBC U16; 86/87 season played U18 games and BP Youth Cup; failed to appear 86/87 and likely to have left at the end of 85/86.

     

    Paul Leddie Son of NE Scout John Leddie; played for Celtic Boys Club U-16 till taken onto groundstaff in 90/91; From Dundee, former pupil of St Joseph’s School, Dundee. He was signed as a youth the previous season and part of the Groundstaff turning out for Giffnock North AAFC. He left at the end of the season 91/92 for a full professional contract with St Johnstone. Present whereabouts unknown. UPDATE. Moved from St Johnstone to Forfar Athletic without making a league appearance in 1993. Spent one season at Station Park, making 21 league appearances. Joined Keith in 1994

     

    John Lyons Cousin of Paul and Raymond McStay; had been playing for Giffnock North AAC but in the 91/92 season also played in Celtic’s Reserve League West games; no other details for the player.

     

    Gary Madden Mentioned as being part of the Reserve squad that went to the Harrogate tournament in 97/98; no sign of him in the 98/99 season. A Gary Madden featured in Junior ‘fitba’ after joining Southside cracks Pollok from the amateur ranks in 2000. Went on to Arthurlie, Johnstone Burgh, St. Anthony’s …etc.

     

    Paul McClair Brother of “Choccy,” debuted 28.2.85 in a Youth Cup QF v. Hearts. Was attached to Bargeddie U18s.

     

    Chris McCormack U18 predominantly defender; picked for Scotland U18’s 03/04; U19 but made only a few appearances in the latter part of season 03/04. Remaindered at the end of 03/04; was playing for East Kilbride Thistle during 04/05; and whereabouts unknown. Shettleston 08/09, 09/10

     

    Brian McEwan CD / DF came thru the Academy and U17 in 05/06; U19 thru 06/07 then released; Killie U19 but released after some time there; trialled w Ayr Utd and various clubs but present whereabouts unknown – many Brian McEwan’s!! With Shettleston Juniors for 08/09 according to their ‘bebo’ page.

     

    James McFaddon (sp?) Not the world-renowned ‘Tartan Army’ idol and slayer of les Blues, but a member of the 1992/93 U18 squad.

     

    Ronnie McKeever Left-back from Shotts; brought into the U18 / Youth set-up in 1986/87 and made a decent number of games; failed to appear 1987/88; had also been on trial w Oxford United.

     

    Russell McKeever ST / FWD; A CBC U16 who appeared on the Youth Team list ahead of 1989/90 but failed to show. Signs for Queen’s Park from Hamilton Thistle in February 1991.

     

    John McMahon Listed as part of the U17 setup 2004-05. Not previously listed. All U17 stuff that season. Not seen 2005-06. Left?

     

    ? McParland Played in a BP Youth Cup game in 85/86 season against St Mirren 3/2/86

     

    Derek Mills Came from Bishopbriggs Boys Club; arrived probably 84/85; played for Youth and Reserves; left July ’87; disappeared. UPDATE: Derek Mills said that he was off to America when he left the Club; went to Harvard on a Soccer Scholarship and became Harvard top scorer.

     

    Ewan Moyes Had been an Academy player prior to 2005/06; taken onto U17 squad; played U17 thru 05/06 and considered a decent shout for U19’s in 06/07 – disappeared. Fecked off to Hibs with Wotherspoon http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/hibernianfc/Hibs-duo-full-of-Easter.5214786.jp

     

    David Murphy Irish U16 midfielder brought from Stella Maris in Sept ’99. Gone by ’01?

     

    William Murray Keeper who played in Youth Cup 1984/85 while also playing w St. Margaret’s BG. Signed by Hamilton in 1985 but never appeared and untraced since. From Lanarkshire, 18.4.67, 6ft & 12st.

     

    Chris (Colin) Nicholson Young Irish GK from Athlone; signed a pre-season agreement in 2004 to start at the club in 2005/06 season – never showed; whereabouts? ? A Colin Nicholson was playing in goal for Athlone’s Youth team and Ireland u15 around that time. Same guy?

     

    Stephen O’Donnell Played an U17 game in 2006/07 but failed to appear thereafter – bare in mind the age amongst all the possible O’Donnells – may poss. have come from or gone to St Johnstone.

     

    Ally Paterson Came from Dundee; Centre Forward; Groundstaff start of 91/92; Was in the U19 squad in mid August 94 at Sunderland International Youth Tourney. Released on 17/5/95 having been mostly a sub in the Reserves most of 94/95.

     

    Kevin Queen Well thought of Midfielder that signed from Hearts Youth setup; was with the club 1 season then disappeared 7/97 – Did this guy come from Airdrie? Yes he came from a village in Airdrie called Plains my Dad knows him personally Kevin’s nickname is ‘Cabana’ .Remember years ago my Dad talking about a young guy Queen from Airdrie who played for us, supposed to be really talented but got into other things and gave up football. Could this be the same guy?

     

    David Robertson Right Back; went with an U20 side to the Blue Star Zurich Youth Tournament in 1986- first and last games. From? To? looking at dates and ages this may very well be Davy Robertson with Aberdeen 1986-91and then to Rangers 1991-97, then onto Leeds but this needs confirmation

     

    Paul Shields 92/93; Originally from Helensburgh, he had been with Highbury Boys Club and was going to Chelsea when offered a 2-year apprenticeship at the Club; went onto the Groundstaff and played for the Reserves in the SAYL as well as CBC U16; had been out for quite a long period before with a back ligament injury and broken ankle. Dislocated a shoulder and didn’t appear on team sheets after February ’93.

     

    ? Tracy Joined the club sometime before 85/86 and appeared to be established in the Reserves; played pre-season 85/86 with the Reserves and then disappeared

     

    Gerry White Originally from Bellshill; p/t on the groundstaff then full time; made the Scottish Schoolboy squad in January ’92; won Player of the year award ’92 for U15 CBC; captain of CBC U16; X-Form signing and full-time on the groundstaff 15/5/92. 92/93 played SAYL and Reserve team football. Retained on the Groundstaff for season 93/94. Went with an U19 Celtic squad to the international tournament in Dallas; signed as a pro at the end of the season. captained an U19 squad in mid August 94 at Sunderland International Youth Tourney. Injured his foot and had a screw removed from a previous break. Released 17/5/95 having played for the Reserves 94/95 season.

     

    John Wilson GK; Was the reserve Reserve goalkeeper and as such only got to play in 85/86 when Latchford was injured and saw little action; the club released him at the end of the season of that season and he disappeared.

  2. Dexter says BHOYCOTT CELTIC PARK UNTIL THE PLC PAY ALL EMPLOYEES THE LIVING WAGE on

    McGeady? Thanks but no thanks. Was inconsistent at Celtic and wasn’t even inconsistent at Everton. He is approaching 30 and would cost a fortune in wages.

     

     

    RD’s comments about wanting him, though not affording him, are demeaning and yet another reminder of where we sit in the pecking order.

     

     

    RD should be focussed on getting a couple of experienced defenders and a proven scorer in asap.

  3. prestonpans bhoys on

    Nye Bevan

     

     

    Happy New and that 6.5 is still 1 m short to keep the lights on i.e. Big Mike 5m and according to them 2.5 to see it out to ST time :-)

  4. Someone mentioned poverty. Still a problem in Glasgow well if the Labour party has anything to do with it.I am afraid it’s always going to be like that.them the Labour Party thrive on the poorest in our society, keeps them in there cushy seats in there Head Quarters in Good Square. And finally for the supposedily biggest city in Scotland. No Street Party on Hogmanay says it all how Glasgow is thought of by them chances.they will never get my vote again never.

  5. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on

    prestonpans bhoys…….happy new year pal,

     

    will I be seeing you the morra?

  6. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar...... Ipox belongs to the creditors on

    mike in Toronto

     

     

    Say hello to the fish for me….

  7. prestonpans bhoys on

    Nye,

     

     

    Nope got a party in Edinburgh and wouldn’t get back to the Pans until the back of six. Drinking is not only for Xmas :0)

  8. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on

    prestonpans bhoys…..have a great time,it’s a

     

    sign of old age when you can’t make the fitba

     

    after a allnighter,smileyfacething.

  9. To ane and a’ a braw New Year

     

    And many mae you see.

     

    And during the years to come

     

    Hoopy may youse be.

     

    A wish you have no cause to mourn

     

    Or even shed a tear

     

    To ane and a’

     

    baith big and sma

     

    Have an awfy Braw New Year

     

     

    Keep the faith and think on that 9000 year lease on the brewery in Dublin

     

     

    Braw.

  10. TBJ says Wee Oscar Knox is in heaven with the angels on

    Would have hoped there was a place in the squad for young Christie tomorrow

  11. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on

    Away tae walk the dug and the steakpie off,

     

    and take a break fae the wife’s ole auntie.

  12. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Happy new year to all posters, Celtic supporters and those all over the world suffering hardship, hunger, war and having no basic civil rights . Let’s hope 2016 can offer , even the slightest of imorovement for them.

  13. Nye Bevans’ rebel soldier

     

     

    NBRS ‘s wife to auntie “Thank goodness he’s away oot”

     

    Auntie nods in sympathy.

  14. TBJ says Wee Oscar Knox is in heaven with the angels on

    Bada

     

     

    So we sign a new player that adds to our injury list ;)

     

     

    The physios at Lennoxtown will be looking for a pay rise this year …..

     

     

    BTW. .. when Chris Sutton slagged off Charlie mulgrew when he walked off the park in the ajax game – was that ” adding insult to injury “

  15. Seasons Greetings and best wishes to all, especially young BlantyreKev.

     

    I hope Paul67 has a most positive year and that the team start the year as they mean to go on, tomorrow, by putting a few past the Feesell.

     

    Looking forward to a packed Gazebo.

     

     

    HH

     

     

    EC67

  16. Stairheedrammy on

    Christie wasn’t injured when we signed him, he was injured after we loaned him back to ICT

  17. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on

    voguepunter on 1st January 2016 4:34 pm

     

     

    Not that far from the truth.

  18. Happy New Year to all from Norway.

     

    State of the Club-report from Oslo:

     

    Last year we were abysmal – at times.

     

    Some games at the Sportsbar in Oslo has been a groanathon to say the least.

     

    Hope we sort it out and see out the season with stronger and more entertaining football and a more settled squad. Sometimes we play like strangers.

     

    IF there’s a system, it’s hard to see. IF Deila wants to stay, he has to address these problems.

     

    In the meantime, I support Celtic come rain or shine (and there’s been a bit of rain TBH)

     

    – seen us worse, remember the years I dreaded to open the papers on monday to see how far down we were…

  19. TBJ says Wee Oscar Knox is in heaven with the angels on

    So we’re bringing Christie back to the club to ensure he gets the best of treatment over the next few months

     

     

    Need to clear out some of the permanently injured to get Ryan a locker in the treatment room… Maybe Bo Rik ter will decide to return to holland of his own free will

  20. mike in toronto on

    Just back in from the polar bear dip …. bloody hell that was cold! but fun! …. so, if you see it on the news, and see some nutter in the hoops jumping into lake ontario … that was me! (had to wear the hoops!)

  21. A pal who supports Strømsgodset, Deilas old club, is fuming. Says he has to go ASAP.

     

    Others wants to give him more time to make his mark on the team, but after the horroshows against Malmö and Molde they are starting to despair, so am I.

     

    Too many mistakes making it easy for the other team to take advantage. Strachan and Lennon at least had the defense sorted. Now? I just don’t know…

     

    The local Media is very interested in Deilas future: I work in a Norwegian daily newspaper and the Sports guys all all over me every Monday: What does the Fans say? Sometimes I quote CQN or Etims, and of the other local fans at the Sportsbar. But the general tone seems to be that Deila is a bit too naive, as Hareide (Malmö, now Denmark’s national team) and Solbakken (FC København, we remember them…) are considered more streetwise.

     

    THAT’s what Celtic seem to need at the moment, an experienced fighter, not a happy-go-lucky guy, however nice he might be

  22. M i T

     

     

    Yer aff yer heid ya daftie!

     

     

    …but well done.

     

     

    Going to see Neil Young in June, in Glasgow. Christmas present from daughter. She’s coming too.

     

     

    Hope he survives ’til then!

     

     

    A happy and peaceful 2016 to you and yours.

     

     

    HH!!

  23. mike in toronto on

    Tallyb hoy, cheers. We raised almost $50,000 to build houses for the homeless, so feel good about that.

     

     

    I don’t know how Neil young has lasted as long as he has. But if he has made it this far, I’m sure he can make it another six months!

     

     

    Now sitting in front of the fire, enjoying some leftover steak pie.

     

     

    Life is good.

     

     

    Happy new year.

  24. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Wonder what happened to “comfortably funded till the end of the season”…….?

  25. TBJ says Wee Oscar Knox is in heaven with the angels on

    Reading an article about warbos new signing from the 3rd tier in England. .. despite interest from Lincoln city he signed a very lucrative 5 month contract with rifc