His BIG Opportunity

Football and opportunity go hand in hand, you can’t have one without the other. That’s part of it’s essence, the unpredictable aspect that keeps drawing us back time and time again. 

Not knowing what’s going to happen helps put the beautiful into the beautiful game.

It goes beyond players also. A manager also has the chance to surprise, I dare say even supporters themselves are capable of the unexpected.

Last season, Ange surprised everyone and proved his credentials as a good Celtic manager. Another couple of titles and he could go down as a great Celtic manager.

But, whether he realizes it or not, the opportunity to become a legendary Celtic manager is available.

Traditionally there are two routes to becoming a legend,,,longevity ala Mr.Maley and/or European success ala Jock.

I posit a new third route has become available.

Bringing through youth while winning.

Jock would be abhorred by how little youth players make it nowadays, but times have changed, not necessarily for the better either. A youngster in the team has become a rarity for the top teams in an outlier league, infact even native players are becoming hard to find at our giant, with one single native to be found most weeks, and no Irish players to speak of. 

Our poorest ever return from the Isles?

I admit a degree of sympathy, the three points and the short term often take precedence over the bigger picture, most managers aren’t around long enough to create a dynasty. Fergie, one who achieved such a feat, had his bacon saved by kids lest we forget. 

Alan Hansens punditry career was made a mockery by those same kids success.

When we had the perfect opportunity to grow our own team (again) Peter opted for Ronnie and the kissing frogs strategy was embarked upon. Five years to blood them properly before a genuine rival emerged, a huge missed opportunity.

Managers themselves become more popular by introducing youth players, yet seldom take the opportunity. Whether the need to get minutes into fringe players legs, or just plain short termism, it’s a route most avoid even though it would keep the fans and boss (Chairman) happy, not spending the transfer fee and the saved wages associated with youth players.

I’ve often heard that youth players breaking through are good for the dressing room environment,,many are happy to help him along his way with advice and on field protection. There’s a feel-good factor involved.

Looking at the midweek lineup, there’s a good few young-uns already in situ.

Some obviously got game time, but it’s accepted the opposition were very poor and a cut below what we would normally face domestically. 

I’ve no doubt if Ange wanted to find them proper game time, he could.

The Cups always offer opportunities, especially the earlier rounds, and as we often wallop teams, we could introduce youth once the fixture is beyond doubt.

Imagine the last twenty minutes becoming ‘the kids’ slot,,, the home crowd would love it.

The gaffer may or may not deem them ready, that’s his prerogative, but if he wants to be truly different than the rest, the option exists. Bring em through.

This batch aren’t good enough then start again, don’t abandon the idea.

He’s got the communication skills, the respect from the support to help pull it off, the persona to help a young player not hinder them, not to mention a lot of games to play. Some much bigger than others, just the way it goes.

I’ve yet to witness a Celtic manager give youth a chance, a proper chance.

It would be an absolute pleasure to watch, and the mark of the man himself.

Could he be the one?

Time will tell.

By Mahe


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July 8, 2022 7:11 am

Napsters,follow the link for Saturday please.


July 8, 2022 7:59 am

A very timely and important issue Mahe. Many good points to open up discussion, give youth a chance…

July 8, 2022 8:25 am

Morning Mahe
My comment from yesterday inspire your thinking?😀

“The possible emergence of Kenny, Vata and Moffat as attacking understudies is great news.
Saves recruiting in the forward positions.

Hopefully they make the step up to squad filler who can be called upon when we’re coasting games 😀.”

The kids slot sounds good!

July 8, 2022 8:28 am

It’s Poste-kid-lou time

July 8, 2022 8:42 am


Good shout on player development!


A club of our size and with our resources should be doing a better job… a much better job.

July 8, 2022 8:44 am


ATHINGOFBEAUTY and I could not believe that NL and RD did little to bring through the youngsters after the huns went bust. If ever there was a time for it,it was then. There was sufficient breathing space between us and our nearest surviving rivals.

NL in particular can be classed as culpable. He knew that MON,his mentor,had a reputation for avoiding youth players and preferring the finished article. But he knew too that MON had in fact brought through almost a dozen youngsters in his five seasons with us. Including the two stars of The Alamo,Camp Nou,in 2004.

Very much a time of wasted opportunities,I’m afraid.

St tams
July 8, 2022 8:44 am

Good post Mahe.
It’s not all down to the manager giving young guys an opportunity. The structure and coaching below the first team level has to be right and I’m not sure it is , as is shown by the amount of youths that have left over the last couple of seasons and the failure of any to make the breakthrough.
Hopefully Ange can appoint someone to oversee and overhaul the academy set up, so as we see youths on a regular basis included in the first team squad.

July 8, 2022 8:45 am


I enjoyed our wee chat last night. I know today is a very difficult one for you and your family,but maybe we can toast your son’s memory on Monday,his birthday and mine.


July 8, 2022 8:53 am

Morning all! If they’re good enough, they’re young enough. This is a major failing of Celtic and Scottish fitba generally. The myopism of our big clubs has put paid to Youth Development and the lack of genuine talent emerging from the senior teams is shocking. There are many factors involved in this but I’ve repeatedly explained that the structure for development does not exist in Scotland. Ange giving 5 or 6 boys a shot against a Div 3 Austrian team in a pre-season game is great to see and gives them a chance to live the First Team experience but is no substitute for week in week out games that mean something. Competing for three points, for a Cup, against your rivals and your peers, playing with First Team players trying to get match fitness after injury or loss of form, and against your rivals’ top players who are working to get back to their own first team. ALL of these things are vital in a kid’s development but this country is doing NONE of them. As much as it’d be great to see, the pressure on Ange to deliver Titles and Cups means it’s unlikely he will jeopardise his Trophy chances by regularly trying out boys in cups.
It is not on Ange to change Scottish fitba, that’s down to the selfish bassas who run the game.

July 8, 2022 8:54 am

Beat me to it, St Tam’s!! 😒

July 8, 2022 9:08 am

All the best intentions in the world are useless if we don’t have structure – and we don’t! Unless and until somebody grabs the bull by the horns we are stuck. The Youth set up as it stands is worthless to clubs, spectators and our young players. Structure costs money, selfish Chairmen don’t want to spend on maybes they want points!
No single club or manager can fix this, that is a fact.
I’ve long advocated the return on a Reserve League, the perfect grounding for young players but there appears no appetite anywhere for it.

July 8, 2022 9:25 am


I’m also very much in favour of the reserve league. It was a huge part of Jock’s success,as he could see which players could do it on the stage. Those games were a heady and hardy mix of seasoned professionals and youngsters.

All brought crashing into oblivion by a polite request from the huns-just in time to stop our efforts for nine-in-a-row,I might add. Selfish basterts.

Maybe we should have a look at the old “combination leagues” in England. They certainly have a record of success.

July 8, 2022 10:30 am

@M apologies for being out of my face last night…and thank you for lending an ear….
on the 11th july 1978..i was on my knees praying to the big man ..please don’t make it tomorrow.
and he duly obliged….a 7lb 6 ounce baby bhoy…I wonder if cosy was the same .heading up Knocknairs cemetery now
was at St josephs earlier …The wee ones in spain just now .i planted a wee shrub last night for her dad..Kierans heading to glasgow today with his girl Bella…(she’s from lisbon) loves Jota lol…So today no hatred no sadness just a focus on the weans.

July 8, 2022 10:35 am

Broke and broken Britain…


Too often,people are embarrassed to ask others for help. Sometimes we need help too,and don’t know how to go about it. Sometimes too,we don’t want to embarrass someone by offering it in the first place.

Bit of a quandary,that! But you can only ask,friends should be good enough to realise that. A loan of a score or whatever,forgetting to ask for it back? It’s what friends do. My wee pal down here since I arrived in 2001 had an elastic score,to the extent that we couldn’t remember who had borrowed it from whom! We eventually called it quits.

July 8, 2022 10:41 am


Good lad,proud of you. Not sure I could show that same fortitude,if I’m honest.

I was brought up not to hate,that it is too strong an emotion and can turn around in direction. You have my greatest respect for how you are dealing with today,and the last five years. And you have two smashing grandkids as proof of that.

July 8, 2022 10:55 am

@M some time ago you put up my sons song for the blog to enjoy..I asked you to remove it in respect for young Gaz..
could you please put it up today in memory of my talented bhoy??
It’s on you tube Shiner of light…..The projectorz…He called me that morn and said Dad meet me at the docks and play something..
whit a bhoy……this is what happened..

July 8, 2022 10:58 am

St Tams
I often felt McIntyres youth were better prepared for the modern game than Lennons first team.
They looked like they had been coached in a pass and move style.
So the first team landscape would have been an entirely new situation of any had been given minutes in first team.
The lack of synchronicity in the football department has seriously hindered us.
Not sure if it’s much different now?
As others have posted Vata,Lawall Murray,Robertson,Olyuwayemi and Moffat all possess the ability to be first team players but will the opportunity ever arise?

July 8, 2022 11:01 am

Hope you have a special day with your family.

July 8, 2022 11:07 am


All the best – recall a great video posted here of father and son playing a wonderful track – ES335 or similar – wonderful stuff.


July 8, 2022 11:23 am

@fan thank you…@SeS..Was a copy westfield? that morn he phoned me..Dad iv’e got a riff..
meet me ..ok son whit am i playin?..Just bring yer copy……iv’e got this song in my heid
just put some lead on it……..Oh ok whit key…….erm e minor i think. lol..
He turned up one day and says dad i like this song ..and played it…feck me it was life on mars.
He had transposed it to guitar and was feckin brill…rest in peace my beautiful bhoy.

July 8, 2022 11:35 am


I know I found it before,but it took a while. I’m about to hit my cot,but I promise I will look much harder for it tomorrow-going to see Charlie And The Bhoys in the evening,so no afternoon sessions for me.

If I find it,I will post it on his and our birthday.

Can you mail me the link to K’s rap about his Dad,please,and I will post that too?

July 8, 2022 11:46 am

@M..thank you kind sir…..I think it was the Bhoy Mcaaff?? that found if he’s around …mabye he will d0 so again

The Real McCoy
July 8, 2022 11:53 am

Jayhawk 🙏🏻💚

The Projectorz — Shiner Of Light


July 8, 2022 12:03 pm

Thinking of you and yours.

July 8, 2022 12:04 pm

So Blatter and Platini are cleared of corruption charges. That’s ok then, we obviously all got it wrong and they’re totally trustworthy individuals.

In other news

Tragic assassination of ex Japanese prime minister.
Suspect arrested at the scene.

July 8, 2022 12:06 pm

Clearly a very trying time for you. I wish you strength at this most difficult of times.

July 8, 2022 12:15 pm

The Real McCoy Thank you so much ..My Bhoy..forever in your debt….

July 8, 2022 1:05 pm

Jayhawk…I’m completely unaware of the back story of your son but I appreciate there’s a lot of heartache there. From what you post it seems like your boy would be absolutely proud of how you are managing without him. More power to you, pal! 💚💚💚

July 8, 2022 1:08 pm

Jayhawk…I did find the video before, now that TRM has found it, when you’re watching it trying right clicking the video and you should have an option to ‘save’ or ’embed’. Try these options and it will save to your iPad and you can watch it anytime. There’s a couple of decent tech guys on here, ASWGL and Craig76 who might be able to give you better advice than me!

July 8, 2022 1:28 pm

@McCaff there you are…The original…lol thank you .My grandson has now saved it..i forgot i put my Henrik larsson goodbye song on it…raised a few bob for yorkhill…sixtiesarewe….i played the waterside at largs recently had a foto of young Terry on my amp
my first..and last gig may i add ..in five year since he passed….humphin the gear .preparing for the gig .getting home at 1 aetc etc…When i told my wee Granddaughter it was my lastshe run up and hugged me so tight.(shes 7).At that moment i knew it was goodbye…….Watchin my son in that vid keeps me alive mate.We played the norseman a week before i lost him
At the end of the gig a wee girl grabbed the mic….and everyone was ignoring her..Tez jumped up and played the guitar for her
and she stole the show lol.. These and many happy memories when we we in off the cuff etc are what keeps me going..
I swore i would not drink today…and here i am staring at a bottle of brandy……TBContunued god help the blog

St tams
July 8, 2022 1:58 pm

Can’t disagree about what you say about Lennon and coaching.
Laxalt and JJ Kenny are examples of guys who never had a clue as to what they were supposed to do on the pitch.
I also feel that guys like, Mikey Johnston and Stephen Welsh, who aren’t going to make it at Celtic, are stopping other academy players getting a chance.

big packy
July 8, 2022 2:42 pm

AFTERNOON ALL and JIM, JAYHAWK god bless you and your bhoy, just watched the video, now, I played drums professionally in liverpool for 10 years, played with some fantastic guitar players but hey those 2 guys on that video were brilliant,,and that is a true story👍

July 8, 2022 2:58 pm

@BIG PACKY thanks….My son always wondered how the drums would sound…As a top notctch drummer ..what do you think?
P.s its me playing lead…..He said dad just play something lol

big packy
July 8, 2022 3:06 pm

JAYHAWK you ghuys dont need drums on that song, it would spoil it,another true story👍😎 wish jim was on, he has a great ear for music, he would love that video 👍

July 8, 2022 3:11 pm

@Big Packy…..i played the waterside pub recently…in largs
so you will know what it takes yes?? it was my first gig in 5 years…And my last….
i’m 70 this new years eve…and i’m fecked lol…but………..Watch this blog…….

big packy
July 8, 2022 3:26 pm

JAYHAWK ya oul git yer older than me im 70 in february 🤩🤩 I hung up my drumsticks 25 years ago was playing 5 nights a week but one of the nights was ballroom dancing night, waltzes with brushes all bliddy night, I just said to myself enough is enough told the club owner i would find him another drummer, packed up my drumkit which was a decent kit, a slingerland with paiste and zildjian cymbals, sold it 2 weeks later.,have never looked back😎

July 8, 2022 4:07 pm


Wee prayer said for you and your family. God bless.


The academy at Celtic, has been rundown for years. There will be no quick fix for this, I fear. Perhaps a start, would be a full-size indoor training facility, for the youngsters.

Hail Hail.

July 8, 2022 4:12 pm

Supporting having a successful youth system is like motherhood…..for most it is seen as a positive, if not an essential.

Celtic is a long way from having a successful youth system even although there have been successes! Ralston, Welsh, Forrest, Tierney and Doak come easily to mind. Then there are the ones that got away: Hickey and Robertson(L’pool) and Marshall. The major problem is that the jump between the level that the youths play at and the first team is too big. Lack of a reserve league or an under 21’s league is part of the problem. Youths need to play regularly at a decent level. Currently, that does not happen. The Lowland league is not an optimal solution. It addresses the frequency of games but not the quality of opposition. Could Celtic youth play in the development leagues in England? That would solve the problem without waiting in hope that Sevco decide that they can afford to re-introduce a reserve league or an under 21’s.

Another big question is how many youths should be introduced? Can you imagine the reaction of the fanbase if instead of bringing in Jota, CCV, Starfelt, JJ, Kyogo, Maeda, O’Riley, Hart, Abada etc we used youth players. Oh wait a minute, we did try that during the CL qualifiers with disastrous results!

Like most things in life, including red wine, moderation in application is the way forward. However, the current structure or lack of makes it a lottery for players like Vata. Reaching for the cheque book gets faster results.


July 8, 2022 4:40 pm


Writing about football seems trite given what is happening and has happened in your life. You honour your son every day with your memories and thoughts.

God bless you and your wonderful son,


July 8, 2022 4:41 pm


Stay strong.

Wee prayer said for you and the family.

YNWA 💚💚💚

Prestonpans bhoys
July 8, 2022 4:54 pm

St Tams

‘I also feel that guys like, Mikey Johnston and Stephen Welsh, who aren’t going to make it at Celtic, are stopping other academy players getting a chance’

That’s a very good point which I never considered👍

NanaMouskouri C.sc
July 8, 2022 5:30 pm

Jayhawk 70 is the new 40 so get the finger out and start playing again. McCartney was headlining Glastonbury at 80. McCaff would roadie for you for a couple cans of Red Stripe. Enjoyed the tune

July 8, 2022 5:31 pm


Would having a more competitive league where losing a title to say Aberdeen or Heatrs/Hibs instead of Rangers help development of talent?

In Dutch football Ajax have won 36 titles, PSV 24 and Feyenoord 15 in the past.

Is the Ajax model of develop first teamers to sell on more acceptable because it delivers more often than not and when it doesn’t the supporters of the winning club dont ram it down Ajax supporters throats or invade the Dutch equivalent of George Square?

Last game of season and Celtic are 2 points behind because of a draw v Dundee using youngsters a month previously. If we lose title as a result who carries the can and how big is the can?

Now stronger competition means points dropped by more clubs, so the risk in the above scenario is less but as matters stand there is a pragmatic reason youngsters get limited opportunities , regardless of manager.

July 8, 2022 5:57 pm

Jonathon Pie at his best.


July 8, 2022 6:12 pm

A criticism of the SPFL is the lack of serious competition. Only Celtic, RFC and TRFC have won the League in my adulthood. I’m nearly 57 but like to be identified as He/Him 56! 😁
Our problems, for the last 30-40 years is our over-reliance on cheap foreign talent and the Bosman ruling. This has had a horrendous effect, along with other social issues like the Thatcher govt causing the catastrophic demise of after school clubs and the subsequent advent of video games consoles. You could probably add in Hillsborough and the insistence on all seated stadia with exorbitant ticket prices and it’s no surprise a generation was lost. And in losing that generation we’ve lost a subsequent generation and it’s hard to break the cycle. The clubs are just not investing in Youth fitba. Of course, it’s there, we have teams at every age group but we don’t seriously challenge them. I’d be interested to know how much Celtic, for example, invest currently in developing Ladies and Girls teams and how it compares to the boys’ game. The girls’ game is vibrant at the moment with exceptional exposure for the size of it, and I’m talking only in Scotland. The Ladies Euros have sold over 1/2 million tickets for games so far! That is incredible! But surely all it does is prove an appetite for the game exists in any form. The SFA and SPFL have an inherent duty to promote the game at all levels and at the moment they are disregarding their duty to young boys across the country.

He/Him 26
July 8, 2022 6:21 pm

Nana…roadie for a couple Red Stripe? Too right mate but I’d be looking for a taxi up the road as well.
And 70s the new 40? Lovely! That takes me back to 26, a very good year for me!! 😁

He/Him 26
July 8, 2022 6:26 pm

Jayhawk…if you fancy a grey-haired overweight 20-something beer addict to carry your guitar, give me a bells…wi a strap o’ watter! 😁

July 8, 2022 6:26 pm


Ok – when did you reach adulthood … ☺️
Aberdeen & Dundee Utd … 1980’s League Wins

Bet ye were at the dancing waving yer big cousin’s NI number .. 🕺

July 8, 2022 6:31 pm

SES…I was a late developer! There, happy now? 🥴

July 8, 2022 6:32 pm



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