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Thread: UK clubs 2020/21 preseason

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    Coach tetsujin1979's Avatar
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    UK clubs 2020/21 preseason

    Thread for preseason games for UK clubs - mainly Scottish clubs, because the Premier League and Championship seasons still haven't ended!
    Celtic start their preparations for the 2020/21 season in France this afternoon against Nice in the Veolia Trophy, and will play Lyon on Saturday followed by PSG on Tuesday
    The full travelling squad hasn't been announced, but Luca Connell has featured in clips from training on their instagram - https://www.instagram.com/celticfc/
    Last edited by tetsujin1979; 16/07/2020 at 9:08 AM.
    All goals, yellow and red cards tweeted in real time on twitter and facebook

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    Looks like the SPFL are going to significantly increase the number of loans allowed for Scottish clubs this year to help them bring in affordable players and because the reserve leagues may not take place.

    Hopefully the five Irish lads at Celtic can get out and get some first team game time, ideally in the Premier Division, because none of them look like getting much of any game time at Celtic. Connell the only one anywhere close it seems.

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    Connell does indeed make the bench for the first pre season game.

    O'Connor, Afolabi, Okoflex and Coffey not in the 25 man squad (not a big shock).

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    Connell named on the bench

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    Conor Henderson starting for Pirin Blagoevgrad against CSKA Sofia in a friendly
    All goals, yellow and red cards tweeted in real time on twitter and facebook

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    Celtic used 22 of their 25 players tonight, effectively bringing on their second 11 during the second half. Connell was unused.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tetsujin1979 View Post
    Conor Henderson starting for Pirin Blagoevgrad against CSKA Sofia in a friendly
    Funny little one on Henderson's club. He's managed by ex-Norn Iron player, Warren Feeney, there.

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    Celtic mixed things up a bit tonight for their second pre season game and also made 10 more changes in the second half. Even then Connell didn't get a run out.

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    I know he's young, I know they bring young players through quickly, but they also buy a lot. I couldn't believe he went there, and I know he's been injured but he's gone from getting a lot of game time - to getting none.
    Far from ideal for a player a lot have liked the looks of since he first emerged underage.
    That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age

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    Capped Player nigel-harps1954's Avatar
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    Celtic is a black hole pit for any young footballer. Especially under Lennon. Each one of those Irish lads would do well to get out of there at the earliest possible opportunity.

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    Connell left out of the team again tonight. A lot of managers would want to make sure the whole squad starts a game on the pre season tour but not Neil. Surely this time he'll get a run out off the bench...

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    To be fair to Lennon, his raison d'etre has to be getting the best squad together to ensure they get to #10. He won't give a crud after that. someone elses problem.
    That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age

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    Quote Originally Posted by nigel-harps1954 View Post
    Celtic is a black hole pit for any young footballer. Especially under Lennon. Each one of those Irish lads would do well to get out of there at the earliest possible opportunity.
    Well, apart from Ajer, Frimpong, Johnston, Dembele and Edouard. Maybe we're getting a little too worried about the Celtic Quintet (notwithstanding the lack of competitive football available to them currently) - they're all still only 18-20 and Connell has, at least, been included for a squad to play three top French sides, while it's possible Afolabi would have been if COVID hadn't cut short his time at Dunfermline. O'Connor likewise didn't have much of a chance to impress at Partick. All three arrived at the border between their youth development and the start of their senior careers so the lack of a strong youth structure shouldn't hamper their development too much. However, loan spells at cash-strapped Scottish clubs next season would certainly help.

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    Only Johnston out of that lot came through the Celtic youth setup though. And even he hasn't gotten as much game time as he needs or probably would have elsewhere. The others were just bought and pretty much put straight into the first team.

    Going to play in Scotland is not in itself a problem, as long as the player is playing first team football it's no different to playing in the English lower divisions. The problem is the lack of quality and development in youth football here. The standard is truly terrible. If you're not getting first team football you're not playing anything like the quality of youth opposition that you need to be or would in England, and this is harming player development.

    It is a problem that has beset the Scottish national team for a decade or more now, Celtic are hoovering up almost all of the best young Scottish players but they mostly never break through into the first team and end up not playing any football until they're well into their 20s. By then the damage is done and they end up playing at lower levels than they might otherwise have done. It's a shame that five of our younger players are stuck in the same mess of a system.

    Celtic are almost certainly going to buy another striker in the next couple of weeks on top of the three out and out strikers and a few additional forward players that they already have so Afolabi can forget about any notions of first team football this season. O'Connor would be about fourth choice right back at this stage and despite being able to cover a number of positions Connell hasn't been given a minute in three pre-season games. They are wasting their most important years of development at Celtic.

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    Fully agree. Sad situation. What’s their play?

    Push for loan now to another SPL club (up to 2 may be allowed if planned rule goes through, otherwise Celtic can only loan 1), and failing that, wait for the English league (realistically league 1, chance of lower tier championship) to start a month late? A season in Scottish tier 2 would be awful again. Or cut their losses and engineer move out of Celtic ASAP?

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    Realistically I don't think any of those three will move permanently away from Celtic for this season. So the best bet is loan moves. As long as they get loan moves to SPL, English League 1 or at a push League 2 teams the season could be salvaged for them. Another loan move to the Scottish Championship would be disastrous, the standard is terrible and they won't develop playing down there.

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    Loan rules in Scotland officially expanded. 6 loan players per team from 4; and 2 to clubs in same division from 1. They need to push to be one of the 2 SPL loaned players over the next week; if they’re not.... early loan south of the border

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    This is good news. The scrapping of the reserve league and replacing it with more loans might actually be a useful long term strategy in Scotland, rather than just a short term fix for Covid.

    My reading of the new rules is that clubs are limited to loaning in two players at most from a club in the same division, but I don't think clubs are limited to loaning out only two players to the same division (if that makes sense).

    So, in other words, St Mirren could get two players on loan from Celtic at most, but there would be nothing to stop Celtic also loaning two players to Hamilton, two to St. Johnstone, two to Livingston and so on. So there should (finally) be opportunities here for youth players at Celtic to play football at a decent standard, as long as Celtic actually make a bit of an effort here.

    Danny McNamara, who would be behind Lee O'Connor in the right back pecking order for Ireland Under 21s has gone on loan to St Johnstone for this season. I'd expect him to play a lot of first team football in the SPFL.

    So there's really no point in O'Connor going down the divisions to the likes of Partick Thistle again, if he's staying in Scotland this season he needs to be playing in the top division. The obvious teams that you'd think would look to benefit from these rule changes would be the smallest teams in the division - so St Mirren, Hamilton, Livingston, Ross County and St. Johnstone would be the likely targets - they're pretty much all skint and need players. That said, the likes of Hibs have loaned in players from Celtic and Rangers in the past also.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eirambler View Post
    Realistically I don't think any of those three will move permanently away from Celtic for this season. So the best bet is loan moves. As long as they get loan moves to SPL, English League 1 or at a push League 2 teams the season could be salvaged for them. Another loan move to the Scottish Championship would be disastrous, the standard is terrible and they won't develop playing down there.
    I agree. Even the SPL is a mickey mouse league. Outside the top two the standard is shocking. Most English League 1 teams would fancy themselves to finish 3rd in that league. I'd like to know what sort of advice the three Irish lads were getting from their agents before making the move to Celtic because it was glaringly obvious to most people on this forum that it was very likely to be bad for their careers. Afolabi, after a fine U21 Euros, and Connell, who was highly rated at Bolton, must have at least had Championship clubs interested. Maybe Celtic have deeper pockets and the moves are more to do with money than their development as players which seems very short sighted.

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    Coach tetsujin1979's Avatar
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    Connell named on the bench for Celtic again today. Five minutes to go, still on the bench

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