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  • Manager: Young players have a pathway to Paradise

    Manager: Young players have a pathway to Paradise

    By: Paul Cuddihy on 15 Sep, 2017 10:01

  • CALLUM McGREGOR became the third Celt this week to commit his future to the club, signing a four-year deal that will see him remain at Celtic until at least the summer of 2021.

    It comes hot on the heels of Scott Brown’s new two-year deal and Jozo Simunovic’s four-year deal. And Brendan Rodgers is delighted to continue working with the players who helped deliver the treble last season.  

    “It’s great news that Callum’s extending his time here,” the manager said. “He’s a player that I really admire and he's a very valuable player to our squad.

    “To have a player like him join Scott Brown and Jozo in committing themselves to the club shows they are really excited about what we are trying to do here. For young players, there’s a real opportunity here, and we’re trying to develop a real Champions League club.”

    The manager has always had a reputation for bringing through young players at every club he’s been at, and on Tuesday night, 18-year-old Anthony Ralston made his first European start for the club in the UEFA Champions League match against Paris Saint-Germain.

    And his elevation, along with the fact that James Forrest, Callum McGregor and Kieran Tierney have also progressed through the ranks to become part of the first-team squad, will act as an incentive to the young players currently in Celtic’s Youth Academy.

    “If you have the attitude required, along with the mentality, then there’s definitely a chance here for you,” the Hoops boss said. “I think you’ve seen that here with the squad, with some of the young players we are trying to get through and develop.

    “In lots of other leagues it’s very difficult for young players to get a chance. You look at Frank De Boer’s situation at Crystal Palace, where he was sacked this week. Where is a manager going to give a young player a chance if he thinks he’s going to be out of a job inside four games?

    “The beauty with Celtic is that it’s part of the DNA at the club to get young players through and develop them. I think all the young players recognise that they have that opportunity here.

    “We have a great Academy here with some great staff. We can develop them and take them through to the first team - that’s what defines the Academy.”

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