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  • Tommy McIntyre: Celtic players star on international stage

    Tommy McIntyre: Celtic players star on international stage

    By: Joe Donnelly on 16 Nov, 2018 15:31

  • NOT only did Scotland’s Under-19 side field six Celtic Reserve players in their starting XI against Wales this week, central midfielder Barry Coffey also captained Ireland’s Under-18s side, and scored in their 2-1 win over Belgium.

    Speaking to the official Celtic website, Head of Celtic’s Professional Academy, Tommy McIntyre, told of his delight at the impact his Reserve players have had on the international scene.

    Stephen Welsh, Robbie Deas, Daniel Church, Kerr McInroy, Jack Aitchison and Ryan Mullen all started in Scotland’s 2-1 UEFA European qualifyer win over Wales on Wednesday (November 14), which McIntyre said highlights the all-round quality of Celtic's Reserve side.

    “The fact that we’ve had six players who started the game out of 11 is incredible,” the Hoops coach said. “It just shows that we’ve got a strong batch. You can also include Barry Coffey in that group, who captained Ireland’s Under-18s when they beat Belgium 2-1, and he scored a goal.

    “It’s great to know the boys are doing well when they’re away on international duty. The fact that so many represented their countries, and that so many played and started is an incredible stat. On the whole, it’s been a really successful week for the Reserve squad players.”

    McIntyre also explained that the players at home have spent the week training with the first-team – something he feels is crucial to their on-going development. To this end, he praised his players’ focus, application and work-rate over the past few days.  

    “The players representing their countries benefit from that, and the players we have here have been training with the first-team all week,” said McIntyre.

    “Both Chris Davies and John Kennedy have been delighted with the way they’ve approached it, and the way they’ve trained. It’s great getting that experience, going into that environment alongside senior players, and doing really well.

    “Development is one thing that we pride ourselves on, and that’s ultimately the most important thing for this group. They’re certainly getting that in terms of the standard of opposition. By all accounts Wales were really well-organised, like you would expect, and they’ve got a lot of young players coming through as well.

    "But for our young players to go and excel in these types of games, I think it sends out a message to everyone. We’re always very proud of our players, and the fact that they can influence the international team in that manner is great for us as coaches as well as the club. 

    "Likewise, the Reserve players here get to go and train and build on that confidence when the go and train with the first team. That’s all that we ask – that they work hard and that reflects on them as well.”

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