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  • Brown: Youth and Experience will be crucial for Champions League

    Brown: Youth and Experience will be crucial for Champions League

    By: Newsroom Staff on 18 Jun, 2019 09:59

  • SCOTT Brown believes the balance of youth and experience in the Hoops squad will be decisive as Celtic begin their pre-season training ahead of the Champions League qualifiers.

    The eight-in-a-row captain spoke to the media at Lennoxtown yesterday (June 17) as the majority of the Celtic squad, with the exception of those who were recently on international duty, marked their first day of pre-season training .

    Brown touched on the makeup of the squad and how new players could fit into that.

    “Experience is key,” he said. “You need to try and find the middle ground between the experience and the young ones coming through. The young ones are what keep us going and we thrive to get better, even at 33 or 34. It’s a good place to be for young ones coming in and it’s a great learning curve as well.

    “I’m sure the manager and the board will do fantastic things. They’ll bring in the players that they want to bring in. They’ll be in no rush to go and sign the wrong person. They’ll do what they’ve done since I’ve been here which is bring in some fantastic players.”

    Celtic’s first competitive game is just over three weeks away with the first round of Champions League qualifiers scheduled to take place over July 10-11. The Scottish champions’ opponents for the first round will be revealed today (Tuesday) when the draw takes place this afternoon.

    Brown admitted the short end-of-season break was not ideal but insists he and his team-mates are accustomed to hitting the ground running at the start of pre-season.

    “It’s part and parcel of the game now,” he said. “It’s almost 12 months of the year now. There’s no holiday time or time to go and relax. It’s all about making sure we keep our bodies in good condition so we can come into the season flying. The Champions League is huge for this club, and this club deserves to be in it, but we need to make sure we put in the hard work to get us there.

    “There’s been a lot of talk over the last three or four months about expanding the Champions League but, as it stands just now, we have to do what we have to do. In these early games we need to make sure we’re up to scratch. That means less running in pre-season because we’re straight into the games so you have to think of it both ways.”

    The fleeting summer break has been even shorter for some of the international players who have been representing their country in the European Championship qualifiers during the summer. That means players such as Callum McGregor, who played an incredible 69 games for club and country last season, have little time to recover for the 2019/20 campaign.

    “In football you’re always going to get injuries but Cal’s as fit as a fiddle,” said Brown. “He’s playing, what is probably the best football of his career, and he’s enjoying it. For me, if I’m Callum McGregor I’m going to be playing as long as I can to show the form I’m in. I’m sure he’ll be wanting to play in as many games and be back here as quick as he possibly can be."

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