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  • Celtic Under-17s book European place with title triumph

    Celtic Under-17s book European place with title triumph

    By: Paul Cuddihy on 20 May, 2015 17:03

  • CELTIC’S Under-17s have secured an impressive double, adding the league title to the Glasgow Cup they won at Hampden a couple of weeks ago.,

    A victory over Hearts gave the young Hoops the title, and it also guaranteed a place in next season’s UEFA Youth League for a Celtic Under-19 side, who qualify through the domestic champions pathway.

    Coach Tommy McIntyre was delighted at the double success of recent weeks, but with development key to the Celtic Academy, he was just as pleased with the performances his team have been producing.

    Speaking to the official Celtic website, the U17s coach said: “It’s a good thing to win but it’s the manner in which we win that is so important. That permeates throughout the whole Academy and that comes from the first-team, so it’s good to see that strong thread which runs through the club.

    “We played some of the U15s and U16s on Tuesday night so to see the way they play and fit into the system is very rewarding for everyone at the Academy.

    “It’s great to win the Double because winning is a good habit to get into, but the manner in which we played and the way the team has developed is probably the most pleasing thing.

    “It’s all about development for us. It’s all about making them ready for the next stage and the next stage and, hopefully they get closer and closer to the first-team.

    “And that’s what we’re all trying to do in the Academy. That will always be the most important thing – developing them for the next stage and then, ultimately, into the first-team.”

    And the example of Kieran Tierney, who played for the Under-17s in last season’s Glasgow Cup, and has recently made his first-team debut, is a great incentive to the Academy Bhoys coming through the ranks.

    They might feel they’re a million miles away from fulfilling their Celtic dream, but they might also be closer than they think.

    “Kieran’s very humble, he’s a hard worker and he’s a great example,” said Tommy McIntyre. “He was in that environment where he was been training with the first-team and he caught the eye of the manager, and there are a number of players there who are exposed to that.

    “It’s great for younger players in the Academy who can see someone from the Academy going up, and there’s nothing finer than seeing a young player going up and being part of the first-team.”

    There are still two league fixtures to complete in this campaign before the players can start to look forward to European football next season.

    And McIntyre knows that competing against the top young players in Europe can only be beneficial to the Celtic youngsters’ football education.

    “For a club like Celtic there are a lot of benefits of playing against the cream of Europe and the top Academies in Europe,” he said. “We’ve had that in the past. We had the NextGen Series and then the UEFA Youth League, and any of the players who were involved in that enjoyed the experience.

    “These will be tough games for them but that’s when you get the best out of young players – when you can challenge them.”

    And Celtic Head of Youth, Chris McCart, added: “Following on from the success of the Glasgow Cup win, this is another fantastic achievement for Tommy, Miodrag along with the 17s staff and players in winning the SFA 17s League.

    “Winning this means that Celtic’s U/19 next season 2015/16 will qualify for UEFA Youth League through the Domestic Champions pathway.”

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