By: Newsroom staff on 30 Mar, 2012 16:14
Further to my last report, I’m happy to say that the under 14s have started their 'second half' fixtures list games in good style.
We have completed three fixtures, having played two away games against Falkirk and Hibernian, and one home game against Kilmarnock.
In these three games, the boys have managed to score an impressive 15 goals, without conceding any.
I would also like to give a mention to our latest recruit Jack Cowan. Jack plays in midfield and hails from Dunfermline. He’s settling in well and we wish him all the best.
John Gallagher and I are particularly happy that we don’t concede many goals and feel that it is important at this stage for the boys to, not only try to play offensively in the manner expected of all Academy teams, but to also defend properly and take great satisfaction from keeping clean sheets. We feel that by adopting this attitude, it will stand them in good stead as they progress through the Academy and come up against stronger, better organised teams when they are older.
Prior to the official games kicking off, we also managed to fit in a couple of friendly games against Leicester City and an under 15 select team from the USA. Again, the boys turned in good performances scoring 11 times and conceding only three times.
On the injury front, we have been lucky to have had the luxury of being able to select from our full squad of 17 players. This is something that doesn’t happen too often at this age group as we usually have players with a knock, a flu bug, or more commonly, growing pains. Credit to our team of Physios who look after the boys at Lennoxtown and to Chris Clifford in particular who looks after them on match days.
I’m sure many of you will have seen some of our boys take part in the half time challenge at the League Cup final at Hampden recently where our five outfield players: Calvin Miller, Theo Archibald, Chris Cannon, Jack Mooney and Rory Currie, all scored impressive goals, and our goalkeeper, Ross Doohan managed to keep out the Kilmarnock boys three times. This was a great experience for the lads and your encouragement shown towards them was much appreciated.
Our scheduled game for this week against Dundee United has had to be cancelled as the boys, along with players from other clubs, are taking part in a series of small games at Lesser Hampden. This has been initiated by the SFA with a view to form a development Scotland squad at under 14 level. Hopefully we will, as has been the case in previous years, have a good Celtic representation involved in this.
As reported in my last instalment, this is the year where the boys progress to the Academy’s school project and I can report that a few productive meetings have already taken place. Again, it looks like a healthy number of our squad will be involved in this and I’ll confirm this in more detail when everything is in place.
The boys have also recently completed a Sports Science testing session where they were tested and measured for speed, agility and stamina. Early indications are that the results have been good and the hard work they put in with Rab Thomson is paying off.
This group of players are performing and progressing well at the moment and, under the guidance of our Head of Youth Chris McCart and Head of the Intermediate Academy Michael O’Hallaron, we will strive to make sure their feet are firmly on the ground and that they remain focussed on working hard to be successful.
I look forward to bringing you the next update on the 14s soon.