John Kennedy and Stevie Frail will have to reconstruct their team for tomorrow’s Champions League clash with AC Milan.
Hours before the main event at the San Siro Celtic’s u-19 side will face their AC Milan counterparts in the first ever match in the new UEFA backed competition.
Domestically Celtic play in the u-20 league which also allows three overage players and an overage goalkeeper.
Leo Fasan, John Herron, Paul George and Darnel Fisher are all regulars in that side but have to step aside tomorrow with the UEFA competition limited to u-19′s with no overage players.
Stuart Findlay, Lewis Kidd, Jamie Lindsay and Denny Johnstone played in last season’s Next Gen competition with some of last season’s u-17′s such as Liam Henderson, Paul McMullan and Calum Waters stepping up in style this season.
“We had a poor result and performance last week against Partick Thistle which maybe isn’t the worst thing in the world,” Kennedy said.
“That result was maybe a wake up call, we’re not where we should be in that match so we’ll need to make sure we are much better in Milan.
“We know from recent seasons that playing Milan, Barca and Ajax is going to be very tough, these teams have real quality and players that can hurt you and punish mistakes.
“Defensively we need to make sure that we are strong, we’ll need to keep possession of the ball and make it count.
“This is as tough as it gets at this level, we’ll need everyone playing at 100% and on top of their game, that’s the only way you can take anything from these matches. If you are short you get found out.”"
Looking forward to shadowing the first team Kennedy added: “The added value is the first team, the fact you are in the same group as them. So we’ll be playing away from home and then be in the San Siro watching the first team and that will be a massive part of their learning curve.
“Now the players will see it first hand, see the first team in action and that’s a massive part to play in their development. We are on the team flight. We will be pretty much replicating the first-team stuff, so it’s good.
“It’s five-star treatment and it’s good because it gives them good preparation and see what it’s like to be involved in the first-team environment. It’s a great experience for the players.”