Celtic youths

New bhoys please Kennedy


Calum WatersCeltic coach John Kennedy was satisfied by his side’s performance in the 1-0 SFA Youth Cup semi-final win over Kilmarnock yesterday.

A 76th minute penalty from Patrik Twardzik settled the match although whether Dunfermline will be in business for a Hampden date on May 2 remains to be seen.

It’s the fourth year running that Celtic have reached the final but without Joe Chalmers, Marcus Fraser, John Herron and Denny Johnstone some new faces were given their chance to impress.

Defenders Eoghan O’Connell and Calum Waters stepped into defence to replace Chalmers and Fraser with Kennedy pleased by the way that they came through the challenge.

“Calum is an u-17 and I couldn’t fault him,” the hoops coach said. “Kilmarnock’s biggest threat was down our left but Calum stuck at it and showed the attitude that we want.

“He showed a willingness to dig in when it was tough and Eoghan O’Connell and Stuart Findlay handed their striker well. Eoghan was excellent, his use of the ball was first class, I couldn’t fault our defending.

“I’d liked to have played higher up the pitch with more of a threat but that never quite materialised. Patrik took the penalty well and we’re pleased to be in the final.”

Kennedy added: “We’re delighted to be at Hampden again to try and retain the cup. We’re going quite well in the league without performing as well as we’d like but we’re still getting the results.

“There’s a lot of competition for places, it’s not a case of the older players getting a game, it’s performance based, you have to earn the right to play.

“We want everybody fighting for places in the team by showing a hunger and desire to improve themselves and that’ll make the selection decision much tougher.”

On Wednesday Celtic travel to face St Johnstone with the game kicking off at 7pm.

CLICK HERE  for Celtic 1-0 Kilmarnock match report

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  • williebhoy says:

    We have been under-performing for some weeks now which is a major concern. Kilmarnock had a very young side including 3 x 16s & a 17 so we should have been more than capable of controlling the entire game, no matter who was missing.

    Struggled too often against average sides and we MUST have a plan (b) instead we are still relying on individual players to pull something out of the hat. I appreciate with young players form goes up & down, playing poorly and still getting results, injuries etc…but every team has to contend with the same.

    We are simply not getting the best out of the most talented squad in the country by some distance. Delighted we are well clear in the league & now in the cup final, but clearly we have been fortunate in several recent games which is cause for concern. We shouldn’t be struggling against the Kilmarnocks, Falkirks or Aberdeens who are all fielding very young sides.

    I’ve no doubt we have several excellent prospects in the youth side. At 19-20 they would already be first team regulars as clubs like Ajax etc. They should be producing consistently to a higher level than currently.

  • Mike Bhoyle says:

    Not wishing to make light of your excellent post…
    But much of it could be written about the big team as well.

  • williebhoy says:

    Could be something in it, Im sure both do much the same training sessions, play to much the same style. We are certainly picking up far too many injuries which needs looked into. I would say that in Herron & Twardzik, George in particular we have slightly more creative players than the first team though where we rely heavily on Commons.

    Should be making much more use of Watt & McGeough at this stage to freshen the team up.

    But fully agree with you, we are not making the best use of our resources otherwise we wouldn’t be losing to such as Ross County, St. Johnstone etc.

  • Mark D says:

    williebhoy spot on sir,i have been to quite a few u20s game over the last few years and I have to say we do seem to be struggling a bit this year even though as you say we are top of the league and in a final.

    What has happened to Calum Mcgregor I think his name was busy wee midfielder looked good also didn’t think Jackson Irvine had a particularly good game on Sunday and he has always stood out for me.

    Never the less both first and second teams are better placed that some in could mention from Glasgow!!

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