Second half goals from Patrik Twardzik and Lewis Kidd gave Celtic’s development side a 2-0 win over Cork City last night.
It could be argued that the real development side, featuring Darnel Fisher, Mikey Miller, Jackson Irvine, Callum McGregor and others, had been on duty at Brentford the day before forcing John Kennedy and Stevie Frail to dig deeper into the club’s Academy for the two match trip to Ireland.
Celtic fielded two trialists in the match but it was the display of the next emerging batch of players such as Conor McManus, Eoghan O’Connell, Paul McMullan and Aiden McIlduff that pleased Kennedy most.
“It was only our third pre-season match, Cork was a step up but we played some fantastic stuff,” the hoops coach explained. “We moved the ball about at a good tempo and dominated possession, some of our play in the second half was terrific, there’s a lot of plusses from the match.
“Conor McManus crossed for Patrik Twardzik for the first goal, his header was blocked then he put away the rebound.
“Conor was involved in the second goal as well passing the ball for Lewis who put it away very well.
“The way our Academy works the players that come up understand the game and how we want to play it, it’s not too much of a problem for them stepping up.
“Younger players are coming in and doing very well. We’ve a couple who were in the development side last year with us but we have a steady flow of quality players coming through- that makes our job as coaches an awful lot easier.”
Kennedy added: “This trip has been first class, the training has been good and the two matches a good test for us.
“It’s good for the boys to come up against some players who have been around the block with a bit of experience.
“As coaches we can see the character of players against bigger stronger opponents, the players attitude has been fantastic and we’re hoping to carry that into our domestic matches.”
Meanwhile in Aberdeen Celtic’s u-16 side beat the home side 2-1 after extra-time to win the Denis Law Soccer Tournament, Jamie McCart and Cairan Lafferty scoring the goals for the young hoops.
CLICK HERE for full report on Denis Law final
CORK CITY: Browne; J Kavanagh, E Murphy, Lenihan, Rundle; Turner (D Kavanagh 64), Duggan (D Murray 45), A Browne, Kenny (Abbott 80); O’Connell (D Morrissey 45), Furlong (Lehane 45).
CELTIC: Trialist; O´Connell, McNally (Kelleher 82), Findlay, P Twardzik; McMullan, Hoareau (Kidd 58), McManus, Lindsay, Johnstone (Donnelly 74); Trialist (McIlduff 69).