Last night Calvin Miller became the latest player to work his way through the Celtic academy to make his first team debut, playing for 63 minutes before being replaced by Emilio Izauirre in the 1-0 win over Partick Thistle.
At the age of 18 Christmas did come early for the bhoy from Castlemilk who has already packed a lot into his Celtic career.
Early in 2013 Miller found himself in the spotlight when he was named as the world’s best 15-year-old by a website that is no longer in existence.
That story was picked up on by a number of sources and created attention for the schoolboy.
In January 2014 Neil Lennon gave Miller a brief taste of first team football in a friendly against Galatasaray after drafting in some younger players who were taking part in a training course at the same time as the first team squad enjoyed a mini break in Antalya.
At the end of the 2014/15 season he came on as a substitute in the 5-2 win over Sevco in the final of the SFA Youth Cup.
Last season Miller stepped up from u-17 football and was mainly used as the sole striker in a 4-2-3-1 system and struggled at times with the isolation of that role.
“It’s good for our younger players to come up against experienced players like that. The more experienced your opponent is the better because it’s all about development.
“Calvin was getting a wee bit frustrated, he had a couple of chances but stuck to his task, he kept at it and got his reward with a goal.”
This season Miller was moved to the left wing with Jack Aitchison and JP Crossan used as striker in a more attack minded line up.
A month ago came the change which could be highly significant to his career with the switch to left-back.
While most managers like to play things down Brendan Rodgers made comparisons with a similar switch that he made for Ryan Bertrand while working at Chelsea.
With Kieran Tierney and Emilio Izaguirre available at left-back Miller has his work cut out to get a regular first team spot but having been identified by Rodgers there’s clearly a plan in place for the difficult transition from youth team to top team.
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