Rory Mahady is the latest Academy kid to turn down a professional contract at Celtic and is expected to join Leeds United.
The goalkeeper has been at Celtic for nine years but at the critical moment in his career has decided that he has a better chance of developing in the EPL.
A year ago Celtic lost goalkeeper Vincent Angelini to Watford with others including Ben Doak, Josh Adam and Liam Morrison opting to go to clubs such as Liverpool, Manchester City, Bayern Munich and others.
The lack of a proper pathway into senior football appears to be one of the key issues. At the age of 16 Celtic can offer a place in their Lowland League squad to face clubs like Cumbernauld Colts, Edinburgh University and Caledonian Braves followed by uncertainty with a loan to join Airdrie or the likes. Playing on the artificial turf of Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium is another deterrent.
Celtic have reversed the process by signing Tobi Oluwayemi from Spurs but a second season in the Lowland League won’t be advancing the career of the England youth internationalist.
Last week Celtic lost 6-0 to Real Madrid in the UEFA Youth League, on Wednesday the young hoops look to regain some pride when they take on Shakhtar Donetsk.
An example of the difficulties facing young players at Celtic was Owen Moffat deciding to join Blackpool’s Development Squad. Moffat is six months older than Aaron Hickey who quit Celtic’s Academy in 2018 and is now in the EPL with Brentford after spells at Hearts and Bologna. Moffat is six months older than Hickey.
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