Celtic youths chance to shine in season twilight

04 April 2014 12:31

Celtic assistant manager Johan Mjallby says the champions will give their youth players more opportunities to impress in the remaining games of the season.

The Glasgow giants wrapped up their third Scottish Premiership title in a row in record time last week with seven games to spare.

Several young starlets have been given their chance in recent weeks with Eoghan O'Connell joining Liam Henderson and Darnell Fisher in making the step up to the top team.

Mjallby says the final few weeks of the season will see more young players given game time as the management assess what they have in reserve before deciding whether to bring in new players in the summer transfer window.

And the former Swedish international hopes they use their opportunity to shine and stake a claim for a place in Neil Lennon's first team, starting with Saturday's trip to Tannadice to take on in-form Dundee United.

"It's going to be a good chance for us to have a look at the young boys," Mjallby said.

"A few of them have already been in the squad. Darnell Fisher has broken through. Then you have got Eoghan O'Connell, and, of course, there's Liam Henderson, and Filip Twardzik is coming back from long-term injury.

"It is definitely a chance for them to make their mark and say, 'I'm here and willing to compete and want to be in the first team.'"

Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk has been a stand out for the Hoops this season on his way to picking up his first medal since joining the club last summer.

And the Dutch defender is excited by the emergence of several talented young players at the club.

"There is definitely more to come. You saw Liam Henderson coming in, doing a good job and scoring his first goal. There is a lot of talent coming through so that's something to look forward to," van Dijk said.

"The whole season has been great. We had the Champions League, but winning a title is something I have always dreamed of, and it's finally happened."

Elsewhere on Saturday, cash-strapped Hearts will be relegated if they fail to win away to Partick Thistle.

Hearts, who were docked 15 points at the beginning of the season due to the club entering administration, are 18 points behind St Mirren with six games left.

The Tynecastle club will also be condemned to the Championship if the Buddies pick up any points in their match against third-placed Motherwell.

Fixtures (1300GMT unless stated)


Ross County v Inverness Caledonian Thistle (1745)


Dundee Utd v Celtic (1045), Kilmarnock v St Johnstone, Partick Thistle v Hearts, St Mirren v Motherwell


Hibernian v Aberdeen (1745)

Source: AFP