It was always in the offing, but Callum McGregor has finally been appointed as Celtic captain.
Scott Brown’s sad summer departure to Aberdeen had opened up a vacancy in terms of the armband, but there was only really one genuine contender to take over – which was confirmed yesterday.
There were times last season when McGregor played as captain regardless, given Brown’s various absences from the first team. However, as a stand in, it wasn’t quite the full thing; something which McGregor is keen to stamp his own authority on.
Speaking to Celtic TV, McGregor said: “It’s a very proud day for myself, my family, everyone connected with myself so, first of all, I just want to say thanks to the manager for that. It’s a huge honour and I can’t wait to get to work and build something here.”
Having not had a captain change for the last thirteen seasons, proceedings may have felt slightly alien at Lennoxtown, given not only the change in skipper but also the change in manager. The big rebuild is well and truly underway, but McGregor is intent on keeping certain core values – especially the ones that Broony taught him in his rise through the ranks at Celtic.
“Scott was hugely successful as club captain here. I’ve had the honour to work closely beside him, to see how he operates every day, the way that he drives the changing room, the way that he drives the club.
“For me, I’ve had no better education in that sense, so I just want to follow that as closely as I can, and obviously you have to put your own personality and stamp on it. Ultimately it’s a new era for the club and I’m just desperate to get to work and make it a successful one.
Ange Postecoglou will certainly be hoping that the core of the team is kept together given the tough start Celtic have been awarded in this season’s continental competitions. Should the Hoops progress against FC Midtjylland in the Champions League by this time next week – which will be a tough fixture in itself – then PSV Eindhoven or Galatasaray will await them in the Champions League. However, McGregor feels the team have been training well, with a huge desire to progress following last season’s shambles.
“Everyone’s in good spirits, the boys trained well today and there was a real intensity about the session. We know how important these games are, they set you up for the season, everybody’s in a good frame of mind, we’re confident and ready to go.”