‘After speaking with Aaron,’ Mooy remains in Scotland confirms Socceroos boss

Aaron Mooy has pulled out of the Australia squad for the Socceroo’s upcoming international double header with Ecuador, with national boss Graham Arnold telling the West Australian that the  decision has been made to allow Mooy to remain in Scotland as he recovers from the back injury which saw Mooy miss Celtic’s 3-1 win over Hibs on Saturday.

Aaron Mooy controls the ball followed by Antoine Griezmann during the Qatar 2022 World Cup match between France and Australia at the Al-Janoub Stadium in Al-Wakrah, south of Doha on November 22, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

“It’s unfortunate for Aaron that he misses these games, something I know he was very much looking forward to playing. But his absence provides an opportunity to a further emerging player as we start this new campaign.

‘After speaking with Aaron, who missed Celtic’s weekend’s game, he would only be able to play limited minutes if he came to Australia. So, the decision was made for him to stay in Scotland and continue his recovery.”

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Reo Hatate is injured during the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park, on 18 March, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

With Reo Hatate also succumbing to injury early on in the victory over the Edinburgh side, it may well mean the two-week international window will allow both Mooy and Hatate the time needed to recover from their respective injuries ahead of Celtic’s visit to play Ross County in Dingwall and of course the Glasgow Derby at Celtic Park on 8 April.

Matt O’Riley returned to the team to replace Mooy on Saturday and played well, whilst David Turnbull came off the bench to deputise for Hatate after the Japanese playmaker left the field with what looked like a hamstring injury.

Leo Hatate centre leaves the pitch injured during the cinch Premiership match against Hibs at Celtic Park,Saturday March 18, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

Thankfully Hatate seemed to recognise his discomfort early on and the change was made without any further aggravation to his injury, and hopefully that will hold the player in good stead when it comes to making a quick recovery.

We can but hope the same will be true for Aaron Mooy, as both players have been key players for Celtic this season and arguably two of Celtic’s most consistent performers.

Heart Of Midlothian v Celtic – Scottish Cup Quarter Final Tynecastle Park Celtics Aaron Mooy celebrates his goal at Tynecastle on Saturday March 11, 2023. Photo Steve Welsh

However, the strength in depth of the Celtic squad is highlighted by having David Turnbull and Matt O’Riley in reserve, two players who Celtic have been able to rely on in the past and who may also feel they have a point to prove should they need to be called upon post international break.

That said Reo Hatate and Aaron Mooy complement each other well in Celtic’s midfield and it would be reassuring to know both would be back to full fitness sooner rather than later with the season now moving into a crucial phase.

Mooy brings an incredible calming influence to a team who play at full pelt every week, whilst Hatate’s bravery in passing the ball and taking passes on the half-turn offers Celtic the opportunity to progress up the field with both speed and accuracy.

11th March 2023 Tynecastle,  Hearts versus Celtic – Aaron Mooy of Celtic celebrates with Kyogo Furuhashi  after scoring to give Celtic a 1-0 lead in the 2nd minute. Photo  ActionPlus Vagelis Georgariou

Whilst Mooy’s injury was known about prior to Saturday’s win over Hibs, Hatate’s was very much an unwelcome surprise. Thankfully however, Hatate was once again overlooked for international honours with Japan, and with Mooy now also pulling out of travelling to meet up with the Australian national side, both will have an international window of a fortnight to recover in time for some hugely important fixtures looming on the horizon for Celtic.

Niall J


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About Author

As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.

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