Celtic v St Johnstone Thursday night plan, Broony considers Scotland return

THE SCOTTISH FA have written to the counterparts at the SPFL asking them to move all Premiership games scheduled for the weekend before Scotland’s vital Euro Qualifier semi-final back to the Thursday night. Celtic are scheduled to play St Johnstone at home on Saturday 21 March, a week after visiting Ibrox for the second time this season but if the SFA get their wish this game would now take place on Thursday 19 March.

If this change of date is going to happen then they should announce it as soon as possible so that no supporters are inconvenienced unnecessarily. Obviously those supporters travelling from Ireland, Egland or further afield for a Saturday match are going to struggle for a Thursday night kick-off.

Ryan Christie celebrates his goal in Cyprus

Scotland will discover their opponents later today as they seek to reach their first Finals at a major event since 1998 when the likes of Tommy Boyd, Paul Lambert and John Collins were playing for the national side.

The Scotland manager Steve Clarke this week asked the governing bodies to “do all they can” to help his side reach the finals and last night he got support from the Celtic captain Scott Brown, who also hinted that he might be up for a re-call should Clarke need his help.

“I’m sure the SFA and clubs will help him as much as they can. We need to play our strongest 11, so it all comes down to the SFA now. It’s a huge occasion and we must make sure we give Scotland as much help as we can, to give the players time to rest,” the Celtic captain said, as reported by Evening Times.

Forrest’s five goals in four days won Scotland their play-off spot

“It has been a long time since we’ve been to Euros or a World Cup and we need to put the clubs on the backburner for four or five days to make sure we give Steve the best options possible,” Broony said.

Scotland of course are heavily reliant on the Celtic stars in the national side with Ryan Christie, Callum McGregor and James Forrest being first picks and Greg Taylor being a real stand-out in the last two wins of the campaign while both English based stars Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney were call-offs.

Taylor was excellent in his two starts for Scotland

The draw will be made in Nyon this afternoon with Scotland facing Bulgaria, Hungary, Israel or Romania in the semi-final. And if Scotland can make it through to the Euro Finals Broony has hinted that he’d be up for an international come-back.

“Football’s a funny game and you never know. I’m in a good place fitness-wise and in terms of my body and I make sure I keep myself ticking over.

“The international breaks have been incredible for me – they’ve allowed me to go away and relax, play golf and recharge my batteries.

“I retired from international football to prolong my career and I don’t want to be that guy who keeps quitting and then thinking he can come back,” Broony said, as Evening Times reported.

“I’m going to be 35 soon and we’re very strong in the middle of the park – there’s a lot of young lads in that area. It’s been hard for me to watch the games because you always want to be playing in them but, at the end of the day, I need to look after No.1.

Callum McGregor is one of the first names on the team sheet

“My wish is that I could still be playing for Celtic and Scotland at the age of 45 but there comes a time when you have to make sure your body’s okay and give yourself the best chance of continuing to play for your club.

“They still have two games to get through, but you never say never. It would be phenomenal to get to a finals after 22 years.

“I remember watching the games at France 98 as a 13-year-old. It was great. The whole country wants us to get back there again. The Tartan Army are great supporters and it would be good for them as well. It’s a regret of mine that we never managed to get there.”

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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