Celtic’s spirit in Scottish players and the ‘why’ factor

The well documented transfer proposal of David Turnbull from clubs like Celtic and from England rumbles on. Let’s discuss Celtic’s spirit in Scottish players and the “why” factor for purchasing a player in Scotland.

I don’t believe it’s enigmatic that Celtic have found themselves in the market of purchasing home grown SPFL players. It’s now a matter of course, as our club and in particular, Peter Lawwell prefer the game of economic monopoly and chance.

I find it rather special the amount of Scottish players we have in our squad at the moment. Last count, I had a total number of eighteen players.

These players are all at different stages in their Celtic careers. From the development squad, to squad players, to first team regulars. The coaching standards and progressional routine at Celtic is first class.

As fans, we’ve grown accustomed to the board not investing in first team, ready to go players from either England or abroad. The board have a pin board full of blame messages it can drip feed through social media. It’s the transfer market or the climate isn’t aligning properly for us to make a move.

That’s not to say the players kicking about in our national league aren’t gifted or not first team hoops wearers but trying to find a “red rum” champion thoroughbred in a limited league pool takes some serious graft and hard work.

There’s no guide book for purchasing in the Scottish game. But, my hypothesis on the rules is as follows; what has that player done so far in his current club, how will this player carry himself in big games and how well can the club shape the players future development. You buy small, keeping fingers and toes crossed that you’ve got the golden nugget. We’re not blessed with the wealth in England to spend big and buy the “it” factor. Our problems don’t go away that quietly.

Like the game “operation’ our network of scouts are the doctor and they have to make the patient (the team) better or face the buzzer. Let’s be honest here as Celtic fans, we’ve certainly had some shocks in our time! Both good and bad.

At Celtic, we’re graced with a special breed of Scottish players that form a backbone to our team; Bain, Gordon, Forrest, Brown, KT, McGregor, Christie, MJ, Griff and Ralston. These players are the “crux” to both our club and national squad – past and present.

The youth conveyor belt keeps bleeding in good homegrown talent as well. Names such as Miller, Church, Dembele and Henderson to name a few. And throughout the years, we’ve also purchased talent from Scottish clubs with varying degrees of success; Allan, Hendry, Morgan, Mackay-Steven and Armstrong.

It’s not unusual for a Scottish player to have an unbelievable season for their parent club and as soon as the transfer window is opened we’re linked with that player. The tall tale of McKenna and now Turnbull. Turnbull is a fantastic player and has done well for Motherwell. However, he’s questiontionable for £3 million. Are the club willing to stunt the growth of Christie, Morgan and youth players Dembele and Henderson to fit in Turnbull? If so, how and when is this going to happen?

To maintain the spirit of Scottish players at Celtic, our club should be finding a solution to mix already purchased Scottish talent with our current youth setup. It’s one thing cramming a squad with talent. It’s another to blend it properly.

Celtic should always find the “why” in purchasing a Scottish player.

James Pearson

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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