“It feels a much different place than 12 months ago,” Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers is back at Lennoxtown and today he spoke to Celtic TV ahead of tomorrow evening’s friendly match against Scott Brown’s Ayr United side down at Somerset Park.

The Celtic boss revealed that he met up with Broony in Majorca and the two spent several hours sitting talking about football, Celtic and management and that’s certainly going to be worthwhile for the former Celtic captain as he goes about learning his trade in management.

There was no talk of transfer activity, either in terms of new signings or players going out. Liam Scales however did talk at length about his Irish teammate Adam Scales in a mainstream media press conference this afternoon which we’ll cover separately.

Meanwhile over at Celtic Park, Jessica Elliott had an interview with Celtic FC Women manager Elena Sadiku and we’ll have a video of that later today.

Here’s what Brendan had to say to Celtic TV, where the interview is available in full on Celtic TV for subscribers. There’s a section of the interview up on the club’s YouTube channel as you can see below…

Brendan Rodgers on returning to work after his break: “Yes, it’s absolutely brilliant to be back. We had a great end to the season, I think everybody enjoyed the off-season. But it’s really nice to be back, and good to see the players and the staff again.”

The Celtic manager on his targets for the new season: “At that point, it was really about enjoying that present time about winning. We saw that in the Scottish Cup Final when I got all the guys in on that line to get a real sense of that present moment and enjoy it. Maybe before that, it sometimes can pass you by. But then that’s gone. You take the acclaim, a fantastic end to the season, go away and recover, but now you come back and you re-focus. It’s all about sacrifice and commitment going forward. It’s about creating that mindset over the coming weeks.”

Brendan on Flag Day against Kilmarnock at Celtic park as the new season gets underway: “It’s a great day. That flag goes up and it’s a symbol of the great work we’ve done the season before. But it’s also a sign for everyone – players, staff and supporters – of the challenges that are ahead and they start on that very day. It’s a wonderful day to have those feelings about what we achieved. But also knowing it’s the start of another really exciting season.”

Brendan on the importance of pre-season: “This is where they build a lot of their base fitness. Of course, we have a lot of players who will dripfeed themselves back in over the course of the next few weeks. So not everyone is here but by the time the first game of the season comes, the players will be at a really good level. It’s where you have time to build that base fitness, look at the vision going forward and what you want to achieve around your goals and values, and also with the introduction of new players into the club. It’s a vital period for your preparation.”

Brendan Rodgers on going head-to-head with Scott Brown tomorrow evening against Ayr United: “I’ve actually seen him over the course of the summer. I bumped into him in Majorca and invited him round to my house. So we had a nice few hours talking about Celtic, football and management. It was great to see him and I look forward to seeing him again. If he’s anywhere near a manager that he was a player, then he’s going to be a fantastic manager. But these are the early steps of Scott’s career and he’s still in that process of learning. But he’s so much to bring to the game as a manager, I feel. I always enjoy seeing him and obviously now, even though it’s a pre-season game, it’ll always be nice to be on the touchline with him.”

Brendan’s thoughts on Celtic three match tour of the USA: “You build your way through pre-season. Firstly, I think it’s important to recognise teams at home. Teams like Ayr and Queen’s Park, they are really important clubs back here at home and we want to be able to help and support those clubs. Then I think going away to America for our football fitness, we come up against a level of opponent which is the very highest level, especially Chelsea and Manchester City so that elevates your game and fitness to another level. DC United are obviously one of the MLS teams, so that’s always good. But I also think as well, bringing Celtic to the world is also important. Going back to America for the first time in a number of years, it’s a really special country and taking the club there obviously develops and grows the brand of Celtic around the world which is also important in the modern game.”

Brendan’s first message of the new season for the Celtic support: “We’re just going to work very, very hard over the course of this pre-season. We look forward to seeing you again in some of the games locally, and if you’re travelling to America we look forward to seeing you then. It feels a much different place than 12 months ago, coming back. So I’m really excited about this season and producing a team and a level of football that they can be very proud of. We look forward to seeing them on the journey over this pre-season and then we all get ready to unite and go forward together for what will be a really exciting season with the new format of the Champions League and everyone being together.”

All five of Celtic’s pre-season matches, against Ayr and Queen’s Park in Scotland plus the three matches in the States, are exclusively live on Celtic TV. You can subscribe now to make sure you see all five games, details below.

Adam Idah  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds 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

1 Comment

  1. Well it is in all fairness?
    It was fairly chaotic within the club upon Rodgers return, in many ways.
    Settled down now, even if much work is still required to get us as a club, where I still believe Rodgers intends to take us imo?
    Of course currently I would expect Rodgers to be far more relaxed heading into this season, especially with a far better all round knowledge regarding the player’s he’s already got within the club for the season ahead?
    Would have a decent idea as to where we currently are regarding new arrivals also?
    Many players would already know that they don’t feature within the plans of Rodgers for next season also, so hopefully they will want to continue with there careers elsewhere?
    What remains uncertain regarding Rodgers is weather he intends for sticking with our 433 formation again next season?
    Looked like Rodgers had a 4231 in mind early part of last season, and we looked shockingly poor with such a change imo?
    So expecting Rodgers to be far more decisive upon how the structure of the team and the overall squad is going to be set up for next season imo?
    The pre season trip to the USA is crucial for our planning for the season ahead also?
    Still a few players within the club, that have to earn there place within the squad for next season still?
    So although the main focus is upon new arrivals, there is still plenty from within the club that needs to be sorted before the trip to the USA also imo?
    We still have the likes of Yang, Holm, Mikey Johnston, Monty, Kwon amongst many others who are currently facing an uncertainty to where they could be playing football next season at present also?
    So expecting our pre season to be far more structured this season, where the crucial USA trip taking centre stage in our preparations for the season ahead?
    With that trip in mind, I still believe that it’s crucial for ourselves to have got some key signings in place before the plane leaves the runway, and still believe that it will be sorted out still imo?
    The overall squad might not be totally completed before flag day as that’s normal enough for ourselves also?

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