Teenage Kicks, Declan’s Diary on our Invincible season, November 2016

DECLAN McConville travelled home and away, getting his teenage kicks from Celtic as they completed an Invincible season, winning the treble and setting all sorts of records in a truly unforgettable season. Delcan, who recently turned 18, has been looking back at that wonderful season on The Celtic Star, one month at a time. Here’s his November 2016 diary from Celtic’s Invincible season…

Tuesday 1 November 2016

The month started of with a difficult Champions League trip to Germany to face Borussia Monchengladbach. Celtic were extremely unlucky not to win the game. Gladbach took the lead in the game, again through their captain Stindl. There were some great spells of Celtic play throughout the game and eventually the Scottish Champions managed an equaliser after Moussa Dembele calmly slotted away a penalty. At the very death, a terrific opportunity fell to Callum McGregor, only for his effort to go wide.

Saturday 5 November 2016

The Hoops returned to domestic action at the weekend to play Inverness. The Caley Jags were stubborn in the first-half and were sound defensively. The Celtic breakthrough did however come in the second-half with Sinclair, Griffiths and Rogic wrapping up all three points for Celtic. At the top of the table with thirty-one points, the Hoops also have an incredible +26 goals difference. This is more than the rest of the SPFL put together.

Friday 18 November 2016

For ninety-minutes I could switch off from the prelims that I had coming up the following week. For the first time, in this game away to Kilmarnock, Celtic adorned the pink strip much to the annoyance of many supporters. This was certainly not the most thrilling game to attend but Celtic gained all three points through a wonderful strike from Stuart Armstrong just before half-time. One of the biggest things to note from this game was that Dedryck Boyata was featured for the first time under Brendan Rodgers. The Belgian defender would end up going on to play a pivotal part latterly in the season.

Wednesday 23 November 2016

In the morning I had completed my final prelim of the week and headed home to relax before heading to see the Hoops take on the mighty Barcelona. Celtic were sadly outclassed by a magnificent side. The Catalan side took the lead after Lionel Messi slotted the ball past Craig Gordon after a lovely chipped pass from Neymar. Before the half ended, Gordon pulled of an astonishing save from a Luis Suarez header to keep the Celts in the game. Shortly after the interval, Moussa Dembele missed a brilliant headed chance which would have pulled the Hoops level. This prompted a Barcelona attack which resulted in a penalty kick being awarded after Emilio Izaguirre was judged to have pulled Luis Suarez down in the box. Mess stepped up and tucked away the penalty to double the Catalans advantage. Celtic were now out of Europe.

Sunday 27 November 2016

The Celts were again back at Hampden  for the Betfred Cup Final  and in search of the club’s 100th major honour. Even though I had my music prelim the next day I was not going to miss history. Tom Rogic opened the goal scoring with a wonderful left-footed strike to send the Celtic end into celebration. The lead was doubled shortly before half-time when James Forrest went on a brilliant run. He skipped his way past Dons defenders and fired the ball past Joe Lewis. Brendan Rodgers first trophy was secured when Celtic were awarded a penalty just after the hour mark. Moussa Dembele again stepped up and calmly rolled the ball into the Aberdeen net. History had been made, Celtic had picked up the first part of a hoped for treble.

Declan McConville

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

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