STEPHEN WELSH has spoken about his experiences after a gruelling pre-season trip to France. The youngster started in the defeat to Lyon and also played in the games against Nice and Lyon.
In an interview with the Celtic View, Welsh spoke about the difference in pre-season preparations this season. Celtic usually go to Austria and play local teams but this year they were forced into going to France to play three top French clubs as part of their tests for the new season.
“This was the third pre-season I’ve been on with the first-team and the biggest difference this year has been the level of opposition we’ve played.
“Usually we’ll play a few local, lower level teams in Austria but this summer we were facing Champions League sides like Lyon and PSG.
“That’s what we need going into this season. They were preparing for Champions League games and cup games so they were around the same stage of pre-season as us. I felt we did okay in the games, especially younger boys like myself. I thought everyone handled it really well.
“We’ll learn more in that 60 minutes against opposition like that than we would two or three games against lower opposition teams.”
Welsh made his debut in a 4-1 victory over Sunday’s opponents Hamilton in February and the 20-year-old is comfortable in his surroundings. As a young player coming through the academy, Welsh is aware of the enormous standards imposed on Celtic’s players to win and be successful.
“I feel a lot more comfortable in and around the players because I’ve been involved with the first team for a couple of years now. That time around them means you become familiar with the expectations on and off the pitch. It’s about working hard every day.
“The expectation at the club is absolutely massive. I’ve been here since I was eight-years-old so I’m aware of the standards and the targets which is three points in every game. That’s what it’s all about at a top club like Celtic.”
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