‘The more excited I get about Celtic’s choice,’ Paul Carroll on taking the Tommy Burns legacy to the next level

When I first read the news about the news that Celtic would be setting up camp in Leicestershire like many, I nearly choked on my tea at what seemed on the face of it a very strange decision. Now that I have had a chance to see the facts and having read Niall J’s article yesterday my mind has been put at rest.

The more I think about this decision and having read up a bit more on Loughborough University the more excited I get about Celtic’s choice of location.

It may well be that this is just purely a one off where the club have sourced a venue with world class facilities but I would like to think that this is also a fact finding mission for Neil Lennon and his backroom staff to look at ways that the club can take Lennoxtown and the Tommy Burns legacy to the next level.

Loughborough University’s sports marketing is impressive as the saying goes the numbers speak for themselves and boy do they have some outstanding results. Twelve of Team GB’s Rio Olympic medals were delivered by Loughborough athletes. This statistic alone had me sold. Academically they are top of the class globally being able to boast that they are number one for sports subjects.

My thinking here might be pie in the sky but surely this is the sort of institute that the club should be considering partnering with? Commercial agreements with JD Sports are all very well and good but this is the sort of partnership that gets me genuinely excited about the future of the club.

Personally speaking, I have always been a fan of cycling, the whole story behind “marginal gains” implemented by Sir David Brailsford and his team within Team GB Cycling and Team SKY was one that fascinated me.

Leaving no stone unturned when it came to looking for improvements everything from sports psychology and nutrition to the bedding in the hotel room after a long day on the road he would make sure that the team behind cyclist had done everything within their powers that has led to British Cycling dominating the world in the velodrome and on the road.

COVID-19 is a wakeup call and the club are going to have to look at as many different innovative ways of delivering success on the pitch in the future that do not involve brandishing the chequebook.

Lennoxtown has already delivered us some amazing success stories since its opening in October 2007. You only have to look at the strides Kieran Tierney is making in the English Premiership. This trip to Leicestershire could be one road for the future success of the club.

Paul Carroll


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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