Celtic Academy Visit by Tumelo
We arrived in Glasgow and were picked up by Brad and Barry. They brought us to our hotel and had a meeting with Barry where he ran through what we’d be doing that week. He also gave us our Celtic training gear.
Barry picked us up at about 6:15am to bring us to St. Ninian’s for our first training session.
We got there at about 6:45am. The training session was really enjoyable, where we did some link-up play and finishing, and finished off with a small-sided match.
After this, we had breakfast, and was shown around the place by our mates and introduced to the principal.
School finished at 3:15pm, and we were picked up by the academy coaches, Greg and Willieand brought to Lennoxtown, the training facility where the first team trains. They gave us food before we trained. We worked on more link-up play and a 4 v 2 in 5m by 5m box. We finished off with a small-sided game, which started off as two-touch with a one-touch finish, and then was full touches with a one touch finish. Training was from 4:30 to 6:30.
We trained in the morning at St. Ninian’s and focussed on core work. We went to classes, and then went to Lennoxtown for our evening training session. We worked on quick play in tight areas, and defending.
We started off with a game with four tiny goals, and it was 4 v 4. It was full touches, with a one touch finish. Then we went into two medium sized goals, and the same thing. Then we went back to the small goals and it was two touch with a one touch finish, and then to the medium goals. Then we went to attackers v defenders, where the midfielders had to play it out to the wingers, and they had to take a touch and cross it in. The defenders’ job was to get the ball out of the box.
We didn’t have to wake up early on this day, because we were getting a tour of Celtic Park. We woke up at about 8:30am, and made our way to the stadium. It was a great tour and we had a great tour guide, who was very enthusiastic.
After the tour we went to St. Ninian’s for training, and we worked on link up play with finishing, then attackers v defenders, where we used half the pitch, and put two medium goals on the left and right of the halfway-line, and that’s where the defenders scored, with a one touch finish. The attackers just scored in the normal goals.
This was a big day, because we knew we had a match. We went to St. Ninian’s for training in the morning, where we did some light core work. After school, the coaches brought us to Lennoxtown, and we got ready for our match. We were playing it between ourselves.
Myself, Soni and Enda were all on the Green Team, and Conor, the other trialist from St. Francis was on the Black Team. In the first half, our team was very dominant, but unfortunately, we couldn’t put all our chances away, and went in at 1-1. In the second half, the Black Team really turned it up a notch, and were playing much better, but it was still a pretty even game, until around 65 minutes, where they scored from a set piece to make it 2-1. We scored to make it 2-2, but they managed to Knick another one, from a set piece, to make it 3-2, with only about 15 minutes to go. Our coach for the match, Greg, moved me up to Right- Wing, from Right-Back, but we couldn’t get one, and it finished 3-2. I thought I did quite well, and after the match, the Head of Recruitment, and former Celtic Player Willie McStay told me I was very good, and he was very impressed. That was great to hear, and we went back to the hotel all very happy with our performances.
This was our last day training session. In the morning we just did some light passing and link-up play, and some ball control. After school we went to Lennoxtown, and did some small exercises, like crossing and finishing and attackers v defenders. After this, we said bye to the coaches and players, and thanked them for everything and they gave us a jersey each. Before training we also managed to bump into none other than BRENDAN RODGERS, and he spoke to us, asking us which teams we played for and where we played.
This was our last day in Scotland, and went to Celtic Park to watch Celtic vs Inverness. It was a great match, and Celtic won 3-0, Sinclair, Griffiths and Rogic scored. I really enjoyed my time at the academy, and I really would love to go back some day. I’d like to thank all the coaches, Barry and Ray for making all this possible.