When Scott Brown announced he’d be leaving Celtic at the end of the season last week, it marked the end of an era.
It’s a timely one too, especially after a season where so much has gone against the Bhoys. Though, as the campaign climaxes, we can begin to appreciate everything Brown brought to Parkhead.
A dogged and determined midfielder, his leadership has been second to none throughout his 14 years in Glasgow. Brown has led the Hoops to ten league titles and to 12 domestic cups; it has been a period of unparalleled success with him in the middle of the park.
Thus, when he does depart for a player-coach role with Aberdeen, it will leave a pretty glaring hole in their side.
Celtic could find solutions from a variety of places; namely Ismaila Soro. However, they also have plenty of midfielders at reserve level currently coming through the ranks.
Luca Connell is a name hotly tipped at Parkhead but another is Kerr McInroy, a young midfielder currently out on loan at Dunfermline.
The 20-year-old has played 13 times in the Championship this term but is yet to make his senior debut for the Hoops. McInroy has had a difficult few years, a period where it’s been pretty impossible for him to breakthrough.
During the 2018/19 campaign, he was in promising form for the Bhoys, scoring a hat-trick in the first half of the season against Ayr United. However, his season and indeed his chances of breaking into the senior side were struck with a devastating blow when he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury that required surgery.
Disappointingly, McInroy then missed the next ten months of action, suffering immensely in his development. However, once he got the all-clear to play again, the midfielder was back among the assists during a 3-0 win over Queens Park.
The midfielder has bounced back since that injury and has shown a strong-willed mentality. His first piece of senior football has been highly rewarding this season and he is very highly rated by those at Dunfermline.
There’s a very particular quote that stands out when assessing whether he can take on the mantle from Brown; “Physically you can see that he is not frightened of the game,” Dunfermline boss Stevie Crawford said.
“He has a cultured left foot,” Crawford added. “He is very very good on the ball in terms of weight of pass, vision and things like that,” the manager concluded.
Also possessing an eye for goal, something he’s shown during his time in the Celtic reserves, he could bring even more to this Hoops midfield than Brown did.
At the age of 20, McInroy clearly has plenty to learn. That being said, if he’s afforded a chance by any new manager that walks through the door, he’ll show he has what it takes to play a leading role in the Celtic team.
He has a strong mentality, is composed on the ball and matches up the opposition physically.