When Ange Postecoglou sat down as Celtic’s new manager for the first time last month, he had a promise that will have delighted the supporters.
The Hoops have been scared to blood their young talent over the last few years and that was no more apparent than when Neil Lennon and John Kennedy refused to hand Karamoko Dembele his first senior start.
Postecoglou, however, looks set to change the tide.
During one of his first interviews, the Australian said: “I’m a big believer that, if you can produce homegrown talent and players who have come through the club, there’s extra meaning to represent that football club for the player. For the supporters, they see one of their own out there and I think that’s very important.”
Celtic may not have had much choice in pre-season given their limited options but the head coach has already blooded plenty of young talents.
Dembele netted in the club’s win over Charlton Athletic last weekend, a strike that followed Owen Moffat’s impressive goal-scoring outing just a few days earlier against Sheffield Wednesday.
The Bhoys started nervously in that clash and conceded early on. However, once the young players gained their footing, they looked a different class.
Moffat has been banging on the first-team door for a while now after some vibrant performances for the reserves.
An energetic attacking midfielder, he found the back of the net with a wonderful half volley last week.
“It’s still no really sunk in that I’ve scored for Celtic. But it was an unbelievable feeling at the time. My phone’s no stopped going since,” he said post-match.
Moffat’s introduction to first-team life has come at an ideal time with their club’s options wearing thin in offensive areas.
The 19-year-old started the game up front before moving to the right of midfield. However, it’s in a number 10 role where the teenager usually thrives.
The youngster is capable of playing in similar areas and already looks wise beyond his years.
Conor McGregor has certainly been left impressed. The Scottish midfielder remarked recently: “Obviously a mention for young Moffatt, his attitude has been first class.
“I remember watching him at the end of last season, training on the astro himself.”
McGregor added: “Every day they would do finishing and I remember thinking ‘he’s got a finish on him’. I wasn’t surprised yesterday when it dropped and he half-volleyed it into the net.”
It’s important not to throw too much hype towards Moffat but it’s vital that Postecoglou continues to hand more minutes to the young players coming through.
It may just save them a small fortune in the transfer market.