It may not be the preseason that Celtic players have been looking for, but maybe after their last overseas trip (yes, this one in Dubai) it is the Celtic’s best course of action to stay in the UK this summer Board have taken some time.
Gone are yesterday’s green games, in which the humorous Wiener FC, St. Gallen and the European team Stade Rennais competed against Neil Lennon’s team. Instead, a Tour de Britain in July will be enough, with many familiar faces visiting the USA Club – hopefully not coming back to follow us in the warm-up of the 20/21 season.
In just six weeks, the first team will complete a training camp in Wales in a self-proclaimed “state-of-the-art world class facility”. During the nine-day stay here, Celtic faces three opponents, two of whom are known: the seedy giant Charlton Athletic, who currently occupies the third tier of English football, and the free-falling Bristol City, who holds the unfortunate title of The Worst Team in the Championship in 2021. If the new manager (Cough, Howe) has any qualifications, his repertoire of being a seasoned championship manager will come to the fore in the first two preseason games when faced with two clearly average players on the sides.
The Celtic then return to Paradise to face Preston North End, where they meet a known enemy. The only wonderful Scotty Sinclair still working in Lancashire after moving from Paradise in January 2020. This could be the first game Celtic fans have held since March 7, 2020, when Celtic beat St. Mirren 4-0 in front of 58,000 fans. It won’t be anywhere near that capacity; but it is a start.
And finally, a week after the Preston game, another well-known opponent comes to town – this time in the undergrowth when David Moyes takes his formidable West Ham United side to paradise on Saturday 24 July. Moyes’ men shouldn’t be underestimated; After finishing 6th in the English Premier League last season, they represent a real challenge for everyone in charge (cough, Howe).
It will be interesting to see how this new Celtic side presents itself in front of an expectant crowd – let’s hope they trump against the sides from bottom to south.