Celtic do not have a great record when it comes to bringing through youngsters from the academy in recent years. As a result, we have seen many of them depart the club and go on to other top European sides. That is something that the Hoops need to find a way to stop happening and start giving more chances to their youth players.
One youngster who has got quite a few opportunities in recent times though is Stephen Welsh. He is very much in the mix of things when it comes to the centre-back position at Parkhead right now and has been since last season.
According to stats from Transfermarkt, Welsh has already made 32 appearances for the Celtic first-team. He is competing with Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt for a spot in the heart of defence right now.
And it is safe to say that it means a lot to Welsh to be playing at this level for a club that he grew up supporting. As reported by Football Scotland, his father said:
“It does make it extra special, watching him.
“You can tell by his reaction when he scored against Hearts how much it meant to him.
“You can imagine it was quite an emotional day for all of us, to paraphrase that Tommy Burns quote, Stephen is a lucky one, a lucky supporter to find himself on the pitch and live the dream.
“He went out and bought two season tickets on his own, to give to the family.
“So other members of the family can get to the games. I thought that was a nice gesture, a touch of generosity.
“I can tell you they’re getting passed around a lot at the moment!”
Welsh has a bright future ahead of him at Celtic
One could argue that Welsh is not quite ready to be a regular starter for Celtic at this point of time. And that might be the case right now, with Carter-Vickers and Starfelt appearing to be ahead of him in the pecking order.
But, one has to remember that he is still just 21 years of age and has already played some decent amount of football for Celtic. Once he gets some more experience under his belt, there is no reason why Welsh could not be a regular starter for the Hoops.
It is just brilliant to see a Celtic supporter getting to represent the club and doing well in the first-team. Hopefully, he will continue to improve and develop, and be an integral part of this team for years to come.