Celtic A gear up for debut season

West Allotment Celtic.  The A team during trials

West Allotment Celtic. The A team during trials

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West Allotment Celtic A have taken their first steps in preparation for their inaugural Northern Alliance season, registering the bulk of their squad ahead of the 2013/14 campaign.

The development side, which will compete in division two alongside Wallsend Boys Club, Longbenton and Cramlington United, is mostly comprised of 16 to 20-year-olds, with many exciting prospects drafted in from Whitley Bay Boys Club’s youth teams.

The reserve side is expected to augment West Allotment Celtic’s first team in the coming years – something manager Henry Brandon is relishing. “As a development squad, the aim is to give younger lads a chance to play senior football at a club with a really good setup that feeds into the first team, the sports coaching student explained: “It would be great to see two or three break through and get some chances this season.”

Such progress already looks likely, as 18-year-old forward Ryan Anderson has been snapped up by first team manager Paul Stoneman, having impressed during A team trials.

“He’ll probably be with us a fair bit this season and get a few outings with the first team, and I’d like to think he’d be playing first team football at Allotment next season,” admitted Brandon. “It shows straight away from day one that we have in place a route into the senior setup, which is what it’s all about.”

Whilst bringing through the next generation of West Allotment players is the club’s long-term goal, the reserve manager is also looking to breed success in the near future. “As a team, we want to do well, and the lads want to play as high as they can. We’re looking to get promoted and finish in the top two. It might be an optimistic aim, but I think you’ve always got to go for the best.”

The promising new outfit will be in action for the very first time this Saturday, taking on Forest Hall at Coach Lane Sports Complex.