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Celtic Pathway Manager highlights prospect’s “brilliant loan spell” after first senior goal

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In becoming Celtic’s first Professional Player Pathway Manager, Darren O’Dea is taking on an important role for the future of the club.

Brendan Rodgers has spoken recently about the need to have better links between the club’s academy and the first-team squad.

Those links have paid off in the past with stars like Callum McGregor, James Forrest and Kieran Tierney all excelling. However, it feels like a long time since Celtic have had a real breakthrough hit from the youth set-up.

Rodgers wants more of a focus on strong development loans to help create that pathway and part of O’Dea’s duties will be overseeing and managing that aspect of things.

Interesting to note then that he has been impressed by one young player out on loan this term – Matthew Anderson.

Matthew Anderson of Celtic is seen in action during the UEFA Youth League match between Celtic FC and RB Leipzig at Excelsior Stadium on October 11...
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Matthew Anderson shines in Austria

Anderson was sent out to Admira Wacker in the Austrian second-tier this season and has made 19 appearances in total, scoring his first-ever senior goal on Friday night against DSV Leoben.

O’Dea said on social media site X in response: “Delighted for Matty. Had a brilliant loan spell. To play week in and week out while adapting to a new country, the experience he has gained will be invaluable.”

Admira play with a back-three in defence so Anderson has been utilised as a wing-back on the flanks, predominately on the left but sometimes on the right.

The Austrians have missed out on promotion this season but still have three matches to go that Anderson will be looking to use to further improve.

Still just 20, the wide-man will be keen to return to Celtic this summer and attempt to impress Rodgers during pre-season before another decision is taken on his future. It may well be he is sent out on another loan if first-team Football is unlikely.

His contract expires in 2025 so there may well be news on a new deal on the horizon too if Celtic see he has the potential. With the backing of iNFLuential figures such as O’Dea, he’s on the right track.

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