Over pre-season, the young academy prospects have been given a chance to shine against some top, Champions League opposition. One of those, who has looked particularly solid, in each of the games is central defender, Stephen Welsh.

Last season, saw Welsh go out on loan in the first half of the season to Championship side, Greenock Morton. Before coming back in January and making his first-team competitive debut, against Hamilton Accies, in which he impressed.

In an interview with the Celtic View, the 20-year old spoke on the expectations of being a Celtic player and how good an experience it was facing such opposition this summer.

“This was the third pre-season I’ve been on with the first-team and the biggest difference this year has been the level of opposition we’ve played. Usually we’ll play a few local, lower level teams in Austria but this summer we were facing Champions League sides like Lyon and PSG.

That’s what we need going into this season. They were preparing for Champions League games and cup games so they were around the same stage of pre-season as us. I felt we did okay in the games, especially younger boys like myself. I thought everyone handled it really well.

It’s about working hard every day. The expectation at the club is absolutely massive. I’ve been here since I was eight-years-old so I’m aware of the standards and the targets which is three points in every game. That’s what it’s all about at a top club like Celtic.”

After signing a new deal, a few weeks ago it is clear to see that Welsh is doing something right to impress the coaching staff at the club.

It is good to see why have a young talent, coming through the academy, who plays in such a crucial defensive position. Some may argue we haven’t seen talent in this position for a number of years.

The defender still has work to do, to be fully first team ready, but he is certainly going about it in the right manner.