Former Celtic maverick Paddy McCourt confirmed this week Celtic have had three of his lads on trial this year and it will likely lead to more when things surrounding the virus get better.
McCourt was hired by hometown club Derry City back in January when he became the club’s technical director. Speaking to the Celtic huddle podcast, hosted by another former Celt in Mark Brown, Paddy revealed three Derry City players trialled with the club this year but stopped short of naming who they were.
“We’ve got plenty of talent coming through the Academy at the minute. We actually had three over at Celtic in February before Lockdown came in.” McCourt told the Celtic Huddle Podcast.
“So, they did reasonably well and they’re probably going to go back once things improve. We are scouring everywhere in the area to find fresh talent.”
Paddy’s Celtic career spanned over five years with 88 appearances to his name.
The former winger is responsible for some incredible solo efforts during his time at the club but just couldn’t get fit enough to be a top-class player.
Next up in Magic Number 20 is Paddy McCourt! Celtic fans, what was your favourite goal from 'The Derry Pele'?
— SPFL (@spfl) September 29, 2016
The Irishman was a skilful throwback to a bygone era of football in many ways, if Paddy had been born earlier, he could have thrived in an environment where fitness took a back seat in many respects.
As for Celtic’s scouting network, they’ve always kept an eye out over in Ireland to see if there’s talent worth bringing over. Niall McGinn and Paddy benefitted from it once upon a time.
It’s hard to bring players in and assess them properly at the moment. Given the club has no control over where these players have been and the risks involved in introducing them to players at the club, it will be a while yet before young hopefuls are back at Lennoxtown.