Friday games are here to stay

CELTIC are back on Friday night football duty tomorrow when they play Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

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Jock Stein watched the reserves on Fridays
Jock Stein watched the reserves on Fridays

Scheduling games for this time is a real inconvenience to many fans, especially those who travel significant distances from up north, England and across the Irish Sea.

But, as long as the broadcasters call the shots, there is nothing anyone can do about it.

It might even suit some fans better to have the game at this time. And there will be those who prefer Friday night games to lunchtime kick-offs on a Saturday or Sunday.

It's all changed since the days when I was playing. Then it was either 3pm on a Saturday, or 7.30pm on a Wednesday. Everyone knew where they were, and could plan accordingly.

Friday nights were actually used for reserve team games. And, as a young player trying to break through, I really enjoyed those occasions.

You knew Jock Stein would be there, along with big crowds at Celtic Park, and the fans were keen to see if they could spot rising stars.

When the Quality Street Gang was coming through, we were paid quite a bit of attention and it helped prepare us for playing in the first team.

Now television has introduced Friday night games, some attendances have seen an increase and that is good news all round.

The police authorities were reluctant to allow Celtic to play at this time but have now given their approval.

Celtic's first Friday game was marred by the behaviour of some fans at Fir Park.

But I believe that was due to issues with the Green Brigade and the club at that time, and I don't anticipate any problems tomorrow.


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