WINNING the Glasgow Cup this evening will be the short-term goal for the Head of Celtic’s Academy, Tommy McIntyre, when his under-20 side take on their Rangers counterparts on home turf. But the longer-term goal of getting these players playing regularly at Celtic Park for the first-team will always be his priority.

McIntyre is proud of Celtic’s track record in recent years in blooding their young players at the top level, and that many of them have managed to stay there.

So, while his eyes will firmly be on the prize as the young Celts take on their Glasgow rivals tonight, the bigger picture of providing talent to the first-team manager is always his main focus.

“Celtic traditionally are renowned for winning trophies, but the be all and end all for me is to develop young players and get them into the first team.” McIntyre said.

Evening Times:

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“At the top end, yes, it’s result-driven, and while it is nice to win, for me the biggest prize is to see these players develop and get them as close as they can to the first team.”

“If you look at the number of players we’ve got who have come through the system and played in the first team, then it is remarkable.

“Long may that continue, but you do get phases where it is rich. But even if you get one player, it’s been worth it.

“We’ve been fortunate that we’ve had a few over the years and it is good for the young players coming up to see there is a clear pathway into the first team.

“That’s important, because if they can see that it gives them that clarity that if they work hard and get a little bit of luck, there are openings for them.

“It’s a fabulous incentive for the boys to play the game there because it’s a fantastic stadium.”