Offside with Celtic visit

February 15, 2017

Shepparton has missed out on the opportunity to host Scottish Premier League powerhouse Celtic.

Shepparton has missed out on the opportunity to host Scottish Premier League powerhouse Celtic.

The 47-time Scottish league champion and former European Cup winning team was expected to be in Shepparton from April 3 to 8, but the visit has been cancelled.

The Celtic Football Academy in conjunction with The Reagan Milstein Foundation were set to host a number of clinics across the six-day event.

Foundation chief executive Kevin Milstein understood the event was just too much for the Goulburn Valley soccer community, so scrapped Celtic’s planned visit.

‘‘From what I understand, it is just too big for the Shepparton football community to handle at the moment,’’ Milstein said.

‘‘The whole idea around these academies is to work with the community. It is disappointing, sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.’’

In partnership with the foundation, the academy would have hosted clinics at McEwen Reserve for boys and girls aged from seven to 18.

‘‘The world famous Celtic Football Academy possesses some of the best coaches in the world, so it is really disappointing that local players and coaches will miss out on the opportunity of being exposed to high-quality training,’’ Milstein said.

Goulburn Valley Suns vice-president Paul Uniacke said the event was promoted, but the interest was not there from players, coaches and parents.

‘‘We tried to help support the event, but if players and coaches do not register and pay for the event online, we can’t help that,’’ Uniacke said.

‘‘It is an expensive event and the demand was not there from the participants, so I assume that’s why they aren’t coming.’’

Shepparton Junior Soccer Association’s Peter Hill also believed the academy was not too big to handle, but the financial costs may have scared people away.

‘‘It is not something that the SJSA really likes to promote, it is a money-making thing,’’ Hill said.

‘‘Parents would have had to pay $295 for a clinic and from what I gathered, they did not have the interest.’’

The decision not to come has also denied the potential chance for one player from the Goulburn Valley (depending on skill level) to attend the Celtic player academy in Glasgow for a one-week trial.

If good enough, the foundation would have sponsored expenses up to the value of $3500.

The Celtic coaches will not visit Shepparton, but the foundation will still run the all-abilities clinic at McEwen Reserve on Saturday, April 8.

More in Sport
Login Sign Up

Dummy text