When you take a look at Celtic’s team, you will notice that many of the players are under 25.  We are a young team, full of young players.  One of Celtic’s most impressive attributes in a season where we won the league by a country mile is the consistent form shown by our younger players.  Traditionally it’s hard to break young talent successfully and to grow them into consistent performers is even more difficult.  Celtic have been one of the more successful teams in recent years to break young talent and it’s one of the great things about us.  In a season full of consistent performers, one quiet young man stood out for me. 

Adam Matthews.  

I’ll put it simply.  Adam Matthews is the best right back at Celtic Football Club.  Not only that, he’s the best right back in Scotland.


Adam Matthews arrived at Celtic on the 1st of July 2011 with very little fanfare.  A product of the Cardiff Youth Academy, Matthews is a young man who has grown into the role of a Celtic right back, which is no mean feat considering some of the world class talents that have played in that position in the past.  

The presence of ex-Cardiff teammate “Smokin’” Joe Ledley possibly made the transition from Wales to Scotland easier than it could have been for a young lad.  Matthews breezed into Parkhead, took Andreas Hinkel’s No2 shirt and made a solid debut in the 1-0 win over Aberdeen on the 7th of August before anybody even knew what had happened.  He went on to make his European debut in Celtic’s 2-0 defeat by Athletico Madrid and subsequently went on to make 27 appearances for the first team in season 2011-12.

Adam grew in stature as the season wore on.  Consistent performances saw him outmuscle  “the Smiling Assassin” Cha Du Ri and Mark Wilson to claim the right back berth, calling the position his own.  


Apart from being dead handsome, Adam’s greatest virtue is that he can actually defend.   His ability to dispossess opponents and cut out crosses before they happen is invaluable, and in this writers opinion, is something Celtic have missed for a while.  It adds confidence to the centre-halves and goalkeeper to have a full-back capable of defending properly.  Undoubtedly Adam Matthews has contributed to the best home defensive record in 90 years.  For a defence that were being called “The Sieve” by certain media lickspittles last season, that is some turn around.

Adam’s game intelligence and positional awareness has shown a footballing prowess beyond his years.  Matthews can not only defend but is a constant and powerful attacking threat, his raking runs down the right flank and quality crosses into the area are a joy to behold.


If adaptability is one of Adam’s major strengths, ironically, it may be one of his biggest weaknesses.  He has looked less than impressive when pushed to the left back berth.  You can’t fault his heart, he works just as hard in either position, but it’s clearly not his best position.  With Izaguirre injured, the left back spot was a weakness in the Celtic side this season.  With Matthew’s adaptability it was easy for Lenny to shift him out to the left and put either the capable Mark Wilson or The Cha in at right back.

The Future

So what does the future hold for our wee Welshman?

This season saw Matthews grow into one of Celtic’s best performers.  He was subsequently awarded for his efforts by not only appearing in the Celtic FC catalogue, but also by having a sustained run in the team.  To cap it all off, Matthews was named in the SPFA SPL Team of the Year.

If he stays with us for a large chunk of his career Celtic can be guaranteed a quality world class right back.  If he decides to move on you can bet it’ll be for a rather large transfer fee.  Don’t know about you, but I’d rather he hung around for a wee while yet.

And so would my wife apparently!

Right…that only took 15 minutes…where’s that cat?

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