As a Celtic FC International Partner YMS Premier 2001's player Nkosi Graham will spend the week experiencing life as a European youth professional at the Celtic FC Academy in Glasgow, Scotland.
Day 1 - Sat Feb 18
We arrived into Glasgow airport at 8:30am after an overnight flight from Newark, NJ. After a short rest at the hotel we went to Celtic Park to finally see the Celtic team in action. Here are some pictures from the game.
The game was exciting and I learned a few bits and pieces on what the players do and the tactics that they use. The fan section called the Green Brigade were awesome and cheered for the duration of the match.. It was great to see the passion they had for the team.
Day 2 - Sun Feb 19
I had a long rest this morning and then met with Celtic FC coach Barry Rodgers to discuss the schedule for the week. I will be training twice every day and attending school at Saint Ninians high school. I got my training kit and then we went into Glasgow to look at some shops. We saw a lot of street performers playing bag pipes and Scottish music.
Day 3 - Mon Feb 20th
Woke up at 5:15am this morning to get ready for school. Saint Ninians is about 40 mins from the center of Glasgow. I shadowed a Celtic Academy player called Chris McQueen. I met all the Academy players and coaches before school. I got to attend classes and leanred about the work ethic needed to be an Academy player. The school was very different than Holy Ghost Prep. After school we went to Lennoxtown to train and see where the Celtic First team train. The facility was amazing and we had a great intense technical session. We got back to the hotel at 7:30pm and then went to Nando's for a chicken wrap and mango juice. Watched the FA Cup game then bed. Early rise again tomorrow.
Day 4 - Tues Feb 21st
We trained indoor this evening as the Resevrve team were playing against Dundee and Celtics newest signing Eboue from the Ivory Coast was playing. I am with Christian form Oklahoma and Rupert from Canada. Karamoko Dembele trained with us. We also did a flexibility session in the morning and a strength session in the evening.
Day 5 - Wed Feb 22
Today we visited Celtic Park stadium. We did a tour and got to see the trophy room, locker room and walk out the tunnel to the pitch. It was really interesting to hear about the history of the club. Then we met the head of the Celtic Academy. Training was at St. Ninians school in the evening.
Day 5 - Thu Feb 23 - Snowing
Woke up this morning and it was snowing. The Celtic first team was even given the day off! We trained in the gym at school and played Futsal. At Lennoxtown in the evening the turf was still covered in snow as so we trained indoors again and then did a strength session in the weight room.
Day 6 - Fri Feb 24 - Last day of training
Last day of school and last day of training. This was a great experience and I made a lot of new friends.
Day 7 - Sat Feb 25 - Game Day
Went shopping in the morning in Glasgow. Then we met with the Celtic coaches at the hotel and went to the game. At half time we were paraded onto the pitch and we also met Quentin Aaron from the movie Blindside who was visiting Celtic whilst shooting a new movie in Scotland.