The headline story over the summer was of course, Brendan Rodgers’ appointment as Celtic manager, and Edinburgh City’s Craig Beattie reckons the Northern Irishman is the right choice.
Beattie played under Rodgers for two years at Swansea City, and he exclusively told Ladbrokes News he could tell Rodgers’ had quality immediately.
“You could see it straight away. He’s perfect for Celtic.”
The 32-year-old is now plying his trade with Ladbrokes SPFL new boys Edinburgh City, but hasn’t forgotten the lasting impression Rodgers’ made on him during their time at the Liberty Stadium.
“I’ve obviously had the pleasure of working with him for a good while so I know how he works,” Beattie told us.
“I know his philosophies on the game and how he likes to play and how he manages his players and his teams,” he added.
Beattie and Rodgers achieved promotion to the Premier League during their time in Wales, and the striker says the ex-Liverpool boss changed and grew himself, in what was his breakthrough role after taking the job aged just 37.
“You could see over the time at Swansea the transition within himself and how he carried himself.
“He changed from being one of the lads and joking before training to sort of moulding into his own character. “
“To be honest it was a pleasure for me to see and to work alongside him. I wish him a lot of success.”
Moreover, Beattie admits that he isn’t the least bit surprised by Rodgers’s strong start to life at Celtic Park, and insists the Northern Irishman and his team are clear favourites to lift the Ladbrokes Premiership title this season.
He added: “Celtic are automatic league favourites, absolutely. They were anyway, but even more so with Brendan coming in.”
Speaking before Celtic’s 5-2 Champions League play-off first-leg win over Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Beattie admits he still holds memories dear of facing Europe’s elite whilst wearing the Hoops himself.
He said: “It’s hard to sit and watch at times, when you’re seeing the big Champions League games. When you think it’s been 10, 12 years since the Barcelona games and AC Milan in the San Siro.
“They’re distant memories for me, but I suppose it’s just evolution. People and teams move on but they’re great memories to me. I would never begrudge anyone having the opportunities I’ve had.”
Celtic already have one foot in Friday’s Champions League group stage draw, and Rodgers’ men are 19/10 to claim victory in the second leg of their play-off clash in Israel.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.