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Following the tragic news of Liam Miller’s passing February 9th 2018, we at TalkCeltic felt it was appropriate to commemorate the life of a footballer who showed so much promise at Celtic Park.
The Start of the Journey

Liam Miller was born in Cork on February 13th 1981 to Bridie and Billy; a Scot who grew up in Motherwell supporting Celtic. Therefore, it was only natural that Liam would take after his father in supporting the Bhoys throughout his childhood. However, his admiration for the enigmatic Eric Cantona drew him to the red half of Manchester as well:

“Eric Cantona was my idol. Two of my older brothers were Alan Shearer fans, the other was a Robbie Fowler fan. But it was Cantona who caught my eye. I just loved everything about him.”

Growing up in Ovens, Ballincollig AFC were his local football club and at the age of 13 he would join them. Miller would go on to win the league in his first season with the under 14’s, picking up the Cork Schoolboys League player of the year. Three years later, Ballincollig reached the AUL Youths Second Division Cup final, where a 16-year old Liam Miller would play one of his final matches for his local team. Despite losing in the cup final, 1997 would prove to be a pivotal year for Miller, for all the right reasons.
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The Ballincollig team who lost out to Macroom in the AUL Youths Second Division Cup final in 1997. Miller can be seen in the back row, fourth from the left.

Realising the Dream

After taking part in a FAS/FAI course run by former Celtic and Cork City player Mike Conroy, Miller was signed by his boyhood heroes, Celtic Football Club, in October 1997. Still only 16 years old, he went straight into the academy set-up where he was coached by Willie McStay and...
Celtic v Zenit
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE ROUND OF 32

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Venue: Celtic Park
Date: 15/2/18
Kick off: 20:05
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN)


European football returns to Paradise as Celtic host Russian side Zenit on Thursday. The blues of St. Petersburg face the Bhoys for the first time in UEFA competition, and they will prove a formidable test for the Glaswegians having qualified in emphatic style from their group.

Scoring more goals and amassing more points than any other side in the group stages, Roberto Mancini's team come to Scotland to play their first competitive game since the first week of December, as the Russian winter break runs until March.

That could be seen as a key advantage for Celtic, who have played 6 matches since their own hibernation period (W5, L1). Zenit fell at the first knockout hurdle last season, having struggled to get to full speed with the lack of proper games.

Celtic also hold a decent record against Russian opposition, having won half of their matches of the 6 played (W3 D2 L1). Their record in Glasgow is less impressive (W1 D1 L1), although they did win the most recent encounter, 2-1 against Spartak Moskva in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League group stage.

Zenit's solitary experience of Scottish opposition came on arguably the greatest night in the St Petersburg club's history – when they defeated Celtic's former arch-rivals Rangers 2-0 in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup final in Manchester.

The manager, Roberto Mancini, also achieved arguably his greatest feat in Manchester, when his City side won the Premier League title in memorable fashion on the final day against QPR in 2012. Celtic's Kolo Toure was part of the Italian's squad at the time, and there's more familiar faces in...
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Labrokes Premiership
Tuesday 30th January, 2018
Round 25
Celtic Park

3-1
Edouard (3'), Boyata (25'), Dembele (36')- Lafferty (67')

AFTER suffering defeat for the first time in 69 games against Hearts back in December, Celtic dished out a comfortable beating to their capital city rivals this evening. Moussa Dembele returned to goalscoring form with strike partner Odsonne Edouard and marauding centre back Boyata also adding to the Champions' goal tally during a 1st half which saw the Hoops produce some of their best football so far this campaign.

The Celtic players emerged from the tunnel tonight with revenge clearly on their mind(s) and from the very outset played at a ferocious tempo, which the Hearts XI could not cope with early doors. Levein's outfit did try to once again get in the faces of the home side, but on the vast open space of Celtic Park, toiled to get anywhere near the sort of performance they had produced on their own turf last month.

The first goal was not long in coming, and it was the old fashioned double strike partnership that produced it as a result of some neat link up. Moussa Dembele - still trying to shake off what seems like constant transfer speculation - held the ball up well for Edouard to then pounce onto, and after doing so, the number 22 surged away from the chasing Hearts defenders, before coolly and clinically smashing the ball high into the net with his left foot. A perfect start, on an evening when a marker simply had to be laid down early on by Celtic against a Hearts side who have not been conceding goals on a regular basis as of late.

The quick start was followed by prolonged and penetrating periods of possession by the home side, with Hearts struggling to trap the ball...

Welcome to Celtic, Charly Musonda

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Celtic have tonight officially announced the much anticipated arrival of Belgian attacking midfielder Charly Musonda on an 18-month loan deal from Chelsea.

The 21 year old had been linked with the club for some time ever since Brendan Rodgers' arrival, with the gaffer finally managing to get his man, in what can only be considered a major coup, with around 24 other clubs also interested in the highly rated attacker.

Musonda has wasted no time in winning over the Celtic fans, with the youngster choosing to sport the number 67 for his new club, a number which is of course iconic to every Hoops fan across the globe. He certainly seems delighted to be in the East End of Glasgow, and with the side looking slightly bereft of creativity in recent weeks, it is a signing which has been unanimously welcomed.

So, what kind of player are we getting? Well, going purely by youtube and comments from both Chelsea fans and English football experts, he seems to be a direct, pacey and skillful attacker, who can play anywhere in behind the central striker. He started out at Anderlecht before moving to the London side at a young age, where he has honed his skills in the highly respected - and burgeoning - Stamford Bridge Academy. He also has experience of La Liga, after carrying out a year and a half's spell with Real Betis. His time in Spain gave the youngster valued experience and despite his slightly underwhelming stats on paper, he returned to his parent club a better player, so much so that he was given a new 5-year contract only last year.

After struggling to break into a talent-filled Chelsea side however, he has taken the correct and highly mature decision to seek first team football elsewhere, with the...
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CELTIC FIGHT BACK TO BEAT JAGS IN SPFL RETURN
Hoops win the hard way in game of two halves at Firhill
Celtic extended their lead at the top of the table to 11 points as they beat Partick Thistle in the Glasgow derby after coming from 1-0 behind at half time. The game was cagey from the open, and both teams gave away cheap chances to one another as Dedryk Boyata and Odsonne Edouard scuppered efforts in front of goal for the champions. At the back, Mikael Lustig and Kristoffer Ajer invited Thistle on with sloppy passing in their own half, creating an air of uncertainty in the Hoops' buildup.

Despite plenty of possession, Celtic struggled to create many clear cut chances and their passing movements were lacking the fluidity the away fans are used to from their team. The Parkhead sides' problems worsened when Miles Storey capitalised on a poor touch from Lustig and the Swede pulled his man back in panic, referee John Beaton pointing to the penalty spot on 33 minutes. Connor Sammon tucked the ball away, sending Craig Gordon the wrong way.

Unable to pull the scoreline back, it was Partick who won the first half, and Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers needed to make changes to a team who failed to find any rhythm in the opening 45. Leigh Griffiths was brought on in place of the booked Lustig, and Celtic switched to a 3-5-2 setup as they chased the 3 points.

The game opened up for both sides in the second half, as the away teams increased attacking incentive left space at the back which Alan Archibald urged his players to exploit on the counter attack. It would be Rodgers' men however, who would benefit from the end-to-end play, as Scott Sinclair picked the ball up and ran at Mustapha Dumbuya, the Jags' defender bringing down Celtic's top scorer. The Englishman went on to convert the spot kick with assurance to level the score.

Volume increased in the...