CELTIC head of youth Chris McCart believes that the dream of representing the Hoops first team isn’t over for the youngsters who left the club this summer.

Eoghan O’Connell, Theo Archibald, Fiacre Kelleher and Josh Kerr all sealed moves to English clubs while another five players were released at the end of the 2016/17 campaign.

However, McCart explained that the departing players can look to the likes of Charlie Mulgrew, Callum McGregor and Kieran Tierney as inspiration as they look to carve a path to the Bhoys senior squad later in their careers.

“They have all been very committed and dedicated and they have all played a large part in the success of the young squad,” McCart told celticfc.net

“Some of them have been out on loan for the latter stages of their development, but there comes a point when you have to compare them to first-team players and if they will get an opportunity at Celtic. If they aren’t, then to be fair to them, they need to be given a different pathway.

“Charlie Mulgrew came up through Celtic and he had to go different way, but after four or five years he ended up coming back to Celtic. Sometimes that is the pathway. They can’t all be James Forrest or Kieran Tierney who go straight from the Academy to the first-team.

“Callum McGregor took a different pathway in that he came through the Academy and went on loan to Notts County and then came back. We see the Kieran Tierney and Callum McGregor routes as the two options, but sometimes they have to leave Celtic and grow and develop and then hopefully one day the can come back.

“Not everyone can take the perfect route as James and Kieran and they have to go and test themselves like Callum or go down a more difficult pathway like Charlie Mulgrew, but if they keep progressing, they can get back to the standard of Celtic.

“The standards are so high here with the first-team: they have to be Champions League footballers, play in a winning side every week, play a certain type of football and play under that pressure of taking the ball, producing and entertaining the fans.

“There are many different pathways, but even for those who have left, we want to make sure one day they can come back Celtic and hopefully the grounding they got here will afford them that opportunity.”