DESPITE his desire to put out as strong a team as he possibly could, it was little surprise to see Ange Postecoglou put out a mix of regulars and fringe men agaisnt Sydney FC, given the fact that Celtic had only been in Australia for a couple of days.

It was a chance for the Celtic manager to give a few of his regular benchwarmers an opportunity to shine, with the midfield perhaps the least familiar looking part of the team. The three in there consisted of the lesser-spotted Yosuke Ideguchi, Oliver Abildgaard and David Turnbull.

Alexandro Bernabei was in at left-back, with Stephen Welsh in beside Carl Starfelt at centre-back, while some youngsters were given a run-out late on too.

It may be harsh to judge these players on this match, given it kicked off at 8.45am UK time and they were probably downing pasta for breakfast, but here is how they got on as Celtic fell to a 2-1 defeat in their opening match of the Sydney Super Cup.


We all know the quality of Siegrist from his time at Dundee United, and he had to be on his game here as he stood in for Joe Hart.

He produced a great save early on as Celtic were exposed down their left, getting a hand up to divert a high goal-bound effort from Max Burgess past the post.

He couldn’t be blamed at the Sydney goal either, as Celtic’s lax defending left him utterly exposed once more, and he did well to bail out Abildgaard just before the half-time whistle too with another smart stop high to his right.

He had no chance either as Burgess produced a stunning finish to put Sydney in front on the hour against the second-half run of play.


The young defender has only had six starts so far this season, and hasn’t been on the pitch since the win over St Johnstone at the start of October. And regrettably, it showed.

He wasn’t helped by the fact that Celtic were struggling to get any control in the midfield during the first half, but it was concerning how easily he was outpaced by home striker Robert Mak for the Sydney equaliser.

He almost gifted a goal in the second half too as he was dispossessed high up the pitch and was subsequently caught out of position, and to add injury to insult, he had his head split open as he contested a corner in the Sydney area and had to be replaced by Bosun Lawal.


The Dane has struggled to make any sort of impact at Celtic so far, and is stuck in something of a vicious circle. Without regular game-time, he will struggle to get up to full speed, but with his current level of performance he stands next to no chance of consistently getting into this Celtic team.

So, there is a considerable caveat to be added when judging his showing here, but to describe it as underwhelming would be doing the midfielder a favour.

He struggled to get any sort of grip on proceedings, was often wasteful in possession and justifiably looked a fair bit off the pace.

It was no surprise to see him hooked at half-time, and it is difficult to see at the moment how he is going to make much of an impact on this Celtic team.


It is tempting to simply write; see above. Many of the problems Celtic faced in the opening period of the game came from the fact that Ideguchi and his midfield partner were miles off it, and perhaps playing them together did neither player any favours.

Barring a spate of injuries, he is likely to resume his role as back-up when the real stuff gets back underway.


The 21-year-old was given a chance off the bench and impressed during his short time on the pitch.

Straight away, he won a free-kick on the edge of the box, and had the confidence to get up and take it, with a decent effort deflected over by the wall.

He put in a couple of tasty challenges in the middle of the park as well.


It is often said that there are high hopes within the club for the 17-year-old winger, and he was given a run-out through the middle of the Celtic attack here as they chased the game. Had a couple of neat touches but didn’t get enough service to really trouble the Sydney backline.