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Lennoxtown - Celtic hail academy green light (2006-04-19)
|Lennoxtown | Celtic Park | About Celtic | Barrowfield|
Celtic have been given detailed planning permission for their proposed new training facility and sports academy to the north of Glasgow.
A club spokesman said: "This is a significant step towards the realisation of Lennoxtown as the new training facility. "However, we still have to resolve several issues before we give the final go ahead." The 50-acre site is in the grounds of the former Lennox Castle Hospital. Celtic announced the multi-million pound plan in July and received outline planning permission in December. The Scottish Premier League club, who presently train at Barrowfield in the East End of Glasgow, have this year won the Scottish Premier League, reserve league and youth league titles. And they hope the academy will help strengthen the playing squad further in years to come. Celtic manager Gordon Strachan had admitted this week that luring top-class players to Scotland is a tough proposition. "An agent said to me once that you have to blindfold a player and gag them to get them up here - then put a big wad in their pocket," he said. "So it is definitely not easy." Chief scout Ray Clarke is currently scouring the world for possible signings. "I wouldn't expect too much from Ray because it's a lot of hard work to get who you are after," said Strachan. "Everyone is trying to discover gems. But, even when the likes of Arsenal get kids at 15 and 16, a lot of money is changing hands. "Don't think they just come along for the good of their health." "You won't get the world's top players who are at their peak at the moment because they will go elsewhere. "What you to try and do is nick some younger ones, or men that no-one has yet discovered, like Maciej Zurawski or Shunsuke Nakamura. "Hopefully you can give them the platform they will enjoy." Strachan believes competing in the Champions League could entice top players to Celtic Park. "It is useful," he admitted. "Most players, if they one day want to play in the Spanish or Italian league, have to do well in the Champions League. "So they have to get themselves on the platform of the competition to achieve that and we are giving them the chance to perform on that platform."
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