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PersonalFullname: Lee Naylor
aka: the weasel (fan's nickname for him)
Born: 19 March 1980
Signed: 25 Aug 2006
Left: 1 June 2010 (Free)
Position: Defender, Left-back
Debut: Celtic 2-1 Hibernain, League, 26 Aug 2006
Internationals: England (no caps)
Squad no.: 3
BiogWalsall-born full-back Lee Naylor was signed by Celtic for £600,000 from Wolverhampton Wanderers on August 24th 2006.
The deal which brought the 27-year-old to Glasgow also saw fellow left-back Charlie Mulgrew, 20, move from Glasgow to Molineux. It was however a transfer which was not met with universal approval from the Bhoys support.
Naylor had spent all his career at Wolves and following soon after the dismal failure of Mo Camera, a free transfer from Burnley, the Celtic support were not pleased at the club looking once more towards the English Championship in their bid to solve the problematic left-back position.
For his part Naylor was delighted to have secured a move to Parkhead and his enthusiasm and obvious joy at joining Celtic was evident in his early interviews as well as his performances on the pitch. Indeed within weeks of arriving Naylor had won over most of the Celtic support with his energetic and tenacious play.
An over-lapping full back Naylor was an asset in attack and defence. Eager to get forward and get a cross into the box, Naylor also ensured he didn’t neglect his primary role and worked hard in curtailing opposition attacks. Although his performances dipped by the end of that season he had done enough to be nominated as a candidate for the SPFA Player of the Year Award 2006/07.
Cracks had however began to appear in his play and as the new season began Naylor appeared to be a different player from the one that impressed during his first six months at the club. His distribution was dire and good opportunities were squandered by over-hit crosses and misplaced passes. Defensively he was often caught out of position and looked uncomfortable when players ran at him with the ball
Less than a year after giving hope that Celtic’s search for a quality left-back could be over it appeared that Naylor, like many before him, was not the answer. He did however retain a regular starting spot - scoring his first goal in a vital win over Hibs (the cracker of a goal he scored v Hibs was to everyone's surprise but more than deserving of all the plaudits that came his way after it) - as Celtic dramatically battled back to claim the 2007/08 championship and their third title in a row.
Season 2008/09 saw Celtic surrender their grip on the league title and once more Naylor's performances were frequently criticised by the support. A seemingly likeable character off the pitch, Naylor, despite his obvious failings, never gave anything less than his all in the Hoops but the fact remained that the left-back slot remained a significant weakness within the Celtic team.
The arrival in July 2009 of the highly rated Danny Fox from Coventry - ironically another Championship team - appeared to spell the end of Naylor's days as the first choice left-back at Parkhead. He made a number of cameo appearances filling in for Fox when the ex-Sky Blues man was injured.
When Fox surprisingly exited Parkhead in the January transfer window Bhoys boss Tony Mowbrary underlined his reluctance to use Naylor by bringing in Dutch internationalist Edson Braafheid on loan from Bayern Munich. The Dutchman disappointed however, and following the departure of Mowbrary the interim Celtic manager Neil Lennon recalled Naylor to the starting line-up.
To Naylor's credit he came good and to the surprise of most, he played a strong part and put the Dutch internationalist in the shade! Admittedly no stunning performances, but he managed to hit the jackpot and grab a goal against Rangers in the final league derby match in May 2010. Something that he will prize. It was a deflection from his free-kick, but it was still one more goal than Danny Fox scored this season from free-kicks (and he was meant to be a free-kick specialist). He'd caught the eye of sections of the support and most were happy for him.
However, with a new manager to come, the squad had to be refreshed and Lee Naylor had been in and out for the last couple of seasons. He was released on a free in June 2010, and despite the criticisms from sections of the support he will be fondly remembered for his time and effort. Hell, he got himself a goal v Rangers and for that invaluable moment we'll remember him kindly. At least he was leaving after a fine final run. We wish him all the best.
|Club||From||To||Fee||League||Scottish/FA Cup||League cup||Other|
|Celtic||25/08/2006||01/08/2010||£600,000||95 (5)||3||12 (0)||0||5 (0)||0||22 (3)||0|
|Celtic||UEFA Europa League||1||2||0||0||1||0||1||3||1||0|
|Celtic||Scottish Premier League||11||1||1||2||9||6||7||11||1||0|
|2009/10 Season Totals||14||3||1||2||10||6||8||14||2||0|
|Celtic||Scottish Premier League||19||4||1||1||5||3||18||21||2||0|
|Celtic||Scottish CIS Insurance Cup||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2008/09 Season Totals||23||4||1||1||5||3||18||21||2||0|
|Celtic||UEFA Champions League||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Celtic||Scottish Premier League||33||0||1||1||12||4||41||32||4||0|
|2007/08 Season Totals||36||0||1||1||12||4||41||32||5||0|
|Celtic||Scottish CIS Insurance Cup||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Celtic||Scottish Premier League||32||0||0||3||7||2||29||30||7||0|
|2006/07 Season Totals||38||0||0||3||7||2||29||30||7||0|
FC: Fouls Committed, FS: Fouls Suffered, SV: Saves, OF: Offsides, W: Wins, D: Draws, L: Losses
Honours with CelticScottish Premier League
|MOTM Winners 2006-07|
|16-Sep-06||Celtic 1 v 0 Dunfermline||SPL|
|01-Nov-06||Benfica 3 v 0 Celtic||Champions League|
|21-Nov-06||Celtic 1 v 0 Man Utd||Champions League|
|Nov-06||Nov-06 Player of the Month|
|MOTM Winners 2008-09|
|11-Apr-09||Hearts 1-1 Celtic||SPL|
|MOTM Winners 2009-10|
|22-Oct-09||Celtic 0-1 Hamburg||Europa League|
|04-May-10||Celtic 2-1 Rangers||SPL|
|May-10||Joint Player of the Month for May '10|
Latest page update: made by joebloggscity
, Dec 3 2010, 8:05 AM EST
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