Daniel Kelly: The Celtic wonderkid who impressed McGregor and Rodgers

Celtic’s 7-1 thrashing of Dundee on Wednesday night was a memorable occasion for many reasons. Not only did the Hoops extend their lead at the top of the Premiership table, but they also witnessed the emergence of a new star in the making. Daniel Kelly, an 18-year-old academy product, scored his first senior goal for the club with a stunning strike in the second half.

Kelly’s journey from the academy to the first team

Kelly joined Celtic at the age of eight and has been a standout performer at various youth levels. He is a versatile midfielder who can play on either wing or behind the striker. He has a knack for scoring goals and creating chances with his pace, skill and vision.

Kelly has been a regular for the Celtic reserves this season, scoring 12 goals and assisting seven more in 18 appearances. He has also featured for the Scotland under-19 team, netting twice in four games. He was rewarded with a new three-year contract in December, which he described as a “dream come true”.

Kelly made his first-team debut in January, coming on as a substitute in a 3-0 win over Ross County. He then made his first start in a 4-0 victory over St Mirren in February, impressing with his energy and enthusiasm. He was named on the bench for the Scottish Cup quarter-final against Rangers, but did not get a chance to play.

Kelly’s sensational goal and praise from McGregor and Rodgers

Kelly got his opportunity to shine on Wednesday, when he replaced captain Callum McGregor at half-time. He wasted no time in making an impact, scoring a superb goal in the 56th minute. He received the ball from James Forrest on the right flank, cut inside and unleashed a powerful left-footed shot that flew past the keeper into the top corner.

McGregor and Rodgers

Kelly celebrated with joy and disbelief, as he was mobbed by his teammates. He later said that he was “buzzing” and that he had “quite a few” of his family and friends in the crowd. He also revealed that he scored with his weaker foot, which made the goal even more special.

Kelly’s goal earned him the admiration of his skipper McGregor, who praised him in a post-match interview. McGregor said that Kelly was “brilliant” and that he had “personality, brilliant quality, great kid, wants to learn, work as hard as they can”. He added that the group “really love him” and that he just needs to keep doing what he is doing.

Kelly also received a glowing endorsement from manager Brendan Rodgers, who said that he was “envious” of him as a Celtic supporter. Rodgers said that Kelly had been “outstanding” since he joined the club and that he had “all the attributes” to succeed. He also said that Kelly’s goal was a result of “all that hard work” and that it was a “great finish” by him.

Kelly’s future prospects and ambitions

Kelly’s goal was not only a personal milestone, but also a historic one. He became the youngest Celtic player to score in the league since James Forrest in 2010, and the youngest to score at Celtic Park since Aiden McGeady in 2005. He also became the first player born in the 21st century to score for the club.

Kelly’s performance has surely boosted his confidence and his chances of getting more opportunities in the first team. He has shown that he can handle the pressure and the expectations of playing for Celtic, and that he has the talent and the attitude to match. He has also demonstrated his versatility and adaptability, playing in different positions and systems.

Kelly’s goal is to establish himself as a regular for Celtic and to win trophies with the club. He also hopes to represent Scotland at the senior level and to follow in the footsteps of his idols, such as Scott Brown, Kieran Tierney and Cristiano Ronaldo. He has a long way to go, but he has already taken a big step towards fulfilling his potential.

By Dayna Bass

Dayna Bass is a talented news writer at our website, delivering compelling and timely stories to our readers. With a passion for journalism and a keen eye for detail, Dayna covers a wide range of topics, ensuring that our audience stays informed about the latest news and developments. Whether it's breaking news, investigative reports, or human interest stories, Dayna's articles are meticulously researched and written with clarity and accuracy.

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