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Celtic's academy boss gives George his dues after debut

No one was happier to see Paul George make his Celtic debut than Chris McCart.

The 17-year-old from Co Down replaced Gary Hooper in the closing minutes of the 2-0 win over Ross County on Wednesday as Celtic started the recovery process after losing to Rangers.

McCart, the head of Celtic's youth academy, has worked on George's development over the last three years and is excited by the direction his career is taking.

No one has ever doubted his skill but it takes more than natural ability to force your way into Lennon's thinking.

"With the type of player that Paul is, the hardest thing is to bring all his ability together consistently," McCart explained.

"I think that he's demonstrated that over the last six weeks.

"Paul still has a lot of work to do but he's starting to see the rewards for the effort that he puts in.

"They also see the other side of him, how hard he's working and the manager likes that, Neil is pleased with his progress.

"The manager is very keen to move our better players up to train with the first team. That's part of the philosophy of the club and part of the players' development.

"Paul is getting back what he is putting into his training."

George switched international allegiance last season and scored in his first two matches for the U17 side against Denmark and Greece in March.


Celtic have Ireland well scouted, with McCart attending last week's U17 international with Serbia at Wexford.

He added: "I was over with David Moss, the head of our academy scouting, at the U17 match against Serbia last week. We were looking at one or two players and also the general standards.

"The Irish system is excellent, the FAI put in a lot of work at grass roots level and you can see that in the standard of players that are coming through.

"There's fierce competition for players but the Irish market is one that we naturally look to for players."