Thursday 17 January 2019

St Pat's teen Darragh Markey (18) scores on Celtic trial

Darragh Markey in action for St Patrick's Athletic
Darragh Markey in action for St Patrick's Athletic

Joe McHugh

Darragh Markey was on the scoresheet as Celtic's youth side defeated St Johnstone 5-3 this afternoon.

The 18-year-old trialist from St Pat's wasted no time in making an impression as he slotted home the opening goal of the match in the tenth minute. Full-back Shaun Bowers made a powerful run down the right with Markey perfectly timing his run into the penalty box to slot home from eight yards out.

Markey had been spotted by Celtic's Dublin scouting network and flew over on Saturday to allow the club's Academy staff a better opportunity to assess his ability.

In recent times Darren O'Dea, Cillian Sheridan, Richie Towell and others have followed the same route, putting their talent on show at the Barrowfield Training Complex in the shadow of Celtic Park.

With Partnership Programmes involving 19 clubs across Ireland Chris McCart and his Academy staff are working closely at the grass roots of the game in the hope of unearthing players ahead of English competitors.

Despite the snowstorm that the match kicked off in Markey quickly made his presence known with a willingness to get on the ball and push forward, relishing his role in the centre of three attacking midfielders.

St Johnstone equalised in the 19th minute but Celtic skipper Lewis Bell put the hoops back in front as Markey came to the fore, adjusting to the demands of the match and tuning in with a new set of team-mates.

After the break the goals flew in at both ends with Markey lasting the pace well despite playing in his first match for more than a month.

Playing in the 'Celtic Way' and showing a willingness to get on the ball and push forward the former Cherry Orchard kid will be hoping that his appearance as a trialist is the stepping stone to move across the water.

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