WATCH: Celtic captain Callum McGregor welcomes Don Bosco's into the 'wider Celtic family'

DON BOSCO'S Football Club has been officially welcomed 'into the wider Celtic family' by Hoops skipper Callum McGregor after the Derry junior outfit extended its partnership with the Scottish Premier League giants until 2025.

The Celtic hero sent a short video message to the players and coaches of Bosco's who have forged an exciting relationship with the Glasgow club as part of the prestigious Celtic International Club Partnership Programme.

The partnership which involves the sharing of club methodologies and coach education, was first established in 2017 and has gone from strength to strength with players and coaches availing of the opportunity to visit Celtic Park, take stadium tours and attend training camps at Celtic's Barrowfield facility and the world class first team training ground at Lennoxtown.

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To mark the extension of the exciting venture, Celtic skipper McGregor sent a short video message to the club stating he was 'looking forward to helping develop your club over the next few years'.

The Scottish international added: "I want to welcome everyone from Don Bosco's Football Club to the wider Celtic family."

Celtic's International Academy Manager Jose Romero said the SPL champions, who have in excess of 30 such partnerships with clubs across the globe, said Don Bosco's were a 'like-minded' club and he's excited about the continued 'collaboration' which has proven mutually beneficial.

"For us, Ireland as a whole presents a different opportunity to any other partnership that we have all over the world. It is the spiritual home of the club of course so we are very careful of who we partner with in Ireland and making sure that it’s people who are serious about the club. At the same time we need to make sure we are responsible for those young players and hopefully Celtic fans of the future.

"From a development point of view, the main thing we do for the players of Don Boscos is that we offer a genuine standard of coaching and genuine way of working, the way we do with the Academy players in Glasgow. We’re very careful in terms of the coaches who go over from Celtic Football Club and making sure that the guys are well experienced and have a good idea of the philosophy and values of the Academy and club.

Celtic's International Soccer Academy manager Jose Romero pictured with Don Bosco's chairman Martin Crumley after the local club extended its partnership with the SPL giants.

"The best thing we can do for the players is give them a genuine like-for-like experience of what our players get here in Glasgow."

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Don Bosco's chairman Martin Crumley was delighted with the extension of the contract.

"Coming in as Chairperson, we had plans, but this partnership for me is way above everything else. Working with Jose who can guide us and develop our club, and that association and the experience that the kids can have, both here in Derry and when they go over to Glasgow; be it Barrowfields or Lennoxtown or a match-day experience is amazing.

"Some of the comments coming from the kids on the trip, one phoned home and said ‘This is my best day ever’. Stuff like that is class. There are so many Celtic fans here in Derry so that association is just continuing that on and hopefully growing it as well."

Read full story in Friday's Derry Journal . . .

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