MCKINNON WARMS TO CELTIC TEST
SELKIRK are preparing for their biggest game in years as SPL champions Celtic visit Yarrow Park tomorrow (2.30pm).
The Glasgow giants’ side will be made up of talented youngsters from their double-winning under-19 squad of last season, and led by former centre back John Kennedy.
Among those listed to make the trip south are Italian goalkeeper Leonardo Fasan, Birmingham City recruit Glenn Daniels and promising Scotland under-19 right back Michael Miller.
A four-figure crowd is hoped for to boost Selkirk’s coffers, while manager Mike McKinnon will look to continue his team’s impressive pre-season form.
The Souters’ latest match was a spirited 1-1 draw against Hibs under-20s, which had McKinnon beaming like an Olympic gold medallist.
Ahead of last night’s East of Scotland Qualifying Cup tie at Berwick Rangers Reserves, McKinnon told The Wee Paper: “Celtic will be another step-up. They won their league last season as well as the Scottish Youth Cup final with an 8-0 win.
“They will probably be sharper and quicker, but we will give it a go.”
As expected, Selkirk were on the back foot for most of Tuesday’s friendly against the Easter Road outfit, watched by former Rangers goalkeeper Andy Goram who warmed up John Dodds and Bruce Connelly, but did not play due to a hand injury.
Midfielder Sam Stanton – who earlier in the day celebrated his first Scotland under-19 call-up – had the best chance of the first half for the Hibees with a mazy run and shot on 24 minutes, only to be denied by Dodds.
Dean Horribine then forced a great save from Dodds on the stroke of half-time. Hibs did take the lead when Danny Handling opened the scoring on 52 minutes with a neat finish.
However, Selkirk came back and a lovely move on 64 minutes ended with a blistering volley by Michael Holness being saved by substitute goalkeeper Paul Grant, only for Jason Inglis to tap in the rebound.
Hibs pushed for a winner, but the Borderers proved their hectic pre-season schedule had been worth it by staying with their full-time opponents until the final whistle.
The visitors’ best chance came four minutes from the end, but Selkirk’s own sub stopper Bruce Connelly made a fine save to deny Scott Smith.
McKinnon, who is hoping to add a left-sided player to his squad this week, added: “We did well against a really good Hibs side. They were quick and moved the ball well, but I thought the guys more than matched them. The fitness levels of our players was tremendous. I’m really proud of the boys.”
Selkirk still hope ex-striker Des Sutherland will return to Yarrow Park, despite the 26-year-old being linked with a move to Irish Premier League leaders Sligo Rovers.
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Weather for Selkirk
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 5 C to 9 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: North west