Football - McGrain: Balde is eager to improve

Celtic first-team coach Danny McGrain revealed Hoops striker Amido Balde's desire to improve is the reason for their one-to-one coaching sessions on match days.

PA Sport
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Amido Balde joined Celtic from Vitoria Guimaraes in the summer

The Guinea-Bissau-born forward, 22, signed from Vitoria Guimaraes on a four-year contract in the summer but has spent most of his time on the bench and during pre-match warm-ups and at the interval he can be seen being put through his paces by McGrain.

Football education was one theme prevalent at Parkhead on Wednesday at the launch of 'The Quality Street Gang', a book on the talented Celtic reserve side of the late 1960s and early 1970s who learned their trade with the help of the Lisbon Lions, the Hoops team who won the European Cup in 1967.

That multi-talented group of youngsters included McGrain, Kenny Dalglish, Lou Macari, David Hay and Paul Wilson, all of whom went on to play for Celtic and others, as well as representing Scotland.

The former right-back, one of the most successful of them all, is happy to now pass on his knowledge.

"Big Amido is only a young man and he wants to be better," said McGrain.

"He is a player who is dying to be taught.

"I give him some exercises with the ball. I enjoy doing it, rather than standing about seeing the other boys working with the sports science people.

"Big Amido enjoys doing it, he enjoys kicking the ball and heading the ball.

"He hasn't had many games but he is getting better.

"He came here with a good record of scoring goals. He scored against Liverpool in pre-season and against Kilmarnock, a good goal from a tight angle.

"That is his job to score goals and if he does that we will all be happy."

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