Perth semi-professional club Shamrock Rovers gained exclusive access to watch Celtic train at the WACA ground earlier this month, after some gentle persuasion by the club’s chairman.
Celtic was in the city to compete against Perth Glory on July 9, a tie they won 2-0 against a side featuring their former midfielder, Liam Miller.
The Rovers’ first team squad, coaches and committee members managed to negotiate access for an entire two-hour training session by the Scottish Premier League outfit, two days before their clash with the Glory.
It was a coup for the Irish club, who have just this year made the step up to the semi-professional ranks in the Football West State League. They are in contention for trophies.
The Rovers’ first team is in second place and the reserves are due to play in the final of the state cup next month, while its under-18s side is top in the league it is competing in.
It was the persistence of Shamrock Rovers club chairman Bill Byrne that secured the opportunity to see Celtic.
“It all came about as a result of a tentative contact I made with the Celtic PR people in Glasgow in early June. After an initial polite response I persisted and following numerous emails, text messages and calls, I was given a contact number for the tour manager and media person, who was by this time in Sydney with the team,” said Mr Byrne.
“After another series of persistent calls and text messages, it was agreed for us to have the exclusive access to their Thursday, July 7, afternoon training session at the WACA ground,” said Mr Byrne.
The Rovers were very impressed with what they saw and were particularly thankful for the hospitality shown to them by the Glasgow club.
“Celtic were very friendly and really gracious hosts to us during the session,” said Mr Byrne.
“Hats off to them for giving us their time and kind words from the manager at the end of the session.
“The guys at Shamrock were really thrilled about it all and it made all the effort I put in very worthwhile,” said Mr Byrne.