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4th December 1965 Italy v Scotland Preview #3

Anglos Unscathed in European Ties

Law Lays on Goals for United

 

That was the good news for Jock Stein after a number of his squad for the match against Italy had been involved in the midweek European competitions. The results were;-

Real Madrid 5 1 Kilmarnock
Chelsea 2 0 Wiener SK
Aberdeen 4 1 Slovan Bratislava
Manchester United 3 1 ASK Vorwaerts
West Ham 2 2 Olympiakos

Goalkeeper Out

Spurs keeper Bill Brown failed in his bid to be fit for the Italy match and withdrew from the squad. Burnley’s Adam Blacklaw was drafted in.

 

Tactics and Teamwork

Down at Largs, Jock Stein had a briefing with the sports writers, when he said that his main aim with the reduced squad was to ‘get them into the right fame of mind’ for the match.

“I know what I want from the players in Naples but there is no point in talking about tactics until I have some more players available”.

 

Frustrating for Jock Stein

This must have been a very frustrating time for Jock Stein, what with call-offs, upsets, comings and goings. Seven of his squad are due to play tomorrow and the manager was particularly disappointed that Edddie McCreadie was called back in by Chelsea after his deputy Shellito, had pulled out of the Stamford Bridge team through injury.

After training yesterday, Jock Stain and his men went to the STV studios in Glasgow to see film of the first Scotland-Italy encounter.

 

Game Off

‘Due to a sudden freeze-up the Celtic-Rangers Select X1 v Moscow Dynamo game at Hampden was called off last night ten minutes after the scheduled starting time.

It is hoped that conditions will have improved for the match to go on this evening at Parkhead (kick-off 5) and spectators leaving Hampden last night were issued with tickets.

First indication the 5,000 spectators had that the game was off was when the ballboys ran on to the pitch and pulled up the corner flags.

A few minutes later, to boos and catcalls, a loudspeaker announcement confirmed that the game was in fact postponed due to the icy conditions’.

 

Training….and a Surprise!

It had certainly been icy at training for the part-timers at Celtic Park on the Thursday night, with the result that we did most of our warm up in the foyer and then took part in some shooting practice underneath the west terracing, where there was a wall just perfect for blasting shots at. It did not do the surface of the balls much good but as they were not in the first flush of youth – we described them as ‘totties’, which was probably an under-estimation – we just blasted away.

By this time, the training kit was beginning to let us down. At the start of the season, we had each been provided with a heavy woolen jersey, which went right up to the neck just underneath the chin. Uncomfortable and itchy, we spent the ensuing months pulling at the neck part, trying to get it down to an area where it was not touching and thus not causing an irritation.

Unfortunately, once autumn arrived, really cold blasts of air shot down that exposed area round the neck and all the boys changed their habits, spending any spare time at training trying to pull the jersey up to cover the area round the throat. That meant that more cold air got in at the bottom, so we juggled moving the top and lower half to get the right situation. Ah! the joys of being a pro footballer?

The surprise came at the end of training, when one of the coaches came over to tell me that the club had arranged to play a friendly against St Mirren on Saturday afternoon ( Celtic’s league fixture had been cancelled due to the match against Italy) and that I was to report to Parkhead on that morning. Excellent… the more matches in the first team the merrier!