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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 October 2007, 21:28 GMT 22:28 UK
Quinn hails new training complex
Celtic chairman Brian Quinn (second right) with captain Stephen McManus (left), manager Gordon Strachan and chief executive Peter Lawell
Quinn helps to officially open Celtic's new training complex
Brian Quinn says Celtic's new training facility in Lennoxtown is a reflection of the Scottish Champions' standing as one of the top outfits in Europe.

The departing chairman was at the unveiling of the training camp in the north of Glasgow which replaces the much-maligned Barrowfield.

Quinn said: "When people come and see the facilities they'll see what I think we are which is a major European club.

"It strengthens the perception that here is a top class club."

Quinn, who will step down as chairman at the club's annual meeting on 19 November, with former Labour minister John Reid taking the reins, paid special tribute to the legacy of his predecessor, Fergus McCann.

When people come and see the facilities they'll see what I think we are which is a major European club

Celtic chairman Brian Quinn

"The club was in a bad way in 1993/94 and it took a man of vision, Fergus McCann, to see a way through that," said Quinn.

"And I think he had the sequence right - he did the right things in the right order.

"First, build the stadium, which gave the fans a great sense of involvement and ownership and recreated the spirit among the Celtic supporters.

"Then, rebuild the team - and in the last 5,6,7 years you've seen the results on the field."

"And now we've supported that with the training facility. So it's come together rather pleasingly."

Quinn expressed his pride at continuing McCann's legacy and expects the new training ground to be an enduring symbol for Celtic's future.

"This is a living, working symbol, " he said. "We've placed a lot of emphasis on practicality here.

"We're less interested in it being lavish than we are in it being useful and practical.

"We expect to see the use made of it to make Celtic a better club and I'm very pleased about that."

Club captain Stephen McManus, who came through the youth development system at Celtic, admits he will miss Barrowfield which is situated less than half a mile from Celtic Park.

Personally, it means that I can now wholly concentrate on just football.

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan

"It is a place that I trained at for 10 or 11 years so it will always stick in the memory," he said.

"But for a club this size to have a facility like this is well overdue and we are going to really enjoy it and work hard."

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan is looking forward to being allowed to focus solely on footballing matters at the club's new premises.

"Personally, it means that I can now wholly concentrate on just football," he said.

"I loved training at Barrowfield, the surface was good but when I was there I got involved in business and football.

"I can switch my phone off here and just deal with football and so can the players.

"We are proud of this, it is fantastic."


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