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Last Updated: Monday, 11 February 2008, 16:25 GMT
Chick Young's view
Chick Young
By Chick Young
BBC Scotland football correspondent

Celtic forward Aiden Mcgeady
McGeady has been in dazzling form for Celtic this season

Frankly, there doesn't seem much point in even opening the polling booths. Ballot papers are not required.

Just be done with it and give Aiden McGeady the player of the year awards now, both Scottish Football Writers' Association and that of his fellow professionals. It's shootie-in.

The gifted young Glaswegian, who allowed his football soul to be wooed over the sea to Ireland, has lit up the season with his dancing feet and dipping shoulders, leaving magic dust and shell-shocked defenders in his wake.

Oh, what a loss for Scotland is the one who got away. How could that have happened?

You can't blame the lad. He's entitled to play for the country of his forebears if that's what stirs his heart.

The Irish prised a foot in his door when Celtic stopped him playing for the Scottish schoolboy team and Packy Bonner started to nibble his ear.

It was a piece of opportunism by Dublin, that's what it was. But it was Scotland's loss all right.

McGeady is the fans' kind of player. Big, ugly centre-halves might be vital components of successful teams but they don't affect the box office. You don't make up your mind to take in a game just to see a bloke built like a brick outhouse boot a ball into the stand.

But McGeady and his ilk? Things of beauty they are. They make turnstiles click like machine gun fire and they warm the soul on a cold winter's day.

Four years ago I stood with Martin O'Neill at Celtic's Barrowfield training ground on a spring afternoon and watched the club's youngsters play. McGeady shone like a diamond in a coal face.

It was as if the ball was laced to his boot. They couldn't get it off him, couldn't get near him.

Celtic's Aiden McGeady is challenged by AC Milan's Rino Gattuso
Aiden McGeady has come of age at the highest level

Except he loved it so dearly he couldn't bear to part with it. He should have been in dribblers' anonymous.

Beating three men was never enough - he always needed to take on just one more.

And so the strikers grow weary of making runs and checking out of them only to go again...and again...and again. They are, after all, playing football, not dancing the Grand Old Duke of York.

O'Neill told me that at that stage of McGeady's development it was not a problem, but there would come a time when the player would realise that the pass and the cross were as telling as the mazy run, when the extraction of the Michael of just a couple of players was enough.

And now the Celtic player has reached - and eased into - that stage.

It makes you wonder what he might be worth in the transfer market if Alan Hutton- a defender - and Craig Gordon - a goalkeeper - are price-tagged at 9m.

Celtic are sitting on the kind of goldmine which at one fell swoop could write off the cost of their Lennoxtown training complex.

Multi-million pound deals will never replace the joy of discovering and nurturing your own talent, although McGeady can reflect on the irony of life given that those who were developing with him - players like Ross Wallace and Craig Beattie - never quite took it to the next level at Celtic.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

That's not McGeady's problem. But I doubt if he has many, as spring thinks of poking her head out from under the duvet.

It's his season in the sun, all right, and that showing against Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Sunday was the embodiment of everything in his locker.

The double drag-back - copyright Zinedine Zidane - for the creation of Scott McDonald's second goal was stuff to take the breath away.

But there is more to his game now than flicks and tricks. He is not a performing seal.

But he should retain the skills. He'll have two player of the year awards to juggle with come May.



SEE ALSO
Aberdeen 1-5 Celtic
10 Feb 08 |  Scottish Premier
Aberdeen v Celtic photo gallery
10 Feb 08 |  Scotland
Republic of Ireland 0-1 Brazil
06 Feb 08 |  Internationals
Sportsound Player of the Year
23 Dec 07 |  Scotland
McGeady picks up November prize
09 Dec 07 |  Celtic


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