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Celtic Away Days – Aberdeen

15 August 2023


It’s was an early start on Sunday morning for our away adventure to Aberdeen. Tickets are always the talking point for these games or should I say lack of tickets. Once again at kick off time there were plenty of empty seats in the home stands. The away end was packed with Celtic fans and some were visiting fans and were mixed in with the home fans and there were some of our fans enjoying match day hospitality in the corporates.

I read somewhere after the game that the ground was packed to capacity but I think not, there were plenty of empty seats behind the goal at each end of the stand which houses the Aberdeen Ultras.

Our journey began after our CSC AGM finished on Saturday. A lot of flights in and out of Dublin are suffering from delays and Saturday night was no different but thankfully we were only an hour late taking off.

The extra time gave us a chance to chat some more about all things Celtic, what’s going on in our lives away from Celtic and to share a few laughs about shenanigans that happened on previous trips.

Heavy rain welcomed us in Glasgow and traffic disruptions were an unwelcome distraction on the way to the hotel.

Pints, Food and Bed before an early rise for Aberdeen. Due to my flight being home on Sunday evening, I opted to go up with a few of the bhoys by car, so I missed the early morning party bus and the after match session.

Our drive up was uneventful, but the sunshine was a nice welcome. As was a stop off in Dundee for breakfast, which energised us for a wee singsong on the way up the road on the rest of the journey. Timing is everything and when we arrived about a half an hour before kick off and we got parked a stones throw from the turnstiles.

As usual at such games outside the stadium Celtic fans chatted as they waited to give or collect tickets. Some fans held money up in the air in the slim hope of getting a late ticket. It was good to catch up with a few familiar faces I have not seen since last season and to get the summer holiday breakdown.

There were a number of security checks before reaching the turnstiles. One to show your ticket followed by a search. Some fans were unhappy to be searched but compared to some grounds when we are away in Europe it was quick and straight forward.

Once inside the turnstile you could hear the Ultra’s drum getting warmed up and the burger van was doing a roaring trade with hungry fans joining long queues to line the stomach.

Up the open staircase and into my seat (standing position for the next few hours). Four Aberdeen fans marched onto the pitch with very large flags to welcome their team onto the pitch. Celtic fans were in full voice to welcome the bhoys before a minutes applause for former Scotland manager, Craig Brown who passed away recently.

The weather was perfect, shorts and t-shirts in the sunshine watching Celtic win away. Beautiful Sunday 3-1 away from home against one of the better teams in SPFL. Barry Robson had his players well up for the game and Celtic had to work hard for all 3 points.

Brendan Rodgers has never lost in Pittodrie and spoke after the game of how tough a place it is to come and only remembers ever getting one comfortable victory there.

The first goal by Liel Abada was a strange one, it hit the back of the net in front of us, we celebrated but they were cut short by the lines man who had flagged for offside. Only for VAR to decide we could celebrate the goal which we did!

Aberdeen thought they were back in the game when they equalised but Kyogo had other ideas and made it 2-1 less than 5 minutes later. He celebrated in front of the fans who at this stage were raising the noise levels helped on by the beat of the drum.

2-1 at half time and no one is complaining. As the pies got scoffed, Brendan Rodgers was making changes in the dressing room for the second half. David Turnbull who had been MOTM against Ross County was replaced by Reo Hatate who acknowledged the fans with a wave before the second half kick off as his name was sung out from the visitors section in the corner of Pittodrie.

Stephen Welsh replaced CCV which is alarming as he is our number 1 defender and brings a certain calmness to defence but Welsh done well. After the game BR said he would be assessed during the week. Lets hope it not too serious.

The second half was competitive once again with plenty of tackles and chances being made at both ends. Although Celtic did have the majority of possesion. More injuries in the second half followed with Hatate picking up a knock and replaced by Tiago Holm.

Matt O’Riley was on hand at the back post to knock in goal number 3 and secure all three points to bring the noise decibels up another notch and send us all down the road happy.

I’m sure the buses were rocking coming back down the road and maybe a stop off or two for refreshments were welcome. But for us it was straight down the road to Glasgow Airport to catch the flight home which surprisingly left on time.

A long day but so worthwhile. Drugs or drink will never give me the high of a Celtic away day when the atmosphere is so good and the people around you are all on the same buzz. Another away day next Sunday to look forward to when it’s the plastic pitch of Kilmarnock as we start the defence of the League Cup.

Andrew Milne is Editor of More than 90 Minutes and host of the Celtic Soul Podcast