Virgili aims to grab Celtic chance with both feet

HONOURED: James Virgili
HONOURED: James Virgili

JAMES Virgili was simply happy for the experience when drafted into the Young Socceroos squad for a tournament in Cyprus last year.

The 17-year-old Jets youth team winger did not make the final cut for the Under-20 World Cup in Egypt but did enough in his one game against England in Cyprus to attract the attention of Scottish giants Celtic.

Virgili and his father and Broadmeadow Magic co-coach, Robert, left last night for Glasgow, where the St Francis Xavier's College year 12 student has been invited to train with the club's under-19 side for a fortnight.

"I just want to make the most of the opportunity," Virgili told The Herald before leaving yesterday.

"I received an invitation in the mail from Chris McCart who is in charge of their youth program.

"I don't know too much other than that I will train with the under 19s and take it from there.

"I'm still eligible for under 19s next season, but if nothing comes of it, it will be a great experience."

The trial caps a whirlwind 18 months for the flyer.

He became the youngest player in A-League history when he made his debut off the bench at 16 years and 180 days in the 3-0 loss to Wellington in round 18 last season.

Since then he has made 12 appearances for the Young Socceroos and is expected to be in the squad which tours Argentina next month.

"If it was a smaller club, I would have probably thought twice about going," he said. "When it was Celtic, I said yes straight away."