Tommy McIntyre says Celtic are trying to emulate Benfica's youth academy

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Celtic are set to take on Benfica in their first Premier League International Cup match on Thursday.

Tommy McIntyre has told Celtic's official website that Benfica are a club the Bhoys are trying to emulate in terms of youth development.

Celtic are taking on the Portuguese giants in their first match of the Premier League International Cup on Thursday afternoon, and McIntyre has a lot of respect for his side's opponents. 

The Celtic youth coach says that Benfica are a side who have consistently been able to produce talented players, and he is expecting a tough test for his charges in the fixture.

“I’d like to think we have the same vision as Benfica in terms of youth players and their development," he said. "They will be well-organised and there’s a high standard of player that comes from Portugal but I don’t anticipate any surprises.

“They’ll be a strong team and we might be giving away two or three years to them but it’ll be a good experience, a strong test and we want to show our philosophy in the game.”

Recently, the likes of Andre Gomes and Bernardo Silva have come through Benfica's youth system before moving to Valencia and Monaco respectively in big-money transfers. 

If Celtic can produce players of similar quality, then it would leave the club in a very strong position, and Ronny Deila seems to be a manager who will place trust in youth.

Deila has given a number of the Bhoys' academy graduates chances in his first-team, with Kieran Tierney the latest player to be handed a run out in the senior ranks. 

As well as Benfica, Celtic have also been drawn against Chelsea and Liverpool in the Premier League International Cup, meaning that they should be able to test their youngsters against the very best. 

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