HomeWorld NewsScottish Masters 2023: Get to know the teams and top players
Scottish Masters 2023: Get to know the teams and top players
September 9, 2023
Masters Football is returning to our screens on Saturday. Just let that sink in for a moment.
The fan-favourite competition – which has been largely retired since 2011 – is back, albeit in a slightly different format than usual.
For those unfamiliar with Masters Football, it’s a six-a-side football competition made up of ex-footballers aged 35 or over who represent their former clubs in an indoor tournament. Some of the biggest players in world football have competed in the past for the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea.
This year we will bear witness to the Scottish Masters Cup, a competition taking place between Rangers, Celtic, Hibernian and Hearts at Glasgow’s Braehead Arena.
Here is everything you need to know about this year’s teams.
Masters Football returns to Glasgow! The iconic Masters Football is back with the Scottish Masters Cup 2023. Watch your favourite legends who featured for Celtic, Rangers, Hearts and Hibernian live from the Braehead Arena. Watch the action from 19:00-22:00 (BST).
McCulloch will be in the Rangers side / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages
Rangers have only announced seven of the eight players that will feature in their squad so far. One slight issue at present, however, is that they don’t have a goalkeeper, with some speculation that Allan McGregor could line up between the sticks.
Alan Hutton and Maurice Ross have been named in defence, although Lee McCulloch could fill in there despite being listed as a midfielder.
A pretty formidable defensive duo will be supported by Barry Ferguson and Portuguese maestro Pedro Mendes in midfield, the latter being someone likely to get fans out of their seats in Glasgow.
Sky Sports’ punditry strike partnership of Kris Boyd and Kenny Miller will lead the line for the Gers. The pair boast 232 combined goals for the club and will be aiming to grab a few on their way to Masters Cup glory.
Star player: Pedro Mendes
Kris Commons will line up in midfield / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages
Celtic have named their squad for the Masters Cup in its entirety, with some well-loved faces making returns.
Dutch goalkeeper Dorus de Vries will be the Hoops’ number one after enjoying three years at Celtic before retiring in 2019. The 42-year-old will be protected by a defensive partnership of Mark Wilson and Kelvin Wilson.
The midfield trio contains much-loved Welshman Joe Ledley, formerly of Crystal Palace, while the creative burden will fall on the shoulders of Kris Commons and 48-year-old Simon Donnelly.
The responsibility of finishing those created chances will fall to Mark Burchill and Gary Hooper, with the latter still actually playing for Gulf United in the United Arab Emirates.
Star player: Kris Commons
Dorus de Vries
Grant Holt enjoyed just one season at Easter Road / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages
Unbelievably, goalkeeper Alan Combe will make his first appearance for Hibs during the Scottish Masters Cup. The 49-year-old, who also played for rivals Hearts, came out of retirement to join Hibernian in 2014 but didn’t make a single appearance in his season there before retiring for good at the end of the camapign.
Sitting in front of Combe will be Ian Murray and Marvin Bartley, both of whom now manage in the Scottish lower divisions. Murray enjoyed two spells with Hibs and made well over 200 appearances for the club.
Ivan Sproule and Dean Shiels will be expected to patrol midfield in a very attack-minded Hibs side, while the forward trio of Derek Riordan, Colin Nish and Grant Holt will be relied upon for goals.
Star player: Derek Riordan
Colin Cameron will return for Hearts / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages
Roddy McKenzie is the man trusted in between the sticks for Hearts after spending a decade with the Jambos, although he never quite made it as the club’s first-choice goalkeeper.
Hearts stalwart Andy Webster will line up in defence with Italian Pasquale Bruno. The former helped the club to two Scottish Cup titles, while the latter played for several seasons at Tynecastle towards the end of his career.
Hearts have gone big in midfield naming Ian Black alongside star man Colin Campbell. The Jambos have picked two attacking midfielders in ex-Morocco international Mehdi Taouil and former Chelsea youth player Ryan Stevenson.
Angolan forward Jose Quitongo, who played for a staggering 21 clubs during his career, will be expected to lead the line.