Belfast Celtic's new partnership with Scottish champions Celtic can be an inspirational force in their dream to become a Premiership side, according to the club's Development Director Seoirse MacAnna.
At present, the new-look Belfast Celtic are in the Ballymena & Provincial Intermediate League but, led by chairman Jim Gillen and under the management of ex-Glentoran and Ballymena United ace Stephen McAlorum and former Donegal Celtic boss Paddy Kelly, they have ambitious plans to climb through the ranks and reach the top flight of Northern Ireland football.
The club was previously known as Sport and Leisure Swifts until last year when an application to change their name to Belfast Celtic was approved.
Having started an Academy in July 2019, the west Belfast outfit are now part of Celtic's International Club Partnership programme which will see the Parkhead team's Academy "share coaching methodology, curriculum and deliver training camps with coaches and players from Belfast Celtic".
The Belfast Hoops will also be able to send their coaches to an international coaches' convention in Glasgow every year.
As a club, we have a lot of big plans to go all the way to the Irish League and rise up the pyramid.
Celtic International Soccer Academy manager for Europe, John McStay, has spoken warmly of the link-up and Belfast Celtic are excited by how it will help their club.
MacAnna said: "We started our Academy about a year ago and Joe McCrudden has been doing a brilliant job with it.
"We are going to be fielding a new under-18 team next season and four other teams below that age and have players from between the ages of five and 10 who we hope will have some fun and maybe progress to our teams in years to come.
"We feel the Academy is a way of getting families and the community involved in the club and to have a partnership with a club like Celtic is fantastic for everyone.
"We had been having discussions with other clubs but Belfast Celtic and Glasgow Celtic seemed to fit. John McStay came over and the right vibe was there from the start. He was really enthusiastic about what we were doing and took a great interest.
"As a club, we have a lot of big plans to go all the way to the Irish League and rise up the pyramid. We don't expect it to be easy but we have a lot of good people at our club and we are very determined to achieve our goals.
"We have put together a good side and feel we can attract more players and we are committed to growing our fan base.
"Being involved with Celtic can inspire our youngsters and everyone at the club and hopefully help us with our ambitions. As well as inspiring our kids, it will be very good for our coaches who can learn a great deal from the partnership.
"We want everyone involved with Belfast Celtic to reach their potential and I think it is good for us to have a vision in relation to what we want to achieve in the future."
McStay said: "We are delighted that Belfast Celtic have joined our highly regarded international club partnership programme, which further reinforces our commitment to helping grassroots clubs from across the globe.
"Our aim is to help Belfast Celtic continue to develop their football programme and there will be a great deal of activity in the coming months and years. We look forward to working with their players and coaches in the near future."
Meanwhile, midfielder Eboue Kouassi has left Celtic to join Genk.
The 22-year-old Ivorian - who joined from FK Krasnodar in a £3m switch in 2017 - moved to the Belgian side on loan in January and has convinced them to sign him on a four-year deal despite only making four appearances before the coronavirus crisis stopped the league.