Joe Ledley was a popular part of Neil Lennon’s Celtic side between 2010 and 2014, featuring in historic occasions such as the 2-1 victory over FC Barcelona and scoring in the league title triumph at Rugby Park in 2012.

Despite being a strong player, Ledley was not offered a new contract and left for Crystal Palace. When his time came to an end at Selhurst Park, the midfielder went to Derby County until 2019, when he was left without a club. At that juncture in his career, Ledley enquired about training with Celtic at Lennoxtown. The Hoops were under the guidance of his old boss again at that time, so he approached Neil Lennon to make the request.

Joe Ledley told the Huddle Podcast: “I messaged and asked if I could come up and train, but I sort of wasn’t allowed inside. People wouldn’t let me come in, so it was just one of those things. The club was moving on as well, so I’d never criticise anyone.

“I think it was more because of media hype and they didn’t want me to come in and then speculation about me signing, so it was one of those things I totally understood.”

Providing some context to the situation, Ledley elaborated: “They (Celtic) were in a position fighting for the league and the last thing they needed was speculation, so I just got on with it. I know Lenny. He would have had me any day to train, but certain things weren’t allowed. I’d never criticise the club for what they’ve done for me and what we achieved. I could totally understand. Lenny told me straight away what the situation was and I agreed. I could see where he was coming from.”

Joe Ledley eventually signed for Charlton Athletic, but after a very short spell he moved on to Newcastle Jets in Australia and returned to Wales this year, when he signed for Newport County in League Two.

This article first appeared on The Celtic Star and was syndicated with permission.

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