As Brendan Rodgers immerses himself into the job of sifting and sorting and planning, there is the loud ticking of a clock in the background.

It serves as a reminder for Rodgers, as it is for every Celtic manager at this time of year, of the direct proximity to critical Uefa Champions League qualifiers, games which effectively underpin the tone of the season that lies ahead.

With three qualifying rounds to negotiate – Celtic go into the competition in the second qualifying round which take place on the July 12 or 13 – time is of essence as Rodgers looks to get a grip on the Celtic squad.

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The Hoops convene for pre-season training on June 20 – the day they will discover who they face in the opening qualifying round – before heading to Slovenia on pre-season tour a week later, giving Rodgers less than a month to assess and tweak the squad and implement his own ideas.

In fairness, that first draw should be negotiated without too much ado for Celtic.

The Parkhead side go through the Champions route in their quest to make it to the group stages and, as seeds, there should be no real problem initially.

The opening rounds as also regionalised, essentially meaning that it could be an Irish or Welsh side that the Hoops come up against as they set out on a journey they hope will lead them all the way into the lucrative group stages.

Crusaders of Belfast are in there at that stage, Dundalk are another possibility while The New Saints could also be drawn against Celtic.

Slightly further afield, a visit to Scandinavia could also come up, with Finnish side SJK Seinäjoki in at that stage too.

However, while that is a round that Celtic should come through relatively unscathed, the challenge gets a little more complicated in the third qualifying round, immediately before the play-off stage – if they can get there.

This is where some of the weightier names come into the tournament – with a few familiar foes awaiting in the wings.

Norway’s Rosenborg would provide difficult opposition for Celtic, particularly since they will be in the middle of their own domestic season.

Qarabag, based in Azerbaijan, who Celtic met at this stage last summer, are also possible opponents again and the Parkhead side would not relish such a gruelling trip again.

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An eight-hour flight to Baku to play in scorching temperatures would not be the easiest of rounds to get through.

Red Star Belgrade, too, would not be an easy prospect for Celtic, with the Serbian side already into their preparations for this season. They have signed Adam Mitchell, Thomas Phibel and Stefan Milosevic so far following their title win this season.

Should Celtic get so far as the play-off stage, where they exited the tournament last time around, there is a fair chance that they will be up against a high quality side.

Because of their seeded status. they miss some of the big hitters but there are old familiar faces in the pot they will could come up against.

Legia Warsaw and Celtic still have a fair bit of bad blood between them given what happened two years ago in the qualifying stages. The Polish side thumped Celtic 6-1 on aggregate but were thrown out of the competition for fielding an illegible player; when Celtic subsequently stumbled again when they lost to Maribor, Legia were quick and public with their glee.

Dinamo Zagreb and Copenhagen too are in there, although the predictive system for guessing which teams will still be in the tournament at this stage assumes that all seeded teams will beat unseeded ones.

In almost every season there is an upset along the way, but although that could mean Celtic facing a names which doesn’t carry as much threat, those who witnessed last summer’s result and performance against Malmo will understand how lightly Celtic can afford to take anyone.

And while the most pressing matter for Rodgers will be ultimately guiding Celtic towards the group stages of the Champions League, there is another aspect to the Parkhead side requiring a decent showing on the Continent this season.

As difficult as the current journey is from entry point to group stages, it could be compounded in future years if they lose their seeded status.

Recent horror showings in the qualifying stages of the Champions League and the Europa League mean that the co-efficient needs to be given some form of protection by Celtic enjoying a couple of strong European campaigns.