Celtic are continuing to make important improvements to their youth structure, with Stephen McManus reportedly being considered for a role, according to the Scottish Sun.
The former Hoops skipper has just finished his tournament with Scotland at the Star Sixes. This comes after he decided to leave Motherwell at the beginning of last season.
Celtic have been beefing up their academy’s coaching talent recently. Damien Duff is on the verge of making his way to Glasgow. It’s unclear when he’ll be taking up his new post, but Shamrock Rovers have already announced that he’s leaving for Parkhead.
And as he becomes the most experienced man to take control of Celtic’s youths in years, he could be helped by McManus.
McManus, of course, came through the ranks himself at Celtic Park. The Scotland international made over 200 appearances for the club between 2003 and 2010. Under the former captain, Celtic won three Scottish Premier League titles in-a-row.
He was never the most consistent player at the back, and certainly had his critics. McManus, however, was always at the heart of some of the biggest European nights at Parkhead. Victories over the likes of AC Milan and Manchester United were built through McManus’ performances.
McManus knows how difficult it is to break through
And, most importantly, nobody knows what it takes to come through the ranks more than him.
If Celtic do decide to take on big Mick, they could certainly do a lot worse. McManus is Celtic through-and-through, and has an attachment to the club unmatched by any of the current coaching staff.
He managed to breakthrough into a Celtic side when the likes of Bobo Balde and Joos Valgaeren were in their prime. Granted, it took until the 2005/06 season for him to really feature consistently, but he still made his mark early.
The reported interest shows Celtic aren’t resting on their laurels with the appointment of Duff. The club are serious about building a proper youth academy coaching team.
The likes of Shaun Maloney and Scott Brown have done some work with the youths in the past, but this strategy feels different.
A duo of Duff and McManus would have a strong Celtic core to it. Combine that with mass experience in the game as well as experience of coming through the ranks, and they could make a terrific partnership.
Kolo Toure is also still helping out at the club, and is seen doing a lot of drills with the kids. With the experience the Hoops could have in there, the kids at the club are in for a real treat.