Celtic winger Jonny Hayes has revealed that he’s already started studying for his coaching badges.

The experienced veteran is a fringe-player at Parkhead, but is still clearly in manager Neil Lennon’s plans with four appearances so far this term.

But Hayes knows he’s coming to the closing stages of his career at 32 years of age. And it looks as though he could be set to take the plunge into coaching. Scott Brown and Damien Duff are also in the process of getting their coaching badges sewn up.

Jonny Hayes has started studying for his coaching badges (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

And as he spoke to the Celtic View (Volume 55, Issue 11, Page 12) Hayes has revealed he wants to follow in their footsteps.

“I’ve just started doing my coaching badges. I’m doing my B license. If you’ve played professionally for five years or more you get to start with your B licence. I finished the first week during the international break, so I have another week next month and then a week in March.

“It was double sessions Monday through to Friday, so it’s physically demanding as well. You have two hours training, lunch, and then the same again in the afternoon.

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“A few of the other boys are in the process of doing theirs. Duffers (Damien Duff) is on his pro, Kendo (John Kennedy) has his badges, and Broony is doing his A licence now. I got an email from the PFA around six weeks ago and I knew I would be around with it being the international break.”

Jonny Hayes has all the attributes to be a fine coach

Interestingly, Hayes also revealed in the Celtic View this week (page 12) that he’s also interested in entering further education and trying for a degree. But if it’s coaching he turns to, it certainly seems made up for him.

Firstly, Hayes is a consummate professional in every sense. He’s always serious and knows that there’s never a period in football where you can go over the top. Hayes’ reaction to his derby goal on Celtic’s official website sounded more like a manager than a player, for example.

Hayes still has a job to do at Celtic (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Added to that, he’s never once complained to Neil Lennon about his lack of game-time, or certainly nothing that us as supporters are aware of. He knows his role at Parkhead, and it’s clear he just appreciates the chance to play for the Hoops.

He has the grounded attitude necessary to get into coaching one day. Whether he returns to Parkhead in the future similarly to how Darren O’Dea and Stephen McManus have, remains to be seen.

Can Hayes follow in Stephen McManus’ footsteps and become a Parkhead coach? (Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images)

But Lenny won’t want Hayes looking too far down the line just now. He still has an extremely important role at Celtic as cover for the left-back and left-mid positions.

He’s unlikely to start tonight and Rennes, but it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he came on for fresh energy. That’s the role he plays here. And, hopefully, he continues to do it well for a while yet.

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