Celtic man Jonny Hayes has confirmed that he’s held some talks to build up his knowledge ahead of a potential coaching role.
The Irishman is clearly nowhere near ready to retire just yet, but he certainly seems ready to plan for the future at 32-years of age.
Hayes has been a regular for Celtic this season under Neil Lennon. It’s arguably been his best campaign so far since arriving at Parkhead in the summer of 2017. Already, he’s managed 16 outings, with Lenny calling him from the bench on 13 different occasions this season (Transfermarkt).
Yet, even though he’s still contributing to the first-team, Hayes has taken a keen interest in coaching. Speaking in the Celtic View (Volume 55, Issue 20, Page 14), he touches on the talks he’s had in a bid to gain more knowledge.
“It’s something that I never really thought about doing (coaching). I’d actually always planned to go back to the academic side of things and pursue some sort of degree, but this mostly fell onto my lap.
“I went along (to an SFA course) and within five minutes of starting coaching, I loved it. They say that you know whether you want to be a coach or a manager, and I think I want to be a coach.
“Since doing that, I’ve had a few conversations, not about moving into coaching or anything like that, not yet, but just about gaining more and more insight into the game. Having people like John Kennedy around to chat to in that regard has been brilliant.”
Hayes looks every bit a coach-in-the-making
If there’s one thing you can label at Hayes, it’s that he has such maturity about him. As good as he may be in the dressing room, he certainly shows a professional and composed head outside of it.
Added to that, he would be a huge asset for youngsters trying to make their way, especially in Scottish football. After all, Hayes has accumulated over 400 matches in his senior career, and over 350 in the Scottish game (Transfermarkt).
He’s also had experience with the likes of Inverness, Aberdeen, and now Celtic. With the experience he has under his belt, which now includes European football proper, Hayes has the knowledge to move into coaching.
Of course, we want him at Parkhead for a while yet. Just because his contract is running down, that doesn’t mean retirement from his playing days should kick in. It will be interesting to see if Hayes gets a new deal, but considering his value to the squad, you wouldn’t bet against it.
It would hardly be surprising if he ended up closing out his career at Parkhead either. He’s never played at a bigger club in his life, and continues to thrive under Lenny’s stewardship.
But when it comes to his next steps, it looks as though coaching will be Hayes’ future calling.