Former Celtic youth earns rave coaching review from elite Champions League winner

By Euan Davidson

June 23, 2021

It surely takes a lot to impress someone who won a Champions League with Ottmar Hitzfeld, but former Celtic midfielder Mark Fotheringham fits the bill.

Fotheringham, who come to prominence as a coach in Germany, left Ingolstadt after helping the club achieve promotion. As number 2 to Tomas Oral, the Celtic Academy graduate is considering his next move. According to Michael Henke, part of Hitzfeld’s coaching staff in 1997, he will have his pick of jobs.

Standing out in a country with the coaching heritage of Germany is quite something. Consider some of the top coaches; Klopp, Tuchel, Heynckes, Nagelsmann and more are some of the world’s best. So Henke’s praise is certainly considerable, as well being utterly lavish.

Henke, currently Ingolstadt’s Sporting Director, has taken in spells at Bayern Munich, Kaiserslautern and Aston Villa during a varied post-playing career.

Henke told the Sun:

“I would say that there is no better assistant coach than Mark. He is a top type. He is a top character and he is what I would call a specialist in football.

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“Mark had an excellent relationship with the players, but he is 100 per cent loyal to the head coach. I really like him as a person. Maybe there are other good assistant coaches, but for me there is no one better than Mark in Germany.

“I can’t speak any higher of him.”

Borussia Dortmund won the Champions League in 1997 / (Photo by Bongarts/Getty Images)

“Bright future”; former BVB Champions League winner and Bayern Munich man endorses Mark Fotheringham

Henke continued [Sun]:

“I know what the important qualities are for an assistant coach and he has them all.

“Mark will also be a good head coach in the future. His work at Ingolstadt over the last 14, 15 months was absolutely perfect. I can’t think of anything that was wrong.

“Mark’s just totally dedicated. He is a 24-hour coach.

“Mark may go back to Scotland or maybe he will stay in Germany. If anyone in Germany were to ask me about him then I could only be full of praise.

“Mark is capable of working at a higher level. I’m sure he has a bright future in coaching.”

Mark Fotheringham taking on Patrick Vieira / (Photo by Ben Radford/Getty Images)

Praise indeed: should Celtic consider “Fozzy” as Postecoglou’s assistant?

At the time of writing, Celtic don’t have an assistant manager. Mark Fotheringham is a highly esteemed assistant manager. You can see where this is going, we’re sure.

After impressing in the lower reaches of German football, an education that has served some fantastic managers very well indeed, Fotheringham will have his heights set awfully high. The chance to improve his coaching CV at the club that handed him his debut at 16 would surely hold some allure.

Working under Tomas Oral will have been educational, but working under a winner like Ange Postecoglou would surely expand his knowledge, and test his footballing philosophies. We’re not suggesting it’s entirely likely, but it’s very handy that a highly-rated coach happens to have come through the ranks at Celtic.

And while there’s continued media attention on him, it seems unlikely that antennae won’t be twitching at Paradise, as Postecoglou and the club continue to build their backroom staff.

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