Harry Kewell left blown away by Celtic supporters; why it's 'something different' from Liverpool
Celtic coach Harry Kewell has given the Paradise home support a glowing review after this first few months at the club.
Kewell was appointed first team coach in June after a tumultuous period managing in England’s lower leagues, becoming the first addition to Ange Postecoglou’s staff in his time as manager in Paradise.
Despite playing in the Champions League with Liverpool and in world-renowned atmospheres in Turkish football, Kewell maintained that that the noise generated by home crowds was something he never truly appreciated in his playing career.
He told the Celtic View: “As a player, I never really noticed the atmosphere. You could hear a noise at the start when you’re walking out but as soon as I went on the park I switched off.
“The biggest crowd I’ve played in is 120,000 with Australia away to Iran and they were bouncing about but it didn’t affect me. To me, it’s a pitch with 11 men, some fans cheer you or boo you, but to me, I went out and would do my job. Now as a coach, I take it in a lot more because I have the chance to sit back and watch.”
With Celtic sharing their iconic pre-match song You’ll Never Walk Alone with another of Kewell’s old clubs, the Aussie football legend was in no doubts about the superior version, having heard the anthem at a sold out Celtic Park for the first time on flag day.
He said: “The opening game of the season at home to Aberdeen – I’ve heard You’ll Never Walk Alone every week at Liverpool but that day it was something different, it was awesome.’
“The way the fans timed it and they stopped when the whistle blew, even I was like ‘Wow!’ That’s part of the excitement about being here because I’ve played in a lot of derbies and atmospheres but everyone always says this place is different.
“Going to those hostile environments is what you want and being here at Celtic Park in one of those atmospheres is something I love.”
Postecoglou has spoken before about the need to give his players fresh voices in their ears and fresh ideas to prevent any hint of complacency, and Kewell appears to be the latest example of that.
Though it can be tough to gauge the impact of a coach from the outside, Sunday’s defeat at St Mirren was a speedbump in what’s been a whirlwind start to the season for Celtic, already looking to find new levels under Postecoglou, and it’s a fair assumption that Kewell has played his part.
With only positive sounds from both Celtic and Kewell, it appears already to have been an inspired move for both parties.