John Kennedy shares what Stephen McManus will offer Celtic as first-team coach

By John McGinley

February 27, 2021

John Kennedy has been explaining his decision to appoint Stephen McManus as a Celtic first-team coach this weekend.

Celtic made the announcement yesterday that the youth coach had been promoted to first-team affairs alongside Gavin Strachan and Stevie Woods, to assist Kennedy during this interim period.

Kennedy and McManus go way back and are long-time friends. They came through the Celtic academy together, signing on the same day in 1998.

However, the temporary Celtic boss has insisted the appointment of McManus is not an old pals act.

As quoted by The Scottish Daily Mail (27/02 print edition, page 123), Kennedy said: “Stephen is a very good coach.

“It’s not just a case of he’s someone I’ve known for a very long time. I like the way he works with the reserves and he’s a good fit with the first team.”

In his broadcast press conference [YouTube], Kennedy also touched on the McManus appointment, stating: “Stephen came up on Thursday and joined us, he’ll stay with us through this period.

“Stephen’s someone I know very well, he’s a great coach who has come in and worked at the club for a period of time now. The way he operates and his manner fits in with the type of people we want at the club. So, it’s good for him to come in and help us out.

“It also gives us another coach on the training pitch which is important for the players. They need the contact time. The more coaches we have out there, it allows us to cover more areas and work with more players in small groups and on an individual basis. It allows us to work the way we think it should be done.”

We know McManus can be a Celtic leader

McManus isn’t arriving into the Celtic first-team group out of nowhere. He had a very successful career at the club, notably under Gordon Strachan.

Winning trophies and helping the club through Champions League groups were big highlights – some of that achieved as club captain.

Former Celtic defender Stephen McManus / (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

He may not have had the longevity of other captains who have come through the Celtic doors but he is a leader and a passionate supporter of the club.

Serving his coaching apprenticeship at Motherwell, he arrived at Celtic in conjunction with Damien Duff and will know all about our processes at Lennoxtown.

Until the end of the season, he’s a natural choice to help Kennedy out.

In other news, Chris Sutton has raised valid Dominic McKay concerns.