Shaun Maloney gives insight on Celtic staff; Kennedy and Strachan roles explained

By Euan Davidson

January 15, 2022

Shaun Maloney has cleared up a couple of things for Celtic supporters, specifically what roles the likes of John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan play at the club.

In 20-21, Kennedy and Strachan were pilloried, largely for being part of Neil Lennon’s ailing Celtic set-up. As the Hoops endured a grim season, it was Lennon’s staff that took a huge amount of flak, with supporters unsure of what they actually did to help Lennon and Celtic.

However, Shaun Maloney has cleared up the confusion. The new Hibernian boss, ahead of facing the Hoops for the first time as a visiting manager, gave credit to Ange Postecoglou and his staff. With Monday night looming, the former Celtic star was keen to give praise where he believed it to be due.

Photo by Vincent Van Doornick/Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images

Speaking to the Scotsman, Maloney disclosed: “Some of Celtic’s performances have been very, very impressive.

“They are going to try and press us very high. They have their own style in possession that hasn’t changed for anyone.

“I know Ange’s coaching staff and Gavin Strachan very much concentrates on the set plays and John Kennedy writes and delivers all the sessions. I respect them fully, but I’m preparing my team as best I can to go and win the match.”

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Shaun Maloney has just unravelled a mystery for Celtic supporters; now we know what Kennedy and Strachan specifically do

Well then, there we go. Mystery over.

For a while there, the perception was that John Kennedy was the “defensive coach”, which isn’t necessarily a role in football. Meanwhile, Gavin Strachan and his laptop, iPad or whatever he was using earned scorn. As if he was doing his daily Wordle while Celtic struggled last season.

But now we know. Gavin Strachan delivers the set-piece instructions, as well as seemingly giving tactical analysis from the dugout on match days. Granted, Celtic haven’t been amazing attacking corners and free kicks, but our defending from set-pieces has improved this season. It’s not perfect, but it’s better.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Kennedy is the one tasked with running training. We see Ange Postecoglou being heavily involved, but if Maloney is right, Kennedy is leading the sessions while Ange gives his assistant instructions on what needs to be done.

It’s weird that, in this day and age, with the information we have, that these were mysteries.

But whether Maloney meant to or not, he’s cleared up something that’s been bugging Celtic fans for ages. Kudos to you, Mr Maloney.

Read more: Dundee boss offers Leigh Griffiths update as talks with Celtic continue