Stephen McManus’ return to the club has been overshadowed by transfer speculation.
But the former Hoops captain today opened up and claimed that he’s delighted to be back at Parkhead.
Taking charge of the under-18s, McManus’ remit will be to progress the young players into first-team candidates. It’s going to be a tough ask, but nobody knows more about what it takes to graduate at Celtic than him.
Despite big Mick not being everyone’s cup of tea, he made over 200 appearances at the club. Added to that, he captained the side to three Scottish Premier League titles in-a-row and two Champions League last-16 campaigns.
And today he’s opened up on how much he’s itching to get back involved at the Hoops. Speaking to Celtic’s official website, McManus couldn’t hide his delight.
“I’m glad to get started and give something back to the club that has given me so much in my career.
“I grew up supporting the club, so to get the opportunity to come back in a coaching capacity was always going to be the way forward for me. I’m really happy to get it over the line and really thankful to everyone at the club.
“My remit will be to try and help the club generate as many top young players as we possibly can. I’m one of the lucky ones who’s been associated with the club that I grew up supporting.”
He ticks all the boxes in an underrated appointment
This is an extremely underrated appointment by Celtic. McManus truly ticks all of the boxes in what Celtic need coaching their kids.
As well as his incredible Parkhead journey, he’s worked under some fantastic managers. The likes of Gordon Strachan and Martin O’Neill will have left him with plenty of ideas to ponder. He’s nowhere near as inexperienced as he may come across in coaching.
A lot of the Celtic players will also be able to strongly relate to him. Many of the current academy prospects will have grown up watching McManus. He isn’t before their time, and many will have a strong affection for everything he did during his playing days at Celtic.
As well as him, however, Damien Duff has also of course finally been brought in as reserve team coach. His Premier League background is ridiculously impressive, but he’s yet to open up on the move the way McManus has.
This is one of those appointments many will be looking at now and shrugging their shoulders. But it could have a massively positive effect in the long-run.