The decision by Ange Postecoglou to call Harry Kewell over the summer and offer his fellow Australian and probably the greatest ever player that the Socceroos have ever had, a place on his coaching staff has had ripples throughout the club as it has been part of a restructuring that has gone on quietly and without much media scrutiny at all since Kewell’s arrival was announced.
Kewell coming in also meant that former Celtic captain Stephen McManus moved from first team coaching duties to join the Celtic B Team and having worked with the first team last season under Ange Postecoglou he would be well placed to communicate the required message to the B team and Under 19 players about what will be expected of them if they are to progress through to the first team under Ange Postecoglou.
Tommy McIntyre was the Celtic B Team manager last season and he was joined by another former Celtic defender, the highly rated coach Darren O’Dea. It was probably jut presumed that the three men – Stephen, Tommy and Darren – would be sharing the remit of managing and coaching the B Team under McIntyre’s management.
Yet in the post match videos of Celtic TV after the B Team games this season there was no sign of Tommy with both McManus and O’Dea doing the interviews.
On Friday evening we got a explanation of sorts on that when the club and Tommy McIntyre parted ways, with Tommy going on to pursue new projects away from Celtic. There were kind words for Tommy who had been at Celtic for around 13 years and Tommy himself spoke politely and positively about Celtic, as a civilised parting of the ways took place.
Ange Postecoglou might have expected to have been asked about this at any of his Media Conferences this season but the questions were never raised so no answers were given. But last night Celtic did release a statement via the club’s official website that shed some light on the wider changes that occurred within the coaching structure and personnel at Celtic over the summer as Ange made decisions that were subsequently implemented by the club.
Here’s the statement released by Celtic last night…
Celtic B Team Update
Former Celtic stars, Stephen McManus and Darren O’Dea, will continue to lead the club in tonight’s B Team match against Livingston B at the Excelsior Stadium as former B Team manager, Tommy McIntyre moves on from Celtic.
As announced last week, Tommy has left the club to pursue new opportunities, and Darren and Stephen, on a joint coach basis, will now continue to take charge of the stars of the future across the many challenges ahead including the Lowland League, the UEFA Youth League and the SPFL Trust Trophy.
Reporting directly to Celtic manager, Ange Postecoglou, Darren and Stephen will be tasked with further developing Celtic’s young players, with the ambition of seeing them ultimately flourish in the Celtic first-team.
Ange Postecoglou said:
“As I have said before, I was keen to restructure our coaching set-up, with a hugely important element of this being the development of a close link between the first team and B Team coaching structures as we look to get that conveyer belt of talent going between the B Team directly up to the first team.
“I wanted a really strong connection to the development of our B Team and Stephen, with his knowledge of our current first-team philosophy and demands, will be ideal in this role.
Darren too already has that great experience of working with our young players and an affinity with the B Team which I know will be invaluable to us. He is also someone with the knowledge of what it takes to be part of the Celtic first-team and the way in which we work at that level.
Ange added: “As Celtic supporters we all want to see as many young players as possible coming through the stages to join our first team.
“So we look forward with confidence to our B Team developing positively and I know our fans will wish Stephen and Darren well in progressing the team further.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Tommy McIntyre for his great service to Celtic over so many years and for all he has done for us. We all wish Tommy the very best for the future in everything he does.”
The Celtic B Team last night defeated Livingston B by 3-0 in the scored round of the SPFL Trust Trophy with the goals coming from Brooks, Lawal and Quinn. Match Report is here: Celtic B defeat Livingston B to ease through to third round of SPFL Trust Trophy.
— Celtic FC B (@CelticFCB) August 24, 2022