Scott Brown, perhaps revealed more than was planned, amid the emotion of the day after his 620th and final appearance in a Celtic jersey yesterday afternoon at Easter Road. The outgoing Celtic captain revealed that he’d made his mind up to leave Celtic at the very beginning of this season and also that he has already being doing bits and pieces as he prepares for the coaching side of his new job at Aberdeen.
No-one can doubt the commitment to the Celtic cause shown by Scott Brown but this is another wee insight into how the chemistry behind the scenes at the club this season wasn’t right from the very start. The players who wanted to leave being asked to stay – reluctantly – to help with the chance to win the Ten (something that seemed to mean more to the Celtic supporters than those in the dressing room. We also witnessed yesterday via the social media coverage, what stopping Celtic winning the league meant to Scotland’s Shame. We’ll cover that separately.
“My mind was made up at the start of the season,” Broony admitted in his post match interview with Celtic TV (see below). For me, I wanted a new challenge. I knew it was either go and do ten, or finish on nine with a quadruple Treble.
“I wanted to give it one last go, and see it as far as I possibly could. The board and everyone upstairs have been fantastic with me. They offered me a new deal to stay and be part of it, but I wanted to see how it worked with a different club.
“I had a fantastic time at Hibs. I came to Celtic eventually and had a fantastic time. Now it’s for me to try to push Aberdeen as far as I possibly can and look forward to the future in coaching, with a little bit of playing as well,” the Celtic legend said.
“The sad thing is that the Celtic fans haven’t been there this season. I’ll miss playing in front of 60,000 and not getting the chance to wave goodbye to them. They have been a huge part of my life over the last 14 years. They have been fantastic with me, on and off the field.
“It’s just sad that I can’t say goodbye, but I’ll be back with Aberdeen next season. I will maybe wave at them or I’ll get booed off the park! But I wouldn’t want it any other way because when I come back I want to be a winner, and take Aberdeen as far as I can.
“I have done that at Celtic, and have so many fantastic memories from different players and managers. It’s been one high after the other, but now it’s a new chapter for me at a new club.”
The Aberdeen-bound midfielder admitted that the fact that he’s no longer a Celtic player will only sink in when he’s booted out the Celtic players’ WhatsApp Group and he also was full of praise for John Kennedy who has been taking the side since March, after Neil Lennon left the club.
“I’ve got minutes left on the chat!” Broony joked. “I’ll obviously keep in touch with the lads, but I will be out that group chat rapidly.
“I’ve had a little bit of coaching at Celtic with Stevie Frail and Tommy McIntyre with the Under-21s. I enjoyed it.
Then when Brendan Rodgers came in, he wanted me to focus on football.
“Now speaking to Brendan, he says I’ve made the right decision in stepping away and going to a different club to do it. So it’s been great that I’ve got managers I can speak to.
“I’ve got Lenny, and I’ve also got John Kennedy, who has been fantastic with me over the last 14 years. When I first started he was a player — look what I’ve done to him! It’s been a great time and he has done it the hard way as well. John’s gone all the way through the levels. I have to admire him because he’s a fantastic coach who’s learned under some great managers. His coaching sessions and the way he is with the lads, he’s fantastic.
READ THIS…Celtic’s Next Captain: “It’s come full circle in that sense so now we have to take up the mantel”
“My work at Aberdeen starts now. I usually go away, switch off from football and try not to take too much in. Now it is going to be different, thinking about who we can bring in, session planning, working with the lads, working with fitness coaching, and how we can build for next season,” Brown added.
“It’s going to be great because it’s something I’ve wanted to put my hand to. I’ve been involved in a little bit of it just now, but I’ve tried to distance myself from it because I’m still a Celtic player. It’s always going to be in the back of your mind. We’re looking for players, we’re trying to sign people.
“How we’re going to start coaching and when we’re going to start pre-season. The lads are going to meet up early doors, before the first-team boys come back. So I’m looking forward to a different role, seeing how budgets work, and how recruitment works too. It’s a good challenge and we’ll be giving it everything we’ve got.
“I always look after myself in the off-season, so if I come back and still feel that I can push the lads as much as I can. I’ve played 60 minutes and 90 minutes in the last two days and still feel fine.
“So I feel like I could still play just now. But four or five weeks off and coming in to a lot of younger lads will be a challenge as well. It’s going to be a huge step for me, but I’m looking forward to every minute of it.”
The very best of luck to Scott Brown at Aberdeen, except when he is playing us and especially when he is playing Scotland’s Shame. Here’s his post match interview after the dreadful 0-0 match at Easter Road yesterday.