After two years out of front line football Craig Bellamy has been appointed as Player Development Manager at Cardiff City.
The striker had a high profile loan spell at Celtic in 2005 during which he picked up a Scottish Cup winners medal and was regularly linked with a return move to Glasgow.
After spells with West Ham and Manchester City he got his wish in 2012 when he moved to Cardiff City and helped steer the club into the Premier League.
After retiring from playing in 2014 Bellamy resisted the temptation to move straight into coaching but now feels that he is ready to get hands on.
“You can’t just finish football and go straight into a first team job,” he told TalkSPORT. “ I’ve started at the bottom, like I did as a player. I’ve done my Pro licence But that still doesn’t make you a coach. You can only be a coach by being out there training on a regular basis.”
Explaining his role at Cardiff he added: “On one day I’ll work with three age groups. I can get a lot more done that way and it’s better for my development as a coach. It’s a lot of hours but it’s ideal.
“You have to understand the kids and the parents and their background. I have to be fully aware of that and making sure they’re getting an education. It’s about developing players off the pitch as well as on it.
“I’ve seen so much talent in these age groups that we have to produce to reach the top. But in some age groups we only have two or three who are at the top level. That’s not enough. We have to up the numbers.”
After falling out with Graeme Souness at Newcastle Bellamy joined Celtic on loan in January 2005.
In 15 appearances he scored nine goals with Celtic fans urging the club to ‘break the bank’ to make the loan deal permanent.
That never seemed a likely option with the striker moving on to Blackburn Rovers while new manager Gordon Strachan built a new look side led in attack by Maciej Zurawski.
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