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Rodgers explains his youth route

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Brendan Rodgers has revealed that his coaching lesson with the Celtic u-14’s was inspired by Alex Ferguson.

On Sunday, two days before squaring up to Jupp Heynckes and Bayern Munich, the hoops boss decided to help out with one of the club Academy teams.

Rodgers began his coaching career with the Reading u-10 squad but admitted that a trip to Manchester as a teenager left a lasting impression.

I love youth football, I love the innocence of the kids,” the Celtic boss told The Sun. “You are just trying to help them and educate them about the game.

Young talent is something I love and it’s good to see that enthusiasm. It’s good to try and relax them as well, give them the confidence that it is okay, you don’t have to worry, especially nowadays, modern players can’t have fear.

You also want the players to know you are there. When I was 14, I went to Manchester United on trial and there wasn’t a day when I didn’t see Alex Ferguson.

I think it is important for the players and the boys, especially in modern football where lots of clubs seem to work in a six-week cycle within which you lose four or five games and are out of a job.

I don’t want the kids to think like that, I want them to think they have a hope here, that there is one vision at the club and we are trying to get them into the first team.

To some managers it doesn’t really matter because they think: ‘When these ones are 17, 18 I’ll be gone’. I don’t see it like that.

It is a legacy for me, however long I am here, is to give my very best for the duration. If you plant the seed now, okay I might not see the fruits of that, but someone else will, Celtic will, and that’s important to me. If I am helping that, that’s a duty of care.

On Sunday I just gave them some wee pointers in terms of the actual game itself. Part of it was about me being invisible so that they didn’t worry about me, didn’t s*** themselves and just played.

They didn’t know I was coming, I was there with Mark Wilson and his assistant. It was brilliant, it was great to see those kids. At that age they want to impress so much because they want to play for Celtic.”

Tonight against Bayern Munich Rodgers will have Kieran Tierney and James Forrest in his starting XI as the hoops attempt to keep their Champions League hopes alive.

Tierney and Forrest both came through the ranks at Celtic with the full-back first affiliated at the age of 7!

Before tonight’s match starts Celtic’s u-19 side take on Bayern Munich in the UEFA Youth League with Mikey Johnston, who played for the first team against Kilmarnock on Saturday on show in the match which will be shown live on BT Sport.

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