John Kennedy has revealed that Damien Duff left Celtic for family reasons.
There has been no official comment from Celtic since in was announced last month that their first team coach was switching to the FAI to be part of Stephen Kenny’s new look international management team.
Duff moved to Celtic in January 2019 to assist Tommy McIntyre with the reserve squad, a role vacated by Shaun Maloney, but a month later he was promoted to top team duties when Neil Lennon took over as caretaker manager.
As Celtic delivered a ninth successive title it seemed that the balance was right in the backroom team but due to family issues a new first team coach will be required for the new season.
Kennedy explained to the Daily Record:
Me and Neil have spoken about things although no decision has been made yet. Damien was a great addition to the coaching team. He’s a terrific guy and with a great mentality.
He has a young family who had to move back to Ireland. They didn’t settle. Damien was fully committed to Celtic, spent so much time in his role.
But, ultimately, he had a young family who needed his support back home and he had to make a very tough decision. He was gutted, but it wasn’t the FAI taking him back to Ireland, it was his family.
Secondary to that, the FAI job became available. It was disappointing to lose him but we understood. We’ll look to confirm his replacement in the coming weeks. We’ve looked at a number of options.
There are guys within the club who could fit the bill while we’ve also got a lot of connections outwith that who also fit the bill.
It’s not a necessity having a Celtic background, but probably an understanding of the club and the job will help. It makes sure you’re not caught by surprise coming in. We won’t rush.”
When Duff’s FAI appointment was announced it was thought that he would continue with his Celtic role but that has now been corrected.
Gary Parker, Alan Thompson and Johan Mjallby were all part of Lennon’s coaching team in his first stint as boss with none of them currently involved in football.