Harry Kewell thought he was on his way back into football when he got a phone call from Ange Postecoglou. Yesterday the former Leeds and Liverpool winger was sizing up his new workplace ahead of returning to the Champions League.
It has been quiet a turnaround since last November when Kewell was sacked after a very short spell in charge of Barnet.
A route back into the game was most likely at a non-elite level but football works in strange ways with the highest profile Australian coach opening the door to a fellow Aussie that has been working on the shop-floor of coaching and management.
Speaking to the Celtic website, Kewell said:
I was actually going in for another interview for another job, I thought it went really well. I was looking forward to the call back. And in-between that time I actually had a call from the manager.
The way he spoke to me, the way he spoke to me, the way he presented the job, I said yes straight away. I didn’t even worry about the next part. I felt it was the opportunity for me to learn from not only an Australian manager, but a great manager that has started to do his work in Europe.
He’s very forthright in what he wants out of his players, it’s similar to what I like and the way he spoke to me about football and what he wants from me, I said virtually there straightaway, ‘Of course I’ll come.’
He always likes to mix things up, he always likes to bring in fresh ideas and I said when I spoke to him that I didn’t want to be just someone coming up here because of that Australian link.
He spoke very positively about how he’s been monitoring me for a while, and I never knew that, so when he did speak to me about the ideas of what I can bring to the team, it was a no-brainer.
Stephen McManus has moved sideways to work with the Celtic B team to accommodate Kewell who has the title of first team coach.
It seems that there has been little contact between Postecoglou and Kewell before this appointment, on Monday the work restarts as Celtic’s non-internationalists report for pre-season training with a new face as part of the coaching team.