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Is Harry Kewell set for Celtic exit?

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After eighteen successful and eventful months at Celtic Harry Kewell is being linked with a move back into frontline management.

Having experienced success under two Australian managers it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if Yokohama F Marinos were to be interested in bringing the legendary former Australian internationalist to the J-League.

Kevin Muscat has been linked with a few jobs in the UK with Sunderland the latest as he prepares to quit Yokohama with his contract expiring.

Kewall has had a few attempts at managing in the lower leagues in England but the chance to manage in Yokohama could reignite his ambitions to go out on his own again.

Japanese website Sponchi reports:

It was revealed on the 7th that Harry Kewell (45), a former Australian national team forward and coach of Scottish First Division Celtic, has emerged as the top candidate to become Yokohama’s new manager. According to those involved, negotiations are progressing smoothly, and if a formal decision is made, he will succeed director Kevin Muscat (50), whose retirement was announced on the same day.

Kewell, who earned the nickname “The Wizard of Oz” during his playing days, played for Premier League teams such as Leeds and Liverpool, and was a famous player who wore the number 10 on the Australian national team for many years. 

He played in a total of three games, including the first round of the 2006 World Cup in Germany, which he won 3-1 against Japan, and the 2011 Asian Cup final, which he lost in overtime. After retiring in 2014, he gained experience as a manager in England’s lower leagues, and in 2022 he received an offer from Celtic’s manager Postecoglou (currently at Tottenham) to become a coach. 

Last season, he learned offensive soccer under the coach of his hometown, who coached Yokohama from 2018 to 2021, and has coached players such as Furuhashi and Maeda from the Japanese national team.

Muscat was appointed midway through the 2021 season as the successor to fellow coach Postecoglou. Inheriting the “attacking football” style from his predecessor, he led them to the J1 title for the first time in three seasons last season. This season, aiming for a consecutive victory, they battled with Kobe until the very end, but ended up finishing in 2nd place. 

President Akihiro Nakayama has stated the club’s policy of continuing to play aggressive football, saying, “We will continue to play deep attacking football,” and Kewell, who inherits Coach Postecoglou’s philosophy, fits the criteria of a successor manager.

If Kewell takes over, it will be his first time managing a team in the top league. Although he does not have much experience, he has a good reputation for his coaching that is close to the players, and the status of future negotiations will be a focus of attention.

When Ange Postecoglou moved to Spurs in the summer it wouldn’t have been any surprise if Kewell had followed him, instead he has worked under Brendan Rodgers and experienced the Champions League for a second time.

As first team coach the former Liverpool and Leeds man seems to have a special responsibility for wingers at Celtic with Luis Palma and Daizen Maeda both highlighting Kewall’s involvement in their improved form.

The success of Postecoglou is expected to open the door for other Australian coaches to move to Europe, alongside Tim Cahill, Kewell was at the centre of Australian players cracking the big time in England.

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  • Scud Missile says:

    When sevco released the FAKE accounts recently did it show the money they received for the Sillyman deal.

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