Hoops favourite Kieran Tierney has hailed Celtic coach John Kennedy’s influence on his career so far, as reported by The Daily Record.
The left-back is now one of Celtic’s best and most important players, playing throughout his late teenage years and emerging into an elite performer.
Many have previously praised the roles of Ronny Deila and Brendan Rodgers in his development but it seems there’s been another unseen presence behind the scenes bringing his game on massively – John Kennedy.
As quoted by The Daily Record, the 21-year-old explained:
For me, in my career I wouldn’t be here without him. He helps me every day after training. I’ll watch video analysis with him and then we’ll go out and work on it on the pitch.
He always has time for you, no matter what’s going on. He’s one of those guys I could talk to about anything, I’m really close to him.
Since I’ve been at Celtic, and particularly since I’ve been in the first team, John Kennedy’s been really important for the club and he’s largely gone unnoticed all these years.
He’s got his reward now by getting assistant manager, but even under Ronny Deila he was a huge factor and under Brendan Rodgers he continued to be hugely important for us all.
He’s been in the background for a bit but now he seems to be getting the credit he deserves and the recognition. He’s a really hard worker. He’s got to where he is through hard work and is a proper Celtic man.
There’s no doubt that Kennedy now has a much higher profile at the club and there’s a definite PR push from the club to let fans know that there is an investment in his future.
What that all means is yet to be determined but it wouldn’t be a massive shock to see him installed as manager at some point down the line when club chiefs feel he is ready.
Clearly he has the trust of the players and that’s half the battle. Also taking more responsibility for tactical decisions during Neil Lennon’s spell so far, the ambition is clearly there.