JOHN COLLINS has declared an interest in the role as Celtic Director of Football.

The club are revamping their backroom team with Peter Lawwell returning as chief executive in June after 18 years in the job with Dominic McKay coming in.

Neil Lennon has already departed during a wretched campaign with John Kennedy in interim charge of the team until the end of the season.

The club are also planning on announcing a director of football to work in a position to link McKay and the boardroom to the dressing room.

Former Celtic and Scotland midfielder Collins insists he could do the job and says: “I’ve got the skillset”.

The 53-year-old, who also played in France for Monaco, was Ronny Deila’s assistant for two years from season 2014 and helped the team to win back-to-back titles to maintain the record-equalling sequence of nine successive championship victories.

Collins, speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, said: “I believe I’ve got the skillset.

“Of course, it would be of interest to me.

“Celtic’s played a big part of my life, but I know there’s a lot of experienced people in for the job.”

The former Hibs manager also gave an insight into how he’d approach the role, as he looked at the role of Ibrox transfer chief Ross Wilson.

He said: “I could be wrong, but I think Ross is more of an organiser behind the scenes with databases and things like that, which bring in a cluster of players.

“I’d like to know how he knows a top quality football player. He hasn’t played football at any level at all.

“If you’re looking for a midfield player then I think it helps if you’ve played the game and been in the middle of the park. There are good recruitment scouts who haven’t kicked a ball, but I think deep knowledge of football helps if you’ve been on the park and been on a training pitch for 15 years.

“There are two things in recruitment in modern football. They talk about data. Data is really important, but if I’m a little winger playing in a poor team with a small striker and the opposite winger who doesn’t get in the box, my crossing stats aren’t going to be good.

“So, the stats can be wrong. They can tell you the wrong things and that his crossing isn’t good. You can talk about data, data, data, but it’s how you read the data and how the trained eye eventually watches them.

“But the key in modern football is finding the players who aren’t playing first team football and there’s no data. There’s no data on 17 and 18 year olds and that’s what you have to get to at Celtic and Rangers.

“Because once they’re in the first team at 21 playing in France, they’re outwith your reach.

“So, the real key is finding the diamonds before you’ve got any real data.”


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