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HOOPS COACH QUITS FOR BELGIUM

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SHAUN MALONEY will quit as Celtic reserve team coach to join his former Wigan boss Roberto Martinez in the Belgium set-up.

The former Hoops and Scotland midfielder was recently appointed as second assistant on the international front, working alongside the Spaniard and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.

Maloney, who had two spells as a player at Parkhead, has now agreed to a full-time role with the Belgians.

He said: “I would like to thank Brendan Rodgers and Peter Lawwell for giving me this great opportunity at Celtic and it is one I have enjoyed immensely.

“The past year has been a great opportunity for me to work with the young players at the club and it has been a role I have given everything to.

“The players and staff have been a pleasure to work with and I would like to thank them all for the time we have had together. All the players in the squad work tirelessly each day and I am sure many of these young players will see this pay off in the next few years as they start to make an impression at first team level.”

Boss Rodgers said: “I was delighted when Shaun secured this fantastic international opportunity, but fully understand the full-time demands of this role. We fully appreciate and respect his decision to move on.

“He has done a fantastic job already at Celtic working alongside Tommy McIntyre and made a real contribution to the club.

“I am sure he will go on and do the very same with the Belgian national team, working with great people in Roberto Martinez and Thierry Henry. Everyone at Celtic wishes Shaun the very best for the future.”

Maloney, 35, who rejected a player’s contract at Aberdeen in the summer to return to the Hoops, was introduced to the first team by Martin O’Neill who later took him to Aston Villa.

He also had spells at Hull City and the States before a persistent back injury interrupted his playing career.

 
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