BENNI McCARTHY has thanked former Celtic boss Neil Lennon for helping him in his efforts to break into management.
The South African legend, who played for Ajax, Porto and Blackburn among others, has admitted he is determined to succeed in coaching.
Edinburgh-based McCarthy, now 37, said: “I’ve been doing my UEFA B coaching licence and I’m on my final assessment.
“If I pass that, I’ll do my A and pro licence. I want to give back to the game that gave me everything.
“Neil Lennon was very helpful to me when he was at Celtic and I used to go there and help out most days.
“He gave me the hunger to improve players, to work my way up and and become a manager.
“I learned a lot playing under Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Co Adrianse and Mark Hughes. It is my aim to go into coaching and work my way up.
“I want to stay in football. I love football.”
McCarthy, who won a Champions League medal in 2004 under Mourinho at the Hoops’ UEFA Cup Final conquerors Porto, explained why he is now living in Scotland’s capital.
He said: “My wife wanted to move back in Edinburgh where her parents live. I had to follow! She had done enough travelling around with me.
“I tried the deep-fried Mars bar, but it was too sweet for me. I do treat myself to one can of Irn-Bru a week, though.
“I love haggis and eat it all the time. But I don’t want to know what it’s made of.”
McCarthy admitted he had no intention of making a playing comeback after making a sensational one-off appearance for Midlothian Lowland League outfit Whitehill Welfare.
South Africa’s record goalscorer with 32 goals from 80 appearances added: “My wife’s sister’s husband plays for Whitehill and they had a shortage of players because they all went to T in the Park!
“A friendly against Hamilton had been arranged, so I was asked to fill in. I scored and then other teams asked me to come out of retirement.”
McCarthy is currently helping out under Alan Stubbs at Hibs as they prepared for the final tilt at Premiership promotion.