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The summer was interesting! John Kennedy discusses his Ange dilemma

John Kennedy has opened up on the fortnight of turmoil that followed Celtic’s Scottish Cup Final victory over Inverness Caley Thistle.

Straight after the match the future of Ange Postecoglou was the burning topic with no denial from the hoops boss over interest from Spurs to take over as their manager.

While the Treble victory was rightly celebrated the uncertainty over the future of Postecoglou did cast a shadow over the Hampden triumph with concerns over what happens next.

By the Sunday evening after the final it was clear that Postecoglou was heading for Spurs with the sting in the tail being that he wanted to take Kennedy and Gavin Strachan with him to the English side.

Postecoglou had arrived single handed at Celtic two years earlier, accepted the staff that he had inherited with a presumption that if he left for elsewhere he would repeat that pattern.

For a week there was real uncertainty at Celtic, the guts of the management team could be on the move with Enzo Maresca and Kjetil Knutsen the underwhelming candidates to take over from the charismatic Australian.

In the background however the wheels were in motion to lure Brendan Rodgers back with Kennedy in the fortunate position of being wanted by two elite level managers.

When I was first team coach under him [Rodgers], we had a very fluid relationship. In his time away, we always kept in touch, meeting for dinner and having discussions. It’s good to have him back and I have a good relationship with him, hopefully that bodes well.

The summer was interesting. Obviously Ange decided to move on to Spurs. I’ve been there a few times when managers have changed, there’s the uncertainty. You never know what’s around the corner or if the club are in discussions with other people.

I was in close contact with Ange and there were different possibilities, but Brendan was coming back to Celtic, the club and Brendan wanted me to stay and be part of this going forward. Being part of this club is a great privilege.

I know what it’s all about here, you know, and I’ve got a good understanding of it and I know the players and Brendan really well and that was a big pull in terms of sticking around and being part of that. I know Brendan works, the level of his work, so, it’s great to still be here.

There was possibilities, you can never look back on it and say that would never have happened, the way things worked it, it wasn’t to be. The club got Brendan back in quickly and to get someone of his calibre was good by the club.

Rodgers had wanted to take Kennedy with him to Leicester in February 2019 but he opted to stay put and took up a more senior role under Neil Lennon who wasn’t allowed to bring in any of his own backroom staff.

Kennedy seems to be very highly rated and well connected despite waiting on his 40th birthday next month with an incredible breadth of experience packed into nine years of first team involvement.

His retention through the summer provided stability and was probably a significant factor in Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda deciding to sign contract extensions.

On Saturday all of the build up and speculation ends when Celtic take on Ross County with Rodgers back in charge with his return and handover eased by the presence of the assistant manager that could have been preparing for a whole new adventure in North London.

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