'Huge' - Exclusive: Pundit reacts to big name quitting Celtic after 'best 18 mths of my career'

Alan Hutton claims that Damien Duff has made a “huge decision” to leave Celtic as coach ahead of their push for 10-in-a-row.

The former Rangers and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes the 41-year-old was an important part of Neil Lennon’s backroom staff and that he will be missed at Parkhead.

The Hoops confirmed on Saturday that Duff has left his post as a coach for family reasons, with the former winger admitting he is “absolutely gutted, devastated to be leaving.”

Hutton believes that Lennon will be disappointed to see the Republic of Ireland icon head out the Parkhead door this summer, especially with a potentially historic season on the horizon.

Hutton told Football Insider: “Family does come first – that’s the main thing for me as a footballer and it’s probably the main thing for everybody that has a family.

“It must have been difficult – he’s got a lot of ties between Celtic and obviously the Republic of Ireland and if he wants to go back there – he’s got a job with the national team – I understand why.

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“Leaving Celtic, he’s won a lot of things in the time that he’s been there. I just think from a Celtic point of view it must be difficult to leave at this situation, when you’ve got something that could be so great around the corner.

“It was a huge decision for him to make – it seems Lennon really enjoyed working with him and that he brought a lot to the team.” 

Duff initially joined the coaching staff at Celtic as a reserve team assistant manager back in January 2019 but was promoted to a first-team role when Brendan Rodgers left the Bhoys.

The Hoops have won five trophies during his time as a coach, including two league titles.

In other Celtic news, a Rangers legend has admitted he would want to join the Hoops if he was a Premier League star.