'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.”
"It was the best year-and-a-half of my sporting life. It was an absolute dream. I’m gutted, but my kids need me, which is always the most important thing to any dad.” 💚
Thanks for the #9INAROW memories, Damien and best of luck for the future! 🍀🇮🇪
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) June 13, 2020
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.