Journalism’s loss is Celtic’s gain as Gavin Strachan aims to pen fairytale

First-team coach puts the focus on helping club secure a record-breaking tenth consecutive title after replacing Duff at Parkhead

Gavin Strachan found there were limited opportunities in a media career but as since forged a strong CV as a coach

Gavin Strachan had designs on moving into sports journalism as he edged towards the end of a playing career.

The former Coventry City and Dundee midfielder knew he would be able to draw on his days as a hard-working midfielder as well as have the benefit of being the son of Gordon, one of Scotland’s greatest-ever players as well as a sometimes tricky interviewee.

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The tantalising prospect of Strahcan interviewing Strachan is less likely now that Gavin has chosen to pursue a career in coaching despite a degree in sports journalism and broadcasting from Staffordshire university.

Sports journalism’s loss is Cetlic’s gain. Strachan junior can still play a part in writing one of Scottish football’s greatest stories by helping the Parkhead club secure a record tenth consecutive title in the up-coming season.

Strachan is currently preparing for Celtic’s forthcoming trip to France, where they are set to play games against Lyon, Nice and Paris St Germain. He has described his initial spell at the club as a “whirlwind” since replacing Damien Duff, pictured, as first-team coach a fortnight ago.

This step up from Peterborough United, where he was Sir Alex Ferguson’s son Darren’s assistant, vindicates his decision to concentrate on

coaching.

However, he does explain that it was a choice made out of necessity after he found sports journalism jobs hard to come by.

“My thinking was that I was getting to the end of my career at Notts County, I had had lots of injuries and had to think about what I was going to do at the end of my playing career,” he said.

“So I did a degree in journalism and enjoyed it. I just found out that when I stopped playing there weren’t as many opportunities as I had expected.

“I then thought about being a coach, although I wasn’t sure if I’d like it. But I lived it and that’s the direction I decided to go. I haven’t looked back.”

A spell managing Ilkeston prepared him for assistant manager posts at Doncaster and Peterborough, both under Ferguson. He admits there was some anxiety as he clocked on with Celtic and adjusted to working with a better standard of player.

“Wherever you go and work there is always trepidation,” he said. “Clearly it’s magnified here when it’s a club like Celtic. But once you get working and do

what you do, it’s just

football.”

“Everybody has made me feel extremely welcome. The players and the staff have been excellent and as the days have gone by I’ve been able to do what I do. The players have been able to figure out what I’m all about and that makes it a little bit easier.”

Strachan is looking forward to heading to France later this month as Celtic step up their pre-season activities.

The first-team coach believes that the change of scenery will be as beneficial for the players as the games themselves after months of being cooped up at home.

“The way the world is now, and with everyone so isolated for so long, any chance to get people together and spend quality time together, is something that we’re all looking forward to,” said Strachan.

“We’re lucky that we’re able to do that. I’ve already seen a great spirit amongst the players already, so to go away and cement that even more, ahead of what’s going to be an important season, is something that we feel is important.

“It’ll be good for me too, although it’s amazing how comfortable I feel already. It’s only been ten days of actual training so far but I feel like I know all the guys quite well already.

“But this is a chance to solidify all that. But for the players it’ll help them mentally after everything that’s been going on in the world.

“It’ll be good for the camaraderie and the bonding after everyone has been isolated for so long. It’ll be good for everyone’s mental health as much as anything.”

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