Celtic: Shaun Maloney exits for full-time Belgium job

Shaun Maloney (right) is part of the Belgium coaching team, along with Thierry Henry
Maloney (right) is part of the Belgium coaching team, along with assistant Thierry Henry

Shaun Maloney has left his reserve coach post at Celtic to focus on his job with Belgium.

The 35-year-old former Scotland international was appointed second assistant to manager Roberto Martinez last month.

He started coaching at Celtic in August 2017, after injury brought his playing career to an end.

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers said he "fully understands the full-time demands of this role".

He added: "We fully appreciate and respect his decision to move on. He has done a fantastic job already at Celtic, working alongside Tommy McIntyre and made a real contribution to the club.

"I am sure he will go on and do the very same with the Belgian national team, working with great people in Roberto Martinez and [fellow assistant manager] Thierry Henry.

"Capped 47 times, Maloney, who had two spells at Celtic, played under Martinez at Wigan Athletic.

"The past year has been a great opportunity for me to work with the young players at the club and it has been a role I have given everything to," he said.

"All the players in the squad work tirelessly each day and I am sure many of them will see this pay off in the next few years as they start to make an impression at first team level."

'The beauty with Jack is he never hides'

Celtic defender Jack Hendry
Defender Jack Hendry has featured in Celtic's last two games

Meanwhile, Rodgers said Dedryck Boyata "understands he's made a mistake" following the defender's late red card in the League Cup win at St Johnstone.

The Belgian was dismissed for dissent by referee John Beaton and will miss the semi-final against Hearts.

"Dedryck didn't need to be told but we had a chat on it," said the manager. "He felt he had a free-kick and it was towards the end of the game, looking to see it out and it's just a player's frustration."

Rodgers also had praise for Jack Hendry, who replaced the injured Kristoffer Ajer at McDiarmid Park, saying the 23-year-old centre-half is "only going to get better and better".

"He comes in and always makes himself available, " he said. "We have the likes of him, Marvin Compper in the background, who obviously hasn't featured so much but we know he is there and we've other adaptations. We'll find the answers in the squad.

"Jack's a player that never goes missing. He's come into a huge club. He's seen the demands over these last seven months. He never shirks from it.

"He's been thrust into it a lot earlier than what I wanted to because of injuries and whatnot. But he's had some terrific games. He's had some challenging games. The beauty with Jack is he never hides, he always puts himself out there. I'm looking forward to seeing develop over the next few years."

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