Stephen McManus is hoping to save Celtic “millions of pounds” in his new role as the club’s under-18s coach.
The former Hoops and Scotland captain has returned to Parkhead where he came through the ranks to play centre-back between 2003 and 2010, while Republic of Ireland winger Damien Duff has come in as reserve team coach.
With seemingly no end to spiralling transfer fees, McManus, who moved from a youth coach job at Motherwell where he finished his career 18 months ago, wants to produce players capable of making it all the way into Brendan Rodgers’ first team.
The 36-year-old said: “The manager and coaching staff at first-team level will be the ones that make the decisions.
“My job here is to focus on the under-18s as such, to help produce some players for the first team.
“That’s what I’m going to work as hard as I possibly can to do.
“If you can produce young players that are going to save the club millions of pounds, then great, and that is what I’m going to focus on.”
McManus, who won three league titles, two Scottish Cups and two League Cups during his time at Parkhead, insists there is “loads” of young talent in Scottish football, most especially at Celtic.
The former Middlesbrough defender said: “There’s a lot of talented players in this country.
“As a nation we’re quick to beat them with a stick, to say, ‘he is not good enough, he is not good enough’.
“I have worked in under-18s and under-17s for the last five years, even when I still was playing. So I could see the talent at other football clubs.
“At this club, there is special, special talents but they also need to realise that it is not just going to happen for them, they have to work for it, they have to be dedicated.”