Jonny Hayes has taken up a role within Celtic's youth academy following his retirement from professional football

There had been intense speculation about the Irishman's future since he announced that he was hanging up his boots in early June. 

Hayes represented Celtic over 60 times between 2017 and 2020 and re-joins the Scottish Premiership champions after a productive second spell at Aberdeen, where he racked up a further 145 appearances. 

He will now begin his new coaching position at Celtic, which will involve the former winger working beside Stephen McManus, who has been promoted to head coach of the Hoops' B team.

This move comes after Darren O'Dea was named the club's new Professional Player Pathway Manager.

Additionally, Celtic have brought in Adam Ashgar, the former Under-21 boss at Southampton, to lead their U18 team. He will be assisted by long-time Celtic staff member Chris Hendry.

These changes in the coaching staff are aimed at strengthening the development pathway for the club's young talents amid criticism that the Hoops aren't bringing through enough starlets into the senior squad.

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Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers knows Hayes' expertise and experience can be a huge help in changing that trajectory having worked with Aberdeen's youth teams during the twilight of his career. 

“We are delighted to make these new appointments," said Rodgers.

"Stephen is an excellent coach who knows the club inside out and he will do a fantastic job as our B Team Head Coach, and I am really pleased to welcome Jonny back to Celtic. I know his ability, energy and his passion for developing younger players will be really useful to us.

“We are also delighted to welcome Adam and Chris to their new roles and I am sure they will be very successful in working with our U18 players and giving them that opportunity to progress through our levels at Celtic, a hugely important area for us and something we want to see more and more of in the future.”

(Image: SNS) Chris McCart, Head of Celtic’s Youth Academy, commented: “We are really pleased to announce these new appointments.  

"Our B Team will be in great hands under Stephen and we are delighted that Jonny has joined the coaching team to assist in the development of our young players.

"Adam has great coaching experience, too, so we are pleased to welcome him to Celtic to work alongside Chris Hendry who has a wealth of knowledge of the Academy.”