New coach looking to keep the Tommy Burns ethos alive

Last updated : 22 April 2009 By Mikbhoy

The Lennoxtown training complex may not be named after Tommy Burns (yet) but everyone involved in the game knows that the creation of Celtic's state of the art facility was driven by Tommy's hard work, passion, enthusiasm and love. "I'm very aware of the work Tommy put in to create the academy and the passion he had for the development of youth players who could go on to make careers for themselves at the club." said McIntyre. "His love of Celtic and all of the club traditions as well as his own values will never be forgotten. Tommy didn't only want good players coming through the ranks. He wanted the right type of person to be playing at Celtic. That was very important to him and it will be the same for me."

"I spoke with a lot of people at the club when I was offered the job and I know how strongly they all feel about what Tommy started here." said the new coach. "I will be working directly with Chris McCart and he mapped out his vision for the club. I was also really impressed with what Peter Lawwell had to say. He highlighted his vision as well but what struck me was his passion and enthusiasm for Celtic. It was clear to see and it makes you want to be a part of what's going on there.

"The facilities are superb as well." he continued. "The players want for nothing at Lennoxtown and just going to work there every day will be a pleasure. Gordon Strachan phoned me and kept talking about how wonderful a club it is to work for. I also had a chat with Billy Stark, who knows all about Celtic, and he spoke highly of it. It's just an honour and a privilege to be involved with such a massive club and I am delighted. It was a wrench to leave the SFA as I love my job and the people I work with have been great to me. But the opportunity was too great to ignore and it is something I am looking forward to immensely."

"I'll enjoy working with Chris." said McIntyre. "I've known him a long time and he was instrumental in getting me on board. We came through the ranks at the same time and played against each other many times when I was at Aberdeen and Hibs and he was at Motherwell. We've always got on well and have similar thoughts on how the game should be played.

"I worked with him briefly about 10 years ago." he continued. "And brought him in with the Scotland Under-19 team when Archie Gemmill left. We've developed a mutual respect and understanding. Initially, I will be overseeing the Under-19 and Under-17 teams but obviously I will also want to have an understanding of what is coming up from the Under-15s.

"I'll be looking at development of coaches and the indentification of talent." he said. "In my role I've been fortunate to travel far and wide to see a variety of programmes and I'll bring the best of them to Celtic in the hope of attracting and nurturing the best young talent. It's an exciting challenge for me and it had to be something special to entice me from the SFA because I have been happy there. I packed a lot into my four-and-a-half years. I went there as head of youth development and then became involved in the Under-19s. The last two-and-a-bit years have been as assistant development director as well as head of coaching and education."

The financial situation today decrees that clubs outwith the 'Big Five' European nations must endeavour to produce a large percentage of their playing staff from within the club and with that in mind Celtic have been recruiting raw young talent from throughout Europe. It's this potential that McIntyre will be looking to mould into the stars of tomorrow. "You can never guarantee producing talent but you must have in place a system that will give you the best chance of doing so." he said. "The financial situation, not just in Scotland but throughout Europe, means it has never been more important to bring your first-team players up through the ranks. There's always an expectation Celtic can buy top players but at the same time we have to attempt to produce our own."

"I don't just mean from the Under-17s or Under-19s." he added. "It's about identifying talent at the ages of nine, 10 and 11 and putting them on to the correct education programme. I don't just mean academically, I'm also talking about their football education."