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McNamara eager to play on

Bhoys legend set to begin coaching career

By James Pearson.   Last Updated: 26/05/10 10:39am

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McNamara: Keen to play on

McNamara: Keen to play on

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Veteran defender Jackie McNamara insists he has no thoughts of hanging up his playing boots as he recovers from a broken leg.

The former Celtic, Wolves and Aberdeen man finished the season on the sidelines after disaster struck while on loan at Partick Thistle from Falkirk.

The Bairns have confirmed McNamara's release this summer and the 36-year-old is now in talks to rejoin Partick as player-coach for next season.

The ex-Celtic man is looking forward to helping the next generation of talent in Scotland, but insists finishing his playing career on the pitch was a priority.

"I'd like to finish on better terms to be honest," he told "I'd like to finish my career playing rather than something else.

"There was a bit of frustration breaking my leg. It wasn't a bad break or anything career threatening.

"If it had been a double leg break then maybe I'd have looked at it and called it a day, but the nature of it is that it should be okay.

"I've been walking now without crutches for two weeks. I had crutches for eight weeks.

"It's so far so good with the X-ray now. I'm just working on getting the leg built up and maybe start running further down the line."


McNamara has confirmed he is currently in talks with Partick over joining the First Division side during the close season.

"I was going to go to Partick Thistle as player-coach so I'm waiting on getting something sorted out at the moment," he continued.

"The good thing for me is that I still get to play while also getting involved in the coaching and that side of it.

"Talks are ongoing with Partick Thistle regarding that. I've given them my word before I got injured.

"That was the plan before I went there on loan for the month that was going to start in the summer anyway. I just happened that I broke my leg while on loan."


McNamara has seen many of his ex-Celtic team-mates make the smooth transition into football management and he is keen to follow suit.

The former Scotland international has played under some of the best in the business and having been made Celtic captain under Martin O'Neill, he labels the Aston Villa boss as one of his biggest influences.

He said: "I'm at the stage of my career when you think about coaching and management. A lot of Celtic team-mates are doing that just now, like Neil Lennon, Henrik Larsson, Chris Sutton and Paul Lambert.

"There's no surprise that they are all doing that. I think Martin O'Neill has been a big influence on a lot of them, like the man management skills that he's got.

"I've been fortune to work under some great managers in my career like Tommy Burns and others at Dunfermline before that. You take little bits from all of them and obviously Martin's a bit influence on that.

"I'd always like to go back there (Celtic) at some stage. It's a place close to my heart after leaving there. It's a hard place to leave.

"You never know in football what happens. Just now I'd like to keep playing at the moment, at least until the end of the season anyway and then we'll see what happens."

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