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Celtic captain Brown takes up player-coach role at Aberdeen

London (AFP) – Celtic captain Scott Brown will leave the Glasgow giants after a success-laden 14-year spell to join Aberdeen next season in a player-coach role.

The 35-year-old former Scotland skipper has signed a pre-contract with the Dons to work alongside new manager and his former Hibernian teammate Stephen Glass.

Brown signed for Celtic from Hibernian in 2007 and made more than 600 appearances, winning 10 league titles and 12 domestic cups.

“It is a huge decision to leave this magnificent club, which has been such a massive part of my life for so long, but this is a new opportunity for me and a new chapter,” he told Celtic’s website.

“Celtic will never leave me and the club will forever be in my heart.”

Outgoing Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell paid tribute to Brown’s influence in a run of nine consecutive Scottish league titles, that came to an end this season as Rangers stopped the Hoops bid for a record 10-in-a-row.

“Scott Brown has been the heartbeat of Celtic for so long and without doubt, the most influential figure in the Scottish game across the past 15 years,” said Lawwell.

“With more than 600 appearances for the club, he has made an imprint on Celtic which puts him in the company of our other true greats — and with a legacy to match.”

Brown’s departure adds to a major rebuild for Celtic in the close season.

Dominic McKay, current chief operating officer of the Scottish Rugby Union, will replace Lawwell in July.

No appointment has yet been made on who will be the club’s new manager with John Kennedy acting as caretaker until the end of the season after Neil Lennon’s resignation last month.

Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane is the latest candidate to emerge as the bookmakers’ favourite for the role.

Meanwhile, Glass believes tempting Brown to Pittodrie is a “huge coup” for Aberdeen as they seek to reestablish themselves as the third force in Scottish football.

Glass agreed to leave MLS club Atlanta United to replace Derek McInnes, who was let go after eight years earlier this month due to a dip in form.

“The opportunity to bring a player of Scott’s calibre, a leader who has more European appearances for Celtic than any other player, is a huge coup for me and for Aberdeen,” said Glass.

“A born competitor, with a strong appetite to win, his hands-on approach and desire to nurture will hugely benefit the development of the young, emerging talent we have here.”

Aberdeen are fourth in the Scottish Premiership, seven points adrift of Hibernian with five games to play.

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