Oran Kearney turned to magician Rodd Hogg to lift spirits for Celtic game

By Kyle Gunn

Oran Kearney turned to fellow Northern Irishman Rodd Hogg to lift the spirits ahead of his opening game against Celtic and it worked liked magic, producing a point against the Scottish Premiership champions. 

It wasn’t the first time the former Coleraine boss used the magician, including before Cup finals, but says it wasn’t in his plans before today’s game against Hamilton.

He said: “There will be no magician in this week. That was more than anything to bring a light-hearted moment to the dressing room because it was quiet in there for the first couple of days when I arrived.”

“A lot of that was probably due to me because when there’s a new manager people will feel you out to try to see what it’s like. But I’m used to an environment in the school and the staff room where you work hard in class time but you can also have a bit of fun and a bit of craic, and that keeps you sane.”

“I hope this environment will be the same. I don’t want players being silly but at the same time I think it’s an environment where you need to be able to have a laugh at times too. People like Rod can help with that initially because people are still talking about some of the stuff he was doing - which was mind-boggling to be honest.”

Kearney says the move had  the desired affect but insisted it was a one off.

He continued: “People could possibly say that was a gamble in my first week but I know Rod inside out. Before cup finals I’ve had him in my changing room to lighten what could become an edgy atmosphere on a big day like that.”

“I knew it wasn’t a risk, but he’s a dangerous man to be friends with! He’s a pick-pocket as well so he can take watches, wallets and everything without you knowing. There’s one thing he did at a wedding where he got the groom to do a trick with him and at the end he said ‘how long did that take? Did you time it?’

When the guy went to check his watch it wasn’t there and he started to panic - but sure enough Rod’s wearing it already.