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By ESPN Staff

Bhoys coach defects to join Walter at Gers

Kenny McDowall has confirmed his decision to quit Celtic's coaching staff in favour of a move to Rangers was all down to Walter Smith.

Celtic were powerless to stop McDowall leaving Parkhead, a move they confirmed yesterday, as he was working without a contract.

The former Partick striker is now set to start work as first-team coach with the Ibrox side, having been responsible for the reserves in his time at Celtic.

Scotland boss Smith is thought close to being installed at Rangers, with both he and Ally McCoist returning to the club to front the new management team.

McDowall, 43, told the Daily Record: 'The big pull was the chance to work with guys like Walter Smith and Ally McCoist in a first-team environment.'

He added: 'I'm an ambitious guy and I would have wanted to speak to Walter about this role regardless of my contractual situation at Celtic.'

McDowall also confirmed he had met with Smith to discuss the Rangers role, news which may not be welcomed by the Scottish Football Association, to whom the 58-year-old national coach remains contracted.

McDowall explained: 'I don't know him that well but by the end of the meeting I felt as if I had known him for a hundred years.'