FORMER Celtic winger Paddy McCourt has announced he is to hang up his boots after being appointed Derry City’s youth academy chief.

The 34-year-old will take up the role in September when his contract with current club, Finn Harps, in the League of Ireland First Division, expires.

The Northern Ireland internationalist spent a five-year spell at Parkhead and the manager who signed him, Gordon Strachan, said he was “as gifted a footballer as I have ever seen”.

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However, 'the Derry Pele’ has slipped down the ranks since leaving the Hoops in 2013 and his future now lies as head of the youth academy at Derry, where he spent three seasons.

McCourt said: “I’m really happy to be coming back to Derry City and in particular to have the opportunity to oversee this new development programme.