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Jim McGuinness confirms Celtic move and insists it will be 'the best of both worlds'

The Donegal coach confirmed to Highland Radio that the Scottish club’s flexibility was a vital factor in taking up his new job.

Jim McGuinness in our artist's rendition of a Celtic strip.
Jim McGuinness in our artist's rendition of a Celtic strip.
Image: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

JIM McGUINNESS HAS confirmed his part-time switch to Glasgow Celtic Football Club and insists there will be no drop-off in his attendance at Donegal training.

The All-Ireland-winning coach gave an exclusive interview to Highland Radio today and clarified exactly what his new post in Scotland will involve.

The 39-year-old will be based at Celtic’s Lennoxtown training facility two days, minimum, a week before flying back in time for Thursday training with the Donegal panel and weekend sessions over the winter months. He will begin work in Glasgow at the end of November.

He said, “My primary job will be as a performance coach and to work with the younger players and Under-20 players that will be trying to make the breakthrough into the first team.

“It will be to look at them on an individual basis, look at their weaknesses and try to develop their strengths and, hopefully, put them in a position in six months, a year, 18 months where they can push for first team football.”

Flexibility

McGuinness, conducting the interview from Glasgow, claimed that the coaching position was a great opportunity in terms of his personal development as.

I suppose it’s a great opportunity for Donegal, on a level, because I’m working in a professional environment a number of days a week and that’s going to be a great environment for me to be in in terms of the skills I’m going to learn at Celtic to bring back to Donegal.

“I have to be very, very thankful to Celtic Football Club for that and giving me the opportunity to [combine the roles]. They’ve been very fair in terms of my own role with Donegal.”

He added, “They’ve given me the opportunity to stay on with Donegal and participate in all the training sessions and be at home for all the training sessions.

“That flexibility made the decision a lot easier for me. I’d have to be very thankful to the football club and to [Celtic manager] Neil Lennon.”

‘There will be no impact…’

“I’ve looked at that,” McGuinness declared when asked if his new job would impede on his time with Donegal.

“I’ve sat down and I’ve worked it out. There will be no drop-off in terms of my own attendance at training and my input to the team.” He added:

We’ve been on a great journey for the past two years. Obviously, I think the world of them, they’ve been great to work with. It would have been very difficult to walk away from them so I’m delighted that I don’t have to do that.”

McGuinness revealed that, along with the Donegal coaching staff, weights programmes and individual plans are being put in place for players on the panel over the winter months.

He concluded, “After all the speculation, I’m looking forward to getting on with that job as well.

“It’s going to be great. It’s the best of both worlds. For your day job to be in sport and for the passion for Donegal still to be in-situ.”

To listen to the full Highland Radio interview click here.

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Patrick McCarry

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