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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019

Jim McGuinness to leave Celtic for assistant manager role in China

The Donegal man and former Bayer Leverkusen boss Roger Schmidt seem to have bonded over their appreciation of very ‘direct and intense football’.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

FORMER DONEGAL GAELIC football boss Jim McGuinness is set to join Chinese Super League club Beijing Sinobo Guoan.

The All-Ireland winner has been working in association football since taking up a role with Celtic in 2012, most recently working as coach of the Glasgow club’s under 20 side.

This morning, the Irish Times, who McGuinness works for as a columnist, report that he will work under ex-Bayer Leverkusen and Red Bull Salzburg coach Roger Schmidt on a two and a half year contract.

“I happened to mention that I found Leverkusen’s style of play very interesting as Roger was one of the coaches whose approach I was studying very closely,” McGuinness said of a meeting with some of Leverkusen’s psychologists.

“Then we met at one of their Champions League games. And (Schmidt) was very generous with his time. He gave me a few hours on the afternoon of the game.

“They were one of the few football teams that play very direct and intense football predicated on intensity. It is about asking questions of the opposition and trying to overwhelm them and never allowing them to settle. And I was drawn to that. We stayed in touch through email.

“Then I got a text from Roger at the beginning of the summer to say he was going to be in Dublin to meet a sports firm. We met in the airport in Dublin and spent a few hours ahead of his flight to Germany and he walked me through his game plan and style of play. We just had a really good conversation. I feel that we think similarly and share core principles.”

Speaking to The42 in May, McGuinness spoke about how rewarding it had been to observe the work of Brendan Rodgers at Celtic.

“It’s been really good to see the manager to come in on day one with a blank canvas and how he’s gone about his business, developing a culture, developing the game-plan, tactically getting the message across and getting the players to do on the pitch what he wants them to do.

“From my own development it’s been very interesting to see that and develop myself and work with the U20s. It’s been a really good year.”

– Originally published 08.36

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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