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'He's a genius when it comes to the game and breaking it down' - Jim the pundit

The Donegal boss starts life with Sky Sports next Saturday and the presenters can’t wait to work with him.

Ex-Donegal boss Jim McGuinness.
Ex-Donegal boss Jim McGuinness.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

NEXT SATURDAY JIM McGuinness begins his new GAA role as he swaps the sideline for the armchair.

After four hugely successful seasons as Donegal boss, McGuinness stepped away last October and is slotting into the position of a TV pundit with Sky Sports for the 2015 campaign.

Next Saturday’s Leinster meeting in Tullamore of Kildare and Laois is Sky Sports first offering this summer and presenter Rachel Wyse is looking forward to working with the ‘genius’ that is McGuinness.

“He’s a genius when it comes to the game and breaking it down. We met him for about an hour or two, and sat down, just one-on-one.

Jim McGuinness 19/6/2013 Jim McGuinness starts life as a pundit next Saturday. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“He drove up to us, he dropped his kids off to school. It’s very different I guess – from an Irish perspective it’s normal for me – but over here with the football managers, there’s the entourage and there’s the PR people.

He just drove up to the hotel and sat down with us for two hours and just broke everything down throughout the season.

Fascinating

“He’s got a fascinating insight into it. He’s away from the game now as such so I know that he’s excited to work with us as well this year. It’ll be nice to have him in the studio for the first one on the 6th (June).”

Rachel Wyse Sky Sports presenter Rachel Wyse Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Fellow Sky Sports presenter Brian Carney is seeking to get McGuinness’s thoughts on the theory that he provoked a ‘negative change’ in Gaelic football.

“There’s an acccusation levelled at Jim that he’s responsible in some way for a change and maybe a negative change in football. I’m not sure I buy it. I can’t wait to sit down and talk with him, his thoughts on that and what he feels the general purpose of the game is.

Criticise

If it’s just solely to win, you can’t criticise him. But is there an onus to win in a certain way or is that just wishful thinking for pundits? I’d like to get Jim’s take on that.

“There’s probably other coaches that have benefitted from him. They’ve either taken his ideas and refined them or they’ve got stimulated by his success.”

Brian Carney Sky Sports GAA presenter Brian Carney Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Wyse admits there were nerves before Sky’s debut broadcast last summer but feels the GAA team have grown into their roles.

“When I say nervous, it was just the unknown, I’d never worked on a live OB (outside broadcast) before, I’d always been in the studio for Sky Sports news.

“But very quickly within a couple of weeks, you realise you’re working with people who are extremely good at what they do. Hopefully people liked what we had to offer in terms of the coverage.

Brian Carney and Rachel Wyse with Jamesie OÕConnor and Ollie Canning Brian Carney and Rachel Wyse before Sky Sports first broadcast last summer. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“Touch screen analysis is obviously second to none with the guys, they’re brilliant. So hopefully this year, (there’ll) not (be) as much nerves at the start.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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