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'No coaching sessions': Jim McGuinness coy on his involvement with Donegal this season

It’s understood McGuinness delivered a talk to the squad before their Ulster opener against Cavan.

WITH DONEGAL STILL enjoying the afterglow of their Ulster SFC title success, Jim McGuinness has remained coy about his involvement with Declan Bonner’s squad this season.

Now TV evening with Jim McGuinness Jim McGuinness will join the Sky Sports analysis team for this weekend’s games between Cavan vs Tyrone and Kildare vs Mayo live on streaming service NOW TV and Sky Sports Arena. Source: Sam Barnes/SPORTSFILE

Donegal were convincing 2-18 to 0-12 winners over Fermanagh on Sunday to secure their first Ulster crown since 2014, which arrived while McGuinness was still in charge.

The42 understands the 2012 All-Ireland winning manager was drafted in to deliver a talk to the Donegal players prior to their Ulster preliminary round game against Cavan, but he didn’t take any training sessions.

Speaking at a NOW TV launch in Dublin on Tuesday, McGuinness hinted that he spoke with the Donegal squad prior to the championship, although he didn’t confirm it.

“Have you taken any coaching sessions with Donegal this year or spoke to them as a group?” he was asked. “Or had any involvement with them at all?”

“No, no coaching sessions,” McGuinness replied.

“So you have spoken to them as a group?”

“No coaching sessions,” he repeated, smiling.

Jim McGuinness and Michael Murphy celebrate McGuinness and Michael Murphy celebrate their All-Ireland win in 2012 Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

McGuinness managed Donegal between 2011 and 2014, winning three Ulster titles and the Sam Maguire.

He worked with Scottish giants Glasgow Celtic from 2012 and left the club to follow Roger Schmidt to Chinese Super League side Beijing Sinobo Guoan in July 2017.

Since he vacated his position in China last January, the 45-year-old returned to live in Glasgow with his family. He’s frequently back in Ireland through his work as a GAA pundit with Sky Sports.

Declan Bonner and Jim McGuinness 21/6/1998 Source: Keith Heneghan/INPHO

Bonner and McGuinness were team-mates when Donegal won the All-Ireland title in 1992, while Bonner was in his first stint as county boss when they made the 1998 Ulster final while McGuinness was still playing.

Bonner’s Donegal are back action on the weekend of 14/15 July when they take on Dublin in the Super 8s opener at Croke Park.

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Kevin O'Brien

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