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Image: Marc O'Sullivan.

McGuinness keen to pitch in with McGinley's Ryder Cup drive

The Donegal boss has spoken with the European captain about bonding individual competitors into a team.
Jun 28th 2013, 8:00 AM 6,393 11

DONEGAL GAA MANAGER Jim McGuinness will not be a staple of Europe’s Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles next year, but it seems likely that he will still have a role to play in Europe’s title defence.

Team captain Paul McGinley, whose parents are both from north Donegal, has name-checked the All-Ireland winner several times as a presence which could be valuable to Europe’s chances of beating the USA.

And, although McGinley has said there would be no official role for either McGuinness or Martin O’Neill in the team, McGuinness is sure he will still have some part to play.

“I don’t think it’s involvement in a professional capacity.” McGuinness admitted at the launch of the Arthur Guinness Projects this week.

“I think where the dynamic is, [is] golf is an individual sport but the Ryder Cup is a complete team sport. But I’ve got experience of managing a team and managing situations with teams and stuff where Paul wouldn’t be getting that naturally within his sport because it’s an individual sport.

“I think by talking to people like myself, or any managers – the likes of Martin O’Neill who are used to players in groups and how to manage groups, team bonding or whatever it is. All these things, are part of what we do on an ongoing basis where as it’s not the norm in golf.”

The news will be nothing new to the Ryder Cup captain. The Dubliner is no stranger to Donegal GAA and has met with McGuinness several times to discuss the subject.

“I was talking to him there at the game on Sunday.” McGuinness says of his side’s progression to a third consecutive Ulster Championship final at the expense of Down. “And he’s here at the minute playing at the [Irish Open].”

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McGinley greets McGuinness after Donegal’s Ulster semi-final victory over Down. ©INPHO.

McGinley’s suggestion that adding a strong GAA personality to his staff might not exactly reinforce a feeling of Europe-wide unity needed in such a unique event would appear to be shared by McGuinness. However, the man who also juggles a role with Glasgow Celtic on top of his duty as Donegal boss is hoping to make an extra trip to Scotland for the late-September showpiece of golf in 2014.

“I’d probably be there anyway.” He says. “I’d like to be there definitely. Paul’s a great fella, a great Donegal supporter as well, and I think he has great interest in the football.I think that’s where [the link] comes in and that’s where potentially you could be of some help and if I’m of any help at all I will be delighted.”

Jim McGuinness was pictured at the launch of ‘Arthur Guinness Projects’, a major new cultural initiative that will champion Ireland’s talent and creativity. The Donegal manager, along with fellow sports panel members, will choose and provide mentoring to selected projects and applications can be submitted here.

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Sean Farrell

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