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Dublin: 16 °C Thursday 4 June, 2020

Roger Schmidt, the man who brought Jim McGuinness to China, persuaded to move 6 months early

The unlikely duo arrive in Beijing midway through the Chinese season.

Beijing Guoan coach Roger Schmidt
Beijing Guoan coach Roger Schmidt

ROGER SCHMIDT HAS revealed the lure of becoming Beijing Guoan coach was so strong that he took the role six months earlier than planned.

The former Bayer Leverkusen coach was officially presented as the Chinese Super League club’s new boss on Monday, having signed a two-and-a-half-year deal in June.

Schmidt is bringing ex-Donegal senior football manager Jim McGuinness with him as assistant coach to form an unlikely management partnership.

Schmidt – who said he would give youngsters a chance to shine – had originally intended to move in January 2018, but changed his plans to succeed Jose Gonzalez midway through Guoan’s season.

“I know a thing or two about Chinese football and Beijing Guoan and after a direct communication with the club, I made the decision to come to China,” said the 50-year-old.

“I instantly fall in love with the city of Beijing and I am deeply convinced that Guoan is the club that most suits me. I am eager to be part of Chinese football, which is experiencing rapid development.

“I intended to join the club in January next year, but Guoan talked me into moving to Beijing earlier than expected.

“I like working with young players, helping them grow into the game. One of my aims after coming here is to give young players an opportunity to shine in the first team.

“In the long term we will fight for titles and return to the AFC Champions League. I am ready for the challenge.”

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