DONEGAL MANAGER JIM McGuinness is never one to avoid casting an eye across other sporting fields.
Perhaps, though, a small tinge of regret may hit him whenever Goodison Park comes onto his screen.
Everton’s Seamus Coleman is Killybegs born and bred. And McGuinness didn’t require a first, never mind a second, invitation to wax lyrical about the Toffee fullback this week.
“Seamus is a player that would be with us now, because he was a brilliant minor and under-21 and everything.
“He would be with us,” The All Ireland winning coach said at the launch of Arthur Guinness Projects. “I’m sure he would probably be in the team because he was Michael Murphy, Leo McLoone’s vintage.”
Prior to putting a foot on the professional football ladder as a raiding right fullback with Sligo Rovers, Coleman was doing much the same, only through the middle as a centre back with Killybegs.
“Ah, a brilliant player,” McGuinness continues with an exhale. “Play anywhere and the thing about him is exactly what you are seeing on television: athleticism, skill and a brilliant attitude. A hard working, industrious attitude with a serious sprinkling of quality.”
It’s a description that could easily be transplanted onto last year’s footballer of the year, Karl Lacey.
“Yeah,” agrees McGuinness. “That’s what he’s bringing to soccer and that’s what he would bring to Gaelic. He’s at all the games and he goes to all the club matches at Killybegs.
“He is a fantastic lad and I think there is a lot more to come from him. I think he is going to go the whole way, Seamus.”
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 via www.ArthurGuinnessProjects.com