McGee expects McGuinness to stay

Donegal full-back Neil McGee insists there is no need for supporters to worry about Jim McGuinness leaving the post of manager.

Donegal full-back Neil McGee insists there is no need for supporters to worry about Jim McGuinness leaving the post of manager.

Speculation has been rife that McGuinness could take up a role with a soccer club, having been a guest at Celtic for a Champions League qualifier in August and been invited to visit the Scottish Premier League champions’ training facility at Lennoxtown.

“I’m not surprised after all he has achieved and what he has done with Donegal that he would be linked with these jobs but I think it is all rumours,” Gaoth Dobhair clubman McGee said this week.

“It shows you how far up Jim’s stock has gone. He’s transformed the Donegal team. His ethos on the whole thing can be taken into any sport. I think people realise that and they’re putting two and two together and they’re coming up with 44.”

However, former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Packie Bonner, who played Gaelic football with Donegal before joining Celtic in 1978, believes McGuinness has the credentials to make it in other sports.

“I hear a lot of talk about the manager making this transition into soccer, not as a manager but working in the areas of fitness and psychology,” Bonner said of McGuinness. “Celtic have been mentioned. Liverpool have been mentioned. That would be a unique situation.

“I know the lad and he’s brilliant. He’s got something special. The fitness levels of the team were fantastic too. And that’s the background he’s coming from – fitness and psychology. Whether he could make that transition into soccer would be very interesting.

“I would love to see it happen, actually. It would be a huge challenge for him.

“And they’ve learned from that side of it. That’s what you have to do, you have to look outside. And we, as soccer people, need to look at other sports too, there’s no question. I think any challenge would appeal to him.

“I think the challenge of Donegal was a great one for him and he’s done it very, very well. He’s achieved something in Donegal that only two people have achieved, himself and Brian McEniff, and so there’s the question of whether he’d like to go for the next challenge — of doing it again. He’s got a young fit team. But he has to live too and he has to look at his own career. I think moving to soccer would be a challenge and I think he would be up to it. “