DONEGAL manager Jim McGuinness this week has insisted he doesn’t wish to pursue a career as a soccer coach.
McGuinness, the week before last, was appointed as a performance director with Celtic FC in Glasgow - a role he will take up on a part-time basis from next Monday. The 40-year-old will work with the club’s academy and U-20 players, specifically in a role of sports psychologist.
However, McGuinness insisted from New York, where he took the 2012 All-Star select to a 8-17 to 8-7 win over their predecessors in Gaelic Park on Saturday, that any job in Scotland will not have a negative impact on his work with Donegal.
“No, no,” he said when asked would he consider doing his soccer badges. “I’m very happy with the job I’m in. The job I’m in is the job that I’ve done in the past. The job that I’ve done in the past is working with people and working with people in Ireland on an individual level.”
McGuinness feels as though the experience he picks up in Lennoxtown, the training base of Celtic FC, can only benefit the Donegal panel and leaving the post he has now held for two years was always a priority.
“We have created something within our own group of players that I feel is special,” he added.
“They have put everything in their lives into the side in terms of day-to-day stuff and put football at the centre. It would be hard to walk away from that. I would feel that we’re 60-65 per cent of what we can be. These boys are still learning.
“Even the All-Ireland final was a huge learning experience for them. They deviated from what we were talking about beforehand. For us, a huge focus will be on Tyrone in the first round of the Championship.”
Lacey lashes out over Donegal treatment
Meanwhile in New York, Donegal’s Footballer of the Year, Karl Lacey, hit out at Donegal’s treatment in their bid to host the opening game of the defence of their title.
It’s still undecided whether or not Ballybofey will host that Ulster championship opener between Donegal and Tyrone. On Saturday night last after the All-Star exhibition game, Lacey called on the GAA to let the All-Ireland champions host the fixture.
Lacey will remain in the United States until Sunday with Four Masters clubmate Paul Durcan, while McGuinness, Neil McGee, Anthony Thompson, Neil Gallagher, Michael Murphy, Mark McHugh and Kevin Cassidy are expected back tomorrow.
Murphy might be a concern for his club Glenswilly, who are in the middle of a relegation scrap ahead of the last series of All-County Football League Division One matches this coming weekend. Manus McFadden’s side take on Dungloe, while Gaoth Dobhair need a result at St Eunan’s.
The Donegal captain hobbled off in Gaelic Park with what appeared to be a recurrence of a toe injury that forced him to miss Glenswilly’s last league game against St Michael’s and the ‘Match for Michaela.’