The man who unexpectedly brought Donegal to an All Ireland semi final in Croke Park last year made a triumphant return to his home club last weekend declaring that it was great to be home again after his exile in Creeslough.
Jim McGuinness was the guest of honour at his home club Naomh Conaill’s annual Presentation and Dinner in the Highlands Hotel in Glenties along with his wife Yvonne which in spite of not clinching the “big prize” last year was attended by up on 200 guests.
Speaking after making numerous presentations, McGuinness said, “ It’s really great to be back here at home in Glenties after a bit of an exile in Creeslough.
“I’m really in quite a unique situation that I am away and am able to look at Naomh Conaill’s ongoing development from an outsider’s view - I can only stand back and admire what is happening in the club at all levels - underage, senior and the ongoing development of the ladies game.
“Glenties are now used to winning - they took it in their stride when they beat Ardara last year - however when success is frequent we all need to make sure that we don’t get too comfortable or over-confident.
“Today I don’t see a weak link, I see a strong team but this has not been achieved overnight - it has been the work of many years and many talented mentors and is ongoing. There is no taking the foot of the pedal.
“Their attitude and indeed my own is to work on the weaker player, develop their strengths and bring them up to a higher level. You will find that the naturally better and stronger players will always rise to their own level.
“When I was playing, Killybegs was the powerhouse - after today’s draw we now probably start as one of the favourites for the Co. Championship but this will not happen without the commitment that we have shown over the last few years.
“Finally I would like to thank the many people here tonight - managers, mentors, supporters for affording me the opportunity of playing for such a great club and county.”