Saturday 25 October 2014

Jim equipped for challenge

Published 11/11/2012 | 05:00

Donegal's All-Ireland victory this year is one of the greatest coaching and managerial achievements in Gaelic football history. Before our eyes, we watched a group of players transformed beyond all recognition in just 18 months -- from pitiful also-rans into the most impressive football champions seen in a while.

This coaching and managerial feat has now been recognised by a team from a different code, and a different country.

But it's important to remember that in hiring Jim McGuinness, Celtic are not hiring a Gaelic football coach.

There has been talk in the last few days about others in the GAA world who could make a switch like this but it misses the point that Celtic have hired a man who appears eminently qualified for what they want him to do.

He has a diploma in sports studies from IT Tralee, a degree from Jordanstown and a master's in sports psychology from John Moores University in Liverpool. Sure, he more than put these qualifications to use as manager of Donegal, but equally it is clear when you hear him interviewed that he has very strong ideas on performance and the psychology of sport -- ideas which are centred as much on those taking part in sport than the actual sport itself.

It will be fascinating to watch his Celtic career unfold.

jgreene@independent.ie

Sunday Indo Sport

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