Donegal boss Jim McGuinness takes €150,000 role at Celtic but keeps GAA job
DONEGAL's Jim McGuinness has accepted a €150,000 job as a performance coach at Celtic - but will stay on as manager of the All Ireland champions.
He will be based at Celtic's training ground Lennoxtown in Scotland and will focus on the development of young players at the club's academy when he starts at the end of the month.
McGuinness said: "It's a fantastic opportunity for me on an individual level and I'm very thankful to (manager) Neil Lennon for giving me this chance and bringing me into the club.
"Obviously I work in amateur sport and the opportunity to work in professional sport in any capacity is a wonderful chance for me and one I'm very [much] looking forward to."
He added "You are really looking to create a finished product that is good enough to be pushing for the first team and creating a stronger squad at the club.
McGuinness attended Celtic's historic Champions League success against Barcelona on Wednesday and met club officials throughout the day yesterday to finalise his involvement.
He had been over at Parkhead for a previous Champions League match in August at the invitation of the club.
McGuinness was due to deliver his annual review to a County Board meeting in Donegal on Monday but those plans were shelved due to a family commitment. He did brief Donegal's main officers on Tuesday night on what would be in the pipeline in the coming days.
Donegal officials are still not certain, however, if a dual role is manageable.
McGuinness, who has a masters in sports psychology, has a good relationship with Neil Lennon, a former Armagh minor footballer, while the club's administration are known to have been impressed by his achievements with Donegal.
He had made no secret of his willingness to work in professional sport and make the most of his qualifications.
Former Irish international goalkeeper and Donegal native Packie Bonner spoke yesterday of his belief that the deal with McGuinness was happening.
"It's all up probably to Jim McGuinness and whether he wants to leave and go over there to work and whether he can do it part-time -- when the Donegal games come up he can still keep that role. He might fancy that," said Bonner.