Sunday 17 November 2019

Jim McGuinness admits he’d be open to offers as Celtic consider making move

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Jim McGuinness admitted he would look at any offers to work with a professional soccer team "very seriously" in the future.

The Donegal manager said yesterday that there had been no approach from Celtic to work on the development of their young players, despite the speculation that circulated in the build-up to the All-Ireland football final.

"It would have to be something that I would have to look at very seriously if there was going to be anything," he said, adding that Celtic had invited him over for the Champions League game against Helsingborgs at the end of August.

"That isn't the case at the moment and hasn't been the case.

"Who knows what the future holds?" he said.

The Irish Independent understands that the Celtic hierarchy have been impressed with McGuinness' work with Donegal and have considered making an offer to a coach with a multi-layered education in sport.

"If that is the case, then it's very flattering," he said. "If a professional football team, or any professional sporting organisation, came in and said they were interested in working with you or talking with you, I'm a young man with a young family and three kids so it's something that I'd have to consider.

"My background is in sports science and in sports psychology. That is transferable to any sport.

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"I've worked with all different sports, I've worked and trained with Finn Harps, Limavady, Derry City, golfers, Gaelic football and hurling teams, male, female. It wouldn't be something that would scare me.

"There have been a few different things since the final from a consultancy point of view, teams in different sports who have been looking for work to be done with them. That would be happening on an ongoing basis.

"I would have done more of it before I took the football team, but you can't spread yourself every way. If anyone came to me to offer a position I'd sit down and talk to them about it."

McGuinness admitted that the offer of a trip to Parkhead to view the training facilities in the week after the All-Ireland semi-final win over Cork was taken "with open arms."

"The day before, I was invited over to the training grounds. I met everyone over there, a fantastic set-up, fantastic people there from recruitment, talent identification, strength and conditioning, the coaches themselves and just the facilities.

"If things work out with Donegal, you would be in a position where you might be able to tap into some of that in the future."

Like many other Donegal natives, Everton player Seamus Coleman has been intrigued by speculation linking McGuinness with Celtic and Liverpool.

"I spoke to Jim a few times and honestly he's a great, great man," said Coleman. "You can see the love he has for football and sport.

"It would be great to see if he got a role with one of the football clubs because he could turn his hand to it no problem.

"I'd rather he came to Everton. I'll have a word with him!"

Irish Independent

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