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Former Celtic coach Jim McGuinness lands first professional management job in USA

By Ger Keville

Former Donegal All Ireland-winning boss Jim McGuinness has been appointed manager of the Charlotte Independence in the United Soccer League on a three-year contact.

McGuinness' move to the second tier of American soccer completes a remarkable cross-over from gaelic football since he won the All Ireland with Donegal in 2012.

After that success, he worked as a coach alongside Neil Lennon at Celtic before stepping down from Donegal in 2014 and moving to Glasgow on a permanent basis to manage the Under-20s. McGuinness then joined Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan.

Charlotte Independence will be McGuinness' first foray into professional management.

"That's the challenge that's in front of me," McGuinness told the Irish Times.

"I think I've learned a huge amount and tried to be studious in my application from the very first day I walked into Celtic from my experiences of all the managers I worked under.

"At the same time I was trying to build a picture in my own mind of how I saw the game and of how I would like the game to be whenever I became a manager. The other side of that coin is that if you leave the philosophical side of things out of it: football is about people and life is about people."

Eamon Zayed, who played with numerous League of Ireland clubs, left Charlotte Independence earlier this year for Chattanooga Red Wolves, who play in the same league.

Independent.ie

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