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Donegal boss McGuinness takes Celtic job

By Colm Keys

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness has taken up a role as a performance coach at Celtic FC Academy.

It is understood the role, a part-time post, could be worth up to €150,000 (£120,000) per annum, however, he will also remain in charge of the All-Ireland champions Donegal.

He will be based at Lennoxtown and will focus on the development of the club's young players; he will take up the role at the end November.

McGuinness said: "It's a fantastic opportunity for me on an individual level and I'm very thankful to 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 was present at 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 Celtic manager 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.

Irish Independent


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