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Jim McGuinness Quietly Helped Louth Team Win County Championship

Jim McGuinness Quietly Helped Louth Team Win County Championship

Earlier this month, a clip of Jim McGuinness taking a training session with the Galway footballers caused a stir on social media. Would the former Donegal manager be working with the Tribesmen for the Championship?

As it turned out, that session was the extent of McGuinness's involvement with Galway. Far more extensive this year was his involvement with Louth champions Naomh Máirtín.

Having lost the two previous finals, the club defeated St Mary's Adree - with the help of McGuinness - in September's final to claim their first ever senior title.

"It's very funny," McGuinness told Sky Sports' GAA show 'Inside The Game'.

"A good friend of mine who was in Donegal with us as a physio was ringing me the whole time while I was working in America, saying he was working with this team in Louth. He was saying, 'They're not bad, they're not far away. A wee bit might get them over the line'.

"And I was reading between the lines that he wanted me to maybe go up and take a session or two for them. So I said I would do one session. And I went up, I was impressed with them. I spent probably six weeks working with them, and they eventually won the championship for the first time in their history."

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McGuinness contrasted how there had been no leaks regarding his time with Naomh Máirtín with the immediate furor surrounding his training session with Galway.

"But it's amazing to me that you can be working with a group that can understand that you've got to keep things under wraps or it's going to impact on you. And we were able to do that, and win the championship and nobody knew that I was there!

"And yet, I was standing on the pitch in Tuam with Pádraic Joyce, and literally the session had finished five minutes and there were reporters ringing from Dublin to try and get the heads-up on what was going on! But that's the world we live in. That's social media. And it doesn't help when you've got somebody behind the goals filming it.

"But if you're being put up there as having fellas up trees in Kerry and filming training sessions, you can't be too hard on somebody behind the goals in Tuam."

McGuinness clarified that if he was asked, he would take another session with Galway. He also added that he has been "in and out with Donegal any chance I've had as well".

Picture credit: Sportsfile

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PJ Browne
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