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Seamus Coleman Wonders If Jim McGuinness' Time In Soccer Will Impact Donegal Return

Seamus Coleman Wonders If Jim McGuinness' Time In Soccer Will Impact Donegal Return
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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The people of Donegal were given a huge boost this week, with it being announced that Jim McGuinness was set to return as their inter-county ahead of the 2024 season.

The 50-year old had an extraordinary spell in charge of the team in the previous decade, taking over an underperforming group only to turn them into All-Ireland champions within two seasons. By the time he left the role in 2014, he had won three Ulster titles and reached a pair of All-Ireland finals in just four years.

McGuinness had not taken another management job in Gaelic football since then, instead investing his time in another sport. The Glenties native would enter the UEFA coaching tree, getting his UEFA A Licence before then receiving his UEFA Pro Licence towards the end of last year.

In recent years, he has spent times at the likes of Celtic, Beijing Guoan, Charlotte Independence, and Derry City.

Seamus Coleman looking forward to Jim McGuinness' Donegal return

Jim McGuinness' soccer ambitions will be put on hold for now, having been handed at least three-year term on his return to the Donegal setup. In saying that, it will be interesting to see if his time in another code has an impact on his approach to Gaelic Football.


Speaking in his role as Spar Ambassador, Ireland captain and Donegal native Seamus Coleman admitted that he thrilled to see McGuinness return to the role. He also said he will be keeping a close eye on any soccer influences on the team moving forward.

Everyone in Donegal is looking forward to seeing it, with what he has done for Donegal before.

He took over a group that was really struggling at the time, he completely changed the mindset of the group, the team morale, and fitness. It was great for us for a few years in Donegal.

It will be interesting for me to watch to see if he has picked up or learned anything from doing his pro licence and things like that. Does he try and change anything? Is it two different games completely?

It'll be interesting to see his approach when he takes over, but we're all looking forward to it...

They've had a tough couple of years. You would be expecting miracles from him to come in and make them contenders straight away. He did that very quickly the first time around.

I've met him a few times, he's got something about him, something different about him in my opinion. I wouldn't write them off in terms of challenging straight away.

He gets into the mindset of the players and whatever he does, he motivates players beyond whatever they think they can get to themselves.

Quite a few Irish sporting figures have split their time between Gaelic football and soccer in the past, but not many of them have done so in a coaching sense.

Jim McGuinness is sure to have picked up quite a few things from his time in another sport, especially when it comes to preparing his team. While the two sports are very different, he has shown in the past that he no issue introducing radical tactical overhauls in the game.

It should make for some exciting times ahead for Donegal supporters.



Seamus Coleman, Republic of Ireland captain, today launched SPAR’s Better Choices Back to School campaign, which aims to help families to make healthier choices as they prepare to get back to school. To win a SPAR Better Choices Little Chefs cooking kit children are being asked to share a picture of their own healthy recipe. SPAR recipes can be found on www.spar.ie with details of how to enter the competition.

SEE ALSO: Pat Spillane Wants To See One Big Change Made To Provincial Championships



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