All-Ireland winning coach Jim McGuinness has signed a lucrative contract to work with Glasgow Celtic but is adamant he remains committed to Donegal.
McGuinness has agreed a $200,000 a year deal to act as a sports psychologist with the Glasgow soccer club.
His part-time role with the Scottish champions will allow him to continue as manager of the All-Ireland football champions.
And McGuinness is adamant he will continue to devote the same time to the defence of the All-Ireland crown as he did to winning it in September.
After Celtic confirmed his move, McGuinness said: “There will be no impact in terms of the training last year with Donegal compared to this year.
There will be no drop-off in terms of my attendance at training and the input to the team.
“I am committed to Donegal. We have been on a great journey for the past two years. I think the world of the players. It would have been very difficult to walk away. I’m thankful to Celtic for giving me the opportunity to combine the roles.
“They have been very fair to me in terms of my role with Donegal and participation in all the training sessions. That flexibility made the decision a lot easier.”
McGuinness will work predominantly with young players at the club
He 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.
“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.
“We will hopefully look at every single player as an individual project and move them forward as best we can.
“We will revaluate every couple of months and try and move them forward and give them the best opportunity to develop and grow within the club so they can put their best foot forward in making the ultimate step up to first-team football.”
The Donegal boss also explained his growing relationship with Celtic boss Neil Lennon.
He added: “I suppose the bottom line is that it has been through my work with Donegal.
“We started off at Donegal at a very low base, a low level, but we have worked very hard in moving the thing forward and getting people to up a level and ultimately getting success on the pitch.
“So I suppose Neil Lennon was looking in at that and watching that unfold.
I was invited over then saw around the facilities and met all the coaching
staff and the support people.
“It was great for myself to see that as you are very interested from your own point of view from bringing things back into your own group. That’s how it really developed.”
Little known tale of generous Turkish aid to the Irish during the Great Hunger