All-Ireland winning boss Jim McGuinness is ready to work his magic with Glasgow Celtic – but his new job won’t interfere with Donegal’s defense of the Sam Maguire.
McGuinness has agreed a part-time role as a sports psychologist with the Scottish League champions.
He agreed the deal with majority shareholder Dermot Desmond and manager Neil Lennon after watching Celtic’s historic Champions League win against Barcelona last week.
The former Donegal footballer will initially work with young players at the club, but Lennon has admitted he will use McGuinness’s skills with the first team where necessary.
The Donegal County Board congratulated McGuinness on his appointment and confirmed it will not affect his position as football team manager.
McGuinness himself said, “It’s going to be great. You’ve got the best of both worlds in terms of your day job in sport and then your passion with Donegal.
“I have looked at that, I’ve sat down and worked it out and there will be no drop off at my own attendance at training and the input I put into the team so I’m very thankful for that.
“We’ve been on a great journey for the last two years and obviously I think the world of them.
“It would have been very difficult to walk away from them so I’m delighted I don’t have to do that.
“I’m looking forward to starting the ball rolling in the next week or two in terms of weights programs and getting everybody back on track.”
Celtic boss Lennon is adamant he will not interfere with McGuinness’ role as Donegal manager.
Lennon stated, “It will not affect what he is doing with Donegal. He will probably initially come in on a three day a week basis and take things from there.
“We didn’t want it to ruin what he has been doing with the Donegal team because they have been magnificent this year.”
Reports in the Irish media have suggested that McGuinness could earn as much as $200,000 a year deal to act as a sports psychologist with Celtic.
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.”
The Donegal boss also explained his growing relationship with Celtic boss 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.”